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Traveling is an incredible experience that can broaden your horizons, challenge your assumptions, and create unforgettable memories. But if you’re in your 20s, the idea of traveling can seem impossible.

The good news is that it’s definitely possible to travel on a budget in your 20s while also having a fantastic time. In this blog post, I’ll share some tips for how to travel on a budget in your 20s, that I wish I knew when I was in my 20s.

Whether you’re planning a backpacking trip across Europe or a beach vacation in Southeast Asia, these tips will help you stretch your budget and make the most of your travel experience.

If you want learn what it means to be a budget travel then check out my post on how to travel on a budget.

Is it worth travelling in your 20s?

If you’re in your 20s and wondering if traveling is worth it when you have so many other priorities and financial obligations. The short answer is: yes, it’s absolutely worth it. Here’s why.

When you travel in your 20s you’re allowing yourself to see the world in a unique and exciting way. When you’re young, it’s easier to be more open to new experiences and take risks. Travel can be a truly transformative experience that broadens your horizons and helps you grow as a person.

Traveling in your 20s can be more affordable than you might think. By understanding your finances, being smart about your spending, and using your resources wisely, you can make travel a reality.

Also, traveling in your 20s can have long-term benefits for your personal and professional life. By experiencing different cultures and meeting new people, you can gain a broader perspective and develop new skills that can benefit you in many areas of your life.

Basically, traveling in your 20s is absolutely worth it. It’s an opportunity to see the world, gain new experiences and perspectives, and develop new skills and friendships that can last a lifetime. With the right mindset and strategies, you can make travel a reality and create lifelong memories.

Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado
Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Colorado

Get a handle on your finances

When learning how to travel on a budget in your 20s, getting a handle on your finances is key. Below are some tips to help you manage your money effectively and make the most of your travel experience.

For some more info and tips, check out my posts on how to plan a weekend trip on a budget and ways to save money for your next vacation.

What is a reasonable travel budget?

Before you start planning your trip, it’s important to have a reasonable idea of how much money you will need and want to spend on travel.

A reasonable travel budget will depend heavily on a few factors – your destination, travel style, and personal preferences. In your 20s, aiming for $100 to $200 a day is reasonable depending on your financial situation and location. This should cover your food, transportation, and activities. If you can include accommodations within this budget that’s awesome.

Remember, it’s always a good idea to have some extra money set aside for unexpected expenses or emergencies.

If you have room for a higher budget that’s great! If $100 sounds rough, that’s ok too. Only you know what you’re comfortable with when deciding on a reasonable budget for traveling in your 20s. The below tips should help you decide as well.

Download budget apps

Keeping track of your finances is easy with budget apps. There are many free and paid apps available that can help you track your spending and stick to your budget. Some popular options include Credit Karma, YNAB (You Need a Budget), and PocketGuard.

These apps allow you to set budgets, track your expenses, and receive alerts when you’re getting close to your spending limit. Budget apps are a great way to stay on top of your finances and avoid overspending.

Learn about Travel Rewards

Another great way to save money on travel is to learn about travel rewards. Many credit cards offer rewards programs that allow you to earn points or miles for every dollar you spend. These points can be redeemed for (almost) free flights, hotel stays, and other travel expenses.

By using a travel rewards credit card and maximizing your rewards, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on your travel expenses. Be sure to research the different rewards programs and choose a card that fits your travel style and spending habits.

Managing your finances is an important part of traveling on a budget in your 20s. By setting a reasonable travel budget, using budget apps, and learning about travel rewards, you can make your existing funds stretch further.

New York skyline
New York skyline

Work while you travel

When figuring out how to travel on a budget in your 20s, you may want to think about working while you travel. This can be a great way to offset your travel expenses. I also discuss this topic in my post about creative ways to save money for travel.

PLEASE READ: It's important to note that the ideas and suggestions provided in this blog post are for informational purposes only. It's crucial that you do your own research and due diligence to ensure that you are following all necessary regulations when working and traveling in different countries.

Different countries have different laws and regulations when it comes to working and traveling, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the rules and requirements of each country you plan to visit. Additionally, it's always a good idea to consult with a professional or seek legal advice to ensure that you are compliant with local laws and regulations.

Consider remote work

One of the easiest ways to work while you travel is to find a remote job. Many companies now offer remote work options, which means you can work from anywhere with an internet connection.

Freelancing: Freelancing allows you to work on a project-by-project basis, giving you the flexibility to work when and where you want. There are several freelancing platforms, like Upwork and Fiverr, that you can use to find clients and projects.

