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girl in airport why you shouldn't travel in your 20's

Here’s Why You Shouldn’t Travel in Your 20’s

You’ve probably heard that millennials love travelling. Actually, a recent survey by MMGY Global evaluates that millennials will travel 35% more this year. So yeah, apparently we – millennials love to travel. But is it actually good?

I know that seeing an article which is saying why you shouldn’t travel (especially in your 20’s) sounds nuts. I could agree with that. With all the “you should ditch your job and go travel the world” or “become a professional traveller” bullshit, I bet this article will look really off the rails at the beginning but hear me out. Please.

Millennials will travel 35% more this year.

I’m really not against travel, I really like it but I truly believe it’s not for everyone. Also having a nice holiday here and there, to celebrate some huge milestones (like graduating from Uni or getting married) sound really good.

girl in airport why you shouldn't travel in your 20's

Also, forgot to mention. This is about travelling abroad.

1. You’re not mature enough

Please don’t take it as an insult. Actually admitting you are not mature enough to travel is a very mature thing.

You’ve just graduated and you’re full of energy and you want to change the world. Well… first see it and after that maybe change it. But are you actually ready? Do you know how to plan your spending and not starve on your third day on the road? Are you culture sensitive, do you feel weird when there are only ‘tiny, yellow people’ around you?

Related: Tips and Tricks for Packing While Travelling

And most importantly… do you know how to make the most out of your journey (that does not include spending an hour trying to get that perfect Instagram picture when you’re feeling miserable)?

2. You don’t have the time

If my math is correct, chances are you’re already close to your mid 20’s when you graduate from Uni (around 22 or 24 if you go to a 5-year programme). That period is quite stressful by itself with all the exams and trying to get a job and also trying to figure it out what the hell life is about.

Squeezing some travelling during a summer break could be the holiday of your lifetime.

3. You’ll be missing out

Freshly graduated with high hopes and dreams, trying to build your dream career. You won’t build that dream career if you’re not actually working. If you’re travelling the world you’ll miss out a very good time to make yourself noticed by your dream company. Your work-skills will get outdated.

Also, you might need the money to travel later. Just sayin’.

If traveling is in your blood, you’ll find that job that will also include quite some travelling, don’t worry.

4. Travelling is not for free

Yeah… you should really get that job first. Travelling on Mommy’s money is not as fun as travelling on your own. Trust me.

5. It can be dangerous

And I’m not talking about the terrorist attacks are happening around Europe lately. The danger is everywhere. I’m talking about the fact that it can turn out to do more harm than good.

We get this illusion that travelling is great and it can help you discover yourself and so on. While I do believe that, because I’ve experienced it on my own skin, for some people it can be the worst thing ever.

Related: 5 Apps for Travelling you Must Download for your Next Vacation

If you’re afraid of flights, have anxiety and can’t stand to be in crowded places, chances are that a trip will be more stressful than relaxing for you. Also travelling for long periods of time can cause depression.

6. It will not change your life

Because we see a lot of things while we’re scrolling through our Facebook feed, we automatically think travelling is amazing and it will change you. It could change you or it could not. It could change you into a completely different person that your loved one used to know.

If you’ll go just for the sake of it (and some really pretty insta pics) you won’t get the actual essence of travelling.

7. More important things come first

I’m not talking about getting married or have kids. But dorting your life out first would be nice.

Also getting some work experience in your CV will ensure you can still find a job you like when you come back from a 2-year hiatus. Experiment a little about finance: how can you spend and save money?

Fun fact, millennials are actually the generation which is saving the most according to Merrill Edge Report.

8. You’re not a sheep

If you see a cute couple on Facebook telling how they both ditched their corporate jobs and now are travelling the world for a few years, it doesn’t mean you have to do the same. If lots of people seem to love travelling, it doesn’t mean you also have to love it.

Just ditch the FOMO and do things on your way.


So do all these mean travelling is bad? No, no way! Done and enjoyed properly, travelling can be truly remarkable.

