I can’t tell you how many people think I’ve “won the lottery” when I go on another one of my trips. People instantly assume that if you’re out there traveling every so often, it means you’re doing well for yourself. I partially blame social media for glamorizing everything so much, but I also wish people would sit back and realize that they, too, can go on the same trips as me with some careful planning and budgeting.
The problem is that no one wants to put in the time or effort to truly plan out a trip, and that is definitely what’s required to travel on a budget in your 20s. If you’re here and eager to learn about how you can incorporate travel into your life, stick around for my tips below.
Yes, most Airbnbs do not provide you with the warm welcome and luxurious, soft, delicate towels that are changed and cleaned for you every day. But, that’s something you’re going to have to forgo traveling on a budget. If you find one other person to come on your travels with you, you can book a decent Airbnb for just $60 per night. Split between the two of you, that’s $30 per night for a reliable stay that has been vetted and reviewed by other people on the site (and this is assuming you’re going to a Western nation… if you go somewhere like Thailand, it’s even LESS than that).
Let’s say you go on a week-long trip. That’s a total of $210 for sleep accommodations. That’s it!
You don’t need to eat out for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every single day of your trip. Again, if you’re trying to budget out a trip that matches your 25-year-old salary, this is what you need to do. I pack protein bars, a jar of peanut butter, wheat flat thins, and a water bottle with me on all of my trips. You can have the peanut butter sandwich for breakfast, and the protein bar as a mid-morning/lunchtime snack. Most of the time, that can get you to dinner, and if it can’t, you can eat another protein bar!
I only end up spending money on dinners when I travel. Let’s say you spend $15 on dinner and $7-$10 on a drink or two. That’s $25 per day for food. On your 7-day trip, that’s $175 for food by the end of it. That is it!
Every single trip I choose is because of a flight deal advertised to me earlier in the year. I never pay full price for airline tickets. All airline companies hold flight deals and ticket package discounts at some point during the year. Be patient, or let the flight deals do the deciding for you. I never spend more than $400 ROUNDTRIP on an international travel excursion of mine. If you’re really stealthy, you can find roundtrip tickets for just $200.
Best places to track this? Follow the airline companies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Subscribe to their notifications. You can also be vigilant and monitor Kayak.com for new price packages.
So let’s say your roundtrip flight ticket for this 7-day trip was $300.
Bring Your Hiking Boots
Sure, visiting a new country and spending the entire time on expensive tours and entertainment shows sounds fun. It sounds good to me, too! But it’s not a reality on a budget. Instead, pack your hiking shoes, a good pair of sneakers, and clock in 10-miles of walking per day. It’s FREE to walk and sightsee. There is so much to see and explore in a new location that you rarely need to pay for a tour.
Plus, if you’re really feeling sneaky, you can look up the tour you were going to go on and map it out for yourself.
Back to our scenario, let’s say you drop $100 on two tours during your trip.
It is MUCH cheaper to take public transportation around a country than it is to rent a car. My past trip to Ireland, I booked about 6 buses and 6 taxis. My total barely cracked $200 by the end of the trip. Although renting a car may give you more freedom, sitting on a bus gets the job done too, and at a fraction of the cost.
So let’s go along with my $200 for transportation costs…
The Final Result
You can have a fully immersive, international travel excursion abroad for $985. That’s for a full 7-day trip with everything included! If that sounds good to you… set aside $50-$75 each month starting now, and you’ll be able to afford an international trip EVERY SINGLE YEAR.
All you need to do is make a commitment to planning.
Let me know if my tips helped you below!
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