During my time at the University of Oklahoma, the best advice I have been given is to save. Save your old tennis shoes in case you have to paint something or run through the rain. Save your aluminum cans so you can make a few dollars when you get poor. Save your old teddy bear for when you get homesick and your mom doesn’t answer the phone. Save your old food and make a compost pile. Save your plasma until you REALLY need a few bucks. Save your money in case you want to travel to Europe at any time. Saving is the key to everything. Saying no to getting a soda with your dinner can save you $2.50. After 50 skipped sodas, you have $125! Money is the root of our daily lives, so learning to save a few dollars here and there can make or break your first big trip.
Once you have successfully saved a good amount of money, next comes the budgeting part. For many travelers in their 20’s, this part is the worst. Your account is most likely exploding with money, which is great! But, being a money conscious traveler is just as important as saving. Don’t book that hotel that is €210 a night. Book the hostile that is $40 a night so that you can go climb to the top of the leaning tower of Pisa, rather than photographing it from below. As you travel from city to city, don’t spend money on senseless things like shoes and clothes when you know you packed plenty. Instead, spend some money on a small souvenir, more gelato or a big baguette.
By restraining yourself from buying things you don’t desperately need (or can fit in your suitcase) you may be able to fit in another city, or upgrade your train ticket to first class. Setting a budget for your trip and staying in that budget no matter what can save you from checking an extra bag or from paying off a loan later.