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  • Mahesh

    Hey nice article. I agree with your points that one need to be mature enough before he starts travelling around the world. I guess the best age would be when you are a graduate & can handle your expenses.

  • I think a good balance throughout one’s life – no matter what age – is the way to go. One must Travel, whenever they get an opportunity – but should not make it their whole life. It should be A PART of one’s life. You do make some valid points. :)

    ❥ tanvii.com

    • I believe that too. I also believe that some experiences, lived at a certain stage in your life can feel different (if that makes sense).

  • Thanks so much for writing this post! Every time I travel I stress so much and all the points you just mentioned are ignored. I mean savings & work, hello? Those are not going to wait, right? Brilliantly written! :)

  • No Time 2 Nap

    agree 100%. I may not be a millennial but I believe this time should be for you to network and get that job. Save travelling for when you are older, have the money, and the smarts. Your 20’s you should be taking maybe week long trips, to like the ocean.

  • Whaaaaa? This is so cool to find an article completely against what I chose to do. The difference is that I chose to travel instead of going to college so yeah, I missed out on college and I was really unhappy about getting married later in life (age 30). Those are my 2 regrets for traveling through my entire 20s BUT that is IT. It was so worth it and I encourage young people to travel. You will see the world, it will shape who you are while you are young and malleable, you are young and more flexible, you are more adaptable…tell you what, I’m going to write a blog post to rebut this and we can hash this out. :D Do you mind if I tag your article? I promise not to be mean. My background: By the age of 28 I had traveled to all 7 continents, 30+ countries, hiked the Appalachian Trail, and been to all but 2 of the United States. I paid for it all with odd jobs including being a snowboard instructor and commercial fishing in Alaska.

    • You can tag the article, Rachel don’t worry. I agree with everything you said, I traveled myself (not as much as you did) and I agree with your point of view. The purpose of this article is to highlight that young people should not be pressured to do something just because they see it on social media and to feel guilty when they discover they aren’t that much into travelling. Everyone should enjoy life as they feel, not as they think it should go because others feel different.

  • Gillian Kent

    Generally I agree with your points. I think some of it is person dependent. My sons studied abroad and came home with great stories and a broader view of the world.

    • Well I think studying abroad is actually the best of both worlds, it allows you to get a degree and also see a few new countries every now and then.

  • Nicole Leith

    This is a beautiful piece. I just turned 30 earlier this year and I’ve seen so many of my friends traveling to exotic lands. I’m incredibly jealous, but I know I also don’t make the same kind of money that they do. I don’t have the same time off and I know I just don’t have the means to really enjoy myself. Great post!

  • Mary Foley

    These are all great points that you’ve made! I love traveling as well but being in my twenties, I can’t do it often without repercussions such as finances or having to work around a schedule now that I have a career. I wish I could travel more, but it makes sense why I can’t!

    Mary
    http://www.meanwhilewith.com

  • Amy

    As a travel blogger in my 20s, I appreciate this alternative view! I agree that many times travel is sparked by FOMO, and that’s a shame.

  • Corey Wheeland

    This is a really interesting perspective on this, especially when so many people tout doing this all throughout their 20’s. I spent the better part of my 20’s working really hard, and I have a pretty large-sized retirement thanks to that work!

  • Your points are great but I still disagree! ;-) I’m 28 and have lived overseas for six years, traveled to four continents, and so many countries! Those experiences are some of the best ones of my life and I’m so happy I’ve traveled so much already! I think a lot depends on the person. <3

  • I do agree that it’s not for everyone, though I am still a pretty big proponent of traveling :) But I do think it’s important to be responsible about it, and not just travel when you don’t have the funds to do so.

  • A very interesting point of view. I definitely have a travel bug. I studied abroad in Wales for a semester in college and loved exploring all the historical sites–but then again, I majored in medieval history. And that’s why I want to travel–I want to live and breathe the history of places. But, for now, I can dream as I care for the family I’ve always wanted and currently have.

