Did you "travel" in your 20s?

posted 2 years ago in The Lounge
Post # 2
7281 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: October 2011 - Bed & Breakfast

It’s all about priorities. You prioritize a wedding and buying a house over travel, and that’s okay. Other people have a courthouse wedding, and live in a studio apartment in a less expensive neighborhood in order to finance travels. In my 20s I lived in a small 2 bedroom house that I bought for cheap and took small trips. It was the right balance of priorities for me.  

Post # 3
3280 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I’m 21, but feel I’ve already traveled a lot. It started with my family taking us on cruises every year. DH and I continued this tradition when we got engaged when I was 19, he was 21. We went to Mexico, Bahamas, Jamaica, drove to Georgia and Florida several times (from midwest), we really wanted to go to Europe but didn’t have the time. I do think it’s a great time to travel. We still bought a house and a couple cars before getting married this summer. But our parents paid for all of our college expenses and paid for whole wedding, both of which are pretty much expected in my area and surprised me that it wasn’t the case in some areas. There are lots of ways to travel for cheap (hostles, cruises, driving not flying, etc) but when you’re paying for your own wedding etc I can see how it’s difficult. We did both work almost full time through college for good pay so that helped plus we live in a cheaper area of the country. It’s about priorities. For me, I’d have a cheap wedding and travel but that’s not for everyone. 

Post # 4
681 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2013


TwinkleBoss:  For me, my really big “travel the world” trip was right after university – I was lucky in that I lived at home throughout university, and had a part time job, so I was able to save up and then take off to Europe for 3 months. Recently, my DH and I did a “belated honeymoon” and went to South America for three weeks. It was something that was important for us and we prioritized accordingly; for example, we stuck to our wedding budget so we didn’t go over, and had a fairly strict budget for a year in order to pay for the trip. We could have used the money spent on the trip to pay down more of our mortgage, but for us, travelling is really important, so we prioritize accordingly. If for you, a wedding or a home is more important, then that’s what you would prioritize instead of travelling.


* Edit – I should also make note that because we live so far north, we get travel subsidies from both the government, and our jobs. If you don’t use it, you lose it, so we try and take 2 – 3 trips south a year.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  ykyegbride.
Post # 5
716 posts
Busy bee

I don’t think it’s a big mystery.  You are either well-off, you don’t save, or you don’t travel.

Post # 6
2118 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2015

Both FI and I studied abroad in college and got some traveling out of our systems. I think that was the easiest and most affordable way to do it – I studied abroad in Paris, so it was really affordable, once I was already there, to take a weekend trip to other places in Europe. When I was abroad, I went to Ireland, Spain, Greece and Italy. FI studied abroad in South Africa – getting there was expensive, but everything was dirt cheap once he was there, so he was able to travel to Mozambique and Namibia as well as all around South Africa. Then he came and visited me in Paris on his way home.

Since graduating, we haven’t been able to travel TOO much, but we’ve managed to make it to Ireland, the Bahamas and various places in the US. We’ve found the best way to travel is to travel to places you have friends/family. We’re lucky, because we have family and friends all across the country – San Francisco, New Orleans, Nashville, etc. Traveling to visit people is great because you get free lodging (so the only major expense is plane fare) AND you get to see people you love at the same time. Plus, having a local show you around is always better.

For our honeymoon, we’re planning on going to the Greek Islands. Like others have said, it’s a matter of priorities, and travel will definitely continue to be a major priority for us in the next few years until we have kids.

Post # 7
703 posts
Busy bee

I did a working holiday thing straight from uni which lasted 2 years I worked most of my way around Australia. being from Ireland you qualify for a working holiday visa which was great as otherwise I couldnt afford it I did save loads before I left though just working in a shop. I worked some pretty hard jobs while travelling though one of them being picking watermelons in Australia in really hot humid temps 7 days a week For over 3 months to save up more money to continue my travels. I was only 21 I never was used to having money so it was the prefect timing for me. We got to see Africa and some of America too on our trip. I went with my best friend. Now FI and I save our money for vacations rather then nights out and dinners. Now we just wouldn’t be able to take off for 6 weeks to go travelling we have a house careers etc. I would absolutely recommend it though I’m 31 now and all of my 20’s I spent going here there and everywhere without much to tie me down. if you really want to do it do it. Prob before you settle down with a house cos having a house literally sucks every cent out! Trust me!

