From killing it on the D-floor in Cuba to stalking Lena Dunham in the Big Apple, tick off these fun-filled adventures, all before you hit 30.
1. Visit sin cities
Some places are made for vice. Get up to no good in a dodgy Bangkok bar, discover Amsterdam’s Red Light District, head to a pool party in Vegas, and hit the star-studded clubs of LA to see just how crazy these party cities can get.
2. Check out an unpronounceable city
Like Reykjavik in Iceland. Give yourself plenty of time to get your tongue around Rake-ya-vick as you take in the beauty of the northern lights. And then there’s the blue lagoon…
3. Go on a girlie trip
Travelling with your mates is one of the best things you can ever do. Sharing clothes, seven-hour bus rides and dorm rooms bring you closer together as friends. But beware – it can sometimes show you who your real friends are, too.
4. Stalk your favourite girls
Head to Brooklyn’s Cafe Grumpy and casually sip on a latte while you wait for Lena Dunham and company to show up. New York’s concrete jungle has been the backdrop to stacks of amazing movies and TV shows, so why not see it for yourself and live the dream?
5. Get lost in Europe
There are hundreds of hidden places to explore in the beautiful cities of Europe. If you have the time, catching local transport will bring you a completely new perspective. Try a hop-on, hop-off bus company so you get both flexibility and freedom with the comfort of reliability.
6. Take a pilgrimage
This could be walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain, attending the Dawn Service at Galliopoli on Anzac Day, or visiting your ancestral village in India. Taking a journey with a purpose can have a profound effect on your sense of self.
7. Volunteer at a school in Africa
Travel isn’t all about taking; while you’re on the road, give a little back. It could be an all-inclusive volunteer trip to help build a school or even just dropping by a local charity to offer your time or supplies. Every bit helps.
8. Do something that scares you
Try cage diving with sharks or jumping out of a plane. Travel should be about pushing your boundaries, and freeing yourself from the restrictions and judgements you might get back home. Instead of asking why, ask yourself, well, why the hell not?
9. Pull pints in London
Working holidays are a guaranteed way to meet locals and get the non-tourist version of a city. If you’re better with kids than beer, New Zealand might have a job for you as an au pair. Most of the Working Holidays visa schemes stop when you’re 30, so get onto it now.
10. Fall head over heels in love on limited vocabulary
Your Chinese consists of “shì”, “ní hǎo” and “xìe xìe”, and his English is limited to “thank you”, “yes” and, “uh, yes.” When it comes to the language of love (or lust), you’re both brimming with prose so complex it would put E.L. James to 50 shades of shame. Whether it’s a fun holiday pash and dash or a legit, possibly long-term love affair, nothing beats getting your romance on in a foreign city.
11. Kombi it around Malaysia
Not only is a road trip a great way to see the gorgeous country we live in, but there’s something retro about driving for ages in a beat-up van with your best buds right by your side. Plus, it can be a great way to meet new people along the way – as in, super cute backpackers. Hey, we’re all for a holiday romance!
12. Leave your friends at home
Travelling alone is something everyone should do at least once in their lives. It teaches you to get out of your comfort zone and meet new people. You’ll be able to focus on how you truly feel in the moment, regardless of whatever anybody else thinks or demands.
13. Live like a socialite
Want to spend a day out alone in Paris eating Ladurée macarons? What about getting stuck to a delicious pesto pasta in Italy, or going for a swim at a private beach in Bali? This type of holiday is all about splurging on something just for you. You’re on a break, after all.
14. Make a bestie in every continent
It’s easy to become fast friends with new people on the road, especially when they are travelling, too. It’s also a handy way to find a place to crash on your future travels (make sure to return the favour).
15. Dance in a muddy mosh pit
From Coachella to Burning Man, Glastonbury to Fuji Rock or even our own Urbanscapes, get ready to let your hair down. Yep, you haven’t lived in your twenties until you’ve bought a pair of gumboots, ended up covered in mud, sipped on a cold chai tea and gotten lost looking for your tent in a soggy field – fun!
16. Stay in a hostel your mum would not approve of
Bunking in hostels and living out of a backpack with nothing but a passport – yep, this is the ultimate rite of passage. And your tattered guidebook and grubby clothes (bumbag, optional) is bound to set you up with a lifetime (or two) of experiences, stories and awesome memories.
17. Salsa in Cuba
There’s nothing cooler than coming home to show off the skills you learnt while holidaying. Brag-worthy skills you can pick up include painting in Paris, cooking in Thailand, and salsa dancing in Cuba.
18. Take a selfie in Machu Picchu
…and make it your profile picture. Or, if the Peruvian ruins don’t really interest you, what about climbing the old lions at Trafalgar Square in London or flipping a coin in front of the Trevi Fountain in Rome? #nofilter required.
Credit: Shaney Hudson