    • Well, I hope you’ll get to explore all the places you’ve dreamt of with your beautiful family.

  • Cristine Nixon Struble

    I think it depends on the person. I traveled a lot early in life and wouldn’t change a thing. Not everyone is the same

    • True, we are all different. That;s the point of this article; to bring a different perspective so that young people don’t feel pressured to do something just for the sake of it,

  • Adepoju Dieko Grace

    I quite agree with your points . I hate traveling especially road travel. But I don’t think that short visits can do any harm.

  • Elizabeth Johnson

    Very interesting perspective. I’ve had some of these thoughts too! Traveling always seems so glamorous but when you think about all the things that could/will happen it can be kinda scary. Great post!

  • Amanda Lei Rollison

    This is such a great post for young people. I’ve been traveling since high school and I can tell you I have not appreciated it as much as when I was older, and in my late 20s. You definitely need money to travel to, and stacking it up on the credit card and having to deal with that later on is so not worth it!

  • Tatyanna Picou-Baptiste

    These are valid points. While I think traveling is amazing , I think some people don’t take the time to consider all that comes along with it.

    Xx Tatyanna
    http://www.apopoflife.com

  • Taylor Smith

    I don’t know – I am 22 and LOVE traveling with my husband. We go all around the world, on our own dime, and since we both work from home, we continue to work while we travel. Part of my job is getting that perfect instagram picture – so I don’t mind doing that. My husband has lived in many countries so he’s great at helping us find the best things to do!

    • Well… I guess you are the very lucky one around here… Congrats for being lucky enough to get to experience travelling at only 22, I think it’s amazing!

  • Anna Hubbard

    I respect your opinions and your unique perspective, but I totally disagree. As someone who plans on getting a job straight out of university, I know I won’t have a lot of time to do so. However, I will take any opportunity I can because I do believe it’s important to see the world and soak in other cultures – especially at this age.

  • Jonathan M. Hethey

    I don’t believe there is a right or wrong here, but I believe travelling is probably more important than CVs. Dedicated people will succeed inevitably.

    • Agree, but to be acknowledged for your dedication you first need to be there and to have other people notice you; sadly people hire based on a CV…

  • Jordyn Upchurch

    I’m with you…but also not? If that makes sense, haha. I’m 24, graduated, married, and both my husband and I love to travel. We own our own business so it’s difficult to get away, but we want to make sure we plan in and budget for trips and vacations because we know in just a few more years when babies come that we won’t have the freedom to just go like we do now. Sure, we might be more financially stable, but if you easily go then you most likely won’t go. There is never a perfect time in your life to do anything, you just have to make it work, no matter whether that’s travel or children or anything else!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern and Style

    • That’s so cool, I admire you! What’ your business main focus?

  • Interesting point of view, but I personally love traveling. The first time I traveled abroad, it really opened my eyes to how there are other things going on in the world that just my stuff. Experiencing a new culture, seeing new sights, eating new food…I love everything about it. I loved it so much, that I went to graduate school abroad! But I agree with you points of actually being mature enough to appreciate your travels, and taking the time to plan (and pay) for them!

  • I love traveling. I never traveled growing up. My family didn’t take vacations. Once I was 22, I took a big week long trip every year. Sometimes i would take two with my husband. I think your 20s are the perfect time to start traveling and seeing the world.

  • Holly Hulke

    Definitely some good things to consider here. Although sometimes it seems ideal to just travel full time, it is nice to fund our trips while working full-time!!

  • Christie Moeller

    Interesting points. I agree with Tanvi that a good balance no matter what the age is a must!

    xoxo Christie

  • Nina

    I understand where you’re coming from. I would love to see the world but I am a secure person so I need to have a job and money so I’m a bit torn… But you know what?? Yes, we are only 20 so we have plenty of time to travel the world :D

  • Interesting perspective. I am 28 and I have spent a great deal of my 20s traveling, but still managed to get a masters degree, get married, buy a house, and land a successful career while exploring the world. I think it all comes down to knowing yourself and how much you can handle without doing too much. Like Tanvi said— it’s all about balance.

