Travel is a broad church. It can involve everything from daytrips and weekends in the country, to full-blown globetrotting adventures. If you're one of the many people for whom wanderlust is a regular feeling, then narrowing down what kind of travel experience to try next can be a frustrating task. For those with a love of exploration, here are a few travel experiences that everyone should aim to try at least once.
1. Go skiing
While not for everyone, there's a real magic to a ski holiday with family or loved ones. The sense of the sublime on top of a mountain piste is spellbinding, and for a lot of people it becomes a lifelong addiction. Even if sports aren't your thing, a short stint of immersion in a winter wonderland is still an unforgettable experience.
Whether you're a complete novice or a seasoned winter sports pro, skiing is a unique travel experience every time. With all kinds of chalets, hotels, and cabins, in resorts all over the world, every mountain is different - and there's nothing like a mug of cocoa around a roaring fire after a day on the slopes.
2. Go backpacking
It's been a staple of the travelling community for decades - so much so that for many people, it's actually become synonymous to travel itself - but backpacking remains one of the most exciting and enjoyable travel experiences imaginable, and everyone should give it a go at least once (there's nothing quite like your first backpacking experience).
The great thing about backpacking is how intrinsically flexible it is. You can go for a few weeks, a few months, or even a few years - and you can visit anywhere in the world that takes your fancy. Backpacking and staying in hostels is a great way to save money as you see the world. With multi-use plane tickets and things like Interrailing now possible, it's also easier than ever.
3. Work or volunteer abroad
A week spent relaxing on a beach might be a great way to unwind after months of hard work, but there's nothing quite as satisfying as working or volunteering in somewhere completely new. More and more of us are choosing to do this as a way to fund our travels, or as a reason to travel in the first place, and few things are more fulfilling.
Whether it's teaching English as a foreign language, working with local communities to improve quality of life, or simply earning your keep on a farm picking fruit, working and volunteering are some of the most authentic travel experiences imaginable - they even boost your CV too!
4. Indulge in a luxury trip
While we might not all be able to afford it, if you're able to put some money away, or sacrifice a couple of budget-focused trips, then giving yourself a taste of the finer things could make for a once-in-a-lifetime travel experience.
Whether you check into a 5-star hotel, or one of the world-class luxury holiday homes offered by the most exclusive high-end travel clubs, indulging in a luxury travel adventure is usually well worth the hefty price tag. With everything from Michelin-starred restaurants, top-tier cruises, and private concierge services to choose from, saving up the funds for your own luxury adventure could be well worth it - even if it's just once, it could be the ultimate getaway.
5. Travel solo
While a shared travel experience is arguably one of the best experiences you can have, a solo trip to somewhere new - or that you truly love - is a fantastic way to reconnect with what really matters, and take some time just for yourself.
You won't have to worry about what anyone else does or doesn't want to do; you can spend your time relaxing, working, or trying some exciting activities; and you can do it all on your own terms. While things might get a bit lonely if this was the only way you travelled, as a one-off adventure, there are few better ways to pamper yourself.
6. Embark on a spontaneous adventure
While it's never good to be completely disorganised, if you're one of the many for whom wanderlust is a regular itch that needs scratching, throwing caution to the wind can be a good thing. Embarking on an unplanned, spontaneous trip to somewhere completely new can lead to some of the most exciting and unforgettable travel experiences.
This doesn't mean you should be foolish or careless, but making a snap decision to explore a country or place you've never seen before can be immensely rewarding. Checking sites like Airbnb or Couchsurfing for last-minute accommodation, and using platforms like Skyscanner to scope out the next available flight, is truly exhilarating. Finding yourself in completely uncharted territory mere hours after booking everything might seem daunting, but it's a travel experience that everyone should try.
7. Go off-grid
In our constantly connected modern world, it's hard to escape the hustle and bustle of daily life. Decades ago, travel was an opportunity to truly disconnect from the rat race, but today, with the internet, smartphones, and social media always accessible, this has changed. While connectivity is great, and there's nothing wrong with staying in constant touch with your network as you explore, true lovers of travel owe it to themselves to go off-grid at least once.
Let your loved ones know where you'll be and how to contact you, and be sure to bring a phone for emergencies - but set out somewhere without any other links to home, or the internet. Focus entirely on your surroundings, the local culture, the food, the sights, the sounds. Immerse yourself and try not to even think about posting a photo to Instagram, or instant messaging family or friends back home - it's surprisingly easy, and can help you to make the very most of your travel adventure.