How Do Young People Afford to Travel? The Answers May Surprise You

Photo of author

We live in an era where wanderlust knows no bounds. There is always someone you know in real life or on social media globetrotting. What is even more impressive is young people who have just recently gotten into the workforce, taking weeks and months traveling. 

A social media poster asked a question wanting to know how these young people who seem to be traveling full time do it. Where do they get the money for flights, accommodation, and other travel costs? Don’t they have jobs to keep?

Responding to OP’s question, many young travelers explained how they manage to travel at a young age. 

1. Investing in Journeys, Not Possessions

Investing in Journeys
Image Credit:

One commenter revealed that they would rather spend their money on travel than anything else. Of all things, travel makes them the happiest, so they would always choose it over anything. 

“I don’t do anything else. Whenever I think about spending money, I convert it to “days of travel” and decide which will make me happier. It’s almost always traveling,” they said. 

It is undoubtedly a lot easier if all your money goes into nothing else but travel. 

2. Expenses? Not So Much for Many Youths

Sports for Kids
Image Credit:

Travel becomes much more affordable if you have no expenses such as kids and rent. 

Commenters who traveled widely in their 20s only had kids once they were in their 30s. Some stayed with their parents until their mid-20s. 

 “No kids, budget monthly income, save 15% of income for travel. Live at home and have no expenses,” said one of the commenters.

3. Hoard Vacation and Sick Days for Adventures

Second Job
Image Credit:

One of the original poster’s concerns was if the people globetrotting have jobs. Obviously, with a full-time job, getting up one day and booking a one-month trip to the other end of the planet becomes difficult. 

Many commenters revealed that they get a job, work endlessly as they save, and quit to travel, then repeat. 

However, one other commenter disclosed how they manage to travel but keep their job: “I can only travel for a few weeks at a time, max of a month per year. I save all my PTO throughout the year, save money, and take my vacation each year to go where I want to. When I am at home, I work, and I try not to take any time off so I can travel more. No three-day weekends or sick days if I can help it.”

4. Pinching Pennies to Fund Adventures

Travel budget concept. Travel money savings in a glass jar with aircraft toy on world map.

One commenter revealed that they live a frugal life, and all the money they save goes into travel. 

“Live below your means and prioritize traveling if it’s what you want to do. My wife and I aren’t rich, but we’ve visited Europe several times. The biggest thing I’ve noticed is most people don’t live below their means and do not know how to give up other things to open up some financials or time for travel,” they said. If you want to see the world but are on a budget, you may want to sacrifice some things you are used to. 

5. Ditch the Pricey Tourist Spots and Embrace the Charm of Affordable Havens

Young Caucasiasn couple on the bamboo bridge near rice field, Thailand

Traveling to affordable destinations allows you to take longer holidays. We know you want to go to Europe for months or to that expensive tropical island …a one-week trip there may cost you more than several months trips to other destinations. 

 If you are looking to go for months before returning, you may want to consider destinations such as Southeast Asia; as one commenter revealed, “I’ve seen people spend less in 6 months backpacking in S.E Asia than I spend in a week on my vacations. There are many different ways to afford it. People think it’s all lavish, but money goes so far in some places. Literally can get a pretty amazing suite in SEA for like $20-50/night. Hostels are $5-20/night. Pay for a flight with points, and that’s a cheap vacation. People think it costs the same as traveling in the US or Europe, but it’s much cheaper.”

6. Embrace Digital Nomadism and the Remote Work Wave

Digital nomad sitting alone
Image Credit: Gutierrez Zozulia

There is a surge of people getting remote jobs, selling all their possessions, saving for a few things that can fit in a suitcase, and leaving to see the world as they work. A lot of times, digital nomadism ends up costing a lot less than staying in one place and paying exorbitant rent prices. 

“My brother is a “digital nomad.” I’m pretty sure spending half the year in Thailand costs him less than staying here in Australia. Plus, there’s not much to spend your money on when you need all your possessions to fit in a suitcase,” said one commenter. 

While the trick may lie in finding more affordable destinations, a lot of young travelers agree that digital nomadism has helped them see more countries than they would ever have if they kept corporate office jobs. 

7. Crafting the Illusion for Social Media

Beautiful young woman selfie in the park
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

One commenter let us in on another perspective that may have been overlooked. They revealed that many Instagram travel influencers do not travel month after month like they make it seem. 

They have the tactics to make you believe they have been to a destination for a month when they have only been there for a few days. 

