At some point, you transitioned from your 20s to your 30s, and maybe you didn't notice that change until you were 36, but it happened. For all of us who remember fondly our days with backpacks and hanging out late into the night in the hostel's lounge with two Kiwis, an Argentinean, two brothers from the UK and that French girl who never took her iPod headphones out of her ears, this is for you—a list of some of the things that change when you travel in your 30s, even if you don’t have kids yet. (And if you're in your 20s and reading this, keep up the good work!)
1. You tell yourself, “I'm OK skipping the hostel scene and I’m definitely not couch-surfing at some stranger’s pad.”
2. Most budget hotels are starting to fall into your definition of a hostel.
3. You're more likely to go bungee-jumping with that well-rated company rather than with those guys you met at the bar last night who have an extra ankle-harness and claim to do this “all the time, bro!”
4. You start to wonder how it was that you could ever sleep on a cross-country bus.
5. You fall asleep anyway, not because it's comfortable, but because you're getting older. As you doze off, your last thought is that you should never book a cross-country bus again.
6. The excitement of getting on a jet has been replaced with the question, "How soon can I get off this thing?"
7. You start to see what you originally thought of as adventure as being a little bit of a pain in the …
8. The appeal of a solo tour has been replaced by the appeal of a couple's trip.
9. You say to yourself: "It's OK to splurge a bit on this hotel and tonight's dinner."
10. You go to the art museum first, rather than going straight to the beach.
11. You still go on pub crawls, but now it’s just two pubs.
12. You would rather go on a cycling tour of wineries than go to the electronic music festival that runs for 72 hours straight.
13. Instead of coming back home weighing less, you come back home and think: “I need to work out; that food was too good.”
14. On that ski trip with your old college friends, you start to think, “Maybe I shouldn't drop those sketchy back-country lines. After all, I do need to be ready for that business trip with the VP the week after I get back.”
15. Camping in the snow in the winter is no longer an adventure. It’s an emergency situation which involves calling out the S&R helicopter.
16. Road trip means two people in a car for six hours, not six people in a car for 20 hours.
And in spite of the fact that you aren't as young as you once were, you still have never lost the love to pack and go! Still in your 20s? Check out these tips for traveling on a budget.
Photo credits from top: All Creative Commons and courtesy flickr users: Moyan Brenn, rhobinn, foilman, Strochhi, Shayan (USA), Daquella manera, Au Kirk, Russel K Photographs, John Friedman Luxury Travel, jelloneck, Marco_Ask, DKOPhotography, House of Sims, Scott Teresi, Defence Images and Thomas Beck Photo. Quote courtesy Wheretraveler.