If you're in the same boat as me, graduation is fast-approaching and, although you're thrilled to be completing school forever, you're also a little freaked out about what you'll be doing after you graduate. It's pretty scary to think about your future, especially since all you've been doing for your entire life is school.
But your possibilities are endless. If you're someone who wants to jump right into the workforce and start grinding right away, do it! If you're someone who isn't quite finished with school yet and wants to continue with a graduate program or a shorter college program, do it! But if wanderlust has been calling your name and you just can't wait to get out there and explore all the amazing, endless beauties of the world, then you've got to go travelling.
I've been dreaming about travelling after graduation for as long as I can remember and I have quite the list of dream destinations built up already. Of course, you won't be able to hit all of these places in the same trip. You'll have to choose between the three main post-grad trips: Southeast Asia, South America or Europe. Once you decide, get ready for the time of your life!
Daily Cost: $70.50
Thailand is my number one dream destination right now for when I graduate. My absolute favourite kind of food is Thai food and I've been dreaming about travelling there and getting to try some actually authentic Thai food. Thailand is amazing for many other reasons other than the food though. They have an abundance of tropical islands to explore, hop from one to another until you discover them all!
If you'd like to save money while you're here, skip the islands in Southern Thailand, because this might be the most expensive area to visit, and head up to Northern Thailand instead. Here you'll find colourful temples and tons of culture!
Daily Cost: $103.11
Amsterdam is the definition of a backpacker's European paradise. Amsterdam is full of amazing sights to see and activities to enjoy, but it also turns into a crazy party city every night. You can't miss some of the best sights that Amsterdam is known for such as visiting the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum, and biking along their famous canal in the middle of the city. At night, take a walk over to the Red Light District and enjoy some of the crazy clubs they have there. I can't forget to mention that 'soft' drugs are legal there, such as marijuana and magic mushrooms so get ready for a party on this trip.
3. Bali, Indonesia
Daily Cost: $40
Bali is the perfect travel destination for graduates who want to get out of their comfort zones and discover something new about themselves. It's a magical place filled with beauty, nature, and relaxation that you won't be able to find anywhere else. Bali is definitely on my list for after I graduate. You can't miss taking a morning yoga class, getting a cheap massage on the beach, or watching the sunset every night. Take some time to explore the breathtaking islands off the coast of Bali as well!
4. Santorini, Greece
Daily Cost: $59.12
Santorini is part of the Cyclades islands of Greece located right on the deep blue Aegean Sea. This city is made up of clean, white buildings and churches with deep blue roofs, all contrasting the bright blues of the water below. Explore the cultural castles and monasteries that are scattered throughout the towns and relax on the pebbly beaches! Who doesn't love Greek food, also? Here you can get the most authentic and delicious Greek food you'll ever find anywhere!
Daily Cost: $100
Italy is one of the tougher European cities to stick to a budget for a few different reasons. One is that you'll want to eat basically everything you see. It is the birthplace of Nutella, pizza, pasta, gelato and basically everything good in the world so it's going to be tough for you to hold back on having 6 meals a day here. Hostels here are also pretty expensive, they can range anywhere from 25-60 euros a night, which for Canadians can add up to quite a lot. Don't let this deter you from coming here though, Italy is one of the most amazing places you'll ever visit.
My favourite places when I travelled here were Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Florence, Venice and Rome. Even though Rome is very touristy if you're coming to Italy you can't miss the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevvi Fountain, and so much more!
Daily Cost: $45
South America is one of the cheapest destinations for tourists, especially recently graduated backpackers. If you're up for staying in hostels, then Peru will be a super cheap trip for you. The one thing you absolutely must do while you're in Peru is hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu. This hike is challenging and will take you a few days but it's totally worth it. You should also visit the cheap markets in Cusco, visit the Amazon Rainforest, and explore the historical cities!
Daily Cost: $43
Portugal is one of the most affordable travel destinations in Europe. The price of accommodation here isn't as expensive as most places, you can find hostels for around 10-15 euros easily. Portugal is also one of the most beautiful places to visit, with the breathtaking beaches on the Azores Islands, the religious monuments in Braga, and the historic buildings of Evora. You can also do some crazy partying in Lagos, which is known for their bars, clubs and beautiful beaches!
Daily Cost: $30
Another classic South American destination is Bolivia, and it's just as cheap as all the others. You won't be disappointed if you choose to travel here because there's so much to see and you're guaranteed to meet a bunch of new people doing the same thing as you are! Stay in the capital city of La Paz and take the teleferico to the top of Mount Illimani and explore the abundant markets. The main excursion you should make on this trip is to the Uyuni Salt Flats, which is Bolivia's most famous destination. Take the classic, creative pictures here, relax in some hot springs, and hike up volcanoes!
Daily Cost: $35
Laos is another dream destination for those hoping to travel to Southeast Asia once they graduate. The cities here are filled to the brim with cool things to see and do. Head over to Luang Prabang to swim in the famous Kuang Si Falls, just make sure you don't visit during rainy season because the colour of the water won't be as bright blue as usual! Next head over to Vang Vieng for a backpacker's favourite hub and find some great nightlife, caves and rivers to explore. Don't miss Vientane for the historical temples and rivers!
10. Budapest, Hungary
Daily Cost: $38
Like most European cities, Budapest can get expensive but the trick is to plan your travels right. Stay in a hostel, which you can find for the affordable price of around $10/night and the food here is very cheap, with lots of delicious options on the streets. You must visit Hungary's largest outdoor thermal bath, the Széchenyi Thermal Bath, explore Buda Castle, and walk across the famous Chain Bridge!
Daily Cost: $150
Clearly the most expensive destination on this list, but the Fiji islands are something that shouldn't be missed in your lifetime. So now that you're graduated why not treat yourself to this beautiful trip? Spend your days lounging on the whitest, smoothest beaches you'll find in the entire world, take a morning dip in the crystal clear water, and spend your evenings watching the most breathtaking sunset you'll ever see!
Daily Cost: $54
Morocco is one of the most amazing places to visit, you won't disappointed if you come here. Visit the blue city of Chefchaouen, wander through the small alley-like streets and enjoy the bright blues, light blues, and deep blues of the city walls surrounding you. You must visit the capital, Marrakesh for some unreal markets filled with jewelry, textiles, and pottery! Head out to the dessert and ride a camel, sleep under the stars and go sand boarding!
13. Paris, France
Daily Cost: $90
This is the classic spot for everyone who wants to travel. If you're going to Europe you just have to go to Paris. It is the city of love after all! Since it's such a popular destination it can get pretty expensive here but, the same with Italy, it's not impossible to set a budget and stick to it. You must see the Eiffel Tower (obviously), visit the Arc de Triomphe, The Louvre, and Notre Dame de Paris. Enjoy the most amazing coffee, croissants and baguettes you'll have in the world! This is one trip you'll never forget.
Daily Cost: $30
Cambodia is such an amazing destination that you definitely can't miss on your Southeast Asian trip. The most popular place to visit here is Siem Reap, where you can find the historic and beautiful Angkor Wat ruins, abundant markets and so many temples it'll make you dizzy! (In a good way, of course) There's also a lot of magical beaches here as well, travel to Koh Rong Island for a relaxing few days on some white sandy beaches.