Top 12 Places To Go On Your First Trip Abroad
Pop your passport-cherry by traveling to one of these destinations! Don't let the thought of traveling abroad for the first-time overwhelm you. Our advice is choose a safe country with little or no language barrier that aligns with your personality and interests. It also helps to go to a country where the locals aren't jerks, and that is solo-traveler friendly. That being said, just do it (go wherever you've been dreaming of) and jump into the world of international traveling at full-throttle.
Get inspired by this post and submit a trip request. We'll do the trip planning, so you can create your own travel destiny!
1. The United Kingdom
Visiting the other side of the pond is a dream for most if not all young travelers. You can take a direct overnight flight from many US cities and wake up in London the next morning. Shoppers swoon over London's high end departments stores, chic boutiques and vintage shops. Now is the time to take advantage of USD to GBP exchange rate. It's never been cheaper to visit this destination. Of course there is so much more to the United Kingdom than just London. Scotland never disappoints with Edinburgh, Glasgow, the Highlands, and unreal beaches and coastlines. Belfast and Northern Ireland's endless countryside are another option. Or you can see another side of England by visiting Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle upon Tyne, Stonehenge or any of the the nation's national parks.
Trust us, you can never go wrong with a trip to Ireland! Like the United Kingdom, Ireland is an awesome place to experience for those who don't want to deal with huge culture shock. Irish people are known for people friendly and willing to help a tourist out. Ireland is all about having a good time! Having a Guinness or two and letting loose at the pub. Visiting multiple destinations in Ireland, such as The Cliffs of Moher (pictured above) or The Giant's Causeway is do-able thanks to excellent transportation and affordable day-tours. Don't miss out on Cork and Galway. Ireland is castles, beaches and rolling green hills galore.
If you can afford it, go to Australia! The Land of Kangaroos, Koalas and Vegemite has some of the best beaches in the world hands-down. Australia is your go-to destination if you want to travel for at least 2 weeks or longer. We recommend traveling the country for at least 1-2 months so you can see it all! That includes cities such as Sydney, Melbourne, Cairns and Brisbane. Snorkeling or diving in the Great Barrier of Reef. Getting spiritual at Uluru. Discovering the hidden gem of Tasmania. Touring the Australian Outback. Adrenaline junkies can't miss shark cave diving and the Jumping Crocodile Cruise. Australia is home to amazing national parks that will make you feel alive and appreciative of Mother Nature. Plus, Australian wine and BBQ are 👍🏽👍🏽.
4. Costa Rica
There is something about this Central American country that stays with you for life - pura vida! Costa Rica's flora and fauna are like no other. If you love chilling at the beach, surfing and adrenaline pumping activities like zip-lining, kayaking and rappelling, then Costa Rica is for you! Costa Rica is ADVENTURE TRAVEL. The wildlife in Costa Rica (monkeys, sloths, raccoons, reptiles, birds, etc.) is what makes this place so special... everything is alive. Nature lovers go wild over Manuel Antonio and Arenal. The Caribbean province of Limon and Osa Peninsula (Corcovado) are also highly recommended. Costa Rican food and beer are both awesome. Nothing bad can be said about Costa Rica.
By far the most convenient option for Americans. Catch a direct flight or even drive across the border. Our neighbor to the north has something for everyone. Feel like you are in France in Quebec. Go road-tripping through Banff and Jasper National Parks (the scenic drives are like no other in the world). Chill out in Vancouver. Climb the CN tower in Toronto. Escape to Nova Scotia or Newfoundland for peace and quiet. It's no wonder why hikers and outdoors enthusiasts flock to Canada's national parks and cities year-round. Traveling to Canada can be super affordable (thanks to exchange rates) if done right.
Iceland is hot, hot, hot!!! This country is easily accessible via low cost carrier WOW which offers direct flights from multiple US cities including Boston, New York, Washington DC, San Francisco and Los Angeles. It's the perfect country to embark on your first solo trip abroad. Renting a rental car and just hitting the road is the best way to go! Get ready to see the unreal colors of the Blue Lagoon, and countless waterfalls and hot-springs that will make your jaw drop! Ride an Iceland horse and hit up the Golden Circle. Spot a whale or two off the coast. Enjoy delicious seafood and lively nightlife in the capital. Iceland is a photographer's dream.... but even better in real life!
A true rite of passage for any global traveler! A trip to Southeast Asia is guaranteed to change your life. While touristy, Thailand offers an abundance of experiences, landscapes and cuisine that you simply cannot find elsewhere. Thailand is a great starter country for beginner travelers who can then venture to other spots such as Cambodia, Vietnam, Indonesia and elsewhere. Gawk at intricate Buddhist temples. Head to Thailand's Islands for the most unreal beaches and sunsets. Party on a rooftop bar in Bangkok. Experience a Full Moon party. Drive a scooter around Northern Thailand. The possibilities are endless. There are many solo travelers here, and it is quite easy to make friends with internationals and locals alike. Thailand is also cheap (though not like it used to be) which means you can stay travel longer and / or live like a king.
While expensive, Singapore is an stress-free destination to retreat to where everyone speaks English. Singapore is a cultural melting pot with Chinese, Malay and Indian influences. This tiny island nation can be described as cleaner, greener New York City! The public transportation is 💯. If there is one word to describe Singapore it is LUXURY! The amount of affluence here is undeniable... just take a look at its hotels, shopping malls and ultra-modern buildings. Singapore is also home to relaxing beaches found on Sentosa Islands; and some of the best street food in the world! Eating at Singapore's hawker centers is extremely affordable, so why not indulge in a little bit of everything? Once you get your fill of spendor, catch a flight to another part of Southeast Asia to go back to the "real world".
9. New Zealand
New Zealand is what wanderlust dreams are made of! If you aren't one a super-tight budget and don't mind making multiple layovers, then New Zealand may be for you. One of the best things about New Zealand is its chill vibe and friendly locals. New Zealand landscape is extremely diverse ranging from spectacular beaches, mountains, volcanoes, glaciers and rainforests. You can do it all in the Land of the Long White Cloud!
The Netherlands is a great introduction to Europe for those who are looking for a chill experience 😏. Amsterdam is magical with endless canals and quaint architecture. An adult version of Disneyland (think coffee shops and the Red Light District) where the locals are super friendly and bikers have priority over pedestrians. Besides Amsterdam, there are islands, beaches and quaint countryside villages to discover. We are talking about windmills and endless fields of tulips. Check eating gouda cheese in the town of Gouda off your bucket list. The Netherlands is a paradise for art, history and architecture lovers. The Netherlands won't disappoint!
Like the Netherlands, Germany is where it's at if you want to have a good time. Think beer, bratwurst and pretzels. Prepare for all the delicious local specialties and adventures that await you! Picture yourself getting lost in Berlin's history and art. Attending Oktoberfest in Munich. Driving on the autobahn. Skiing in the Bavarian Alps or experiencing magical Christmas markets. It's so easy to get around Germany you can do and see it all in a short period of time!
12. Scandinavia (Finland, Sweden, Norway, Denmark)
Because we couldn't pick just one country! This part of Europe has become increasingly affordable thanks to flights on Norwegian Air. Explore Norway's Fjords and chase the Northern Lights. Hit the saunas in Finland. Retreat to Sweden's lakes and the Ice Hotel. Appreciate Denmark's modern design and eco-consciousness. Everything is efficient in Scandinavia. It's no wonder why this part of the world has some of the best standards of living. Did we mention all the hot people that live there?!