Budget Travel Hacks Every 20-Something-Traveler Should Know


Hitting the road costs money. There are very few ways around that — unless it’s literally your job to travel. The thing is, it doesn’t have to cost that much. In fact, traveling is often far cheaper than many would expect (cheaper even than staying home). Especially with a little forward thought and some travel hacking along the way.

When you’re on the road, every 50 cents you spend on a bottle of water and five bucks you spend on a sandwich adds up. Traveling is something you do every single day. There are no weekends where you can take some time off. Five bucks for a sandwich may feel like a convenience, maybe even a good deal. Times that by 30 days on the road and, now, you’re talking $150. Honestly, who wants to spend $150 on sandwiches when you could be spending that money on beer, art, meeting people, and sharing experiences.

Below are some of the keys we’ve learned while traveling the world. Take this list of advice as less cutting corners and more maximizing what’s out there. These are travel hacks, if you will. Yes, it’s good to cut corners but you also want to experience life to its fullest. Saving some cash — even on a bottle of water — will allow you to spend your cash in a way that really means something to you.


This should be true in everyday life and not just your travel life. You can refill a bottle of water most places around the world. The word you really need to know here is “potable.” Simply Google “is the tap water in x potable?” This should let you know whether you can refill from taps in that country. In the summer, larger cities around the world have public water fountains in parks and on the streets with clear signage for drinking (especially across Europe).

If that’s a little too risky for your comfort, look for designated water filling stations in airports. Are you staying in a hotel? They’ll almost always have water for guests. Ask at the lobby bar for a refill or pop into the gym. The fitness room will often have purified water dispensers in a corner. Fill up that bottle for the day right then and there.

If all else fails, ask at a local coffee shop, bar, or (last ditch) at a restaurant. You might get an off-put look but you’ll also get drinkable water.


When looking for a hotel or hostel, always look for a free breakfast. In Northern Europe, for instance, this will be deli slices of ham and salami, white cheeses, bread of some sort, condiments, fresh fruit, and maybe some eggs. In Italy, you can get Prosciutto di Parma.

First, a free breakfast with your bed saves you having to spend out-of-pocket for that meal. Moreover, bread, deli meat, and condiments are everything you need to make a sandwich for lunch. Wrap that sammie up in a napkin, grab an extra apple, and maybe even one more boiled egg in case you need a mid-afternoon protein boost.

That’s lunch sorted. You’ve now saved enough on food to feel good splurging a little bit on a dinner or a night out.