Remote job boards: Remote job boards, such as and We Work Remotely, specialize in remote job opportunities across a range of industries.

Digital nomad programs: Digital nomad programs, like Remote Year offers the opportunity to travel and work with a community of other remote workers.

Teaching English online: Teaching English online is another popular option for remote work. Companies like VIPKid and Teach Away allow you to teach English to students around the world from the comfort of your own home.

Starting your own business: Starting your own business can be a great way to achieve location independence. With the rise of e-commerce and dropshipping, it’s easier than ever to start an online business and work from anywhere in the world.

When considering remote work, be sure to research your options and find a job or program that suits your skills and interests.

Look for local jobs

If you’re traveling abroad, you may be able to find local jobs that allow you to immerse yourself in the local culture while earning some extra money. You can search for local job opportunities on websites like Workaway, HelpX, and CoolWorks.

It’s important to keep in mind that when searching for local jobs while traveling, you must conduct your own research and ensure that you are following all regulations related to working abroad.

Please remember that each country has its own laws and requirements, and it’s your responsibility to comply with them. Taking the time to understand and abide by these regulations can help you avoid any legal issues and ensure a smooth and enjoyable travel experience.

Start a travel blog or vlog

If I could go back in time, I definitely would have started a travel blog in my 20s. You can share your travel experiences and earn some money through affiliate marketing, sponsorships, or advertising revenue.

Blogging is hard work! So don’t get discouraged if your blog does not get a lot of traffic in the beginning. It can be some time before things get going but just stick with it.

While it may take some time to build up a following, a successful travel blog or vlog can be a great way to earn some extra income while you’re on the road.

Sell your skills

Selling your skills and expertise can be a great way to earn some cash while traveling. For example, if you’re a skilled photographer, you can offer photography tours or sell your photos online. If you’re a yoga instructor, you can offer classes at local studios or host retreats.

Working while you travel can be a great way to earn some extra money and offset your travel expenses. Whether you choose to work remotely, find local jobs, start a travel blog, or sell your skills, there are many options available for budget-savvy travelers in their 20s.

French Market New Orleans
French Market New Orleans
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Travel with a group

Traveling with a group can be a great way to save money while still having an amazing travel experience.

Benefits of group travel

Traveling with a group can help you save money on everything from accommodations to activities. By sharing the cost of a hotel room or vacation rental, you can significantly reduce the largest expenses when it comes to traveling.

Group rates are often available for activities and tours, which can help you save money on sightseeing and other travel experiences. Group travel can also give you a built-in social network, which is great for solo travelers. You’ll have the opportunity to meet like-minded people and make new friends, which can enhance your travel experience and create lifelong memories.

Tips for finding a group to travel with

There are several ways to find a group to travel with, depending on your interests and travel style. Here are some tips to help you get started:

Join a travel club or organization: There are many travel clubs and organizations that cater to specific interests and travel styles. For example, Wanderful is a travel community focused on women solo travelers. They provide resources and organize group trips, which can be a great way to meet new people and explore new destinations.

Use social media: Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram can be great resources for finding travel groups and communities. You can search for groups based on your interests or destination and connect with other travelers who share your passion for travel.

Book a group tour: Companies like Contiki organize group tours that are geared towards individuals who want a social experience between the ages of 18 to 35. Group tours are often designed to be affordable and can provide a hassle-free travel experience.

Plan a trip with friends: Planning a trip with friends or family members is another way to share the cost of accommodations and activities which can significantly reduce your travel expenses. Plus, traveling with people you already know and trust can enhance your travel experience and create lasting memories.

Traveling with a group can be a great way to save money and enhance your travel experience. Whether you join a travel club, use social media to connect with other travelers, book a group tour, or plan a trip with friends, there are many options available for budget-savvy travelers in their 20s.

group of travelers at a pub in evian france
Group trip to Europe, we stopped at a pub in Evian France

Learn how to find the travel deals

One of the key skills for how to travel on a budget in your 20s is learning how to find travel deals. With the right approach, you can save hundreds or even thousands of dollars on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses.

Here are some tips to help you find the best travel deals:

Use travel search engines

Travel search engines can be a great tool when it comes to finding cheap flights, hotels, and rental cars. One of the most popular and my favorite out there is Google Flights. The best part about Google Flights is that it’s completely free and easy to use.

Google Flights compares prices across multiple airlines and travel dates. You can enter your departure and destination cities, as well as your travel dates, and Google Flights will show you a list of available flights and prices. You can also filter your results by airline, flight duration, price range, and more!

