Travel is a luxury, especially with the rand being as volatile as it is. So when you save up and take a trip somewhere, whether local or international, you want it to be just right, and you don’t want to regret an instant. 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 too.
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. 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 organized tour like 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.
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, i.e you know you favour 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 well 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 children 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. Australia has so much to offer visitors, from snorkeling the Great Barrier Reef, to exploring the majesty of Ayers Rock. Or, if you’re feeling nostalgic, you may want to revisit London again.