How to Travel on a budget in your 20s

Get on a Budget 

If you don't have a starting budget, you will never know how much you need to save or how much you can spend. Start by figuring out how much your set expenses are and then add from there based on your average food and lifestyle spending. I typically like to tell people to start by saving 10% of each paycheck for travel. Depending on your financial situation you can up that percentage, but at least it will get you to start saving and thinking about your spending.

 

Get a travel credit card 

Travel credit cards, although they can seem scary, are actually extremely useful if you want to start traveling. They are a great way to earn points you can use for flights later down the line. Chase has a great travel credit card that offers lots of perks for travelers. However, make sure to understand and read the fine print of these cards, as you sometimes need to spend a certain amount of money in the first few months to unlock the big rewards. 

 

Travel on Off Days & Track Flights

Flight costs are the biggest cost of travel. However, you can lower these costs by finding off days to travel. Instead of traveling on a Friday, change the dates to a Wednesday and watch as the price drops a few hundred dollars. You can find, compare and monitor flight costs on sites such as Momondo

 

Pack Light 

Although this seems like an obvious one, packing light can save you a ton of money while traveling. Luggage costs are one of the primary fees airlines add on to flights and can easily be avoided by simply researching the luggage limitations before packing. Some European airlines have weight limitations, so I would suggest purchasing a luggage scale for $20 to avoid a potential $100 fee.

 

Goodbye to Hotels 

Hotels are great, but can be extremely costly in comparison to other options. Hostels, Airbnbs and VRBOs are much more affordable options that can still be very nice. Don't believe us? Check out our 5 Airbnb Rentals You Need To Stay At In Italy.

 

Public Transportation 

One of the best parts of travel is the actual transit itself. Try learning a new underground system or riding a bike to explore a city. Ubers or Lyfts can add up quickly while traveling, hurting your overall budget. 

 

Eat Local 

The best restaurants while traveling tend to be the hidden local spots. These eateries also tend to be significantly less expensive than the standard tourist restaurants. Ask the locals their favorite spots to eat or try the street food. This is a huge money saver. 

 

Spend on experiences, not things 

It is really easy to get roped up in material products while traveling. Whether it be a cute sweater or new purse, but those types of things come and go. With traveling, it's important to spend your money on experiences themself. Instead of spending $40 on a bag, spend $40 on a hat making class you will remember forever. A great resource to find experiences while traveling is Airbnb Experiences.