Where to go, what to do, and whom to travel with; excellent and forever relevant questions when about to embark on a journey. The answers, however, are quite different, depending whether you’re in your 20s or in your 30s.

You’d be surprised how traveling in your 20s, fresh out of college, is different than doing so in your 30s, when you have a career path to consider and the fantasy of a gap year is always at the back of your mind. Whether you’re planning a quick getaway or a backpacking adventure, there are important factors to consider. With this in mind, there’s one common denominator to traveling, regardless of your age – it’s always an awesome experience.

How to Get from One Place to Another

Every journey begins at an airport, and for the most part, continues with additional internal traveling. As some transportation solutions are cheaper than others, there are time and comfort aspects to consider.

In your 20s cheap is the name of the game. You won’t spend precious cash on a direct flight when you can take a flight with 3 layovers just to save $200. Also, when it’s time to move on to the next destination, whether you take a train or a bus (dude, an internal flight is way more expensive), you’ll choose the nighttime option since this way you can sleep on the bus/train and save that night’s hostel fee.    

In your 30s unless there is a considerable difference, you’ll take the direct flight and arrive at your destination well rested and ready for some sightseeing. When it’s time to carry on to the next location, you’ll either take an internal flight (have we mentioned time and comfort?) or rent a car and plan a nice road-trip, this way you’ll get to actually see the country you’re in rather than the generic locations seen by everyone.      

Where to Sleep

Probably the most important aspect of your trip is to know that you have a safe place to rest your head and keep your luggage. With traditional accommodation arrangements such as hotels being, for the most part, a rather expensive solution, nowadays there are many cheaper alternatives.

In your 20s accommodations are a nice way to say – this is where I keep my stuff, I take a shower, and maybe sleep at night. It can be a dorm-room in a hostel that holds 18 additional beds in it, or even couch-surfing to save some cash. One thing’s for sure – privacy, as well as a good night’s sleep, is overrated.     

In your 30s you need your beauty sleep in order to function the next day. You’ll probably choose a nice hotel or rent an apartment via Airbnb where you’ll have a nice quiet place to rest after a long and eventful day.

Where & What to Eat

When traveling to a new place, part of experiencing the local culture is having a taste of the local cuisine. With this in mind, who wouldn’t want to eat cheap and delicious food?

In your 20s you base your diet on street food, and the potential indigestion it might cause. You’ll probably live mostly on snacks and sandwiches, and every now and then you’ll treat yourself to a nice restaurant or café for a decent meal.

In your 30s your body tells a different tale. By now you know that snack based nutrition has its price, and losing weight in your 30s isn’t as easy as it used to be. Still, you’ll probably give local street food a try. By now you are wise enough to save some cash by shopping at the local grocery store for a balanced meal instead of eating snacks or dining out 2-3 times a day.   

Planning Your Trip

The art of planning your trip can change immensely depending on the length of your journey, the destination, and your companion.

In your 20s you probably go where everyone else goes. It seems that there are a number of destinations around the world that attract young adventure seekers. Whether it’s traveling throughout Europe or backpacking in Central America, you’re bound to find 20-year-olds from all over the world doing the same things (they even share tips), and going where everyone else is. In your 20s you want to see everything and you want to do everything.

In your 30s you’ve developed your unique take on traveling. You know to plan ahead, see what fellow travelers say online and decide whether a certain attraction is worth your time or not. Of course there’s room for spontaneous experiences (otherwise, what’s the fun in traveling?) but you already know whether a certain attraction would be enjoyable or not for you, and you won’t feel the famed FOMO most people feel in their 20s.

Overall, traveling at any age is amazing and can hold memorable and unique experiences. We all have a travel bucket list, and let’s face it, most people can’t afford to simply quit everything and travel the world, regardless of their age. Only a lucky (and hard-working) few manage to leverage their travels and turn it into a career. Still, embarking on a journey in a far away land every now and then can easily change your life.