There is no better time to travel than after graduation, for plenty of reasons. This is the one time in your life when you'll likely be free of ties and with plenty of time to see the world. You'll be able to take advantage of student discounts and stay in cheap hostels, you'll gain experience to help you find a job when you return, and it can even help you transition into a corporate life!
Here are five reasons to travel after you graduate.
You'll Have No Ties
School's out for the summer -- for some of you, school's out forever.
Here's a scenario: someone's unmarried, has no mortgage, has just graduated, and their new job doesn't start until this fall. Hey, that's you. What should you do if you find yourself in this situation? Take full advantage of it and head out to see the world!
Even if you feel as though you have ties keeping you at home, you'll probably still be able to see that the commitments will only increase as you age. Once you start getting married and having children, it'll be much trickier to travel, so take advantage of your freedom while you can.
No More Discounts for 30 Years
Some of the best travel discounts around are those that are given to 12-26 year-olds. They're generically called "student discounts," but you don't have to be a student to use them. In fact, to get your hands on a student discount card, you usually just need to be able to prove your age.
And kind of discounts can you get with these cards? When it comes to travel, you'll be able to use your card to get discounts on accommodation, airfare, tours, activities, and even souvenirs to bring home with you. It's well worth paying the upfront fee to get one of these cards, as you'll be able to save more money than you've spent within a matter of weeks.
These discounts make travel much more affordable, and it's worth keeping in mind that you won't be able to grab any of these savings again until you're a senior traveler (and those aren't as good as student discounts, either). Make the most of your age and enjoy the world at the lowest costs you can score over your lifetime.
Travel Enhances Your Resume
It's hard to believe, but it's true. Travel broadens the mind and matures the traveler, and provides you with desirable skill-sets for future employers. There's a common myth that travel is a terrible thing to do for your employment prospects, but I've found the opposite to be true.
After all, travel proves that you can use your initiative, have fantastic problem-solving skills, and are able to easily adapt to unfamiliar situations. You'll have fantastic communication skills from meeting with people from all around the world -- some of whom don't speak a word of English. Plus, you'll be practicing languages where they're spoken, enabling you to up the level of your proficiency on an employment application.
Travel improves your planning skills, your navigating skills, your budgeting skills, and so much more! Needless to say, don't worry about travel negatively impacting your chances of finding employment when you return.
Hostels Are Made for Students
Hostels may sound like an awful prospect, but we promise they're a lot of fun and perfect for students.
In hostels, you'll find it incredibly easy to make friends and find travel companions, and you'll save a ton of money for opting for dorm life, too. Hostels tend to attract travelers in their early twenties, which makes it an even more enjoyable environment.
And don't worry -- hostels are very safe. Just as safe as hotels, in fact. The vast majority of hostels offer lockers to their guests, so you can keep all of your valuables locked out whenever you leave the dorm for the day. And let's face it: it's tough to steal something from a ten-bed dorm, simply because there'll nearly always be someone coming and going.
On top of that, hostels offer far more than just a cheap place to hang your backpack for the night. Hostel staff are fantastic travel guides and will have plenty of advice to give about the city you're in, which is something you'll rarely find in an expensive hotel.
Hostels also put on tours and events for their guests, which is great for helping you make new friends and save money on activities. These tours are especially useful for solo travelers, as you won't have to pay for a single supplement like you usually have to with tour companies. The tours are often run by the hostel staff, which means you get a personal touch to your activities, rather than experiencing something more corporate.
Take advantage now of the huge world of hostels where you'll find life exactly to your liking.
Travel Helps You Transition Into the Real World
In school, you're surrounded by people your age with whom you've much in common, and your living and education expenses may be being paid by parents, loans or scholarships. While you may have had to learn to work with a budget, get an apartment, and even a job, it's not quite the real real world. There's always someone there to ask for help if you need it.
Travel bridges the gap.
When you travel, you'll meet people from all walks of life. You'll learn communication skills when you encounter someone who doesn't speak the same language as you do. You'll figure out the basics of day-to-day life, like not getting lost, doing your own laundry, understanding public transport, and mailing souvenirs home from abroad.
After learning how to function in an unfamiliar place, the transition to corporate life in the U.S. will be a piece of cake. Promise.
This article has been edited and updated by Lauren Juliff.