Editors' Picks: Best Post-Graduation Trips

You may never have to take another final again. Just let that sink in for a minute. Then let your mind wonder to your next adventure, wherever that may be. There is rarely a time in your life when you will feel more accomplished, relieved or free than after you receive that diploma. Whether you crave a little R&R, 1 last hurrah or the chance to finally see the world, these editor-approved destinations for recent graduates won’t disappoint. Let’s just hope you can push that job’s start date.
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Backpack Through Brazil

“Throw caution to the wind and live life with reckless abandon by backpacking through Brazil. Traverse the thick Amazon rain forest in Manaus, immerse yourself in the Afro-centric culture of Salvador, go nude sunbathing on Praia Mole in Florianopolis, witness the awe-inspiring beauty of Iguazu Falls, and stand at the top of Sugarloaf Mountain for panoramic views of Rio de Janeiro. Go -- you’ll be glad you did -- and prepare to get a lifetime of great memories.” -- Kwin Mosby, Managing Producer

Camp in Canadian Backcountry

“What better way to kick off your first step into the real world than by getting away from the hustle and bustle that you have come to call normal? There may be no better place to do that than the Canadian wilderness of Algonquin Provincial Park in Ontario. Spread out over nearly 3,000 square miles of pristine backcountry, Algonquin boasts more than 1,900 campsites set along the shores of more than 2,400 lakes, with plenty of different ways to enjoy them. Grab a canoe, a backpack and a few friends, and paddle off into a sunset-drenched backdrop of the open water and woods to jump-start your trip. After a few days of traveling through the natural highway of portages and lakes, you’ll be relaxed, refreshed and ready to take that next step.” -- Matthew Dewhurst, Producer

Live Out Your Own Euro-Trip

“First time across the pond -- you don’t say! There’s not a better way to christen a newly minted passport than with a classic Europe trip. London is the perfect place to wet your whistle with a pint between checking off bucket-list attractions such as Big Ben and the Beatles’ Abbey Road. Then, ride the Eurail to your heart’s content. Hip hostels make traveling to stylish cities such as Paris, Barcelona or Prague possible even before you earn your first ‘big kid’ paycheck.” -- Sara Gilliam, Senior Producer

Party Vegas Style

“As 4-plus years of studying comes to a close, celebrate with 1 last hurrah in Las Vegas! Be a high roller for the weekend and spend some graduation money on high-stakes gambling and bottle service. Enjoy the beginning of summer with crazy Vegas pool parties at the Venetian’s Tao Beach and Mandalay Bay’s Daylight.” -- Michelle Tran, Ad Sales Producer

Cuddle a Koala on Magnetic Island

“Australia is a place on most people’s bucket lists, and it’s a fantastic destination to let go and have some fun after years of studying and exams. Make your way to Magnetic Island in the lower part of the Great Barrier Reef. Go snorkeling to see the colorful fish and coral, and take a free hike along the Forts Walk to catch the sunset while perched atop the historic World War II fortifications. Be sure to keep your eyes on the eucalyptus trees to spot koalas. If you don’t see any, go cuddle one at the Bungalow Bay Koala Village, which is also a backpackers’ hostel.” -- Arthur Hsu, Video Project Manager

Island-Hop in Greece

“Enjoy beautiful beaches, island-hopping and a warm but cooler 77 degrees during the month of June -- the perfect time to go, just before the rush of summer tourists. Charter a catamaran through Blue Lagoon Cruises, whose boats come equipped with swimming platforms, bars, trampolines and much more! Enjoy hidden bays and hot springs on and around the islands of Santorini and Mykonos.” -- Rani Robinson, Digital Director

Cruise the Caribbean

“Grab a few friends and book a cruise to the Caribbean. Even just a 3- or 4-night sailing is the perfect way to kick back, party till the wee hours, and see a few new places — all in 1 vacation. Not to mention it’s budget-friendly, with most meals and entertainment included. Try a 4-night Western Caribbean itinerary on Carnival, leaving from Miami and sailing to Key West and Cozumel, Mexico. Or, if you have the time and money, spring for a 7-night Southern Caribbean cruise on Royal Caribbean, leaving from San Juan with stops in places such as Aruba, Barbados, St. Thomas, Antigua and St. Lucia.” -- Hannah Prince, Copy Editor

Chill Out in Newport Beach, CA

“If you’re searching for a great domestic post-graduation destination that blends both relaxation and excitement, then Newport Beach, CA, is the place for you. Post up on the expansive plots of sand with a good book or your headphones and relax in the sun, enjoying some of the country’s best weather. Looking for a thrill? Newport Beach also offers a wide variety of adventure and fun, from Jet Skiing and cruising the waves on a surf or boogie board to setting up your teammate for the perfect spike on one of the many public volleyball courts. And if you start to feel parched after a long day in the sun, stop by Sharkeez -- a Newport staple --for a cold cocktail.” -- Ben Breslerman, Producer

Celebrate in the City That Never Sleeps

“Not everyone can afford a trip around the world to celebrate graduating, but you can take a budget shortcut and visit NYC instead! While it's still not the cheapest city in America, in 1 weekend, you can take the N/R train down to Chinatown for tasty soup dumplings at Joe’s Shanghai, walk up to Little Italy for some authentic Chianti from Parm, and then hop the A/C to Koreatown for homemade Miss Korea kimchi and barbecue. Not to mention the dozens of first-class museums, such as the Met and the Frick, that are also just a subway ride away. You'll leave having experienced the best of more than a dozen cultures without ever needing your passport!” -- Liz Fraser, Photo Editor

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