Traveling through Europe is almost a rite of passage for young adults. Commonly done for a period of 6-8 weeks after college graduation or during a gap year, many college students see it as a way to spread their wings and meet the world that exists outside their bubble. A popular route usually includes Europe’s heavy hitters: United Kingdom, Spain, France, Italy and Germany. Switzerland, the Netherlands and now the Czech Republic are also common stopping points. Travel through Western Europe should be the first international travel goal for young adults.
Good Introduction to Travel: Travel through Western Europe is a great way for young adults to start to explore the world on their own. The variety of cultural diversity between countries allows them to experience differences, yet underlying similarities throughout the developed world does not introduce overwhelming culture shock. They are able to practice other languages when speaking to the front desk at hostels in Paris, Berlin, and Barcelona (among others) or when ordering food.
Accepted by Parents/Society: Europe is a commonly accepted by parents and society as an ‘acceptable’ place to travel for young adults. Students in western countries have grown up learning European history – what’s better than seeing the sights first hand? Some parents are also more willing to finance a trip that it to the civilized world – they prefer to ignore the drinking you’ll be doing in your hostel in London.
Historical Nostalgia: Travel through Europe is, admittedly, tradition for many in the educated middle and upper class. Eurail has been around for a number of years now and many students like the idea of taking the same route their parents did in the 70s and comparing how things have changed.
Think students shouldn’t make travel in Western Europe a priority? Read the cons here.