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Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

Sydney, Australia
6 posts
Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?


I am 18 and will be 19 next year when I plan on travelling. I will be travelling alone. I want somewhere that is similar to Australia (I am Australian) in terms of culture etc.

I know London and the UK is very similar, however I feel every man and his dog is going there and I am just a follower. I also feel it is too `touristy'.

I am thinking of doing a trip to Asia(Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, Taiwan, North Korea(tour), South Korea and Japan).

However there will be a massive culture shock and you have to be 20 in those countries to go to clubs etc.

USA is out because it will be a waste of time because I am not 21 even though its my dream to go to the USA.

Any other ideas??


Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
1. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

You can consider other countries in Europe. Not every man and his dog or chicken is going to Sweden, Iceland, Malta, Germany, Ireland...

Or if you're up for a slightly bigger culture shock then France, Spain, Portugal (the last two being nice and cheap).

Or New Zealand?

San Diego
Destination Expert
for San Diego
Level Contributor
68,212 posts
72 reviews
2. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

My advice is that if you want the culture be similar to where you live then stay home(or go to New Zealand).

The idea of traveling is to see/do new things and not all the same as you see/do at home or else why bother leaving??

IF you think you'd like to visit an Asian country then go to the forum for that country and read information and ask questions about traveling there.

Then you can decide more intelligently if it is something you'd really like to do!

England, United...
Destination Expert
for Somerset, Solo Travel, Exmoor National Park
Level Contributor
34,975 posts
111 reviews
3. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

You seem to be choosing to disregard countries according to whether you can go into clubs or drink? It's the way you give the ages for this. If so that's not a good idea if you are travelling alone.

Also you seem to think that these places are too touristy. I tend to agree with you to some extent but this is a problem worldwide these days. To do something different you need to know more about each place, read guide books is better than the net because you select independently whereas the net is geared to keep giving you sites that are connected to your previous choices/business so will never give you an unbiased opinion or variety.

I watch the questions on TA where everyone goes to the same places but there are independent thinkers that pop up now and again.

Scotland, Ireland Wales and England have masses of places where it would be fun and amazing to explore and quite honestly have the best of beautiful countryside and coast. For expample there are many islands off Scotland to explore, some fun ones that you can stay on. The South West of England is less visited by foreign tourists but has places like the surf coast where lots of young people congregate. These tend to lie at intervals on the Somerset North Devon Coast Path.

The Great Atlantic Way in Ireland would be beautiful to explore. The tourists tend to just hit certain well know spots.

Sothern Spain there are the Gypsy Festival with flemenco and guitar, lots of less visited places. Take Flamenco guitar lessons, see the savanah and the wild andalusian horses and see them preform, visit the lesser known sights along the coast.

Asia is as much if not more of a touristy destination for the young.

Start to think outside the box. Research is the key

Edited: 06 September 2015, 17:04
Sheffield, United...
Destination Expert
for Nepal
Level Contributor
15,008 posts
56 reviews
4. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

Nepal maybe? A different culture, yes but a very easy country to travel in with lots of energetic/adventurous activities; trekking, rafting, kayaking, canyoning, bungee jumping, paragliding, micro-lighting. Plenty of other young people too, your age is not an issue for alcohol and there are plenty of bars in the tourist areas (but don't expect the best clubs).


Las Vegas, Nevada
Level Contributor
1,637 posts
111 reviews
5. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

You are right to wait a few years for the United States. You will enjoy much more when you are over 21.

It sounds like East Asia interests you, so of all the places you named, you might want to consider Japan. It's a completely different culture, but with some familiar elements. It is probably the safest country to travel to, which is something to factor into the equation.

I also urge you to rethink your thought about visiting someplace "touristy." It took me years to figure this out. When someone calls someplace "touristy," it just means tourists like to go there in large numbers. That's not always a negative. The Grand Canyon is "touristy," but anyone visiting the southwest quadrant of the United States absolutely has to go there. Lombard Street in San Francisco is touristy, but I sure as heck made my friends drive down it while I hung out the window waving at all the (other) tourists snapping pictures. You need to ask what is it about the place that appeals to all those tourists. And if it something that interests you, too, go, even if it is "touristy." Just figure out when the largest number of tourists go there and go some other time. But still go there.

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
6. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

I agree with Retrofuturistic about 'touristy' places. They are that way for good reason. Sydney can also be considered highly touristy.

There are a few ways to deal with it.

- As Retrofuturistic says, go when it's quieter in those touristy places. In January / February London will be half as crowded as in summer months.

- Stray off the beaten path. In London or Sydney alike, or Peru as a country for example, go to lesser-known parts... which are often described in guidebooks just the same, but since they are not in some 'top 10', hardly anyone goes there! Look up blogs by locals for the hidden gems, or just choose a street that no one else uses, or in my example of Peru: go to a part of the country that is not in the top 10 lists (but is still described in the guidebook, if you wish). Many of the men and their dogs you mentioned will not stray into the farther corners of the UK or even to Manchester or Glasgow for example.

- Do daytrips or multi day trips to lesser-visited places nearby. Surely you would be able to advise visitors to Sydney where to travel for a short getaway that isn't so crowded with tourists.

Or indeed, skip the overdeveloped places altogether and look for ones that might be similar but that the massive crowds haven't discovered yet. For example hordes of people always want to visit Bruges in Belgium while they are in Amsterdam, which is much too far away for a daytrip (4-4.5 hours one-way). And super crowded. But they want to visit it because so many of their friends did, and because it's in guidebooks, and because it's famous (a movie was even named after it). Sure, it's a cute town. But is it worth 9 hours travel time in one day? No. I always suggest various Dutch towns much closer to Amsterdam that are just as picturesque, historical and pretty as Bruges, only they didn't have a movie named after them. And they are much less crowded.

There is even a book about finding similar but lesser-known stunning places: amazon.com/The-Road-Less-Travelled-Foreword/…

> For example visit Delft instead of Amsterdam, visit Devil's Tower in Wyoming instead of Uluru in Australia, celebrate carnival in Salvador da Bahia instead of in Rio, visit the Pula arena in Croatia instead of the Colloseum in Rome, etc. It also lists 'the lesser-known Paris' and 'the lesser-known Sydney'.

As for touristy: Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, China, South Korea and Japan are touristy too, in your definition as in a lot of people go there. You may have to consider places like Sri Lanka and Myanmar and Papua New Guinee if you want to be ahead of mass tourism. Or stray off the beaten path in those countries you mentioned...

Amsterdam, The...
Level Contributor
16,943 posts
7. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

Sorry, elaborating just a bit more...

"For example visit Delft instead of Amsterdam, visit Devil's Tower in Wyoming instead of Uluru in Australia, celebrate carnival in Salvador da Bahia instead of in Rio, visit the Pula arena in Croatia instead of the Coloseum in Rome, etc."

> but a lot of people won't do that, because they WANT to experience the famous experience. They WANT to celebrate carnival in Rio, and they want to see the real Colosseum in Rome. And post it on Facebook and boast to their friends about it.

Their friends are not going to be as impressed if they say they went to some unknown arena in Croatia (where??).

And I have to say....... a lot of people like you who start off by boasting that they want the less touristy experience, end up in Bangkok, Koh Chang, Angkor Wat, the Chinese Wall and other highly touristy places anyway. ;-) And that is fine too.

Edited: 07 September 2015, 13:16
8. Re: Best countries to travel for a 19 year old?

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