Your 20’s and 30’s are some of the best years of your life, exploring your own self and the world around you.
In Europe the “Gap Year” is king. Taking one year off from school after graduating high school to travel and figure out what you’re all about before you commit to a four-year college and career path. Twenty-somethings are seen backpacking all around the world. They’re easy to spot, a huge backpack paired with a small day pack worn on the chest. They’re usually wearing athletic clothes and/or a bandana, completing the look with trail runners or hiking boots.
They’re looking for the ultimate experience for the minimum price! Twenty-somethings will sleep in hammocks, on floors, couch surf, and party until the sun comes up or the new moon is brought in. They look at extreme budget travel as a challenge, an adventure, one worthy of a merit badge. Thailand is a huge destination for this age group because food and accommodation costs next to nothing and hostel parties, beach raves, and dance clubs are plentiful.
Then the gap year/extended trip ends. Their Facebook feed is no longer the envy of their friends. Instead, they study their butt off for four years and strap on the hefty ball and chain of tens of thousands of dollars in student loans.
The rest of their 20s are spent working hard to pay down debt and advance in their new career. They even opened a savings account! That’s cause for celebration. They’ve usually embarked on a few short budget trips after graduation but haven’t had much vacation time. As their 30th birthday approaches, student loans finally paid off, and with money in the bank, it’s time to celebrate!
Thirty-somethings seek the perfect divergence of comfort, unique experiences, and connection with loved ones. Many folks in this stage in the game have partners and are thinking about, or have already started, having kids. You’ll recognize a thirty-something by the unique experiences and accommodations they choose. Take, for example, a jungle tree house, exotic canvas tree huts, a paragliding or white water rafting experience, rappelling down a waterfall, soak in a hot spring, or cliff diving. Thirty-somethings worry more about trip insurance for their adrenaline riddled activities than they do about the drug cartel at a sketchy bus terminal on a dangerous border crossing. Yes, creature comforts have been discovered and gently loved by this age group. While there are backpackers in their 30s who opt to stay in hostels, most prefer at least a private room and a hot shower.
In your twenties sleeping on the ground is no big thing. Sure, it’s not as cozy as your bed at home, but camping is the best! As your body ages, and as you become accustomed to more, in your 30s sleeping on the ground becomes less and less appealing. The love for the outdoors, however, is unwavering with age.
In order to resolve this, many avid campers purchase traveling trailers or pop up tent trailers. This way they can bring some of the modern comforts they don’t want to give up into a natural setting like a glacier lake. They wake up from a great night of sleep in a climate-controlled trailer and memory foam bed to a spectacular display of lights over the water each morning. Then make their cup of joe and sit out by the lake, go fishing, hiking, or take a shower! They also have fun toys like kayaks and stand up paddle boards they can throw in the truck. Twenty-somethings often miss out on outdoor toys due to apartment storage challenges and budget prioritization. Instead, they usually opt for an inflatable inter-tube and a six-er to enjoy on the lake.
Regardless of your age or preferred method, travel is always a worthwhile way to treat yourself, and learn more about the ever-evolving world we share.