How to Budget for Vacations in your 20s

If you have made it into the working world, congratulations! You are in a position where other people your age want to be, because while they’re struggling with the job search and still drinking natty light, you are earning a paycheck and hopefully saving some sort of money for the future. But, you have to remember — don’t burn yourself out.

While we all need to work and make our way up the “ladder,” we also need to keep our sanity in check. We will be working for the rest of our lives, so take advantage of your twenties and have a blast. Go somewhere new, visit friends if they have dispersed around the country, and if you can’t get far away, I’m sure there are plenty of places you haven’t been that are much closer than you think.

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You should always be making the most of your vacation days. Stretch them out so you can have multiple adventures throughout the year! Here are some tips that I use to make my vacation days and money last through the year to help afford multiple trips:

1. Use the weekends to your advantage

Most people like to take a full week for ultimate relaxation and stress relief, but keep in mind that plane tickets and hotels are much more expensive on the weekends. My go-to move is to get to my destination mid-week and leave after the weekend. Not only do you get to experience the fun associated with the weekend, but you are saving on the cost of the plane tickets and/or hotels while still getting 5-6 days away from the office. I have seen airline tickets for $78 dollars on a Thursday night compared to $128 on a Friday or Saturday night—that is a significant price jump, especially for a mid-20s partier on a budget. 

2. Drink in your hotel first

Unless you are staying at an all inclusive resort, you are going to have to pay for booze—shocker! Going out can get extremely expensive, but stocking up and having a good pre-game can diminish those costs. If you are a guy, you aren’t getting any free drinks by showing off the sweet tribal band you got inked when you turned 18, so we need to keep the wallet fat and happy. Taking the time to pre-game properly will hopefully get you through the night by only having to buy a couple drinks to keep you motivated enough to take on that karaoke stage. Obviously alcohol is much cheaper in bulk and away from the bars, so stock up and, in the wise words of Mr. Tom Brady, “Yeah, start drinking early. Get nice and rowdy… they’ll have a lot of time to get lubed up…” I understand this may not be the perfect quote, but all the pieces are there…

3.  Happy Hour Isn’t Just for Drinks

I know, I know—lots of you will disagree that happy hour is strictly about half price drinks. Living in a state where happy hour is nonexistent because the city is a bunch of drunks, I understand that the drinks are important. But I am a lover of food and I love trying food in new places—well, anything other than spicy food (i’m a child and can’t handle the shit—get over it). Happy hour is full of great discounted food items, so again if you aren’t at an all inclusive resort, you can sample some local flavor and save a few dollars for that hangover brunch or crucial blue Gatorade the next morning. 

There are literally hundreds of little tips to save money and get the most out of your vacation while in your twenties, but these are some easy ones to think about so you can save some money to later throw at your rent or student loans, so you can remain in your overpriced apartment another month, or like I mentioned in the beginning, plan another trip! Take the time to put some effort into planning your trip and you will have all new experiences and a lot of fun. It’s still all about having a good time at this stage in our lives…right? Enjoy!

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