5 Unique Travel Experiences Perfect For Twentysomethings

Photo: Courtesy of Contiki.
We're big advocates for solo travel, but seeing the world with a group of like-minded people is an equally enriching experience — albeit in a totally different way. Some places aren't meant to be seen alone, especially if you're trying to check as many places off your bucket list as possible on one single trip.
Tour operators have been around for a long time, but an increasing number of them are now catering to millennials who are after memorable experiences with as little logistical headache as possible. The itineraries typically cover meals, accommodation, and on-the-ground activities. The part that makes them truly appealing is the potential for lifelong friendships: You're pretty much guaranteed to meet an awesome travel buddy — or perhaps, even a special someone — on these trips.
Ahead, we rounded up five of the top tour operators in the business specializing in tours for explorers in their twenties and thirties.
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The name of the company is pretty self-explanatory, but these trips are actually open to anyone under 35. The company focuses on short-term trips from the U.S. or Canada, with airfare and boutique accommodation (the company's website stresses that there are no shady hostels involved) included in the price tag. The itineraries are the type of bucket-list journeys that are way more memorable with a a group of friends, such as a five-day hiking trip through Machu Picchu and a summer adventure in Iceland.

Prices range from $645 for a five-day trip to Costa Rica to $2,895 for a seven-day trip to Iceland.
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Geckos Adventures

According to Geckos Adventures, the magic number for group travel is just under 10 people. As such, the company keeps the headcount at just around nine people per trip, to allow for a more intimate and authentic experience.

One thing to note is that the trips do not include airfare or most meals — while accommodation, ground transportation, and activities are included — which gives you the freedom to spend as little or as much as you'd like, but will likely result in more planning efforts than other operators in the round up.

Prices range from $692 for a 11-day trip to Morocco to $2,010 for a 10-day trip to Japan.
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Contiki specializes in social travel experiences for 18 to 35-year-olds. The majority of the participants are women around 26, according to internal data from the company. That said, the operator is a big hit with college-aged travelers, due to the presence of a trip manager: A cool insider of a similar age who acts as both a problem solver as a party guide. The accommodations available on its European tours are particularly impressive, ranging from Swiss chalets to countryside chateaus in France.

Prices range from $692 for a 11-day trip to Morocco to $2,010 for a 10-day trip to Japan.
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This tour operator specializes in movie-like adventures for travelers between the age of 18 to 30. There's a great balance between iconic tourist destinations and more off-the-beaten-track experiences. With four decades in the industry, the company offers a more diverse tour portfolio than others on this list, ranging from camping trips in Europe to epic trainrides across Mongolia. Those with a less adventurous palate can be rest assured when touring aboard with Topdeck: The operator employs private chefs for the majority of the trips on offer.

Prices range from $426 for a four-day safari in South Africa to $3,580 for a 28-day winter expedition through 11 European countries.
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G Adventures

If you're interested in giving back, this operator has just the right excursion for you: G Adventures is a small group travel company that does more than helping you unwind. In partnership with National Geographic, the brand offers a collection of in-depth tours to far-flung places like Cuba and Jordan. Travelers will have the opportunity to give back to local communities: These itineraries foster a deep cultural exchange, while parts of the proceed will benefit the National Geographic Society’s efforts in conservation and education.

Prices range from $399 for a four-day trip to Vietnam to $10,199 for a 16-day safari in East Africa.
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