If money weren’t an object, where would you travel to? That’s the dream! However, as life goes, it is not necessarily everyone’s reality. So, when is the perfect time to step out of your comfort zone and explore the world?
Answers may change from one person to the next. However, considering all factors, the age where people do not have much to think about besides themselves is in your 20s. During this period, most people have decent jobs, minimal responsibilities, and insatiable curiosity.
Below is a list of places you don’t want to miss when you embark on a backpacking trip while you’re still young.
For people under 27 years old of Jewish descent or those who believe in Judaism, you can travel to Israel for 7 to 10 days – without any charge. If you aren’t, you should still consider this paradise.
Once you arrive in Israel, a good starting point is Jerusalem. Here, you can go to the world-renowned holiest places and beautiful ancient destinations. At night, you can head to Ben Yehuda Street to have a glimpse of the Israel nightlife, go to the accessible Mahane Yehuda Market to have a delicious falafel, or experience the cosmopolitan life at the party district Tel Aviv. Another popular attraction is the Dead Sea, where you can take gorgeous photos and enjoy soaking in the high-quality mud.
If you are Jewish, after you finish your visit, you might consider Israel’s Law of Return that allows people to immigrate to Israel at any age.
If you are the type of person who enjoys spectacular sights, rocky roads, and exciting history, put Vietnam at the top of your list.
Start exploring the country by visiting Ho Chi Minh City and rent a motor scooter. In this old capital of South Vietnam, you will witness French buildings and eye-catching food stalls. In the same city, you can have a day trip to the Cu Chi tunnels to remember the brave Viet Cong. Then, you can also head to Da Lat located to the north where you can ride a motorcycle and breeze pass through unforgettable central highlands.
If you want to chill near the water, there are beaches in the coastal village Hoi An. While you are there, you can have a new dress or suit made by tailors for a low price. Another place that you can’t miss is Hanoi. You can reach the area by riding the slow train journey on the Reunification Express.
While some people might describe the atmosphere of Vietnam as congested and loud, do not be discouraged because there is more to discover in Vietnam than the hustle and bustle.
This country is another one for the books. Going to Haiti will be an epic story you will tell for the rest of your life.
The first place you will likely witness is Port-au-Prince. In here, there are pristine beaches and delectable food choices, among others. There is a place called Cité Soleil, a vast expanse of an urban neighborhood that you should visit with another person. This slum area reflects the impoverished state of the country. Then, uphill in the suburbs, you can visit French-Creole restaurants and dine with aid workers and diplomats.
You can have different purposes in traveling to this country, including volunteering, immersing in the people’s culture, or visiting to get a glimpse.
France is the home of good food and even better drinks. An excellent way to start your backpacking trip is in Paris. There is tons of cultural immersion you can do in this country. You should visit the classic attractions Notre Dame and Eiffel Tower.
Left and right, you will encounter dreamers and thinkers. You may walk to the Seine to be one with nature. Then, you head over to Lyon where you can indulge your gastrointestinal urges. If you prefer wine, you should explore the French Wine Country consisting of Bordeaux, Burgundy, Rhône, and Champagne. For a more extensive hiking experience, you can take the route to the French Alps.
Whatever activities you choose, you should make the most out of the trip and embrace your youth as you travel.
Italy is a precious gem in this world. The country is rich with culture, art, wonderful people, and gastronomic experience.
Rome, the “Eternal City,” is perhaps one of the most important cities in Italy. You should check it out for the historical sites, relaxing piazzas, and delicious dishes. For young people, the hippest neighborhoods are Trastevere and Testaccio, where trendy bars and independent boutiques abound. Within the metropolis, you can also visit the separate state, Vatican City.
Another important city is Florence. There are appealing villages and picturesque vineyards here. In Santa Croce, you should see the Brunelleschi’s Dome attached to the Cathedral of Santa Maria della Fiore. Also, museums such as the esteemed Galleria degli Uffizi and Bargello are available for travelers to witness the original pieces entitled David and Birth of Venus.
In Tanzania, you can take your backpacking trip to the next level by climbing the tallest mountain in Africa, Kilimanjaro. You must hire people to can assist you through the summit routes in adjacent towns like Moshi, Marangu, and Arusha. The hike may require five to nine days with the varying paths. When you reach the peak, during the night, you can see the stars surrounding you. This hike could be one of the most unforgettable and beautiful moments of your life.
Are you looking for a trip on a tight budget? India could be the country that will satisfy your wallet and travel itch.