Post # 8
1209 posts
Bumble bee

The only traveling I really did was to Australia, but that’s because the guy i moved there paid for it.

My story is a bit different I guesse because I was married at 23 divorced at 24… if I could go back I would have saved more and traveled more for sure.

I want to see Europe and its just not a priority, as well getting time off would be difficult… In my early 20’s it would have been so much easier.

Post # 9
2803 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

I was lucky enough to study abroad when I was in college, and had some opertunities between work and school to do more travling.  A few people I studied abroad with did it on the “bank of mom and dad” asking for $1000 per week.  I lasted four months on $3000.  A lot of the travling I have done has been very frugally.  I have couch surfed due to some very generous friends.  I grabbed PB&J from grocery stores instead of eating out.  When I did eat out it would be at places that where cheaper street food that may or may not have been fit for human consumption (ever ate grasshoppers and guac?)  I stayed at reddiculously sketchy hostels in a room full of eastern European men, worn out pairs of shoes walking, spent 4 hours on a bus because it only cost 2 dolars to get to my destination, and put 100K miles on my car instead of flying.  I spent hours bargin hunting, I travled on a Wednesday to a Wednesday for cheaper air fair than leaving on Saturday.  I crossed international lines at midnight because it was cheaper to take a bus and get a flight back inside the states than fly from Vancouver.  I spent 12 hours on layover to save $100 on a flight. 

To be honest, I’m looking forward more to travling when I’m in my 50s/early 60s.  If I stay with my current employer, I will have 27 days off a year by that point and will have the kind of money to enjoy travling instead of worrying about it. 

Post # 10
12905 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

You proritize what matters to you if you can’t have it all.  At the end of it all, you made the choices that were best for you (hopefully). 

For me, I feel I did a good amount of travel a lot in my 20s.  It started with a graduation trip to China, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong, and Hawaii.  I did a ton of travel in the states with my family – DC, Cali, Vegas, Florida, VA, AZ are the top few I remember.  I also traveled with some friends or (ex) bfs to Costa Rica, London, Paris, Spain, Hawaii again, Thailand again, Cambodia.  And with my now DH to Australia and New Zealand for my 30th birthday to wrap up my 20’s. Then after we got married, pre TTC we went to Italy, Switzerland and Peru… and when we didn’t get pregnant after a year, we planned trips to Ireland and Iceland.   We just love travel, but I just was super lucky and was able to land a pretty good paying job out of college and continue to live at home with minimal expenses to save and pay for the trips as well as have savings for our home and wedding when the time came.

Post # 11
2064 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

TwinkleBoss:  we have been to mexico and hawaii. we plan on flordia this year. im 28. there is a lot of sacrifice to saving for trips. first off if we hadnt already bought our tickets for some of these trips then there was no way we were going to go. but if you buy the ticket, well you ahve to go. then you just save up as needed. if you end up camping when youre there then youre camping. we are not the type of people to go somewhere for 5 days only at an all inclusive. when we went to mexico we just went and found places to stay when we were there. i also work work work work. i worked a full time and a second job after to save money for the trip. and we dont have a house. we lived on this crappy little boat for a year, no bathroom, or hot water. another year a small apartment, this year a crappy little trailer that has cracks. so you have to pick and choose what you really want. less here means more there. my family and i used to travel a lot growing up. so its a must for me. i need to get out of dodge or i will go crazy. i mean with all those vacations we could have a huge house now. but im not worried about it. the house will come eventually. just buy the tickerts, then youll have to go. 😉 we waited 7 years to get married but in the mean time we were doing all the things we wanted to. the wedding came later. now its been a year and a half and we are gong to finally go on a honeymoon in october. ;-P DH is worried about affording it but we already ahve the tickets so what else can we do but go. it always works out in the end

