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6 Places to Visit in Your 20s

Make the most of your youth and spark your wanderlust with these life-changing travel experiences.

U.S. News & World Report

6 Places to Visit in Your 20s

Inspired to take a transformative trip? Jump-start a long-lasting passion for travel with these unforgettable journeys. (Getty Images)

When it comes to travel, there's no age gap. Still, being a 20-something is the perfect time to cross awe-inspiring destinations off your list. After all, your 20s are the optimal time to explore diverse destinations, encounter unique perspectives and cultures and forge a long-lasting love for travel. Head to these memorable destinations the world over for a life-altering trip, and maybe even a chance for enlightenment and self-discovery.

Black Rock Desert, Nevada
Can't-Miss Experience: Burning Man

You'll never feel more in touch with your artistic side than at the Burning Man festival in Black Rock, Nevada. Unleash your creativity during the annual rite of passage from late August through early September. The vibrant music festival draws more than 50,000 participants each year. Founded in 1986, Burning Man is focused on community cooperation, civic responsibility, gifting and self-reliance. Plus, it's the perfect adventure for every 20-something, whether you're looking to bond with friends or soak up the festival's unique energy.

New Orleans
Can't-Miss Experience: Mardi Gras

Mardi Gras dates back to medieval Europe as the last hurrah before Lent, but you haven't been to a Mardi Gras party until you've been to New Orleans. Arrive early to watch the days before the annual fete unfold and brush up on the city's fascinating heritage and traditions. The King of the Carnival has been crowned since 1872 in New Orleans, and the modern king is given a symbolic key to the city from the mayor. Even if you're not a night owl, the Crescent City offers plenty of other allures, from jazz to European-inspired architecture to excellent cuisine to Sazerac, a cocktail blend of rye whiskey, Peychaud's bitters, sugars and absinthe has been served in New Orleans for well over a century and half.

Can't-Miss Experience: Biking Along Death Road

Daredevils and hardcore cyclists can embark on the ultimate adventure in Bolivia. The famous stretch along North Yungas Road extends from La Paz to Coroico, Bolivia. Don your safety gear and prepare to bike downhill for 40 miles on the world's most dangerous road. While this narrow gravel road has ridiculously tricky (and hazardous) drop-offs, it also affords jaw-dropping views.

Can't-Miss Experience: Oktoberfest

Forget small town Oktoberfest celebrations in the U.S. The best Oktoberfest is found in Munich, where top-notch Bavarian beer, mouthwatering cuisine and polka dancing lures millions to visit each fall. Planning a trip in early autumn to visit one of the city's huge and elegantly decorative tents, which each represent a German beer made by storied breweries, is an ideal way to celebrate the harvest season with lederhosen-laden participants. One highlight is the Augustiner, the oldest brewery in Munich, which dates back to 1328. Make sure to don lederhosen or a dirndl dress before you grab a beer and join the party.

Las Vegas
Can't-Miss Experience: Hitting the Strip

At least once in your twenties, you have to get in the car and experience the best of Sin City. Play the slots. Try your hand at blackjack tables. Order a steak. See a show. And if you're willing to splurge, it's easy to plan high-end escape, and enjoy a little retail therapy at upscale shops or soothing treatments at top-notch spas. Go with a group to split lodging, entertainment and meal costs. What's more, beyond over-the-top shows and thrills in America's Playground, you can also tack on a side trip to the Grand Canyon or visit the Hoover Dam and Red Rock Canyon before you head home.

Can't-Miss Experience: Holi Festival

Every year, the Holi Festival, or "The Festival of Colors," an ancient Hindu religious ritual filled with color and love, takes places across many areas in India and Nepal. It's basically a sprawling religious dance party, where participants throw colored powder at each other. The festival is celebrated at the end of winter after the full moon in March. The next Holi Festival will take place on March 13, 2017. On the eve of Holi, bonfires are lit to begin the festival and consume bad spirits.

About En Route

Practical advice on the art of traveling smarter with tips, tricks and intel from En Route's panel of experts.

Contributors have experience in areas ranging from family travel, adventure travel, experiential travel and budget travel to hotels, cruises and travel rewards and include Amy Whitley, Claire Volkman, Holly Johnson, Marsha Dubrow, Lyn Mettler, Sery Kim, Kyle McCarthy, Erica Lamberg, Jess Moss, Sheryl Nance-Nash, Sherry Laskin, Katie Jackson, Erin Gifford, Roger Sands, Steve Larese, Gwen Pratesi, Erin Block, Dave Parfitt, Kacey Mya, Kimberly Wilson, Susan Portnoy, Donna Tabbert Long and Kitty Bean Yancey.

Edited by Liz Weiss.

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