I must confess, I am turning 30 this year. So I seriously considered talking about traveling in your 30’s. However the biggest changes I’ve noted have been from my early 20’s to late 20’s. When I got back from my most recent trip to Copenhagen, I started thinking about all the ways in which that trip felt different. There were so many! From actually being glad to have a place to call home, to forking out cash for that extra special hotel, here are 8 ways traveling changes in your late 20’s.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

1. You’re Happy to Come Home

As a travel blogger, I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% happy to come home. Let’s face it, I am a travel blogger for a reason! However, my last trip was a bit different. I wasn’t as depressed at the thought of boarding a 10 hour flight back to the states. Something that would usually make me wince in my early 20’s. I genuinely wanted to come home and see my boyfriend and my dog, and I couldn’t wait to hand out all the gifts I had bought. For once, I was more content with being home. A different feeling for me, and one that I had never felt in my early 20’s.

2. Sightseeing Becomes About Exercise

I definitely notice that the older I get, the more I try to get my exercise in no matter what. Even if I have to sob remembering all I used to eat in college, while walking up 10 flights of stairs, I get it done on vacation. Rarely do I take taxis or Ubers anymore, unless I am going to a nice dinner. For sightseeing, I try to walk as much as I can, that way I can eat as much as I want. Back in my early 20’s I never had to think twice about exercising while traveling. I could literally eat whatever I wanted and not lift a single finger. I definitely make sure to walk everywhere, so I can get my exercise in.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

3. You Enjoy Healthy Eating and Finer Dining

Gone are the days when I could just binge on trdelniks and franceschinas. Nowadays I crave more healthy and satisfying food while on the road. Don’t get me wrong, I definitely still indulge! But after a few days of that, I always go for something healthy, even if it’s just a simple salad from the local grocery store. In my early 20’s I would have also stopped at every single food vendor on the street. Now I’ve noticed I much prefer restaurants where I can relax in great company, and sip on a glass of wine. Traveling in your late 20’s seems to be less about convenience, and more about quality.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

4. Drinking is Optional

I mean for real! You have to be up early! Am I right? I do enjoy wine with my dinner and sometimes my lunch, but for the most part I don’t go to crazy anymore. Okay, I did do seven shots of vodka in Poland last year, but it was Poland. I definitely can see myself slowing down a little in the booze department over the last four years or so. I think it’s because when you’re spending money on your own trips, you really want to make the most of it. In your late 20’s, you prefer waking up early and getting the day started, and alcohol usually prefers a 1pm wake up call. I don’t feel the need to drink at every single meal or go out every single night anymore. I am totally content with making drinking an option, and not a necessity.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

5. You Pay Extra for Sh*t

I’m still waiting to shell out for my first first class experience. When does that happen? 40’s? For now, I am enjoying other perks that I never would have spent money on in my early 20’s. Nothing sounds as dreadful now as a cheap plane ticket with three layovers before your final destination. 28 hours of flying time? No thank you. I definitely pay extra now to only have one stop and get to my destination as quickly as possible. Sometimes I even splurge for the economy plus seating. I think overall I just try to splurge on extras that will actually save me money in the long haul, and give me a pleasant experience. I also pay extra for hotel breakfasts, and other similar perks. At the end of the day, it just seems worth it now.

6. Living in Nikes Sounds Like a Great Idea

I can’t stress enough how much my shoe choices have changed since my early 20’s. I remember I would pack like four paris of shoes, and two of them would be heels. Needless to say, those never really went to use and I always regretted it. Now I live in my (fashionable) Nikes. It’s kind of nice that Adidas and Nikes have sort of made this ‘cool kid’ comeback. It allows me to be comfortable and practical while traveling. If I had to pick one thing that’s really changed about my traveling habits, it would definitely be my shoe choices. In my late 20’s it’s less about being cute (though I still try to purchase ‘cute’ Nikes), and more about getting in as much walking as I can.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

7. You Actually Read at Museums

Back in the day, I never took the time to read all the plaques in museums that detailed the history of the actual f*cking thing I was staring at. Funny how much you don’t care right? Now I read everything! Museums and historical landmarks take me much longer now because I actually care to learn about them. I shouldn’t be too harsh on my early 20’s self though. Some reading was done, and I’ve always been a huge fan of history. I think I just did more skimming than anything. But now, if I pay an entrance fee, then you bet I’m learning something! I also care to do guided tours and audio tours now too.

