There are so many things to do and places to see in your lifetime, how are you possibly going to check them all off your list? Well, we are still trying to figure that out, but we have a pretty good idea of where you should start!
Before you hit that wonderful, definitely not a child, yet not quite an adult yet, age of 22, there are a few travel basics you should have under your belt, as far as experiences go! Take a look at our '22 Before 22' list below!
**Download a printable list at the bottom of the blog!
If you're 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel - as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them, wherever you go. - Anthony Bourdain
Hike in National Park
The U.S has so much natural beauty to offer, from newly snow-capped mountain landscape to Sequoia-filled woods from hundreds and hundreds of years ago. Lakes, waterfalls, geysers, canyons, beaches, red rock, forests...no matter what type of landscape appeals to you the most, there is always a National Park to match! Immersing yourself in nature at an early stage in life sets in motion an appreciation for conservation and effort to further progress within the field.
- Remember the Alamo
There are several highly important historical sites throughout the country, and we believe this is definitely one to add to visit while you are young. Seeing the very spot where Texans fought to the very end is both educational and historically insightful.
- Visit the 9/11 Memorial
This is a must visit, the 9/11 Memorial in New York City one of the most important and impressionable landmark memorials to visit. Be sure to save plenty of time to explore the museum while visiting.
- Walk around the Gettysburg Battlefield
Just like the Alamo, we believe the Gettysburg Battlefield is just one of those historic spots you can't miss out on visiting while young. The amount of historic education that can be gained here is immeasurable.
- Explore the caverns of Mammoth Cave in Kentucky
Kentucky's Mammoth Cave is the world's longest known cave system, with more than 400 miles explored so far. Tours within the caverns, history museums, and local guide talks will fill you in on all the fascinating local history, general geology, and natural scientific phenomena surrounding the cave system.
- Dolphin/Whale Watch
There are numerous options when it comes to dolphin or whale watching in the U.S, from dolphin viewing Florida coastline cruises to Northern Pacific whale watching excursions. Our top suggestion is to go to Sound in Alaska for the Cruise, but really you can't go wrong with any cruise option!
- See a show on Broadway
Lights, camera, action, culture! Seeing a show on Broadway, whether it is a traveling Broadway production in a nearby city or the real deal in NYC, is a cultural event everyone needs to experience at a young age. Arts and culture are a highly important part of a full education, which is why we think it is highly important for young people to experience it."
- Follow the Civil Rights Trail
Of course, you probably don't have the time to set aside to follow the entire course of the Civil Rights Trail, but there are sites from Topeka to Memphis, Atlanta to Selma, even D.C! You can visit sites such as the first integrated schools, the scenes of Bloody Sunday, and the trails of the marches that paved the way for our society today.
- Kayak the Eleven Point National Scenic River
Well, okay, it doesn't have to be the Eleven Point River, though we do highly suggest it. Kayaking any scenic river or lake is always a good idea, as it gets you out into nature while also allowing you to exercise and tighten the importance of physical fitness throughout life.
- Camp out in the Rocky Mountains
There is truly nothing like camping under the stars with a mountain view on the horizon, especially when it's the Rocky Mountains, especially when you are young and spry enough to fully enjoy all the experiences surrounding it, such as hiking, wildlife watching, climbing, and paddling!
- Glamp in the Grand Canyon
Glamping is the new camping for some, the new craze being to 'glamorously camp'. This takes away some of the fun of roughing it outdoors, but it adds a lot of luxury that you probably can't turn down. Choose a spot you've always wanted to see and research your options, we are positive you will find something close. Our suggestion? Under Canvas at the Grand Canyon!
- Stay in a Treehouse
While on the unique outdoor lodging theme we also want to suggest a stay in a treehouse somewhere in the wilderness of America, this quickly becoming one of the most popular outdoor rec lodging options. Again, you can find something in most major wilderness/park areas in the US, but we suggest TreeHouse Point in Washington.
- Take a Beach Vacation
Ahh, there is nothing like a day at the beach, or maybe 2-3 days! Taking a beach vacation is ESSENTIAL for young people, allowing them to experience the sand, sun, and surf that come along with a really great vacation! Of course, it's always a great Spring Break option, as well.
- Visit Space Camp
Younger kids HAVE to visit Huntsville Alabama's very own Space Camp, a highly interactive, educational, and state-of-the-art learning center backed by the U.S. Space & Rocket Center and NASA. Learn about our past, present, and future in space exploration and the ins and outs of being an astronaut.
- 'Tilt' into The Windy City
Visiting the city of Chicago is a must do in itself, but more specifically we think visiting Tilt at 360 Chicago is one to mark off the to-do list for young adults. Tilt is the observatory on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Building (360 Chicago) with a tilting glass lookout 1000 ft. up. Exhilarating and insightful!
- Visit an Art Museum
There is no way you can make it 22 years in life without visiting an art museum, and if so, let us help you fix that now! There are numerous options for seriously excellent art within the U.S, from stunning art districts to contemporary and cutting-edge exhibits. Here are a few great suggestions: Getty Center Los Angeles, MET NYC, Art Institute Chicago, Nelson Atkins Kansas City
- Celebrate Family Friendly Mardi Gras
Younger children and teenagers don't have to stray away from all the cultural delights of Mardi Gras, they can get in on the action too and experience a unique cultural event. If you are under 18 visit Mardi Gras World, take a Steamboat Natchez Cruise, or have a beignet at Cafe du Monde. Older? Head to Bourbon Street!
Voluntourism is on the rise, and it is the PERFECT travel experience for anyone under 22 (and above, don't get us wrong). Helping a community out while getting to know the locals, culture, and location, is one of the most enlightening things a young person can do.
Here are our most popular voluntourism trip categories: Red Cross, Zoo/Animal Shelter, Missionary Trip, Medical Outreach, Conservation Efforts.
- Presidential Vacation
Understanding our judicial system and political culture is a key component in being an American citizen and aware traveler, so a trip to Washington DC to see the White House, Washington Monument, National Mall, and all the other presidential sites along the way is highly recommended.
- Take a College Visit Roadtrip
If college is in your future you need to plan a college road trip. That's right, it isn't a travel suggestion, it's a necessity. Plan a cross-country, cross state, or simple day trip to your desired college/colleges and be sure you know the area it is in well enough to call home. Explore the dining scene, cultural events, shopping, parks, etc during your visit, not just campus.
- Follow the Food
Culinary tourism is on the rise, especially for younger generations. What explains a culture or community better than the food they eat, from the ingredients they use to the methods they use to prepare it. From hole in the wall classics to cutting-edge new dining experiences, following the food as a young adult will delight your travel taste buds, we guarantee it!
- Dessert Trail
What is one of the most popular forms of culinary travel? DESSERT TRAVEL. Donut shops, traveling ice cream trucks, old-fashioned soda fountains...you name it, it's hot hot hot right now! Kids especially, this is a travel experience you should really consider while young (when your metabolism is good enough to handle all that sugar!)
So, how many do you have checked off your list so far?
How many do you want to check off in the near future? Give us a call at 877.397.5700 and let us set up your next big adventure!