Post # 12
2151 posts
Buzzing bee

TwinkleBoss:  We have travelled a moderate amount. Lots in the country and a bit internationally. It’s priorities. We lived with roommates for the first 5 years of our relationship to cut our rent costs, I’m 27 and have never owned a car, he’s 30 and doesn’t have a car. I make all of our food at home, we take our lunches and coffee to work. We don’t spend big on “stuff” and buy large purchases to last and used if possible. We don’t have cable, we don’t have smartphones. By booking way in advance, and living far below our means in every other category we have been able to travel. Our first cross country trip was funded when we were both making about $10/hour. Our total wedding will probably be around 5k, so that we can take an international honeymoon. It’s just priorities, some people love shopping, wining and dining, buying gadgets, cars, etc. We forgo that to travel. 

Post # 13
2114 posts
Buzzing bee

TwinkleBoss:  This is something i am strugging with today.

SO and I go to Vegas ALOT. and want to return for Labor Day. But we are stuck in that awkward stage of what we *should* be doing and what we *want* to do.

I know we SHOULD just put our money in the bank and save it for a house or wedding, but the other part of me feels like this is the time to have fun! We have talked about engagement next year so the money would be helpful, but i feel like in the future we are going to have an expensive mortgage and kids and you cant just pick up and go to vegas whenever you want.

I have done a fair bit of travelling only because my mom lives in australia. I have been fotunate enough to go visit her. I have also been on a couple cruises to mexico. I still have so much i want to do though, hey maybe that vegas money could be used towards a trip to japan!

Maybe you should try to do a few smaller trips? A winery, casino, B&B, beach/lake they can all be little vacations that go a long way. 

Post # 14
592 posts
Busy bee

Everyone has different situations. Most of the people I know that travel a lot work decent part time wages ($9-11/hour) and their parents pay for their schooling and weddings. So the money they make can go to what they want instead of what they need. 

There are a few who spend their college loan allotments on travel though. They’re in their thirties and still paying off undergraduate loans. 

I know of some people that travel on scholarship though. They get paid to go to conferences for their department. You have to be heavily into academia though. 

The other option is just like pp’s said. Priorities. Some people would rather travel a lot and live cheaply, or they don’t have other hobbies they just put their money towards that. 

Post # 15
864 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2015

TwinkleBoss:  it’s all about prioritizing what’s important to you at this time in your life! for you, sounds like you guys want the wedding, and then to start saving for the house. that’s great! 

for us, we got bitten by the travel bug early and have prioritized that over saving up for a house downpayment (since we don’t know exactly where we’ll be–location wise–in 2-3 years when we want to buy anyway). we are perfectly fine with renting a home or apartment for a while, and we don’t have other expensive hobbies.

we both travelled abroad several years ago; i lived and studied in jamaica for over a month, and mr. h went to japan for about that long as well. in addition, our families have always encouraged travel so we’ve been to key west, new york, california, and places in between. next week (ahh!!!) we’re headed to mexico! 

our next trip we’d love to spend 10 days or so in europe, but that will be one that will take about a year to save for. 

personally, i feel that travel is an extremely sound investment: you will broaden your world view, experience things and foods and cultures that you would never have first hand access to by staying in one place. it will change you (in a good way) as a person. plus, for us at least: we want our future kids to be able to travel safely and confidently as much as possible too. we don’t want them to have this fear of ever leaving their tiny bubble. so it’s just a priority for us.

basically my thinking is that, wherever you are in life–whether you have a hubby, kids, or it’s just you–if you have the chance to travel, especially internationally, do it. you’re missing out if all you ever experience is the town where you live!

ETA: if you have other hobbies like DIY furniture, knitting, baking, hunting, etc. if you took all of the money you put towards that in a year (and i mean actually buying the real supplies/tools you’d need for it) it would probably be comparable to what someone could spend on a small trip. travel is our hobby 😉

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 2 months ago by  MrsHalpert.
Leave a comment

Sent weekly. You may unsubscribe at any time.

Find Amazing Vendors