Graduated Traveling: 13 Trips to Take After Graduating

Graduating from college or university doesn’t only signify the accomplishment of getting a degree or diploma, it also represents the end of your schooling era. No more pencils; no more books; no more teacher’s dirty looks — literally! This makes college or university graduation a true reason to celebrate — and there is no bigger way to this than planning a fun trip.

While some may be anxious to jump into the workforce and get cracking on that career, as the old saying goes, “you can always make money, but you can’t always make memories.” Instead of diving into the online job ads, hit the travel sites then hit the open road or the friendly skies.

13. New Orleans

If you can swing heading to New Orleans during Mardi Gras, then do so. If you can’t, the city has a lot to offer all throughout the year including a fantastic nightlife, some amazing bars on Bourbon Street, a good number of stellar culinary options. New Orleans is the perfect destination for those who want to unwind in a fun and friendly city that boasts a ton of southern charm.

For those graduates still struggling to pay school off, it also happens to be the second most affordable city in North America to travel, with cost-efficient dining and accommodation options.

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12. Greece

A warm climate, beautiful beaches, a fun nightlife, incredible dining options, not to mention rich in cultural attractions and a variety of museums; Greece is definitely the perfect getaway after graduation.

From Athens to experience some city life to hopping around some islands to gather the true essence of the Greek culture, Greece is small enough for you to visit various parts of it.

While the airfare to get there might be a little pricey, once you arrive there are plenty of affordable Airbnb options to choose from. If possible, head there during June before the summer tourist rush.

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11. New Zealand

Once you are tied down to a job, it will be virtually impossible to take enough time off to endure a 24-hour flight back and forth to visit this incredible part of the world. Besides, New Zealand isn’t a one or even two-week trip — it is truly an adventure that requires a month, if not more.

Backpacking through both the South and North Islands to witness the incredible scenery that this region has to offer is definitely the way to go. Attractions like natural hot springs, glow worm caves, Milford Sound, as well Franz Josef Glacier will have you believing you are in a different world.

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10. Amsterdam

While the parental units may think that all those college parties prepared you for nothing, lessons learned from them may help you out in Amsterdam. Visit the weed cafes, the city’s Red-Light District, and some of the incredible bars and restaurants it has to offer. Still, it is important to remember that Amsterdam is so much more than that. The summertime spotlights a variety of outdoor events and festivals, as well as cultural attractions like Anne Frank’s house and the Van Gogh Museum.

A must-do bucket list item while in Amsterdam? Rent a bicycle and tour the city from a view that many don’t get to experience.

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9. Newport Beach, California

If you are looking for a relaxing beach getaway, sprinkled in with some adventure, without the price tag of what some Caribbean resorts charge, then Newport Beach may be your post-grad destination of choice. Amazing weather, beautiful beaches, relaxing atmosphere, and there’s always the option of jumping on a boogie board or jet ski for some excitement. Bring a good book and relax during the day, and enjoy the nightlife once the sun goes down.

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8. Iceland

From beach … to ice? Yes! Iceland has so much to offer in terms of travel, adventure, and sightseeing. Check out the splendors of a lava field, the not sun setting past 11 p.m., along with the incredible sights of volcanoes, hot springs, and waterfalls. Iceland is a great vacation to see things in a different light, experience a truly unique way of life, and do it all on a budget.

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7. Montreal

Considering the city’s primary language is French, Montreal gives off a feel of Paris with a neat Canadian twist!

Come summertime, the colder Northern climate warms up significantly enough, so Montreal can come alive and offer tourists some incredible outdoor festivals that spotlight an array of live performances. Enjoy the nightlife with a ton of trendy bars, cafes, and restaurants, along with some shopping with boutiques and knick-knack shops all along the downtown core.

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6. Southeast Asia

If you want to truly dive into an entirely different culture, then you may want to add Southeast Asia to that post-graduation trip list. Sure, finding your way down there will be pricey thanks to flights. However, once you hit the region, it’s all smooth — and fairly cost-effective — sailing.

In fact, Southeast Asian cities Vietnam, Thailand, and Malaysia have hit TripAdvisor’s list of the cheapest cities to visit consistently in recent years. This area also provides beautiful beaches and country roads to explore, as well as the hustle, bustle, and spark of city life.

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5. Las Vegas

Speaking of sparkle, if you are looking for a vacation to truly remember (or struggle to remember), then Sin City should be on your list.

Unwind from all those papers, tests, and boring lectures with some good old fashion fun. There is no need to fully express what this town has to offer, as its reputation precedes itself. From daytime attractions to its nightlife, Vegas is truly in a league of its own.

Best part? It’s fairly inexpensive and one can find plenty of deals for hotel and flight packages online.

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4. Brazil

Brazil is one of those regions where travelers can fully immerse themselves in the culture, not to mention the beautiful scenic pleasures it has to offer. Even better, Brazil can be done on a budget through backpacking. Visit Manaus’ rainforest, go sunbathing in Florianopolis’ Praia Mole, and see the beauty of Iguazu Falls.

This is certainly a destination you want to jump on before you get a job and are locked in a cubicle, dishing out paperwork all day long.

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3. New York City

The Big Apple is on most people’s travel bucket list, with a plethora of attractions, dining options, live entertainment, shopping, and so much more. Instead of taking that vacation budget for a long holiday, organize a quick five-day trip to NYC, and fully dive into pretty much every culture around the world. Visit Chinatown, Koreatown, and Little Italy for some culinary delights, then hop on the subway and catch a show on Broadway.

It’s the city that never sleeps, so if you are looking for a relaxing getaway, this is not that kind of trip. Oh, but the stories you’ll be able to tell your grandkids!

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2. Norway

For those of you who loved the movie Frozen, it’s time to “Let it Go” and visit Norway! Check out the Northern Lights, whale watch in the Andenes, and hit the slopes in Trollheimen. Might be a little chilly depending on the time of year you go, but let’s face, the cold will never bother you anyway (see what happened there) when you are distracted by all that Norway has to offer in terms of fun and scenery.

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1. Paris

Although it may not be an inexpensive getaway, with a student discount (hey, if you don’t have a job and have just graduated, you may still be able to get away with it), Paris is doable on a budget.

It’s a destination worth visiting if you can swing it due to the cafes, the culture, the museums, the romance in the air. Plus, you can scratch off seeing the Eiffel Tower on your list — and not the cheesy Vegas one!

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If you’re a budget-minded backpacker interested in meeting fellow travelers along the way, hostels are an exceptional alternative. Intimate, community-minded, and affordable, hostels have exploded in popularity and really come a long way. From shared open-concept spaces to private ensuites, it’s easy to find a mix of both communal and secluded accommodations.

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