Solo travel in 30s VS 20s

Hi, I solo traveled a lot in my late twenties, mostly in Asia, even did a study abroad in Japan for half a year.

I’m in my 30s now, no child or spouse, and I really want to go to Asia again and I want to solo travel again but I feel…old?

I used to stay in the cheapest hostels that smell bad in dirty neighborhoods, make friends in guesthouses (no lifelong friends) and I feel like I was less careful and more spontaneous. I went clubbing all night, went on adventurous trips, said yes to everything.

I don’t know why I feel like I can’t do it anymore now that I’m 31. I don’t even go clubbing in my own country anymore. I don’t feel like staying in hostels and guesthouses again but what’s the fun in staying at a nice hotel if I can’t meet locals that are on a trip in their own country? I also feel too old to make ‘friends’ at hostels, the friendships are shallow and I feel like I can spend my time better, like traveling with my friends and create memories with them. But on the other hand, I want to SOLO travel through Asia again and they only want to go to 1 country, Japan or Korea, and only want to do anime-manga or k-pop things you know.

I was wondering if someone recognizes themselves in this and do you have tips? I wonder if I’m overthinking too much.


  1. I understand the feeling of being too old for this or that, but in 10 years you are 41 and will think “I was soooo young at 31!”.

    You’re never too old to do things you enjoy. I travel differently in my late thirties than my late twenties and I think that’s beautiful. You might be interested in other places or in other stuff in the same places and you will experience these places differently than you have before. I have more money now, I want and need more comfort and privacy, I rather spend money on goid food or museums/concerts/… than nights out with cheap drinks. You can still stay in hostels (privat rooms) and join group tours to meet people. In my opinion it only gets better.

  2. am 30F and I still stay at hostels but:

    sometimes it’s a single room – you can still visit the bar

    sometimes I choose hotels and just meet people during free walking tours

    sometimes I choose to make contact with someone earlier through travel groups, then you can align activities earlier and it’s a bigger chance to have a real connection – e.g. planning a long hike together.

    There is not one way of solo travelling – choose the one that works best for yourself.

  3. I’m 34 and I travel very much like this person described. I’ll book a nicer or private room in a hostel and I’ll see even families, older adults, couples, etc do the same thing. I’ll join the activities at the hostels, but I also strike up a convo with other travellers when I’m in a touristy area and make plans together. In the end I travel in whatever way I please. It’s so expensive, and I’d want to spend my hard earned money in the way that best fits me.

  4. I’m 30, not fussed about hostels – dorms suck but yeah it’s a bed and maybe you’ll meet someone for a beer that night, but do prefer a private room these days As for ‘friends’, I dunno, it’s difficult as an older traveller. Sometimes you’ll meet cool people, sometimes they’re not too young. Just do your own thing

  5. I don’t understand how you think it would feel so different being late 20s vs early 30s? I was expecting you to be 39/40, and worry about the experience being different compared to 10 years ago, but you’re barely even out of your 20s. Early 30s to late 20s is pretty much the same. Everyone I know without kids between 25 to 35 still partys regularly, but they do not go to the same clubs they went to when they were 16 to 21.

    Since I never socialize on solo trips I can’t speak for that deparment, but meeting life long friends is hard at any age, and I think meeting one during solo travel is..rare ish at any age.

    Do whatever you want to do on your trip. I have been solo traveling since I was 20, but have always traveled the ”wrong way” for my age and more like a 60 year old woman would by only staying in luxury hotels, visiting museums, and watching architecture. Even if you’d be 50 and still want to go out to party’s there is plenty of options still. If you want to go to Korea solely for their pop culture fucking do it. I only started studying Japanese at age 12 because of J-pop, you don’t need a deep cultural reason to visit any countries.

  6. I started solo traveling at 20, and turned 29 a few months ago, and not really tbh! The only thing that has changed is that I try to get more out of a trip, like if I am in a country that is surrounded by other countries I like to visit, I book a train and go there as well. I went to Hungary last year, but was also curious about Romania so I mixed that one in. When I just started out, I was afraid to do too much at once, and overwhelm myself with activities, and then get in some kind of panic mode get lost and unable to find my way back or something. It was a fear that thankfully never came true. I think I am now more at ease, and because I now know what I can and can’t handle during solo travel after doing it for quite few years it is less scary.

  7. Traveling alone actually has its advantages.

    -You can see what you want, when you want, at the pace you want. If you want to spend all day at the Louvre, you can — or if you want to just duck in and see the “Mona Lisa,” “Venus de Milo,” and Winged Victory and leave, you can do that also, all without answering to anyone.

    -If you want to spend the whole day sightseeing and just eat cracker packs on the fly for your lunch and dinner, you can. And if you decide to hit up an ultra-fancy restaurant or go to a down-home cheap diner, you can do it.

    -Most people will have their own sightseeing priorities and will go at their own pace — and it’s rarely going to be what works for you. I’ve traveled with people who walk slower than snails, who hate art museums, who live to shop, insist on eating at tourist traps because they’re convenient, or won’t try any food that isn’t what they know from home. That’s not my idea of fun. When you travel alone, you don’t have to mess with that.

    -Luckily this hasn’t happened to me, but you can also pair up with a travel companion who hasn’t planned well, runs out of money, and tries to sponge off you. It can happen, but not when you travel alone.

    I say go for it, and look at the joys of traveling solo.

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