The Cheapest Ways to Travel Young & Still Experience It All

One of the benefits of being young is that you have the freedom to try new things and visit new places. For a lot of young people, travel is a necessity – a way to see the world, experience other cultures, and broaden their horizons.

When we meet with young people to talk about their finances, one of the questions we hear a lot is this:

"What is the cheapest way to travel while still having a great experience?"

It’s our job to help people stretch their money, and that includes travel. Here are some tips to help you find the cheapest way to travel while you’re young.

Create a Travel Budget

The first thing you can do to manage your travel expenses is to create a budget. We’ve all had the experience of spending more than we intended, and a budget is a good way to be mindful of your dollars and where they go.

Doing a little bit of research can help you create a realistic budget. You don’t want to feel that you can’t enjoy a night out while traveling, but it’s also important not to overdo it.

Keep an Open Mind

One of the easiest ways to keep your travel expenses cheap is to be open about where you travel. Sites like Adioso and Skyscanner will let you search for cheap flights from your departure city. You might not be able to find a low-cost airfare to Paris, but perhaps you could visit Finland for a fraction of the cost.

You should also keep an open mind about where you arrive. Travel between countries in the European Union, for example, is inexpensive. If you can find a cheap flight to Dresden, you could easily hop a train to Berlin or Prague. By casting as broad a net as possible, you can stretch your travel dollars and see the world.

Travel in the Off Season

In addition to keeping an open mind about where you travel, being flexible about when you travel can also save you money. It’s going to be far more expensive to visit London in the summer, for example, than it would be to visit during the winter months. Yes, you might endure some rainy days, but you can prepare for those while potentially saving hundreds of dollars on your airfare and hotels.

If you’re not sure when the off-season in a given place is, a little research can help. Keep in mind that winter months in the Northern Hemisphere are summer months in the Southern Hemisphere. Checking local weather reports can help you determine what conditions you’ll find when you arrive at your destination.

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Find a Job Overseas

If you only have a few weeks to travel, working abroad may not be an option. But, if you want to spend a summer abroad, then finding some employment can be a great way to defray your expenses and even earn a little extra money to spend on entertainment.

Some jobs require little in the way of experience. For example, you might find a job as an au pair or as a house sitter. If you have a TEFL degree, then there are plenty of jobs teaching English overseas. A little bit of planning can open up new travel opportunities that include work.

Find Inexpensive Accommodations

You don’t need to stay in a five-star hotel or resort to have a great time when you’re traveling. Instead of opting for a pricey hotel, consider rental services like Airbnb or Couchsurfing. Depending upon your willingness to share space with people you don’t know, you can spend only a fraction of what you might spend on a hotel.

Of course, you may also want to consider staying at a student hostel. You’ll probably share your sleeping space with other travelers – and you won’t have typical hotel amenities like room service – but you can travel quite cheaply if you’re willing to be flexible.

Live Like the Locals

Even experienced travelers sometimes make the mistake of thinking they need to spend a lot of money to enjoy their destination. There’s a time and a place for extravagance, of course, but one of the best ways to make the most of your travel budget is to get to know the locals and find out what they do to enjoy their city.

For example, it’s common for restaurants that attract tourists to have higher prices than the places that the locals eat. Asking a local for a recommendation can help you find a hidden gem you might not have found on your own. The same is true for entertainment. People who live in a city are far more likely to know about low-priced activities than someone who’s just visiting.

Finding the cheapest way to travel requires keeping an open mind and being flexible. The tips we’ve outlined here can help you see the world without spending a fortune.

Our Aspire Checking accounts can help you manage your finances, so you have the money to travel. Click here to learn more.

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