How to Save Money for Travel in Your 20’s

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Your 20’s is a prime time to get your travel on.

But, it’s also a time where you may not be bringing in a ton of income to pay for said travel.

Am I right?

That doesn’t mean you have to give up your dream of globetrotting sooner rather than later.

No way, my friend.

It is possible to travel for an extended period of time, to simply take weekend getaways, or regular vacations abroad.

The trade off is you may have to make some sacrifices in other areas. But, these sacrifices are worthwhile if they’re going to help you travel more.

Here are some tips to help you save more money for travel in your 20’s.

Cut your regular life to the bare minimum

Ask yourself: what in every day life can you live without?

This could be getting a roommate, moving home with your parents, or limiting all partying activities on the weekends. My spending problems used to be clothes, shoes, and make up.

When I took these expense out of my monthly budget, I had much more cash to spare for stuff I wanted to do.

You’ll probably realize after looking at where you’re spending money during the month that you really don’t need that much money to satisfy your basic needs.

These needs being having a roof over your head, food to eat, and transportation to your j-o-b.

So, create a budget for yourself. (I have a post on how you can create one here.)

Write down your income and then your expenses.

Whatever you have left over should go to your travel savings.

Your friends, coworkers, family, and other haters may tease you for living so frugally while working towards your goal.

Two words.

Screw ’em.

Do what you have to do to put away money.

Set your goal

Map out how much it’s going to cost you to travel.

And keep in mind everyone’s idea of travel is different.

For me, travel includes international and stateside trips by car and plane that last just a few days or a couple of weeks. Any new experience or time away that takes me out of my current state and into a new experience is a trip.

Your goal and idea of travel may be different.

You may want to go non-stop backpacking through Asia for several months.

Figure out how much this is going to cost you:

  • What’s the plane ticket cost?
  • What will room and board cost you?
  • What will food cost you?

When you have a total cost in mind, you can figure out how much you need to save each day, week, month, and year to make it happen.

Be creative to bring in more cheddah

If you reach a point where you can’t squeeze anymore money out of your budget, it’s time to get creative with bringing more money in.

My advice for side hustling is starting something before you travel that you can do remotely. This way if you do decide to take a significant time away from traditional work, you can bring in cash while working abroad.

My main source of income is freelance writing. I got into freelancing by first creating a blog to showcase my work, then started pitching to publications and entrepreneurs. You can learn how to get into freelance writing here.

That’s not the only route that you can take for remote working though.

You can do photography, graphic design, web design, virtual assisting – you name it.

If you need a kickstart in the idea department, here are 80 ways to earn money.

Besides remote work, you can get a part-time hustle waiting tables, cleaning houses, driving Uber, or delivering packages through Amazon Flex. There’s plenty of opportunity to bring in extra cash.

Gather the pennies, nickels, and dimes

Before you write this tip off as crazy and absurd, hear me out.

My husband is kinda obsessed with change (a lot like my father which is creepy). He collects the change he has every day and puts it in a drawer.

We go a change counter and it’s literally full to the brim.

I don’t collect change. I don’t use cash period.

So, I signed up for Digit in the middle of July 2016. The app is kind of like a change purse. It finds dollars and cents in your bank account that you don’t need based on your spending habits and transfers it to a savings account.

Transfers happen as often as every day.

In a little over 3 months, from mid July to October, my Digit app account has collected over $600 in it. 

The change we’ve collected physically and digitally is $700 and half the cost of a family trip that we’re taking for Thanksgiving this year.

You don’t understand how happy I am to report that my Digit savings and his loose nickles, dimes, and pennies are paying for a large part of this trip. More on our trip savings soon. If you want to check out my full review of Digit, go here.

The point is.

If you find spare change keep it.

That stuff adds up over time.

Believe that.

Keeping yourself on track

Setting out to do all of the things above is one thing, keeping the momentum is another. If you’re like me, you can be gung ho about something for the first two weeks.

Then you lose focus. The invitation to happy hour starts sounding good. The blow out store sale email that comes to your inbox starts looking tempting and you get off track with your budget.

Don’t take your eyes off the prize.

Creating a vision board is one way to stay focused. I created one at the beginning of this year and most of what I envisioned has come true. You need to visualize what you want and keep reminding yourself what it’s going to look like, feel like, smell like, and taste like when you reach your goal.

Being consistent with your savings is what’s going to get you on that trip, ya’ll!

That’s it for this post 🙂

Do you have anything to add to this list? Share below!


— This post or page may contain affiliate links. Don’t worry, though. I only promote products that I’ve used or truly believe in.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a writer and money blogger. She writes on how to live your best life without going broke.

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