When you save up to take a trip somewhere, whether local or international, you want it to be just right, and you don’t want to regret a moment. The truth is, though, that as you mature and change, you have different priorities and different interests, and how you travel ties in with this.
What you love in your 20s may not be quite right when you’re in your 60s (not that we’re pigeon-holing – you do you!). But it may help to browse through some suggested trips we’ve pulled together for every stage of your life, to find the one that feels just right.
Your carefree 20s
You’re making your way in the world, meeting new people, trying new things, seeing all there is to see. Now is the time to save as much as possible and then take an extended working holiday or gap year somewhere, if that’s your vibe. Consider a ski season in North America, teaching English in Hong Kong, or volunteering at one of the many needy organisations in South Africa. There are many “work abroad” options through reputable companies like STA Travel.
Take a look at South African Volunteers based on the Wild Coast in the Eastern Cape, who do amazing work in various projects in the community. You may also consider exciting party destinations like Ibiza or joining an organised tour with Contiki, where you’ll meet great people from all around the world. As money may be tight, it’s also a good idea to look at any discounts you can arrange on flights or accommodation, such as those provided by companies like Fedhealth and its rewards programme Sanlam Reality.
Your busy 30s
By now you may have a more established career and possibly a partner or family. Travel for longer periods of time may be harder, but not impossible (you could still arrange sabbaticals at work, or take a longer holiday if you work for yourself). It’s likely you’ll have more established likes and dislikes, you know you favourite cultural hubs like Budapest or Bali, and are simply not a fan of party destinations that don’t offer much else.
Got young kids? You may consider a family-friendly destination like Mauritius, where the kids are entertained during the day, and you can spend time relaxing. Whatever form your holiday takes, planning more carefully at this stage of your life will pay dividends in terms of the enjoyment you get out of your trip.
Your fabulous 40s and 50s
Your job may be more stressful, as you take on increased responsibilities – so you need this holiday more than ever! By now you may also own your own home, and if you’re older, the kids may be leaving the nest.
An exciting option to consider is house swapping, where you effectively swap your home with someone else’s across the globe, even if it’s for a short period of time. Home Exchanges claims to offer access to 65 000 homes across 150 countries! Imagine spending the summer at a small seaside cottage in Brittany (France), or enjoying a white Christmas in the heart of New York, in a swanky apartment? If you’re seeking enlightenment or an antidote to your stressful life, why not consider a yoga retreat in India, or learning the art of Tai Chi in China?
Your sassy 60s and 70s
Getting older doesn’t mean you have to sit at home and wait for life to happen to you – no, it actually means you have more time to go out and seek adventure yourself! After all, travelling keeps you young at heart and keeps you physically active, making it even more important to keep doing it.
Australia has so much to offer visitors, from snorkelling the Great Barrier Reef, to exploring the majesty of Ayers Rock. Or, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you may want to revisit London again – especially if you went there as a youngster, seeing all the sights and soaking up the atmosphere, but doing it on less of a shoestring budget this time.
Travel broadens your horizons, expands your knowledge and helps you gain perspective on your place in the world. Doing it at every age can only enrich your life and add to your happiness. So think about where you’ve always wanted to go and get planning!
by Belinda Mountain