Never Trust Anyone Over 30 (Except Me)

Once in awhile I get a guest post submission about travel on the “other side of 30.” As much as I’d like to believe that my twenties will last forever, I know they won’t. So I’ll take any advice I can get. 

Travel teaches strange lessons.

For example:

  • Don’t purchase (and drink) Arak poured out of gasoline jugs in Bali…
  • Don’t hitch hike in the back of a pick up with drunk Irishmen…
  • Don’t go to LA… ever… for any reason.

Plus many others.

Of course, these are†extremely biased personal lessons. Below are five simple tips gleaned from over a decade of traveling.

Tip 1: Travel Slowwwwww

Since you’re young and have zero responsibilities, well… other than waiting tables at the Outback Steak House… take your time traveling.

Slow travel is a great way to save money, live like a king, and immerse yourself in the local culture.

My husband, gosh now I really sound like an ‘ol hag, and I are living in a three-bedroom apartment in Quito, Ecuador with a jaw dropping view of the city.

The price… $30 per night!

Yep, it’s a screaming deal that includes everything… utilities, water, internet, garbage, etc. Also, we have a full kitchen and are saving a bundle cooking all our meals.

Photo credit: Trekity

Tip 2: Skip Europe

Europe is expensive and mainly known for it’s historical architecture, wine and food… all things you won’t really appreciate until your 40s anyway.

Instead head to South East Asia where the beer flows like wine… Central America where the volcanoes and surf are incredible… or India and Nepal… where you can find accommodations cheaper than food… seriously.

Also these areas provide excellent and cheap opportunities for outdoor adventures.

For example, you can hike the Annapurna Circuite in Nepal which doesn’t require a guide or entrance fees. There are guest houses ($0-10) and restaurants ($5) all along the way so you don’t have to carry food or camping gear. For a 20-day hike in the gorgeous Himalayan Mountains plan for $400-500.

Photo credit: Trekity

Tip 3: Overland It

Flying is fast and easy, but it’s also really expensive.

Overland trips (by car, bus or train) are a great way to get a feel for what life is like off the tourist trail and on average is about a third less expensive than flying.

India has arguably the most impressive railway system out of any large country which even provide sleeper beds. Note, pay the extra rupees for a bed… it’s well worth it.

While the Americas don’t have the best railways, the roads are in pretty good shape for buses.

And who can beat the mini-buses in Thailand that blare love balads over cult classic 80s movies such as Terminator.  The odd mixture really works.

Photo credit:†Trekity

Tip 4: Stay In Touch

The first time you travel and the longer you’re away from home, there’s a chance you might get home sick.  The great news is that technology has made staying in contact with friends and family is super easy.

There are internet cafes in just about any city with a tourist and many travelers are opting to bring their own phones and compact laptops.  With Facebook, Twitter, Skype, and lord knows whatelse, you can easily connect back home.

If you happen to visit an internet cafe offering international calls, go for the Skype call instead… it’s much cheaper.

Internet Cafe, 2 AM
Photo credit: Rachel Strohm

Tip 5: Get Involved

I hate to admit, but much of my 20 something travel was a bit selfish. Bar crawls every night, beach bumming, and basically being a useless tourist.

Which there’s nothing wrong with… however, now I try to get a little more involved by challenging myself when I travel.

Long term trekking, volunteering, learning a new language or skill, etc.

Getting out and doing something is much more rewarding and a great way to learn more about the local culture.

kids running with tire
Photo credit: christophercjensen

Your 20s are a great time to travel and explore the world. Have fun and make the most of it!

What other travel advice would you recommend?  Leave a comment below…

Darcie Connell is the co-founder of (a fun new travel site) and (an info site for travel bloggers). Follow her on Twitter.

About The Author

10 thoughts on “Never Trust Anyone Over 30 (Except Me)”

  1. If you’re on a budget, do Eastern Europe. It’s WAY cheaper than Western Europe and equally as beautiful and interesting! Just a little lesser known and hyped. Bonus-less tourists too!

  2. Dismissing LA and Europe. Ha. I like the hyperbole but am equally glad it was challenged. Of course you base everything off your own references so if you feel that Guest Author Darcie is a kindred spirit you should do it.

    I liked ‘Ego Tripping’ while I was backpacking and did my best to surrender to the person I was traveling just to see what it was like to live like them. It wasn’t always done to the letter nor was it easy but it was a good mental trick to not get hung up if I disagreed with a running mate.

  3. great advice, but skip europe – really? i’m 26 and my husband is 24, he’s a wine bar supervisor at a local whole foods and we love all things associated with food, history, and wine. you definitely don’t have to be 40 before you appreciate that stuff. europe is known for a great many things – wonderful beer included – so the idea of putting off europe til you’re older seems silly to me. it can be done cheaply too if you know how to swing it. we’re planning a backpacking trip for next spring right now and train rides between countries aren’t that bad (especially if you’re 25 or under), neither are hostels – so while you can travel to other countries and continents on a much smaller budget, I highly recommend europe for any age.

    also, why not aim to hit a place like thailand or india when you’re older, and just make it a goal to stay fit and able to make the travel? being healthy isn’t restricted to the 20s by any means.

  4. The volunteering tip is really great if you’re in the S.E. Asia area as travel between countries is quite inexpensive. Basing out of Kuala Lumpar with Air Asia as your Hub is the way to go.

    Great post.

  5. These are great tips!! I always tell everyone who asks me that I’ll do Europe when I can afford to stay there for as long as I stay in the cheaper countries I travel to now 🙂

  6. I have traveled to Europe and I loved it. However, I understand where the writer is coming from…I would love (most of) Europe at any age. Trekking in Nepal I may love at any age, but my health and the cost makes me know I should do this in my 20s and save Europe for later trips. This all relates to my personal interests of course and I am not dying to get to Europse asap.

    One month in Italy = possibly 5 in India/Nepal. Seeing that I am making close to minimum wage at my cube job…Asia sounds much better on my bank account than Europe..

  7. It almost sounds that you aren’t giving 20 year olds enough credit. I have been to Europe several times in my 20’s and I appreciated such things as the art/architecture just as much as someone in their 40’s would.

  8. Love the tips! I definitely agree that you need to be an active ‘tourist’ or traveler. But again, I agree with Cristina that you shouldn’t skip Europe. Take in all you can, wherever you can! There’s so much learn and appreciate no matter where you are in the world.

  9. Great tips! I’m a huge advocate of getting involved as early as possible, volunteering and learning new skills. I’m not sure I would skip Europe though, Europe is what motivated me to start blogging in my 20-somethings and I really developed such an appreciation for culture, slow travel, and living a happier lifestyle

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