How To Travel the World in Your 20s

how to travel the world in your 20s

Looking for a way to travel the world in your 20s..without quitting your job, taking out a loan, etc.?

You’re young.

You’re broke.

You  barely have 10 vacation days in your shitty underpaid entry level job.

Yet you have 18 types of social media explaining “why you should travel the world in your 20s” and colorful bold print phrases like “JUST GO” over backdrops of Thailand popping up on your Facebook feed.

How do you do it?

Quit banging your head against the wall because here’s a solution:



1. Find A Job That Involves Travel

Before you skip this step and write it off as merely impossible, I need you to believe that it’s not. By find a job in travel, I don’t mean you need to be a travel blogger, a tour guide or in a Circus to travel the world. There are many normal jobs out there that are trying to hire young and sociable people that are willing to travel like yourself. Think marketing or sales.

I’ve been to California and Europe multiple times for work (and not just work either). Once they already have to pay for my flight, it’s usually no big deal to extend the trip for a week so I can do some sight seeing. The other great part? You collect the airline miles. The only thing better than getting to travel the world, is getting to travel the world on someone else’s dime.

Find my post on How to Find A Career that Involves Travel here.


2. Learn How to Travel on a Budget

Most people think this just means buying a Groupon and calling it a day. Every Groupon I’ve ever seen has been something that I knew I could do cheaper. Knowing what you should pay for things takes practice.

Use my guide to find the cheapest flights. I once found a flight for $491 dollars to Venice Italy, with a 13 hour layover in Istanbul both ways. I paid less than $500 to see two different countries. Not bad.

Stay in hostels. Not only is it cheap, but you will have the chance to meet people that you otherwise wouldn’t have.


3. Learn How to Save

No, this doesn’t have to include eating Ramen Noodles for 6 months straight and becoming a hermit.. although it might if you want to purchase a ticket to New Zealand or Southeast Asia.

Saving money is as easy as grocery shopping, being a Nazi about the AC & heat, and using your roommate’s razor for a couple months (and toothpaste, shampoo..whatever). Pregame before you hit the bar to avoid spending money on drinks. Sure, you might make a fool of yourself, but you’ll be the one laughing when your getting shitfaced at Oktoberfest next fall.


4. Research Airline Credit Cards

There are a lot of credit cards that will add bonus miles just for signing up. I hate US Airways, but even I couldn’t neglect a 40,000 miles bonus for signing up for the US Airways Credit card. The Capital One Venture card offers 40,000 bonus miles when you spend 3,000 in the first three months, AND you get 2 miles for every dollar you spend. You should put all your purchases on a credit card, miles will add up, just remember to pay it off every month.


5. Decide How Important Traveling the World is to You

I don’t have a lot of money in my bank account, and I’m okay with that. This is because I know that I would rather explore now than regret it later. Sure, I’m not reckless. I have enough to support myself if my life took a spin for the worst, but lets just say that I’m not exactly saving up for retirement either.


 6. Be Smart About Vacation Days

Feeling too sick for work? Have a cough? Can’t make it out of bed today? Well you better get your shit together because every day you spend laying in bed watching Netflix could have been the day you climbed the Eiffel Tower or rode a gondola down the Grand Canal. I don’t use my sick days for sick days. If your trying to travel the world, and your already in your 20’s, every single day counts.

There are multiple holidays every year to take advantage of. You should also be taking advantage of weekends. You can almost have a 10 day vacation with only using 5 vacation days if you plan your trip correctly.


 7. Make More Money with Your Side Gigs

Working 40 hours a week and having a social life and having time to watch the whole season of Orange is the New Black in one week leaves no time for a second job. You can sign up for random event Gigs on Craiglist, sell old clothes on PoshMark, make money off of old junk on Amazon, and get paid for anything random on Fiverr. There are a lot of options to make a little extra cash on the side without a large commitment.


I am sick and tired of telling people about my trips and hearing “oh I wish I could do that”.how to travel the world in your 20s

You can.

So think next time you are buying that next round of shots. You’re already drunk, and some poor dude at the bar will probably buy them for you anyway.  Your saving for Brazil.



  • I LOVE this post. While I will be (sadly) exiting my 20s in just a few months, I traveled quite a bit during them while still working a full-time job. As many places as I would love to see in the world, I don’t want to be broke, sleeping on people’s couches, eating ramen noodles just to achieve that. I hate how it’s either all or nothing in regards to travel (you either are the broke backpacker who “sees” things or you don’t see anything). There can be a happy medium and you and all of us other 9-5 types are definitely testament to that!

  • Thanks for commenting Julie! Although this post was written for us twenty somethings, I’m sure it still applies for any age. Even though it can be difficult finding the time and money to travel with a 9-5, those who are passionate about it will make it happen!

  • Cody Grimes says:

    I just found this article, I like #7 the most.

    You don’t need a lot of money to travel, and if you know how, you can actually hustle 1-2k a month pretty easily with little to no skills.

    I believe in hustling on the road WHILE you travel, and that’s something I teach on my blog after being homeless in Arizona for 2 years. I’m reading more of your stuff 🙂

  • Cindy A says:

    I am 53, but want to tell you that traveling is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. People that don’t travel, grow up with the view that the rest of the world is “different than they are” and that the rest of the world is to be competed against; especially in America. My 20-something nieces and nephews think ” ‘Merica’ ” is the only country in the world (*yell* with fist pump). They actually view the rest of the world as enemies.

    But if you travel, you increase your knowledge and empathy. You will see that people in other countries are just like you (but often times better). You will be more likely to donate when they have a natural disaster. You will be more likely to vote for a president that uses dialogue to resolve differences instead of guns.

    As well, with all the things working against us, such as dirty politicians, GMO’s that will give us cancer and autoimmune disease in our early 40’s, etc……it’s imperative that you travel, and travel NOW while you can.

    Now for my tip on saving money in travel: Do your research on the flight comparison sites that show you all the flights and their prices; find the price you like, but don’t you dare buy it from them. Instead, go to the airline website and purchase there, but only after you’ve registered to receive free air miles. Buying from the travel comparison sites will not save you money because all the airlines nowadays are advertising that you won’t find cheaper flights anywhere else (and you can even check the price of the airline vs the flight comparison site and you’ll see that it’s the same price). So don’t give up those free miles; buy directly from the airline.

    My tip on saving money PRIOR to traveling: Buy all your clothes from thrift stores. I personally like to buy mostly NEW clothes….however, I get them from the thrift stores! Goodwill and Salvation Army are NOT the stores you want to go to as they usually have the worst clothes. Instead go to a Savers, if you have one, or any other non-Goodwill, non-Salvation Army thrift store. Many local department stores will donate their unsold end-of-season merchandise to the better thrift stores, and thus you can find tons of brand new clothing with the tags still attached. There’s nothing more rewarding than buying a brand new gorgeous Ann Taylor or Express sweater for $4.

    • Hi Cindy,

      Thanks for commenting, I completely agree with your statement about people that don’t travel. It’s definitely important to get out there and see what the world is like with your own eyes in order to understand it. Great tips too, thanks for all your wisdom!


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