Travelling is one of the best ways to spend money. It opens our eyes to new cultures. It helps us see new traditions, meet people, learn histories we were never taught in school, and enjoy different foods. Some people devote their lives to travelling. Some people constantly save in order to travel for one week out of the year. To travel is to dive head first into a new culture. It’s a time to relax away from home, and sometimes it’s just the opposite – a trip can give you a new shot of life, that we didn’t know we needed until we were there.
There are some places and activities, while travelling, that have an expiration date, meaning you should do these before the age of thirty. Why thirty? Because once you hit a certain age, these trips just don’t seem in the cards, whether it be for recklessness, physical activity, or because it is simply a young person’s game. There are just some things you don’t do when you’re over the age of thirty, and some places you can only go once and never return due to what you did there. Here is a list of some of my personal favorite places to visit while you’re young.
15. Adult Summer Camp
Have you guys heard about this yet? It is literally the best invention in the entire world. It’s just what it sounds like. It’s a summer camp, much like the sleep-away camp that your mom signed you up for when you were a child. There are cabins where you sleep in bunks with strangers. There are water sports and hikes and games. But here is where the adult part comes in – alcohol. All the best things about camp as a kid highlighted by the fact that there is an open bar, and you are more than encouraged to take advantage of it.
Why should you not do this over the age of thirty? Will you really be open to meeting new people then? My guess is no. It’s hard being open to new people when you are running around in a bathing suit, and that’s okay. But you’re more likely to make new friends while drunk around the campfire in your twenties. And there is definitely an age limit when it comes to slip and slides – you don’t want to break or strain something.
14. Swim in the Devil’s Pool
You know how we love infinity pools? Yeah, well this is a natural one in the Victoria Falls, which borders Zambia and Zimbabwe. Guys, this seems so cool. Jumping into a waterfall is absolutely a must before you turn 30, there’s such a thrill in falling into water, not knowing exactly how deep it is. But this is so much cooler, jumping into what looks like it going clear off the edge of a waterfall is something else entirely.
Why do you need to do this before thirty? Can you pick up and just go to the Victoria Falls when you have responsibilities like a family and house and job? Probably not. And the older you get, the harder it is to take trips like this, both responsibility wise and physically as well. My advice is to do it while you’re young.
13. Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
You could totally do this in middle age. But will you go all out then? Will you get as drunk? Will you wear a dirndl or lederhosen? Or will you get pissed off because there are drunk people everywhere? Yeah, it seemed like a better idea to do this when you are still a little reckless and don’t mind spending quite so much money on what is basically a bender in a different country.
I suggest going all out for it. How often do you go to Germany? This is one of their oldest traditions and one in which they are very well known for. You won’t regret the money you spend on the traditional German garb, or the beer – that’s for sure. You’ll cherish those memories, and you’ll love the pictures on your social media.
12. Holi Festival in Mumbai, India
Holi is a sixteen-day Hindu festival that celebrates new beginnings and divine love. Oh, and they throw pigments at you, and not just color run pigments, I’m talking a lot of dye thrown at your person. There’s dancing, there’s music, there’s a lot of fun. This is a perfect example of just how colorful the Indian culture is. What better way to get a feel for a culture than to see one of their most famous festivals?
Festivals aren’t for everybody. There will be a lot of people all around you. There will be a lot of dancing and general merriment. Lots of people like these things, but not a lot of old people do. So when you’re thinking of your next vacation, think to yourself if you are ready to see an entirely different culture, dance your little heart out, and have it just be colorful. If you answered yes to all of those – go to the next Holi Festival, you won’t regret it.
11. Near Year’s Eve in Times Square
I feel like the older we get, the less patience we have for things like this. There are so many people around, they are drunk, it is dirty, and you’ll never forget it. To do New Year’s Eve in Times Square more than once just seems insane. And once I turn 30, there is no way I would want to spend my New Years with thousands of strangers in the old of Times Square. But when I’m in my twenties – why not?
This is something I have always wanted to do, no matter how dirty or hectic. It’s something you’d never forget. Something you could tell your kids and grandkids about one day when you are watching the ball drop in the safety of your home when you are too old to enjoy how crazy and hectic it is. Will it be the best time of your life? I don’t know. But it is definitely not something you will ever regret doing.
10. The Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Have you ever heard of the Songkran Festival before? I hadn’t either. And while it isn’t the most famous festival on this list, it might be one of the most underrated.
The Songkran Festival celebrated the Thia New Years, and do you know how they celebrate this holiday? With a giant water fight. That’s right; they take Super Soakers, buckets of water, hoses, basically anything that can hold water and be used to dump it on another person. Why do they do this? Well, traditionally in Thailand sprinkling water on another person is considered a blessing and positive wishes. This escalated into one of the biggest water fights in the world.
I don’t know about you, but this is absolutely on my travel list now. What better way to celebrate a holiday than to soak those you love, and total strangers with water?
9. Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
You know who knows how to party? The Brazilians. Carnival happens annually and is basically a giant festival that takes place right before Lent. It has been happening in Rio De Janeiro since 1723. This long-standing tradition allows the samba schools in the area into the parades, with floats, flamboyant costumes, and tons of music. These parades are nothing like your average parade.
Why should you do this when you’re young? Will you really dance your heart out when you’re older? I know I won’t. And I defiantly don’t want to be around that many people, with that much music when I’m passed thirty. Plus, there is a lot to do in Brazil that is active, and you’d want young, fresh legs before a trip like this.
