travel like a grown-up

Rediscovering the spirit of adventure: 13 ways to travel like a Grown-up


Let’s face it, as we get older, our sense of adventure sometimes takes a back seat to our daily routines, work commitments, and family life. But it’s never too late to reignite that inner explorer, to break free from the ordinary and to see the world with fresh eyes. So, how can you rediscover the spirit of adventure and travel like a Grown-up? Here are some tips to inspire you to get out there and make the most of your travels, no matter your age.

Choose a destination off the beaten path

Swap the typical tourist hotspots for lesser-known destinations that will provide unique experiences and a chance to connect with the local culture. These hidden gems are often less crowded and more affordable, allowing you to immerse yourself in the local way of life. Do your research to find destinations that are less frequented by tourists. Consider countries like Georgia, Montenegro, or Bhutan, which offer rich histories, breathtaking landscapes, and vibrant cultures.

Go solo or join a small group tour

Group of campers in sunset - Grown-up travel

Solo travel can be an empowering and life-changing experience, allowing you to set your own pace and follow your interests. Alternatively, small group tours can offer the camaraderie of like-minded travellers and the expertise of a knowledgeable guide without the restrictions of a large tour group. These are a great way to travel like a Grown-up. When choosing a small group tour, look for companies that cater to mature travellers and focus on unique, immersive experiences.

Learn something new

Travel is an excellent opportunity to learn and grow. Take a cooking class in Italy, study the art of calligraphy in Japan, or learn to salsa dance in Cuba. These experiences will not only enrich your journey but also provide you with new skills and knowledge to bring home. Engaging in educational activities while you travel adds depth to your experiences and allows you to connect with local people on a deeper level.

Embrace slow travel

Instead of trying to cram as many sights and activities into your trip as possible, slow down and take the time to truly appreciate your surroundings. Linger over a meal, people-watch in a local park, or stroll through a charming neighbourhood. Slow travel allows you to create deeper connections and more meaningful memories. Focus on quality over quantity, and remember that sometimes the most memorable experiences come from simple moments of connection and reflection.

Stay in unique accommodations

Skip the cookie-cutter hotels and opt for unique accommodations like boutique guesthouses, historic inns, or even a lighthouse. These places often provide a more authentic and personalised experience, giving you a glimpse into local life and a chance to engage with the community. By choosing to stay in locally-owned accommodations, you can also support the local economy and contribute to sustainable tourism efforts.

Go on a digital detox

Disconnecting from your devices can help you be more present and engaged with your surroundings. While it may be challenging at first, a digital detox will allow you to fully immerse yourself in the travel experience and create lasting memories without the constant distractions of social media and email. Set aside specific times during your trip to check in with family and friends, but otherwise, commit to being fully present and taking in the world around you.

Make an effort to connect with locals

Take the time to strike up a conversation with the people you meet along your journey. Learn from their stories, insights, and recommendations. These genuine interactions can lead to memorable experiences and long-lasting friendships. Learn a few phrases in the local language to help break the ice and show your interest in their culture. You’ll be surprised by how much a simple “hello” or “thank you” can open doors and spark conversations.

Seek out adventure

Don’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. Whether it’s zip-lining through a rainforest, snorkelling with sea turtles, or hiking a challenging trail, these adventurous experiences can reignite your passion for exploration and discovery. Remember that adventure doesn’t have to be extreme; it can be as simple as trying a new cuisine, exploring a local market, or joining a traditional dance class. Embrace the unexpected and let your curiosity guide you.

Be flexible and spontaneous

While it’s important to have a plan, be open to changing it as new opportunities arise. Embrace spontaneity and let your curiosity guide you. Sometimes the best travel experiences come from the unexpected detours and chance encounters. Allow yourself the freedom to wander, explore, and make impromptu decisions. You may discover a hidden gem or stumble upon a local festival that ends up being the highlight of your trip.

Travel with a purpose

Volunteering or participating in a cultural exchange can add depth and meaning to your travels. Giving back to the communities you visit not only enriches your experience but also leaves a positive impact on the places you explore. Research responsible travel organisations and choose a project that aligns with your interests and values. This could be anything from helping to build a school in a remote village to participating in wildlife conservation efforts.

Incorporate wellness into your travels

Yoga in sunrise - Grown-up travel

Maintaining your physical and mental well-being while travelling is essential. Incorporate activities like yoga, meditation, or hiking into your itinerary to keep your mind and body balanced. Additionally, be mindful of your diet and make an effort to eat healthily and stay hydrated. Prioritising wellness will not only enhance your travel experience but also help you return home feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

Capture your memories in a meaningful way

Instead of relying solely on your smartphone for photos, consider other ways to document your experiences. Keep a travel journal to record your thoughts, feelings, and observations, or try your hand at sketching or painting to capture the essence of a place. These creative outlets can help you process your experiences and create a lasting, tangible record of your journey.

Embrace sustainable travel practices

As a grown-up traveller, it’s important to be conscious of the impact your travels have on the environment and local communities. Choose eco-friendly accommodations, support local businesses, and respect local customs and traditions. By adopting sustainable travel practices, you can help preserve the beauty and integrity of the places you visit for future generations to enjoy.


No matter your age, it’s never too late to rediscover the spirit of adventure and embrace travel like a Grown-up. By stepping off the beaten path, slowing down, and seeking meaningful experiences, you’ll find that the world is still full of wonder and excitement, just waiting to be explored. Remember, age is just a number; it’s your spirit of adventure that truly defines your travel experiences. So pack your bags, let your curiosity guide you, and embark on the journey of a lifetime.

Andy Higgs
Andy Higgs

I know what it's like to go from being a crazy backpacker without a care in the world, via being a vaguely sensible parent to being an adventurer once more. In other words, evolving into a Grown-up Traveller.

Like everyone else, I love to travel, have visited a lot of countries and all that but my big thing is Africa.

I also own and run The Grown-up Travel Company as a travel designer creating personalised African itineraries for experienced adventurers

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