  • Interesting opinion and I respect it, but I completely disagree. I studied abroad in Beijing during undergrad for an entires semester and it was the push in growth and being an introvert that I needed. Along with my first job out of undergrad being a full-time managerial traveling position. It helped me grow as a person, learn to budget, figure out what I like/don’t like and it changed me in a million ways. I feel like a lot of the time people spend money on things that are temporary instead of experiences, or ways to grow themselves. And I don’t feel like travel is one thing that you should let fall to the wayside.

    • I think studying abroad is a totally different thing. Yes, you do travel but you do it for your education. Everyone travels around the place when they’re studying abroad, it would be a shame if they didn’t.

      • Yeah, but I’ve traveled for over a year that wasn’t apart of studying abroad. I’ve done it for pleasure and business.

  • Definitely an interesting perspective. I don’t regret the traveling I’ve done, but agree that some people use travel as a default if they didn’t land a job right out of college. I think one should always get out to experience the world if they have the opportunity though. :)

  • Becca

    This is a seriously interesting perspective. I think maturity is something that isn’t often talked about when traveling and needs to be. I’m Jewish, so I’ve had the opportunity to travel to Israel and while there, we met up with other groups. I opted to go with the 22+ group but I had some friends who went on the 18-21 and they had a totally different experience because the younger group was there to party and not really experience the country.

  • I might agree that you shouldn’t spend all of your time travelling in your twenties, but I think it’s good to take a few trips in your 20s. I know that my trip to Europe in my early 20s was very educational for me.

    • Indeed, a few trips here and there – properly experienced – can bring a lot of benefits.

  • I’m 26, so in the mid-twenties still, and I definitely know that the whole “Travel as a lifestyle” would NOT be for me. I like to take trips, and adventure, and explore, but I also love having a home to come back to. I moved around a lot as a kid so perhaps home is a little extra important to me. I like coordinating trips with the important moments in life–anniversaries, birthdays, etc, to help make them even more memorable, but I also just like exploring the city where I currently live. I think it’s so important to know yourself and your own priorities. I love planning trips for my husband and I, and we have lived and worked in three countries in the seven years we’ve been married. We’re not in corporate fields (he’s a nurse and I’m an English teacher) so that helps that we can live abroad and stay in our professions and he can continue to maintain his nurse license even while we live abroad–and because he already had 5 years of work experience in American hospitals, I’m not too worried that he wouldn’t be able to get hired again if we go back. People should not underestimate the impact of a complete gap in the resume–maybe people in better job-hunting climates can look over it, but not in the job climate of much of the USA right now. And staying within your means and knowing your limitations at different seasons of life is important, too!

  • Melody Butler

    This is such a different perspective and I agree partly to it. I agree so much about needing to be mature and proper planning, it is a new country and you want to have everything move smoothly. I also think that seeing the world at a younger age gives you a better perspective about world events.

  • Brooke Pollard

    The first time I travelled on my own I was 18 so I can’t say I totally agree! Some people definitely mature faster than others. I think traveling while you’re young actually helps you mature – you’re experiencing things on your own, learning about other cultures, having to do things for yourself. It’s all about making the time and saving the money, so you can experience just some of what the world has to offer. In your 20s you learn a lot about yourself – what you want to do for a living, who your real friends are, etc. You can’t expect to know who you are and what you love if you’ve never left the same environment! But, just my point of view. Xo

  • I agree ! i am more established now in my early 30s with more $$$ too so now i feel like i enjoy traveling a lot more than i did i my 20s!

  • Jodi Collins

    I love your perspective on this and I have to say I agree with you! Thanks for the article!

  • I wish I HAD traveled in my 20s before so many responsibilities get in the way

  • Channon Gray

    This is very interesting. I have just graduated at 21 and am very keen to travel, even if only for a little bit. Travelling in a part of life now-a-days, but that doesn’t mean you should do it all in one go. I believe that travelling little and often can be just as beneficial! I agree that some people are just not ready but I guess you have to go to find that out!

