Saying 2020 was rough may be the understatement of the year, but 2021 has already given us so much to look forward to: the summer Olympics, the reopening of movie theaters, and an overall slow return to normalcy. But now, actress and musician Ashley Tisdale is teaming up with CheapTickets to make 2021 even better — especially for people in their 20s who've really been missing travel. As part of a new contest, CheapTickets is giving one lucky 20-something $5,000 a year until they turn 30 to travel the world.
And Tisdale? Well, if you follow the Carol's Second Act star on Instagram, you'll notice she knows a thing or two about traveling. From girls trips in Mexico to European getaways, she's traveled enough to become somewhat of an expert on the topic. But Tisdale is a woman of many hats — during the pandemic alone, she's put out a new single, renovated a few homes (and started interior design company Frenshe Interiors), served as a panelist and judge on Fox's The Masked Dancer, and grown her lifestyle and wellness blog, Frenshe. Not to mention, she announced in September she's pregnant with her first child with husband Christopher French.
Travel + Leisure recently caught up with Tisdale about the CheapTickets giveaway, why it's important to travel in your 20s, and what the coming year holds for her family.
Travel + Leisure: Why should people travel in their 20s?
Ashley Tisdale: "Oh man, some of my favorite memories are of traveling in my 20s. I was really lucky to be able to travel, even when I was working, to some amazing places like Mallorca and all of Europe. In your 30s, you start to kind of, I think, settle into your life, and work is a big priority at that time. I feel like there's just so much fun to be had [in your 20s]. I went on amazing girl trips with my friends in my 20s. They're experiences that I'll have that I'll always look back on and be like, 'that was such a good time! That was such a great vacation!'"
What is the most memorable trip you took in your 20s?
"I went to one of my favorite places, Cabo, with my girlfriends Vanessa and Shelley. It was a trip we took after I had a bad breakup, but it was the ultimate girl trip. Basically, we did everything and anything you can do. It was so much fun. We did horseback riding on the beach, we swam with dolphins. It was just one of those trips that… I just grew a lot from. Especially with that period in my life and what I was going through. It was something I really needed. I will always look back at that, and be like, 'that was one of the best vacations with my girls.'"
You did a lot of touring and filming in your 20s. Did work allow you to do any traveling you may not have done otherwise?
"When I travel, I tend to always go to a beach. I love the beach, I love water, and that's usually my go-to. But traveling for work, I've gotten to go to Italy, London, France, and I've gone to Germany multiple times. I probably wouldn't have gone to Germany for a vacation, but I've gone there several times for my music. And each time I go, I feel I just learn so much more about the area.
Can you tell us about CheapTicket's "Travel in Your 20s" giveaway?
"Basically, if you enter, you could win up to $5,000 a year to travel until you're 30. It depends, obviously, on what age you are, but that's up to $50,000 worth of free trips, which is pretty wild. When I talked to CheapTickets about it, it was something that was a no brainer. We've had such a year where travel has not been something everyone has done, and I think it is important that when we can, to really take advantage of it. I was just really excited to team up with them and to promote the contest, because I feel like you really learn about yourself traveling, and you learn about others traveling, your friends and everything."
This interview has been lightly edited for length and clarity.
Hillary Maglin is a digital editor who splits most of her time between New York City and Pittsburgh. You can find her on Instagram @hillarymaglin, where her DMs are always open to discuss travel gear, wine bars, and Taylor Swift's latest record.
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