8. You Kinda Don’t Care What Foreigners Think Anymore

Honestly, I am more proud to be an American than ever. I think I used to believe it was a bad thing. I tried to blend in and play it ‘cool’. It used to bother me that some Europeans would describe Americans as too friendly, or naive and fake because of our overly enthusiastic greetings. Now, I totally embrace it! Everyone culture is different, and I happen to like my overly enthusiastic American self. I’ve never really had much trouble blending in though, as I come from a European family. But in my early 20’s I would have definitely cared what foreigners thought about me. Now I don’t try as much.

8 Ways Traveling Changes in Your Late 20's

Honestly, growing older has definitely been different than I would have expected. As we travel around the world, we learn so much about ourselves and we continue to grow in our journeys. I am really excited to see how my habits will change in to my 30’s. There are endless possibilities for the person I become. Here’s to traveling always changing us!

Have any of these things also changed for you from your early 20’s to late 20’s?


  1. Love dthis post and youre soooo right about so many things!! 🙂 I also love to come home from a trip now – and also, alcohol becomes an option for dinner but I also think of getting up early the next day to do as much sightseeing/ activities as possible 🙂 haha


  2. I can so relate in this post. When I travel in my early 20s, I would usually be with my family so most often than not, those would be more “comfortable” but less culturally satisfying trips. When I started travelling on my own and with my husband, I learned about the how fun it is to walk and stop by to read stuff (not just in museums but usually in historical spots). And, yeah, I used to be a heavy traveler. I have a staple makeup kit when I travel but now, since I usually walk a lot and rarely take cabs, I’m good with just packing a moisturizer, sunscreen, powder, and lip balm. It’s so much fun that way… Who would have thought? 🙂


    1. Ah that’s such a great point Gellie! I should have though to also include makeup routines, or there lack of in your late 20’s haha. I used to always bring huge makeup kits along, and my hair always had to be freshly curled before the day. Now I am all about some tinted moisturizer and a messy bun! Haha. I always look forward to your comments. You always have such great input! I hope one day we can meet. 🙂

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  3. Wow, that means you’ve matured a lot! I also think like this (i’m beyond 20s haha) except that I still don’t like to go inside museums although maybe when I have so much time to kill. It’s refreshing to read post like this.


    1. Yes! I think even from 21 to 25 there is a large difference. By your late 20’s, I think you really have it down to a science. 🙂

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  4. Emily, this is so timely, LOL! First, I turned 30 two months ago, so I can totally relate here. Second, I just got back from Tokyo a day ago and I’m checking through my fitness tracker- I walked an average of 8 miles a day while I was in Japan! One day I walked nearly 15 miles. That was a totally conscious decision to explore on foot because I wanted to eat egg custard tarts in Osaka.

    I wholeheartedly agree with you on all these points. When I traveled while young, I was totally OK with crappy flights and cheap hotels. I just wanted to see the world. Now I want to experience it. The biggest change I’ve experienced going from early 20s travel to late 20s (and early 30s, ahem) is that I pay attention to loyalty programs and points a lot more. Both my husband and I try to book as many things with points as possible.

    Luckily, he travels a lot for work, so he racks them up quicker than I do. I think we’ve only bought a first class ticket once (for our honeymoon), and the rest of the time we just try to find deals with his travel points + credit card points. Doing long haul flights, like to Asia, is a lot more comfortable when yu can lay down and arrive rested, so now I’m a fiend about finding point travel deals.

