There are certain things 20-somethings refuse to spend money on, including cars, cable, Costco, and even housing. Last year, 26 percent of millennials opted to live at home with their parents, according to a study from the Pew Research Center. Don’t call them stingy, but rather strategic. Young Americans are choosing to reallocate their income (about $200 billion a year) to more worthwhile investments, such as travel. Where are they going? Extraordinary environments that offer wondrous experiences best captured on Instagram or other preferred social media channels. Some socially shareable places include the following three trips designed with the millennial in mind.
Northern lights, active volcanoes, geothermal hot springs and the Blue Lagoon are just a few amazing reasons to visit Iceland with Contiki this fall or next winter. If you’re not familiar with Contiki, the group travel company has been planning epic adventures for 18- to 35-year-olds, like you (yes, there’s a real age-cap so you’ll be surrounded by only like-minded peers) for more than five decades. Group sizes range from 30 to 50 travelers from around the world. New to Contiki’s European travel circuit this year, Iceland’s four-day winter escape will no-doubt quickly become a best-seller thanks to its dramatic, out-of-this-world landscape and can’t-beat price.
$855 per person for three nights, includes accommodations, some meals, guides, and ground transportation. Available dates: October 27, November 17, December 1, December 15,December 23, January 05, January 19 (contiki.com).
2. Explore Asia
Visiting the Far East for the first time can be intimidating. Ease into it with expert guides as part of Topdeck Travel’s new-to-2016 Road to Phnom Penh trip. The 14-day tour will seamlessly take you (and a max of 19 other passengers) through nine destinations that span Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia. Along the way, test your iron stomach on street food or your iron will in a Thai boxing class in Bangkok; paddle down the Nam Song River and go caving in the Tham Jang’s springs; wake up to the sounds of temple gongs then give alms (like rice or bananas) to local monks as part of their Buddhist tradition. Similar to Contiki, Topdeck also targets a specific audience, ages 18 to 39, and offers killer deals.
$2,156 per person for 13 nights, includes accommodations, most meals, guides, and ground transportation. This trip runs frequently, anywhere from two to five times per month (topdeck.travel).
Spring break in Cabo or Cancun seems like a rite of passage for many young thrill-seekers looking to to dip their toes in international travel. If you’re planning to visit America’s neighboring country soon, consider detouring to Tijuana instead. South-of-the-border’s “Sin City” may not be the safest place in Mexico, but it’s definitely becoming one of the country’s most delicious thanks to a booming culinary and craft brews scene. Street food is so huge here that the city even has designated areas, like the Food Garden and Telefonica Gastro Park, where food truck vendors can line up to offer an array of eats, including artisanal aguas frescas, octopus tacos and burgers, lingua Milanese and more. Wash down lunch (and dinner) with craft beers from Cerveceria Insurgente, which offers a backyard patio and rooftop garden, plus a new tasting room. Then head back to your hotel at the year-old Hyatt Place Tijuana, located on the always-bustling Agua Caliente Boulevard, to rest up for tomorrow’s surf lessons in Rosarito, a coastal resort city in Baja California about 30 minutes away from Tijuana and 30 miles south of San Diego. When the storm-generated swells have got you beat, relax in room at the Rosarito Beach Hotel before heading out on an adrenaline-pumping ATV ride to Rosarito Canyon.
$121 per night (tijuana.place.hyatt.com); $87 per night (rosaritobeachhotel.com); ~$20 per person for surf lessons from the Surf Shop (located in the shopping mall); $55 per person for 2-hour ATV ride.