budget for travel in your 20s

Although I’m almost in the final stretch of my 20’s I’m still in to win it. I for one know that traveling can get a bit pricy (though I’ve been giving you the tools to do so frugally). Being in your 20s is a hectic time, and as a millennial it’s even trickier. We’re expected to have everything  together , but in reality I have just about nothing together.

The best thing I’ve got together, is knowing just how much I don’t have it together. So… if you really want to get your travel on, which I highly recommend, then there’s a way for you to budget for travel in your 20s.

How To Budget For Travel In Your 20s

1. Reward Cards Are Your Best Friend: If you don’t have at least one reward card in your 20’s you’re bugging! Straight up no ifs, ands, or butts about it. For most of my 20s I had only ONE reward credit card that I used very wisely, but absolutely used. And in doing so I was able to get a free flight for quite a few of my travels. With rewards cards you need to be responsible to pay the monthly charges/purchases you make, and use it aggressively. I used this card to pay for my car insurance, my gas, food shopping and all other purchases. If I could’ve paid my student loans and car note with it I would have (but you can’t pay debt with debt). Another thing you could do is get into a rewards program that encompasses your credit card and debit card as well. I highly recommend Citibank and Capital one rewards programs to include all of your banking transactions as ways to earn points.

2. Study Abroad: If you are still in school and your school is offering a study abroad program for a semester or two… TAKE IT! It may seem like you don’t have that extra 2 or 3 thousand dollars lying around to go, and you know I’m against loans, but if you’re already wracking up the loans throw in that extra 2 or 3 thousand dollars and take the opportunity that may never present itself again. If you are not into the loans thing (and I don’t blame you) then grab hold to an extra few shifts, or sell some things you aren’t using… and take that trip!

3. Cut Out The Unnecessary: Towards the end of 2016 I cancelled cable and my Netflix account… yeah I’m living under a rock in the dark ages, but it is for a purpose. You have to evaluate what you are spending money on, and choose which areas you can cut out. You know the easy ways to do so are taking out those extra brunch and dinner dates with you and your besties. Brown bagging to work is also another key to saving a few coins towards your bomb vacation plans. Besides cutting out cable and Netflix I also stopped getting my nails done at the salon, and cut out my European Wax Center visits. Yeah… even further under the rock in the dark ages, but I just came back from San Francisco and booked a trip to Croatia and Italy towards the end of the summer. Take my word on it… the traveling part will feel ten times better than whatever you had to give up doing to save for it.

4. Get a Job Abroad: This one I haven’t done yet but I keep toying around with the idea. You know those teach English abroad programs or even the live in nanny programs… look into them and take them. Especially if you don’t really have roots planted here (no kids, no husband/boyfriend) take a summer or even 6 monthss- to a year to teach/ work in another country. This way you’ll still be making bank and immersed in the culture of the country.

5. Couch Surf/ Air BNB: I haven’t done this yet… and it makes me a bit nervous but that is because I’m a worry wart. However I’ve heard great and exciting things from people who have couch surfed their way through Europe. My better suggestion is to look into Air BNB and hostels (way less sketchy than a couch surf) and if you book early enough you can find some great deals.

6. Find Flight Glitches: I missed the most epic flight glitch the other day and it is going to take me a few weeks to get over it OKAY! A flight glitch is when you get a great deal on destination that is usually very pricy. You need to sign up for flight deals/ glitches that send you emails or notifications whenever the flight glitches occur. I use The Flight Deal, Sky Scanner, and Hopper. I’m also considering signing up for Secret Flying as well which is where the latest flight glitch I missed was posted. Let’s just say flights to Africa were going for less than 300 dollars round trip… and I missed it! NEVER AGAIN!

Overall traveling is not a distant dream in your 20s even though you work and struggle to make ends meet. We all struggle, but don’t let that get into your head or inhibit you from living your best life. Save those coins and hop on those flights.

You can follow more of our travel hacks below on our dedicated Wanderlust Pinterest board.