How We’ve Travelled To 43 Countries Before Turning 21

If you follow our Instagram, you won’t be a unaware of the extent to our travels, after all 43 countries before turning 21 is quite an achievement if we don’t say so ourselves. We’ve just got back from Thailand and Malaysia, and we’re off to the Whitsundays in Australia and Vanuatu very soon. You could say our life revolves around hopping from one country to another, and for many I’m sure it sounds like a dream, especially how we’re only 20 and 21 years old.

We’ve travelled to some of the most remote island nations in the world, including: Lord Howe Island, Silhouette Island and shortly Tanna Island. Travelling around all corners of the globe at such a young as has been a true blessing for us, and we’re incredible grateful that we’ve had the opportunity to experience so of the most amazing natural wonders, cultures and traditions across the globe.

If you want to know all 43 countries we’ve travelled to, including various blog posts and general information on each country, just visit our Destinations page!

So let’s get started with some tips and secrets you might not know, on how you can travel just like we have!


1. Blogging full-time allows us to be flexible and work from anywhere in the world whilst earning an income.

Not only has travel blogging let us travel the world whilst also doing something we love, but we’ve also made it into a successful business! On a few occasions we’ve even partnered with hotels through receiving free accommodation for a review and shares on our social media sites. We are always 100% honest with you guys and would never recommend a hotel, hostel or airline that we weren’t 100% happy with. Blogging is truly awesome (although hard work, which readers don’t see) leads to hundreds and hundreds of benefits and possibilities, seriously!
If you want to start your own travel blog in a few easy steps, here’s how!

Travel Blogging

2. Stay in Airbnb’s or Hostels instead of Hotels.

Staying in the likes of hostels and/or Airbnb’s is significantly cheaper than staying in hotels. Hostels will tend to cost around US$4-40 a night depending on which country you travel too. We always use Hostelworld when booking hostel accommodation, as they have a widest choice, they’re reliable and you’ll find the most remote hostels through this site that you wouldn’t be able to get on similar sites.
If you’re wanting a bit more privacy, you’re travelling as a couple or with a group of friends, Airbnb is your best bet. We’ve used Airbnb countless times, and we’ve never had any issues with them. If you’re travelling in a group or with your partner this can be a cheaper alternative to hostels too, so make sure to do some research first. We’ve also go an exclusive offer: Get £30 (US$38) off your first Airbnb stay!

Airbnb Coupon Code
If you’re a little uncertain about Airbnb, we’ve made a blog post on the advantages of using Airbnb when travelling, which we hope can convince you to use this awesome booking site!

3. Go on free excursions, e.g. city tours.

Before we travel to any country, we always look up on the free things to do there. Whether its hikes, city tours, beaches etc. there will always be something great to see and do for free before you dive into paying an overpriced fee for an excursion. Whenever we’ve been on free city tours, we’ve always met like-minded travellers that we’ve ended up having a drink or exploring the city more with, it’s a great way to meet other people whilst also not breaking the bank, a win-win situation!

New York City

4. Sign up for airline loyalty programs to earn airmiles.

Airmiles are typically, a set amount of miles you earn based on how far you fly or how much you spend on your credit card. You can then use these miles to buy tickets, upgrade or even purchase gifts. Frequent flyer miles are awesome. Use them correctly and you’ll save a ton of money on traveling, plus it’s free to sign up to an airlines loyalty program, a win-win situation for a flight you will take anyway.
We are members of many loyalty programs including: Qantas, Lufthansa, British Airways. However, no questions asked Etihad Airways is our favourite and most loyal airline we fly with. Not only has it got the best loyalty program in our opinion (easy to obtain silver even gold status), you can redeem their points with Virgin Australia, Etihad itself, American Airlines, Alitalia, South African Airways and much more for great value!

5. Sign up for hotel loyalty programs to earn free stays.

Not only can you sign up for airline loyalty programs to receive free flights, upgrades and more, but you can also do the same for hotels! Again, there are many programs you can join, including: Hilton Honors, Accor, IHG Rewards Club, Starwood Preferred Guest and much more!
Reaching Gold and Diamond/Platinum status can mean free upgrades, lounge access, priority check-in, free breakfast and much more, in addition the points you collect you can redeem for free stays! Our favourites are Hilton Honors and IHG Rewards Club!

Intercontinental Hotel Sydney

6. Consider flying from an alternative airport.

You may live close to a major airport, however you’ll be surprised by how much you can save by opting for flights departing from smaller, nearby airports or even airport from another city or country! It may be cheaper especially if you live in Europe to buy a ticket to another country and fly from there! That has happened to us on multiple occasions and we’ve saved hundreds of pounds. Skyscanner allows you to include flights from nearby airports when you’re searching, look out for the ‘add nearby airports’ check box beneath where you enter your departure airport.