India offers a culmination of geographical diversity, language, and culture. You may start in New Delhi, India’s capital city. You may spend a day at Adventure Island and go shopping. In this city, there is the old Delhi. If you want a place of commotion and excitement, old Delhi is the place to be.
You can watch the glorious sunrise on the Ganges River and also witness the rituals of prayer, bath, laundry, and cremation. Once you observe a cremation ceremony, you can reflect on your mortal reality and regain a burning passion for living fully.
A small budget for travel is not a hindrance when you go to Colombia. There are unusual sights that actualize works of magical realism of authors like Gabriel Garcia Márquez.
One of the best time to go here is during Carnaval de Barranquilla, a festival that spans for four days. Here, you will encounter the locals and fellow travelers, and you will see the parade of colorful floats and people dressed in costumes called la marimonda. Aside from the visuals, you get a glimpse of their political climate as the costumes symbolize corrupt local politicians.
Your nights will be full of dancing or drinking juices and beer. Don’t forget to try the local anise liquor called aguardiente.
Your twenties are the perfect time to rise to the challenge of climbing the Inca Trail towards Machu Picchu, with the altitude of over 13,000 feet and one of the mysterious ancient places in the world.
While you’re on the five-day trail to Machu Picchu, you should visit Lima and indulge in treating your stomach with different dishes and treats. Your journey to the destination will take some time so you must learn to enjoy the view while adjusting to the oxygen supply.
Compared to the previously mentioned countries, water is the highlight of this country. From the airport landing, you will head over to the port and ride a boat going to Caye Caulker. In this island, you can bask freely in the salty ocean and the warm Caribbean culture. You can try scuba diving sessions and trips to caves. On off-seasons, you can save up to half the original price.
There are beach bars you might find yourself befriending locals at with each passing day. In the early morning, the locals fish for a living. Once you leave this paradise-like experience, you will never want to leave.
China, a country of contrasts with the oldest civilization and fast developing society, provides an overwhelming and rewarding backpacking experience.
You may start in Beijing and explore the temple complex of the Forbidden City, located at the heart of the area. The Great Wall is a world-class architectural structure that you shouldn’t miss visiting.
In the southwest of China, the province of Yunnan is a must-go-to. You can go to Lijiang, Dali, and Shangri-la to trek around mountains and vast lakes. Another remarkable hike to consider is the Tiger Leaping Gorge on the Jinsha River where a great scenery awaits you.
China also has a vast array of food choices to experience. Try all the flavors the world has to offer while you backpack across this magnificent country!
Half of the country’s population belongs to under 25 years old. You can spend a few days in Pristina, its capital, where blooming crowds of people party each night. You can have an experience of a lifetime here. It is especially encouraging to indulge in the nightlife because the establishments rarely require double-digit payments.
If you are in the mood for a more somber atmosphere, you can go to the Balkan neighbors where you can feel a sense of new youth, nostalgia, and melancholy.
This country is another stunner and unforgettable one. Considering the country’s liberal set of rules, there is greater freedom for various experiences, unlike your local situation. The famous museums to check out are the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, and the home to Rijksmuseum.
Indulge your mischievous side at pot cafes and tour the red light district. Surely, Amsterdam will entice you with its brick roads, and overflowing culture and history.
If you are looking for an adrenaline rush, you should go to Mexico. Summer seems to be the year-long season here.
You will meet people with different native lineages which vary from indigenous cultures to new immigrants. People of the Mayan and Aztec descents exist up to this day. With this melting pot of cultures, Mexico is teeming with food choices.
The country also has remarkable sights and landscapes, with highest peaks, tempestuous waterfalls, and amazing beaches.
Dubbed as the “Land of Smiles,” you can’t go wrong with the available and affordable trips to Southeast Asia’s travel hub. Most first-time backpackers in the world pin this as their go-to place. With so many cheap guesthouses and hotels, you can concentrate on your adventures, not your budget.
Bangkok and Chiang Mai are two of the most-visited places suitable for backpackers in Thailand. You can choose to explore jungles, islands, beaches, and temples. You can rent a motorbike to explore the countryside.
You can also party and satisfy your hunger through Bangkok, the capital city. You should try their famous tom yum soup, infused with lime, chili, and lemongrass.
For those searching for peace of mind, you may like to immerse yourself in a silent Buddhist meditation retreat. You can also relax on a hammock with a Chiang beer. If you want to have a taste of the waters, Thailand also has world-class reef systems to embrace you.