The 7 Most Important Trips to Take in Your 20s

#YOLO.

Everyone’s travel story is different: Some are practically born with a passport thanks to their jet-setting parents, while others have to save and hustle to collect those stamps on their own. Either way, these are the critical coming-of-age trips you'll take in your 20s as you launch out on a life of wanderlust.

1.  The One You Take Alone

With more discussion and an open-minded viewpoint on solo traveling, packing up a bag for one is becoming ever more de rigeuer. And for good reason: Exploring a new city or destination on your own is an entirely different experience than with a partner, friends, or for business. The first time you decide to set your sails without worrying about someone else’s budget, eating preferences, or sightseeing ideas, you liberate yourself to do what you want, how you want, when you want. While scary at first, the beauty of solo traveling — and especially doing it in your 20s! — is how it sets you up to be brave with your passport, no one else needed.

2.  The One You Take After a Bad Breakup

Some folks turn to workout classes and angry music, while others look to wine and sweets to keep them company. However you choose to get over a heartbreak is up to you, but one powerful way to leave the past behind and look to the future is to get. Outta. Town. Even if you simply go back to your hometown or purchase a trip on a deal site with your girlfriends, this trip will help you see how much there is in the world for you, even if your old relationship felt like your world. Plus: There's nothing quite like a vacation romance to remember you of all those (foreign, attractive, sexy) fish in the sea.

3.  The One You Take Before Your Friends Get Engaged

As soon as those wedding bells start ringing within your friend group, they don't really quiet down for, well, years... or a decade. Though you’ll likely go on a few bachelorette parties in your 20s, the trip you book with your girlfriends — a weekend getaway in a cabin, a cheap Mexico excursion — will be one you’ll all remember. Why? It’s a time when you’re all relatively responsibility free, looking forward to all that life has to offer you, and everything seems like it has possibility. Plus, those hangovers just get worse with age, so why not go big before you can’t?

4.  The One Where You Go Abroad Without Your Folks

Okay okay, so you might have been to Europe with your parents at some point in your life, but what about all by yourself? Or with your friends? Or your partner? Even if you’ve spent a lifetime checking off stamps, the first time you cross an ocean without your family is a big one: You’re no longer playing by their rules or setting up what you can and can’t do. You’ll feel empowered and able to take on the world.

5.  The One You Charge On a Credit Card

While going into debt — especially in your 20s and with student loans — is a financial planner’s worst nightmare, sometimes it’s worth the monthly payments to experience a once-in-a-lifetime moment. Maybe your best friend moved to Japan for a year and you have a free place to stay, or your job is willing to let you go to a conference in London and then stay an extra week touring around Ireland and Scotland. In your 20s, you’ll be presented with so many opportunities, and it’s usually the ones that you let your heart scream YOLO that will ultimately mean the most to you.

6.  The One Where You Bring Someone Home

Even if you live close-ish to your family, bringing home a new partner (who could maybe be a lifelong partner) to meet those you love is a big step. And for most people, you can bet you’ll bring at least one person home to greet your parents within your 20s. Going back home might not seem like a fancy getaway or a destination, considering you spent your childhood there, but returning back to where you grew up to show your partner how you were raised is a special time. After all, the further away you get from your roots, the more you realize how much they matter.

7.  The One Where You Feel Ridiculously Confident

Maybe you finally took all of those fitness classes or changed your diet, and for the first time, you feel like a rockstar in your bikini. Or, better yet, you figured out how little your weight matters and you’d rather eat all of the cheese in Paris. Wherever your boost of confidence comes from, there’s a time in your 20s (okay, probably in the later half) where you start to feel more comfortable in your own skin. This is the time when you want to go somewhere that empowers you, enlightens you and keeps that swagger in your step.

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