After graduating from college and spending several years doing nothing but working, Matt Wilson took a trip to Iceland that changed his life.

Wanting to pay forward his experience, Wilson put out a Facebook post asking if anyone was interested in joining him on his next trip. Sure enough, through friends of friends a group of 21- to 35-year-olds came together and Under30Experiences was born.

Wilson and co-founder Jared O’Toole feel that young people have the tools and ambition to change the world, but they should probably go out and see it first. Under30Experiences, based in Austin, Texas, is passionate about getting people away from their day-to-day life and changing their worldview!

Jared O'Toole and Matthew Wilson
Under30Experiences co-founders: Jared O’Toole and Matt Wilson. Photo: Bern Hardy

Q: What should a traveler expect when going on tour with Under30Experiences?

A: Our brand promises off-the-beaten-path experience with interaction with local communities. We do our best to stay active and take part in adventure activities a region has to offer. Best of all, we put the emphasis on staying in touch after the trip by attending our meet ups in the U.S. and Canada.

Q: How do you attract clients to your business?

A: Our business has grown organically via word of mouth, landing us No. 801 on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing private companies in America. We show people the time of their life, and they tell their friends!

Q: What are your key messages to other travel advisers who want to sell to travelers ages 21—35?

A: Look to send millennials on authentic excursions, where they stay active, interact with local communities and pay attention to sustainability. Young people want to have a good time and engage in local nightlife, but they also want to make sure their money goes toward impactful causes.

Q: What about Under30Experiences makes you most proud?

A: Under30Experiences makes us proud for two reasons. 1) Through experiential travel, our travelers return from their trips with a life-changing experience and everlasting memories. 2) We have several sustainability projects in local communities like El Cocal, Costa Rica, and the Sacred Valley of Peru, that give our travelers time to interact with local people and support their communities. We engage in song, dance and local food wherever we go!

Matthew Wilson and Jared O'Toole Under30Experiences
Under30Experiences co-founders, Matt Wilson and Jared O’Toole. Photo: Bern Hardy

Q: What is the “next big thing” for Under30Experiences?

A: This spring I’m launching both the Millennial Travel Podcast and the Millennial Travel Guidebook on Apple Podcasts and Amazon, respectively. I hope to inspire others to escape more, spend less and make travel a priority in their life! 

Q: Tell me about your favorite tour, and what made it special?

A: My personal favorite trips have been the yoga retreats I’ve led with my now wife, Luz. We’ve brought young people together to Costa Rica and Bali for a week of yoga and mindfulness. We look forward to doing more in the future! 

Q: What is the one cuisine you are most excited to try when traveling?

A: I’m personally obsessed with health and wellness, so I love hearing about local herbal remedies, medicinal teas and what traditional medicines look like around the world. I’ll try any concoction they tell me is healthy!

Q: What three words describe why we should travel?

A: Exploration, self-discovery, fun!