How To Save For Travel When You’re Young, A Student, Or Even Broke
Travel is one of the greatest wonders in life. It teaches you more things than you could ever imagine about yourself and the world. But how can you save for travel when you are young, a student, or even broke?
These three things obviously present some obstacles but it isn’t impossible. All it will take is getting a little creative, having some self-discipline, and finding the right deals.
Unfortunately for most of the world, travel has been put on hold temporarily. But I have faith that we’re going to get back to travel freedom someday. It shouldn’t take your attention away from saving up to travel. Instead, it should intensify your focus on saving as much money as possible so when the world does open back up, you can get right back to it.
Let’s jump into the 5 ways you can save for travel when you are young, a student, or even broke.
1) Split Up Your Paycheck
The simplest and easiest way to save for travel when you are young is to split up your paycheck. Below is an image of a local bank account I have that pulls out a small percentage of my paycheck every single week.
The amounts may not seem huge at first, but when you do this week after week, month after month, the total amount of money can really start adding up.
There are two ways to do this. The first, and the one I would suggest, is to talk to human resources at your company or whoever does payroll. For small companies, this may be a secretary or accountant. Ask them if they can add another bank account to your direct deposit. If your company uses direct deposit then this should be no problem.
After that, all you have to do is give them the other bank accounts information and tell them how much money (either a percentage or dollar amount) you want to be split out of every paycheck.
If you don’t have direct deposit or if your company claims they aren’t able to do this, you can still do it manually. The only downside here is that it takes a little more work on your end. But if you are serious about saving for travel you should make the effort. It will be worth it.
Automating your finances when saving for travel when you are young or a student is a powerful tool that you should implement as soon as you can. Then when you are ready to invest, you can use the skills you’ve already learned and transfer them to other finance areas.
2) Hack Credit Card Reward Points
If you are familiar with this site then you will know my favorite style of travel is by using credit card reward points. I love credit cards because they give me the ability to travel for free and they can do that for you as well.
No, I’m not trying to sell you on a scam here, I’m being serious. Credit cards get a bad reputation because people simply can’t manage them but if you follow the golden rule of credit cards then they can help you save huge on travel. That rule is:
Pay the statement balance on your card off in full every single month without exception.
If you don’t have a credit card, or want to learn more about credit cards and how they work then I would suggest you read my article How Do Credit Cards Work? – A Simple Guide With Examples.
So how can they help you save for travel? Well by the magic of points. Now, these points come in a couple of different varieties and can also differ by card. Yes, a lot to process but I have linked some helpful pieces of content below.
Depending on the type and what you buy, when you pay for things with a credit card you earn points. I always suggest that you use the credit cards for the every day things you have to buy. When you pay off that monthly bill, you will be given reward points. These points are then redeemable for things like flights, rental cars, or hotel stays.
I don’t know the last time I paid for a flight. Seriously, they have always been “bought” with credit card reward points.
If you want some more resources on how we hack credit card reward points then check out these resources:
- Are Credit Card Rewards Worth It? – Cash Back, Travel, and More!
- Why You Need The (Amex) American Express Gold Card
- Travel To Banff For Under $600 – Flights, Hostel, and More!
3) Add In A Side Hustle
If you are serious about traveling when you are young, a student, or even broke then prove it by adding in a side hustle. When people hear the term side hustle, they think it needs to be some exciting job that is going to earn them thousands of dollars.
This is far from the truth.
You can travel for relatively cheap so there is no need to earn thousands of dollars. You just need to make money.
The quickest way to do this is to ask family and friends if there is anything you can do for them in exchange for cash. Let them know what you want to make money for and don’t get suckered into working for free (although it is good to help others for free sometimes and we’re not suggesting you take advantage of your family. Use common sense.)
Tasks like cleaning out their gutters, washing their cars, or cleaning carpets aren’t the most exciting things in the world but people will pay you to do them.
If you are still struggling with finding some side gigs then put a post up on your favorite social media site. Simply stating:
“I’m trying to earn and save some money so I can travel more in the near future. If you are in need of someone to do some things around the house or your business let me know. I’m good at these things…”
A post like that is sure to drive some attention and bound to help you earn some money so you can travel.
4) Be A Frugal Traveler
Social media and Instagram, in particular, have skewed what traveling is. Yes, it would be amazing to always stay in 5-star resorts and have amazing views 24/7 but that isn’t what travel is about. At least not to me.
Travel is about exploring. It’s about getting out of your comfort zone and meeting new people. To do all of those things you don’t need to spend a fortune but you do need to be a frugal traveler.
When planning a trip, set some sort of a budget. Start looking for deals on flights and places to stay as early as possible. Understand you don’t need to eat out every single meal and that you can actually grocery shop while traveling. It will save you a ton of money.
We aren’t always the best at being frugal travelers but some of our successful attempts at it were:
- Travel To Banff For Under $600 – Flights, Hostel, and More!
- Travel to Iceland for Only $1000
- Travel To Cozumel, Mexico For $850. Flights, Food, and Tequila
- How Much Does It Cost To Backpack Europe Alone?
Someday when you aren’t as young, a student or just straight-up broke you may be able to afford the fancy things that travel can offer. Trust me, I look forward to the day I can blow a little more money than I planned. But for now, I’m going to keep enjoying traveling frugally.
5) Cut Back On Some Major Expenses
This last tip is one that some of you aren’t going to want to hear but maybe it will serve as a wake-up call.
You need to cut back on major expenses.
This website’s name is literally Young, Dumb, and NOT Broke?! Its whole mission is to teach people how to start managing their money at a young age so they don’t ever have to be broke again. One of the major things we teach here is learning how to manage and cut back on unnecessary expenses.
If you want to travel, like really want to travel, then you need to make it a priority to save accordingly. Yes, I know that going out for dinner or buying that new pair of shoes seems like its something you need but do you really? Or would you rather take that same money and put it towards an all-inclusive resort in Mexico?
That decision is up to you, but I know where I want to put my money.
In addition, cutting back on your expenses doesn’t mean you can’t have your morning coffee from Starbucks. If you enjoy it, then spend the money. Trade-off by finding the little things that you don’t value as much and cut them out.
Or if you want to take a more drastic approach, look at your biggest expenses like where you stay and what you drive. There is no shame in moving back in with family or driving a more reasonable vehicle if it means you have better experiences. More and more people are doing it and if it works for you, then great!
The Bottom Line
It doesn’t matter how young you are, where you are in school, or even if you are broke. I hope this article has sparked some creative ideas of how you can mold your personal situation to start saving up enough to travel.
Of the limited traveling I’ve done, it has always been on a budget. I can’t afford the boujee first-class flights or the fine dining experiences. Those things would be cool but they wouldn’t be the most important memories to me.
Like I said earlier the best part about traveling is exploring, getting out of your comfort zone, and meeting new people. Having the local experience and learning something new is the coolest part of traveling. Those are the memories that stick.
So start saving and go against the common theme that you can’t travel if you are young, a student, or even currently broke.
If you liked this post then please share by hitting the icons above and if you want to read more articles here are my latest:
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