In 2019 Lexie Alford from Nevada City, California, USA, broke the Guinness World Record for being the Youngest Person to Travel to Every Country. Aged just 21, she surpassed the previous record held by James Asquith with three years to spare, as he had visited 196 countries by age 24.
1. Lexie’s background
Lexie’s parents are entrepreneurs who started a travel agency, taking her along with them on their many travels. When she graduated from both high school and community college early at 18, she had already travelled to 72 countries, and decided to aim to break the Guinness World Record. She was also considering what to do with her future, and wanted a career to involve seeing as much of the world as possible, so she started with taking a gap year.
2. Her life now
On her social platforms Lexie explains she always knew she wanted to spend a year without study or work, just travelling. She worked several jobs to save money for her gap year, with the amount she saved keeping her going for the first year and a half of her travels. After this, however, she had well and truly got the travel bug and wanted to continue, especially in her pursuit to break the world record, so she looked at ways to work and travel. Now she is a travel influencer and uses her online platforms, ‘Lexie Limitless’, to inspire budding travellers via Instagram, YouTube and her website. Her latest achievement is writing her first book which is available soon and tells of her many adventures.
3. Financing her travels
Now 22, Lexie says that her travels are completely self funded, with some brand deals and campaigns along the way but never an official sponsorship. Since her first gap year travels Lexie has been working as a travel consultant in her family’s agency when she’s in California, whilst doing photography and blogger work when travelling. She also explains to readers that she does a lot of research in advance in order to find the best deals, whilst she uses her travel agent discounts, points and miles for flights, stays in cheap accommodation like hostels, or creates content for hotels in exchange for accommodation. To keep overhead costs low, she lives at home with her parents and has no student debt or car payments.
4. Solo female travellers
Lexie considers what she does as ‘inspiring the people around me, especially young women’, writing content aimed to encourage them to get out there and overcome their fears of travelling alone, providing advice and tips on how to go about it. Lexie also wants to demonstrate that ‘the world isn’t as scary as the media portrays it to be and that there’s kindness everywhere’. Her platforms and content therefore aims to help people to explore it.