Adoration 4 Adventure’s 10 truths about budget backpacking in your 30s and besoyond.

As I get older, a lot of things about me change…I feel more confident in who I am, care less about what people think, and put more value on experiences over material possessions.

But there is one thing that remains the same – my commitment to traveling cheaply.

I have been a budget traveler for many years, however, after turning 30, I quickly noticed the difference from backpacking in my 20s.

Traveling in your 30s (or beyond) has its own set of challenges, rewards, and amusing situations.

Here are my 10 truths about budget backpacking in my 30s. How many of these do you relate to?

For more budget tips, read how you can couchsurf like a champion: Host, surf, make new friends, and save money.

1. You are the only person at the hostel over 30

After checking into your hostel, you start chatting with your room mates to discover everyone is under the age of 25 and on a gap year or semester break from university.

Where are all the 30 somethings at? Obviously, flush with cash and staying in an Airbnb apartment or 5-star hotel where they don’t have to share a bathroom.

Read the ultimate guide to finding travel accommodation on a budget.

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2. Your new travel friends are ten years younger and say that you are like a big sister/brother

In the travel world, age isn’t a barrier to friendship and strong connections are easily formed with people of different backgrounds and all walks of life.

Read 6 solo female travel success stories to inspire your next trip.

3. All your backpacking clothes are comfy (and probably old)

Your backpack is full of baggy sweaters, old t-shirts, yoga pants, jean shorts, and comfortable walking shoes. You constantly look like you are going on a hike, to the gym, to the beach, or a combination of the three.

Read 7 ways to save money on clothes to spend on travel.

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4. You packed one “going out” outfit and you don’t even care

Up-market restaurant, a gig at a nice venue, trendy nightclub – no matter the occasion, you’ve got your trusty going out jeans and shirt or little black dress. And if the budget allows more than one night out a week, then that little number gets another spin around the block.

Who wants to pack multiple fancy clothes and haul around all that extra weight?

Read carry-on packing list for warm weather and cold weather travel (male and female).

5. You hear comments like “I want to be just like you when I’m older”

It is nice to hear that you are inspiring. Maybe not so nice when they talk about being over 30 like it’s 100.

Read how I traveled to 30 countries before turning 30 and how you can too.

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6. Before heading out on a bender, you put water and painkillers next to your dorm bunk

With age comes wisdom… and worse hangovers. Luckily, experience teaches us how to be prepared for these things and every hangover cure known to humankind.

7. You skillfully negotiate free entrance/shots for your new group of travel friends

Another benefit to being the more experienced traveler is that you know how to get things for cheap or free. Impress your new travel friends with your bartering skills or by sweet-talking your way into a nightclub without paying cover.

Read 10 simple ways to save money on food while traveling.

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8. On a wild night out, you end of trying to make sure everyone gets back safe

Having younger friends can sometimes bring out our protective and nurturing side. When it gets towards the end of a night out and the group is messy, you might hear yourself saying things like “send me a message to let me know that you got back safe”.

Read 10 travel mistakes and how to avoid them.

9. You manage to be the only one in the group who doesn’t get pickpocketed/scammed

Years of traveling (and life experience) have taught you how to be aware of your surroundings, keep your valuables close, and avoid common traveling scams.

Read close to death: travelers share their scariest stories.

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10. You wonder if you will still be budget backpacking in your 40s and beyond

At times it might feel strange to be staying in a 10-bedroom dorm room or becoming instant BFFs with an 18-year-old backpacker from Germany. But in the end, you love your life and way of travel and wouldn’t change it for a thing.

Who wants to stay in a stuffy holiday rental anyway?

So here’s to the next ten years of budget backpacking and many more.

Read how to achieve your travel goals in 4 easy stages.


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Adoration 4 Adventure's 10 truths about budget backpacking in your 30s and beyond. Does this sound like you or someone that you know?

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