7. Don’t always fly direct.

So many people just book direct flights to their destination, as it’s easier and convenient. However, we have seen some amazing places because we haven’t booked a direct flight AND it worked out cheaper! For example, on our last trip back to Europe from Australia we went via Abu Dhabi to Johannesburg, spent 5 nights exploring (you can read about our amazing safari here), then back to Abu Dhabi and on to New York, where we spend 3 nights exploring what this amazing city had to offer, before heading back home! Yes it was a lot of travelling, but that’s what we love and I’m sure you wouldn’t turn down that offer either!
most amazing hotels in south africa klaserie sands river camp kruger park

8. Family/friend tickets from airline employees.

We know several people who are either cabin crew or pilots, we can’t say too much but just know that flights are ridiculously cheap. If you work for an airline, free flights are usually one of the many benefits you’ll receive. You can work as a flight attendant, pilot, front desk agent, and many more possibilities.

9. Be flexible on your travel dates.

This means both for destinations and travel dates. You’re more likely to find cheap flights by flying at unsociable times, for example during low season, early morning or midweek. In the past we have seen that a difference of one day can result in hundreds of pounds being saved, purely because you’re travelling when demand is at its lowest.

10. Think like a local.

If possible, hop on a public bus and eat at restaurants that’s full with local people. They know where they get the most value for their money. The nice side effect is, you’ll be one step closer to the real way of life at your destination.

11. Be money conscious at all times, even where you’re not travelling.

If you’re travelling through a less developed country, even the more expensive stuff may seem cheap compared to your home country. But don’t compare with your home country, compare with other things in the place you’re at! A grilled fish for just over five bucks may sound fantastic, but you can live of that money for a week if you eat noodles, rice and curry. A hostel might just be ten dollars, but you might be able to snag one just as good for five. That way, your budget will last you twice as long.
If you apply the same at home, you’ll also manage to save up for your trips a lot quicker. Not going out for dinner at home once will save you enough money to eat out for a whole week in a variety of countries around the world.

Travel Resources we recommend.

Click Here For: OUR FULL LIST OF TRAVEL RECOMMENDATIONS!


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travelled 43 countries before 21

By | 2017-03-17T22:54:47+00:00 March 17th, 2017|Get Inspired|25 Comments

About the Author:

Hey! We're Emma and Yannick! A travel blogging couple who met in Thailand in 2014, and since then we have visited over 20+ countries with no plans to stop! We travel the world in luxury, without paying the price for it, through travel hacking and insider knowledge. Through this, we love to help and teach others to travel well for less, just like we do!

25 Comments

  1. George Ashley March 18, 2017 at 9:28 am - Reply

    These are some excellent tips Emma!

    I think that everyone should see the world and see everything that it has to offer. You have seen so much and you are still very young. Thank you for sharing your experiences 🙂

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:13 am - Reply

      Hey George!

      Thanks a lot! We think so too 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  2. Suzanne March 18, 2017 at 11:40 pm - Reply

    Hey Emma, great post. In total, how long did it take you to visit 43 countries? How long did you stay in each country? P.S. Thanks for sharing your travel tips.

    • Emma Lomas March 19, 2017 at 9:21 pm - Reply

      Hi Suzanne!

      Thanks! This includes the countries I’ve visited when I went on holidays with my family when I was young, so pretty much 18 years! But in the last 2 years we have visited over 20 countries, varying from a week to a few months! 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

      • Suzanne March 20, 2017 at 8:44 pm - Reply

        Ah, thanks for sharing deets about your travel.

  3. Rhiannon March 19, 2017 at 1:55 am - Reply

    Some super tips here! If I’m flying anywhere outside of Europe I never fly direct anymore, as not only do I save so much money but it also means I get to sneak in a little mini trip to a different country! I’m not a member of many airline reward point system things but that’s mostly because I tend to fly budget, and unfortunately they don’t have those! I am with Emirates though, and with my points managed to get a one way ticket from India to UK via Dubai for less than £150! It was the best deal of my life lol.

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Hey Rhiannon!

      Exactly, small tips can save you a tonne of money. Points are so awesome right?!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  4. Sylvanmist March 19, 2017 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Some nice budgeting tips! It’s all about saving, taking the best deal, and taking advantage of coupons and offers. I’d love to have seen 43 countries by 20yrs old lol…but sadly that’s not in the books for all of us travel lovers. I hope to get to that many countries one day too 🙂

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:07 am - Reply

      Hey!

