With costs on a seemingly continual rise, it may be hard for travel lovers to visualize hitting any of their bucket travel destinations for the next year or two. And if you're in your twenties and have to factor in university debts, high rental or mortgage payments, and job relocation costs - traveling can seem like an even more unattainable dream.
However, if you learn how to travel on a budget, traveling in your 20s doesn't need to be a costly and unaffordable dream. Get started by reading out tips for traveling on a budget and see which money-saving budget travel tips you can start applying to your life.
These steps for how to travel on a budget might involve some sacrifices in the here and now. But you'll be thanking yourself a few months down the line when you are booking cheap flights to somewhere off the beaten path, or perhaps a relaxing week in the sun.
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Tips for Travelling on a Budget in your 20s
Take a look below and see which budget travel tips you can start applying today, to build towards your next vacation.
Make Sure You Have a Clear Monthly Budget
If you are planning on traveling the world, your first job is to get a clear idea of your monthly incomings and outgoings. This is essential if you are going to set a realistic saving goal for your future travels.
It's all very well setting an optimistic goal, but if you underestimate how much you are spending each day, or how much all your streaming subscriptions add up to each month - you'll end up falling short every time.
So, sit down with a pen and paper and your banking app open and note down each monthly cost and how much money you have coming in. Then work out how much of the surplus you can realistically set aside for your next trek across the globe.
You might want to research the costs of your dream destinations now. This will give you a clear idea of your savings target and an idea of how much you will need to save each month to make your dream trip an achievable reality.
Join Travel and Hotel Loyalty Programs
If you have to travel a lot for work, joining loyalty airlines for airlines you frequently use or hotel brands you usually stay at is a terrific way to rack up points for future fun travel. Join the loyalty programs of the brands you most consistently use to give yourself the greatest chance of building up a healthy number of points.
And as a member of these loyalty schemes, you should also be able to enjoy some great travel perks when you use their services. These can include, free upgrades, free bag checking, complimentary breakfasts, or a free night's stay - all depending on the scheme you choose and how many points you collect. The more points you collect, the better the perks are likely to be!
Apply for a Travel Credit Card
One of the most effective ways to travel on a budget is to use your everyday spending to fund your trips! You can apply for credit cards which you can get that are affiliated with airlines or hotel chains. You can earn points with your everyday purchases and earn even more when you use your credit card to book with the affiliate airline or hotel.
To make sure you build up a decent amount of points you should only apply for one of these travel credit cards and use it to make everyday purchases. Spreading out your points across several cards may mean that you aren't able to build up enough on each card to fund travel rewards and discounts when booking flights.
You should also remember that your goal here is saving money - so treat your credit card, the same way you would a debit card and pay off your debts as quickly as possible. The goal with this card is to find the cheapest way to travel, not increase your outings with debt and interest!
Set Up Alerts to Find Cheap Flights
Flights are going to be one of the biggest costs on your next vacation, (along with accommodation). So, you need to make sure to give yourself plenty of time to research and compare prices across different airlines.
You can use tools such as SkyScanner to discover which are the cheapest times of the year to book flights to your destination. Choosing to travel during non-peak periods can result in substantial savings.
Google Flights will also allow you to set alerts that will notify you when flights to your destination become available at a certain price. When these alerts do arrive, make sure to take advantage of them quickly as flight prices can fluctuate throughout the day!
Consider Travelling With Friends or Family to Reduce Accommodation Costs
Not only are group vacations a wonderful way to travel in terms of bonding and creating memories with your loved ones - but they can also save you money on accommodation and other travel costs.
If a group rents out a four or five-bedroom house through Airbnb and splits the cost between them, chances are the costs will be lower than paying for a single hotel room for the week.
Splitting costs can also help you to travel on a budget when it comes to splitting the cost of rental cars, gas, and food supplies!
Make Sure You Have Planned to Travel on a Budget
As well as keeping track of your spending and saving leading up to the trip, you need to make sure that you have researched ways to make your money go further during your trip. You can end up spending a lot of money on incidentals during a trip which can add up and lead to you exceeding your spending estimates.
Do some research into the costs of meals, activities, and public transport before you leave, and make sure to keep exchange rates in mind when working out how much spending money you are going to need. Break down each cost and assign a reasonable amount based on your research, this will make sure you don't have any nasty surprises when you check your bank balance once returning home.
Research Some Fun, Free Things to Do At Your Travel Destination
You may have some bucket list attractions and restaurants you want to try during your trip, but you can also look into some cheaper or free ways to enjoy the area.
Walking tours are always a fantastic way to familiarise yourself with a locale and spot some locations to head back to on your own. A street food tour can also be a great way to sample local delicacies at reasonable prices. Some local museums and galleries may have days when admission is discounted or completely waived.
Summary: How to Travel on a Budget in Your Twenties
Traveling in your twenties doesn't have to be a bank account-busting exercise! As you can see from our tips for traveling on a budget above, careful planning and proper research can save you potentially hundreds of dollars on your next trip.
Take another look through our budget travel tips above and start thinking about how you can apply them to your current lifestyle. Do you need to start looking at your monthly budget? Do you know some like-minded friends who you'd love to travel with? Have you set up a google alert for cheap flights to your next dream destination?
Commit to taking action on a few steps today and you'll discover that the answers to how to travel on a budget aren't all that complicated at all!
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