  • Suzanne Spiegoski-Decamps

    I think one should travel when they feel emotionally ready and are responsible enough to do so. But I liked this take on why you shouldn’t travel until later. Thanks!

    • Thank you, Suzanne. I’m so happy to see so many open minded people who can accept other perspectives.

  • Oyinkan Ogunleye

    Lol girl interesting insight but I don’t agree. I come from a culture (nigerian) where travelling young is pretty normal. Most people travel young & go to college in other countries etc. I also believe that everything is mental. You can mentally prepare yourself for traveling on your own. I also think travelling helps you mature b/c you learn to take care of yourself

    • Yes, I agree with you. I also come from a culture where studying abroad or immigrating to different countries for work is normal.
      You can totally mentally prepare yourself for travelling, but you have to know how to do it properly as well.

  • Cori Pullin

    As a parent of kids ranging in their 20’s, you listed some good points for travelling abroad. We have ALWAYS traveled as a family but now that the kids have their own jobs, they want to travel and I encourage it…within the USA. This year, my two that still live at home took a week vacation out of state…one to Oregon the other to California and they had a blast! I want them to travel before they settle down and start families because it wasn’t something my hubby and I were able to do and once a family comes along, financing a trip adds up! Nonetheless, the points you bring up about having a job in place and being able to finance the trip on their own is a big PLUS. As parents, we stress the importance of maintaining their financial obligations first and foremost…Just because they take a break to travel doesn’t mean bills stop accumulating and wait for them to get back to resume work. Said bills need to be taken into account and those funds need to be set aside before spending on fun/travel things. As for traveling abroad alone at their current age, that’s a big fat heck NO! Ok, this parental unit stepping off the soap box lol ;)

    • Haha, I guess is natural for a parent to worry when his child (no matter what age) is travelling abroad, especially to different continents. I think it helped your children a lot that you travelled together. It’s very beneficial for kids to see that people around them even if they might speak or look a little different, are actually the same as them.

      • Cori Pullin

        Lol. Yea I agree on that 😉💕

  • Jos A

    Very thought-provoking post! I don’t think traveling is for everyone, especially fresh out of high school or college. I agree with a lot of your points. I personally couldn’t travel alone, but I have a lot of respect for the people who do.

  • Emily Moon

    This is an interesting view, but travel is what I think makes life exciting! Travel has opened my mind up so much.

  • Toya Smith

    Great points you’ve listed. I love traveling. Getting out and experiencing all that comes with travel is great for personal development, in my opinion. I do agree that maturity plays a major role in terms of the reality of the experience.

  • Very, very interesting post! I caught the travel bug when I moved to America with my family. I’m back in New Zealand now and have a young son of my own. I plan on traveling nationally for a while and then taking him on international trips here and there :) I remember when A LOT of bloggers ‘suddenly quit their jobs’ to travel and started a blog. It did seem a bit sheep-ish, but it worked for them! However, they were old enough and mature enough to appreciate (and plan for) what they were doing. I think that is a brilliant point! I know a friend of mine went on a trip and it was just two weeks of getting boozed. I’m not sure I would like that style of travel!

  • I feel like I am missing out by not traveling. :( I didn’t realize traveling, languages, culture, is a career path I would have liked to take until I was 26. I will be 28 in a few months. I went to college for some associates degree I didn’t care for at all. College isn’t for everyone. I love learning while traveling. It’s a lot easier for me than sitting in a class room.

    • I agree that Uni can be difficult and tough. Maybe travelling in your late 20’s/early 30’s will bring a totally different experience and mindset switch rather it could have in your early 20’s.

  • I definitely believe traveling is important to opening new horizons and connecting with other cultures. But also don’t in strategic times that won’t leave us financially or personally on the red. I loved studying abroad while at school for a semester that way I was doing part of my studies abroad, getting grants to do so and still be able to explore.