Yenra : Travel : Grad Travel : Europe remains a top travel destination for graduates seeking adventure, culture, and horizon-expanding experiences


To help graduates stand out during interviews, send them on cultural adventures abroad.

Contiki President Frank Marini explained the trend in giving travel as a gift for graduation. "More than one-third of trips booked with us are paid for by parents and grandparents," he said. "Parents recognize the value of giving their children the opportunity to see outside of our borders."

Studying or working abroad ranks highly among recruiters, but even a vacation to another country proves a young person's willingness to step out of the box and show an interest in building cultural competency.

"Students are looking for ways to stand out," said recruiting consultant Steve Pollock. "Those with extensive international travel experience can demonstrate an interest in and sensitivity to foreign cultures -- both of which are relevant to employers with global operations. Moreover, it gives the student something to talk about in an interview."

Contiki offers itineraries and activities designed to suit the budgets, tastes, and interests of younger travelers. Contiki's tours allow people to meet, socialize, and develop long-lasting friendships with like-minded travelers their own age. Family back home will find comfort knowing that their kids are traveling with a group led by an experienced tour manager and driver.

The company offers more than a hundred different itineraries throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, and the United States. Each vacation package includes accommodations, meals, coach, transportation, and sightseeing.

"We know that travel is essential to a complete education," said youth travel promoter Michael Palmer. "Traveling abroad teaches understanding of other people, cultures and communities, and these types of experiences offer young people a greater ability to be successful in today's global society."

Contiki is a travel company serving 18 to 35 year olds.