I love how with Google Flights I can track flight prices. Google Flights will send you an email when the price of your flight changes, so you can book at the best possible time. I always have a lot of alerts set so I’m ready to pounce on a deal!

Use the “Explore” option to see the prices for flights to various destinations on a map. This makes it easy to find affordable options for your travel plans. Simply select your departure airport, set your budget, and browse the map for destinations that fit within your price range.

It’s a great way to discover new places and find the best deals on flights. Google Flights searches for hotels and rental cars too!

Sign up for email alerts and loyalty programs

Many airlines, hotels, and travel companies offer email alerts and loyalty programs that can help you save money on travel.

By signing up for these programs, you’ll receive notifications about special deals and promotions. Some loyalty programs also offer perks like free upgrades, early check-in, and other benefits that can enhance your travel experience.

Some of my top picks for loyalty programs include Hilton, Marriott, JetBlue, and Southwest. The great news is that signing up for these programs is completely free, and you might even get a bonus just for joining.

There are many loyalty programs out there, so take some time to explore your options and find the ones that work best for your travel needs. There’s no right way to get started, just start signing up for loyalty programs as you come across them.

Consider alternative accommodations

Personally, I’m a hotel girl, but hotels can be expensive, especially in popular tourist destinations. Consider alternative accommodations like vacation rentals, hostels, and camping sites. These options can be significantly cheaper than traditional hotels and can provide a more authentic travel experience.

Always do your due diligence and prioritize safety when selecting vacation rentals, hostels, or camping sites.

Don’t forget that you can use loyalty programs or credit card rewards. Many hotels offer loyalty programs that provide perks like free nights or room upgrades, while some credit cards offer rewards that can be redeemed for hotel stays.

Look for discount and package deals

Looking for discounts and package deals is a great way to save money on travel. You’ll find bundled packages that include flights, hotels, and sometimes even activities, all at a discounted price.

Travelzoo scours the internet for the best deals on flights, hotels, and activities, and then curates them into a list of the top 20 deals each week. These deals are often for package deals that include flights and hotels, or even all-inclusive resort stays.

For someone looking to learn how to travel on a budget in their 20s, package deals can be a great option. They offer convenience and often come at a lower price point than booking everything separately. Plus, with Travelzoo’s curated list, you can be sure you’re getting a great deal that’s been vetted by travel experts.

Other websites that offer package deals include Expedia, Orbitz, and Priceline. When searching for package deals, be sure to compare prices across different websites and read the fine print carefully. Some package deals may have hidden fees or restrictions, so it’s important to do your research before booking.

Wine tasting in Colorado
Wine tasting in Colorado

Be flexible with your travel dates

Probably the most effective way to save money on travel is by having flexibility with your travel dates. The prices for flights and hotels can vary significantly depending on the time of year, day of the week, and even time of day. So being open to adjusting your travel schedule can help you discover significant savings.

Before booking your flights, read my post on some big mistakes to avoid when booking flights. Always remember that with a little planning and flexibility, you can make your dream trip a reality while staying within your budget.

Travel during the off-season

During high season, hotels and flights can be more expensive, and popular attractions can be crowded. Google your destination to figure out when is their off-season or “shoulder” season. I love traveling during shoulder season because you can find some great deals and it’s usually not as dead compared to the off-season.

Keep in mind that if you’re planning a trip to a destination during the off-season, you may experience some closures or limited hours for certain attractions and activities. So do your research! Depending on what you’re looking to do, it could still be totally worth it.

For instance, if you’re thinking about heading to Paris in February or March, be prepared for some chilly weather and potentially early closing times for some spots. However, the upside is that there will be fewer tourists, and you’ll likely find cheaper flights and hotel rates. So, with a little extra planning and layering, you can still have an amazing trip and save some cash!

Wrapping Up Your Budget Travel Adventure

Traveling on a budget in your 20s is possible with the right strategies and mindset. By taking control of your finances, working while you travel, traveling with a group, and learning how to find travel deals, you can stretch your travel budget further and experience more of the world.

And remember, you’re in your 20s, and you’ve got a prime opportunity to explore the world and enrich your life in ways you never thought possible.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and make the most of your 20s! Whether it’s backpacking through Europe, road-tripping across the United States, or volunteering abroad, traveling on a budget is totally doable.

And trust me, it’ll be worth it! So grab your passport and get ready for the journey of a lifetime. Happy travels!

Want to Travel More for Less?

Become a Budget Traveler! Head over to my start here page and grab my free budget travel cheat sheet  – it’s packed with valuable tips to help you create your own winning budget travel strategy.

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