If you're between the ages of 18 and 35 and have never traveled internationally, Contiki wants to give you a free passport. 

By Lindsay Tigar
March 31, 2018
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There’s nothing quite like the first time you leave your country: the anxiety coupled with excitement as you board the plane, the touchdown in a country you've always dreamt of seeing, and the thrill of navigating a new language.

Considering international travel is at an all-time high, it may come as a surprise that half of millennials haven’t paused from Instagramming to apply for a passport. For tour companies catered to the 18 to 35 crowd, that’s quite the margin of opportunity. Based on these stats, tour company Contiki decided to offer a one-of-a-kind deal earlier this year where they paid for any American first-time traveler’s passport fees. The promo proved so successful — and impactful — they decided to institute it as an evergreen offer beginning April 2. 

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What made this 55-year-old tour company pivot their policies? Findings from their fielded study called the "Power of Travel," where they polled 3,000 millennials on their jet-setting experiences. As Adam Cooper, the president of Contiki explained, their research revealed international travel has an overwhelmingly positive influence — from developing a stronger sense of self to invoking tighter interpersonal relationships. “We’re striving to inspire and encourage more first-time travelers to book a trip by instituting this initiative on an ongoing basis, assisting first-timers in getting travel’s ‘golden ticket’ — the passport,” he said.

Speaking as a seasoned traveler who didn’t get her first passport until the age of 25, Contiki’s example is one other travel companies should follow. Though the cost of a passport isn’t too steep, the process itself is enough to prevent late-bloomers from getting out of town. After all, once you catch the travel bug, you never want to stop moving. I should know — I’ll be catching a flight to my 28th country in four years tomorrow.

To take advantage of this offer, visit Contiki.com