According to Roy Morgan’s Holiday Tracking Survey (released in May this year), the majority of Australians under the age of 30 would like to take an overseas holiday – no surprise there. What’s interesting though, is that only 22 per cent did so in the twelve months prior to the survey’s release. This would suggest that there are many young people who aren’t prioritising an overseas experience.
For many people, life in their 20’s is (or was) a heady mix of career advancement and nights out with friends. Consequently, and while travelling travel overseas is, in theory, a great idea – the capacity to do so can be diminished by more pressing activities and financial commitments.
While travelling can be simply considered a good way to escape the rat race, get some perspective, or recharge the batteries, for a young person, there are other potential benefits over and above these desirables. Here are five:
1. Growing older and greater financial obligations usually go hand-in-hand. Buying a property and paying the mortgage, paying for a wedding and having kids – these are just a few of the future financial responsibilities that may limit travel opportunities from both an affordability and time perspective.
2. World experience can sometimes be as valuable as work experience early in your career. Organisational Psychologist Gil Christie from Christie Consulting says overseas travel is a real benefit for job seekers with limited work experience
“Having interviewed numerous candidates over the years, to gauge initiative and preparedness to step outside their comfort zone, I ask them about significant challenges they had to overcome whilst travelling overseas,” Mr. Christie said. “It tells me a lot about who they are, their character, ability to problem solve.”
“It doesn’t matter if they’ve lived and worked abroad, or just spent a few months backpacking; someone who’s embarked on an overseas adventure, particularly in a non-English speaking country, tends to be more adventurous, optimistic and pro-active. Typically they welcome change and are more adaptable and consequently resilient.”
3. If you’re not already a good budgeter, saving for a trip can be a good learning lesson, particularly as the reward for your diligent saving efforts will be rewarded with an amazing trip. Similarly, sticking to a budget while overseas can also prove a fantastic foundation for developing a financial discipline you can apply to everyday personal life.
4. Sometimes people think they can’t afford to travel because they simply haven’t done their homework. There are plenty of destinations appropriate for travelling on a shoestring budget. South-East Asia is a fantastic option given its relatively close proximity to Australia, meaning cheaper airline tickets than Europe, for instance – and its plethora of domestic travel and accommodation options. If you find it’s still too expensive, an unsecured personal travel loan with a fixed payment term to suit your budget, could be worth investigating. This will allow you to pay off the trip over time, rather than having to outlay a sizeable amount of money upfront.
5. You’ve probably heard of the term ‘travel broadens the mind.’ Experiencing different cultures and interacting with different people, whether it’s locals or other travellers, can enhance your social skills and ability to engage people from various walks of life.
I think Mark Twain said it best: “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”