      Exactly! It’s been pretty awesome and hopefully won’t stop now.

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  5. Cat March 19, 2017 at 9:51 am - Reply

    Wow that is super impressive to have travelled to 43 countries before 21! Thank you for sharing all your tips to make that dream possible! Great suggestion on flying to alternative airport. I need to do that more often!

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:08 am - Reply

      Hey Cat!

      Thanks 🙂 and no worries!

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  6. Janine Good March 19, 2017 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    This is a great list of tips and congrats on achieving so much by age 21! It feels like yesterday I was 21. I have signed up to the frequent miles clubs, but in Canada they just don’t pay off sadly. It takes literally years to earn enough miles to get anywhere decent. I am still warming up to Air BNB but will certainly think about them for future trips!

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:09 am - Reply

      Hey Janine!

      Thanks so much 😀 If you travel with other airlines that fly to Canada, they might have better programs? We love Airbnb and I’m sure you will too 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  7. Juliette | Snorkels to Snow March 19, 2017 at 8:12 pm - Reply

    What an awesome achievement to have seen so many places so early on. I agree about being flexible with dates, and also not flying direct or into alternative airports. So many more options that way! And potentially chances for long layovers in a new place. Good work!

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:10 am - Reply

      Hey Juliette!

      Thanks a lot 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  8. Sonja March 19, 2017 at 9:16 pm - Reply

    That is an amazing achievement to have seen so many places by 21! Flying into alternative airports is a really great tip and one a lot of people don’t think of, and taking advantage of layovers too. I wonder how many more countries you’ll get to!

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:10 am - Reply

      Hey Sonja!

      Thanks so much 🙂 How does every country sound?! challenge accepted! 😉

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  9. Jackie Taylor March 19, 2017 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Wow, that is so impressive that you have been to so many places by your age! I’m 23 and so far I’ve been to 26 countries… but I am looking forward to travelling again this spring where I will get to check off a few more off my list! I’ve never actually tried AirBnB before, but I’ve heard many great things about it. Definitely something I will consider next time instead of booking a hotel. 🙂 Thanks so much for sharing all of your tips & advice!

    • Emma Lomas March 20, 2017 at 12:11 am - Reply

      Hey Jackie!

      Thanks 🙂 Would love to know where you’re travelling too! You should definitely try Airbnb, it’s a great way to save money without trading in luxury 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  10. Christie March 21, 2017 at 4:42 am - Reply

    I love this post and can NOT believe you’ve been to 43 countries before turning 21!! I had been to like… 5 at that point. Haha. I totally agree on the hostel/airbnb thing. I’m in my late 20s, have a steady full time job (i.e. I have a steady income) and I still prefer that. Hostels especially – that is where I meet most of my new friends while traveling! Great info – really proud of you 🙂

    • Emma Lomas March 21, 2017 at 11:41 am - Reply

      Hi Christie!

      Thanks so much! I agree so much, hostels are definitely the best place to meet people 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

  11. philip March 21, 2017 at 10:17 pm - Reply

    Nice!
    Do you have more resources on how not to fly direct? or finding deals via the non-direct flights?

    • Emma Lomas March 21, 2017 at 10:37 pm - Reply

      Hi Philip!

      The best advice would probably be that most airlines operate with a hub system. For example almost every Thai Airways long haul flight goes from or to Bangkok, almost every Singapore Airlines long haul flight goes from and to Singapore and so on… So if you were going from Europe to Australia, you can fly with Thai Airways to stop and explore Bangkok on the way, fly with Singapore Airlines to explore Singapore, Cathay Pacific to see Hong Kong, Emirates to see Dubai, and so on. Most airlines allow you to make the duration of your stop not only two hours, but two days or two weeks instead. That way you can see two or three places for the price of one.

      If the flight search for your route only shows expensive flights, try and use skyscanners “anywhere” feature. See how much a flight to any given place is, and look up whether there are cheap flights from that place to your destination. A ticket from Europe to Asia with a separate onward ticket from Asia to Australia might be cheaper than one ticket for the whole way, depending on the season and dates. You can check out our travel resources that we recommend too 🙂

      Happy travels!
      Emma

  12. Molly March 21, 2017 at 11:45 pm - Reply

    SO JELAOUS!! That is awesome! Can’t wait to dive into more of your posts!!

    • Emma Lomas March 22, 2017 at 12:18 am - Reply

      Hey Molly!

      Thanks, hope you enjoy! 🙂

      Happy Travels!
      Emma

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