“ I used to work trying to find influencers for brands to work with, and I’ve seen influencers roll up to a place with many outfit changes. They then spend 1-3 hours changing up outfits, hair, makeup, etc., making it seem like they were at a location over many days when, in actuality, they didn’t visit; they just did a lame photoshoot for an afternoon. So remember, on social media, things can easily be faked. Some companies rent out jets just for photoshoots. It’s easier to pretend you took a private jet by snapping a few quick photos. I know of influencer collectives who will get 40 girls together to go all in on a 3-hour photoshoot in a private jet (on the ground, it never leaves),” said the commenter. 

7. Discover Europe Through Au Pairing

woman tourist in spain
Image Credit: Deposit Photos

One commenter revealed they have only managed to tour Europe because they worked as a pair.

“I worked as an au pair in Europe for years! It was a great way to work overseas, learn a new language, and travel,” they said. With cheap flights between European countries, it becomes very easy to tour many places on the continent, even on a small budget. 

8. Embark on an Asian Journey as an English Teacher

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

If you have no responsibilities holding you back, you may want to take the great opportunity of teaching English in Asia. 

A handful of commenters revealed that they got to tour Asian countries when they taught English there. 

“Still a popular option to this day. Teaching English in China is how I started as a nomad in the 00’s. I’ve met numerous people across age ranges who do this to fund their frequent travel throughout Asia. I’ve since moved on to running an online business, but teaching English is a fantastic way for youngsters to get started living/traveling abroad,” revealed one comment. 

9. School Breaks: Teachers’ Time for Adventures

Image Credit: Zigic

One of the pros of being a teacher is that you get long paid holidays. A teacher in the comment section revealed that they save so much when schools are in session and travel widely when holidays begin. 

“I traveled for 7mo when I was 26 or so. It was once in a lifetime, and I saved for years to do it. I do up to 8 weeks these days, but that’s because I’m a teacher and get substantial vacation compared to most of my fellow Americans. I’m also getting paid during the summer, so I do have a steady income during that time,” they said. 

10. Capitalize on Your Credit Card Points

kid credit card
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Credit card travel points have made travel for youngsters a lot more affordable. If you are not using it to your advantage, you are certainly losing out. 

“Build up travel points with a credit card. You put your normal monthly expenses on it (rent, cell phone, insurance, etc.) and pay off each month just like you would pay it without the card,” said one commenter. 

11. Forgo the Luxurious Aspects of Travel

happy man tourist
Image Credit: DavideAngeliniShutterstock

While travel has widely been portrayed as fancy hotels and glamorous destinations, a section of commenters skipped all these parts that cost a lot of money and went for the cheapest possible ways to see the world. 

This group of people believes that travel should not always entail luxury, but the experience one gets. 

“In my life, it works like this: – hitchhiking+couchsurfing (maybe even dumpster diving). – always low cost or cheap flight options – journalist ID for museums. I backpacked (used Couchsurfing, dumpster diving, sleeping in my tent/the streets) with little to no money across Europe,” said one commenter. 

Certainly not for everyone, but it worked for them, and they got to see a chunk of the world others haven’t.

12. Seek Out Volunteer Roles

Image Credit:

Volunteering in other countries is an opportunity to participate in noble courses, meet other volunteers, and get the opportunity to see new places and communities for free. 

If you are a youngster looking to travel for free, you may want to consider volunteering projects as one commenter suggested: “Volunteering (work trade) works similarly. Not only can you cut practical costs, but a community of other volunteers enhances the travel experience”

10 Things Americans Need to Avoid Doing in Europe

man tourist yelling
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

We get it. Setting off to a new place always stirs up a mix of excitement and nerves. There’s the thrill of discovering a new place, but there’s also the reality of being somewhere completely foreign. You’re surrounded by different languages, customs, and ways of life.

10 Things Americans Need to Avoid Doing in Europe

Want to Travel for Free? Here Are 14 Ways to Get Started

Young handsome man wearing casual sweater standing over isolated white background excited for success with arms raised and eyes closed celebrating victory smiling. Winner concept.
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Do you love exploring new places, but they don’t always fit your budget? Here are our tips on how to travel for free.

Want to Travel For Free? Here are 14 Ways to Get Started

Boomer vs Gen Z Housewives: A Whimsical Comparison of Two Generations, United by Oven Mitts

retro woman red polka dot dress
Image Credit: Deposit Photos.

Once upon a time, the role of a housewife was as clearly defined as the grooves in a vinyl record. Fast forward to the 2020s, and the concept of a housewife has evolved into a multi-faceted, dynamic occupation.

Join us as we time travel through the decades to compare the lives of Boomer housewives with their Gen Z counterparts highlighting 12 groovy-to-trendy differences.

Boomer vs Gen Z Housewives: A Whimsical Comparison of Two Generations, United by Oven Mitts

This article was produced by Our Woven Journey.

Website | + posts

I am deeply passionate about making money online, saving money, investing correctly, traveling affordably and living frugally.