8. New Orleans, Louisiana for Madi Gras
You could go to New Orleans any time – but it will not be the same as when you’re in your twenties. When your young, and you don’t care about how dirty Bourbon St. is. When you’re more than willing to walk around drunk all day, and I do mean all day. When you lift your top off for nothing more than some plastic beads.
NOLA is a crazy place, and Mardi Gras is easily the best time to be there. The floats are exquisite. There is music literally everywhere. And if you’re not walking around with a ton of beads around your neck, and a hurricane in your hand – then you’re just not living your best life.
7. Las Vegas, Nevada
Clubs, pool parties, strip clubs, gambling, more drinking. This is what Vegas looks like to a twenty something. When you’re older, you won’t do all of what Sin City has to offer. You might simply gamble, maybe catch a show. Sure, you’ll drink, but I am willing to be it won’t be quite as much as when you’re twenty. Maybe you’ll go to a club, but you’ll hate it because the music isn’t great and it’s so hot in there. But when you’re in your twenties, and kind of reckless with your money – that is when Vegas is a must. You’re more likely to socialize with strangers at a pool party, rather than just keep to your group. You’re more likely to get a little wild, and that’s what Vegas is all about, right?
6. Cape Town, South Africa
There are tons to do in Cape Town, and if the first thing you think of isn’t Safari, then I just don’t even know what to say. If you go to South Africa, and you don’t take a safari, you’re definitely missing a huge reason for going. But if that doesn’t seem as thrilling or adrenaline pumping for you there is always bungee jumping off the Bloukran Bridge, which is the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world.
Cape Town, South Africa is not for the faint of heart. This is a location that will leave your heart pumping, make your palms sweat, and leave you with some incredible memories. The activity list in South Africa is one hundred percent for the young or at least those with a young heart and active legs.
5. The Inca Trail in Peru
The Inca Trail is about a four to five-day hike that leads to Manchu Picchu. There is an option to take a train straight to Manchu Picchu, but why do that when there is a trail that the Incas themselves designed for you to see the scenery and beautify that is this trail? Why is this considered one of the best hikes in the world? It isn’t just because the ending is Manchu Picchu, but the way that the Andres collides with the rainforest, creating a very dramatic and beautiful landscape.
This is absolutely something to do while you’re young enough. The Andes are no joke. This will not be a walk in the park, but the beauty at the end is worth it. This isn’t one of the hardest hikes on this list, nor is it one of the longest, but defiantly something you should do while you are still young enough for your body not to hate you the next day.
5. Zipline in Costa Rica
There is a lot that Costa Rica has to offer; you could lounge on their beaches, maybe swim under a waterfall, but if you’re really daring you’ll zip-line. If you hate heights, you might not like this one. Take a minute and just imagine this – speeding through the canopy of a lush jungle, the wind in your hair, birds chirping, and the sound of you yelling. It sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Yeah, you can take tours in the jungle. Of course, you can see local markets, and enjoy the local cuisine. But I think the real gem of Costa Rica is the zip-lining.
I don’t know if I would even want to do this when I get older. I would probably get nervous that I would fall to my death in a jungle, and then no one would be able to rescue me, and then I would wait for my own death. Sounds pretty awful. That’s why I’ll enjoy Costa Rica while I’m young enough that my nerves aren’t totally shot. And I can hike through the jungle to get to the zip-lining – of course.
3. Hike Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala
Hiking a volcano is an amazing experience, one you won’t soon forget. Hiking a volcano is an amazing experience, one you won’t soon forget. When I was twenty, I hiked Pacaya for a sunset hike. We roasted marshmallows on the hot rocks and saw the sun drop behind the other volcanoes and mountains. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life.
Why should you do this when you’re young? Hiking a volcano isn’t quite the same as hiking a mountain. The terrain is a littler harder to climb. At first, it had the consistency of sand, and then there were the volcanic rocks which are airy and felt as if we were skiing down them. I was on my butt more than I was walking, but the good news is that it didn’t hurt when I fell. Until I sprained my ankle (I couldn’t see the path, it was a sunset hike, and no one thought to bring a flashlight).
If you think you’re physically fit enough to hike a volcano over thirty – go for it. Just watch where you step.
2. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Do I even have to explain this one? Of course, you should go to Amsterdam in your youth, when you can just blame your bad decisions on your youth and naivety. Do you have to partake in the drugs and red light district? Not if you don’t want to. But it is kind of their thing. There is also a rich history in the city as well, but those walking tours will probably be filled with older folks – the youths will be enjoying the debauchery down the street.
This is absolutely something you should see while you are still young and reckless, when you don’t have all the major responsibilities in your life, and most importantly, with people who won’t judge you. Consider this to be a mix of Vegas and Spring Break.
1. Spring Break (Either Panama City Beach, Cancun, or Punta Cana)
I took this rite of passage at the age of twenty, and I promise you I will never step foot in Panama City Beach again for as long as I live. The things I did, the things I saw, are just not what a respectable adult would do. Ideally, you would do this trip in college, and maybe it isn’t too weird the first or second year of post-grad life but, after that, Spring Break is kind of out of the stars for you. At least the kind of Spring Break you would have as a gross college kid.
And while it is insane, and kind of gross, and just ridiculous, I urge you to take this trip. The memories will last a lifetime. The friends you go with will share these times with you for years to come. And you’ll have the time of your life – even if you never go back to that place ever again.