    I’ve also become a lot more conscious of various airline programs. We flew via Etihad to South Africa two years ago. We booked economy, but Etihad allows you to enter to be upgraded to business class for a very small fee. We took our chances and got upgraded on all legs of the flight (it was an error deal for the original flight, to boot! So business class seats only cost us $600 round trip per person total!)

    Long story short: I’ve become extremely detail oriented and comfort-conscious LOL.

    Style Tomes ||ST on IG

    1. Congrats on the big 3-0! I will be 30 this year, ahhhh!! Haha. I think you made a really valid point with ” I just wanted to see the world. Now I want to experience it.” That’s exactly what I mean! I want to really experience great flights and lovely hotels, as well as walking everywhere and reading in museums. I think part of the traveling experience is getting somewhere comfortably and spending a little more on that nice hotel that makes your stay absolutely memorable! You are so lucky to have a traveling husband to rack up those points! Haha. Thanks for the long comment! I really enjoyed reading it and glad you agreed with all my points. 🙂

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  5. Omg I totally agree with all these points! I actually didn’t even travel much in my early 20’s, and if I did it was to fly back to Taiwan to visit family so that hardly counts. But I do notice that the more I travel, the more I’m willing to spend on great food (and less if nothing on drinks) and just better things in general. And YES about the shoes. My biggest mistake when first going to Paris was feeling like I needed to dress to impress, hence I brought flats and heels only – worst idea ever. Going back again in a few weeks and I’ve got my cute Nikes ready to go!

    Jenny // Geeky Posh

    1. Yay! Have fun in Paris! What a great time of year to go too. I definitely thought I had to impress more when I was younger. Not giving a crap must just come with age! Haha. I do definitely put some effort in my day to day look, but not nearly as far as wearing cute shoes when I’m walking five miles a day. 😉

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  6. So many similarities here! I used to always pack way too many shoe options. Mostly things that I wouldn’t even end up wearing. In college, I booked a long flight with a few layovers and now I think I would cry if I had to do that same thing. It might mean I have to save longer but I would much rather fly in a more comfortable setting. I also read more at museums and I’m more than okay with skipping drinks. I’m in the middle of the “late 20s” (27!) so I’m sure more changes are coming but those are a few I noticed.


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    1. Haha yes! I am late 20’s too (29). Can’t wait to see what traveling in your 30’s holds! Maybe it will be like completely opposite and I’ll start drinking a ton and bringing heels haha. ;p

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    1. Yes! I totally agree. As travel bloggers, I also think we know the value of things. Like getting the ‘best deal’ or ‘best flight’ doesn’t necessarily mean the cheapest. I think all things must be considered!

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  7. I loved this post Emily! I guess your travel experience changed because you have changed too and that´s the way it should be! I am 30 something and I can tell that not only travelling a lot has changed in my life. I have other priorities and other goals than in my 20. Wishing you a great new week! xoxo


  8. Girl! you do not look a day over 25! lol, I feel like traveling has changed so much for me but that’s due to the fact that I live in a different country now and I have just changed as a person overall, so my priorities are different. I don’t care to pack high heels in my bag, as you mentioned, I would much rather live in comfortable shoes. I won’t pack as much makeup anymore, or clothes, as I have learned what I will really use and what I think I will use. Great post!

    1. Thanks lady! I am nearly 30 eeeek! But yeah, I totally agree about growing as a person. A big move to another country definitely has an impact on you too. Now I only pack my favorite things that I know I will get use out of while traveling. 🙂

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  9. Though I’m in mid 20’s, I’ve noticed the changes also! I too, like to walk as much as I can and spend much more time actually paying attention in galleries in museums rather than deciding where I’m going out after! Packing has also changed, most of my wardrobe stays behind now haha

    1. Haha yes! That’s a good point too. I don’t care so much about where I go out anymore. There is also a definite difference from 21 – 25 for me. 🙂

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