So you’ve decided to travel after college. Congratulations! You’re about to embark upon a wonderful rite of passage enjoyed by many students before you. Yet, where to go? If you have the means to go anywhere, here are a few ways to decide which destination is right for you.
Unfortunately, just because traveling after college is so popular, that doesn’t mean someone will subsidize it. You will need to pay for wherever you go, and depending on where that is, it can get expensive. Do your research and figure out which plane fares cost the most, which countries are known to be on the expensive or cheap side and set yourself to a strict plan when it comes to how you want to spend your money. Once you know these things, then you can safely pick where you want to go and know that it won’t break your bank.
If you want to go for a completely immersive experience and visit a country that doesn’t speak your language, by all means, go for it. But be honest with yourself. Are you a seasoned traveler, capable of navigating tense or strange encounters without freaking out? Because things will go wrong and if you’re not prepared to adapt and take care of them, you could put yourself in real danger. If this is your first time traveling far from home, consider not taking the plunge into a totally new culture until a little later.
If you have family or friends that live in a place you’re thinking about visiting, that’s definitely something to consider when you’re considering where to travel. Unless you come from money, odds are you won’t have cash to burn, and staying with people you know is a great way to save. Plus, they can usually double as activity buddies or tour guides ensuring you’ll get to see more of local culture than you could have figured out from a guidebook.
It’s important to think about just how far away you want to be. If you only have a few weeks to travel, take into account travel times when you’re booking your trip. If a place is going to take you two days to get to and another four to get over jet lag, you’ll be missing out. Conversely, if something’s too close, you run the risk of not getting the foreign experience you might really want. Find the balance and figure out what’s best for you.
Level of Development
If you want to go to a third-world country that has great beaches and dirt cheap hotels, more power to you. But if you’ve never been abroad, you need to seriously consider how you’ll react to being in a place that doesn’t have the creature comforts you’re used to. Learn about the infrastructure and personality of the place you’re going and decide if it’s safe and fun enough to warrant a visit. Whether you went to a private school like USC or a public school like UC Davis, if you travel after graduation you’ll need to be really prepared for any newness you encounter.