Holidays & Travel

How to travel when you’re ‘young and broke’ – TikTok’s latest buzzy phrase

TikTok content creators have crafted videos outlining the best budget-friendly travel destinations for young Brits.

No money? No problem
person hiking No money? No problem (Alamy Stock Photo)

The urge to travel can be strong – but if money is tight, are those getaways really possible? Especially if you’re ‘young and broke’, a phrase that’s been popping up on TikTok.

The cost-of-living crisis, rising housing and university costs have all hit young Brits hard, leading to increased debt, job losses and lack of savings. Plus, when you’re starting out on the job market, salaries don’t tend to be great.

Yet, despite these challenges, many want to find ways to enjoy travelling abroad, hitting the beach and exploring new destinations.

2H8WBM3 Having cold beers and a good time. Group of happy young people laughing together while hanging out on a rooftop. Cheerful friends enjoying alcoholic
Having cold beers and a good time. Group of happy young people laughing together while hanging out on a rooftop. Cheerful friends enjoying alcoholic d 2H8WBM3 Having cold beers and a good time. Group of happy young people laughing together while hanging out on a rooftop. Cheerful friends enjoying alcoholic (Alamy Stock Photo)

TikTok content creators crafting videos outlining the best budget-friendly destinations for ‘young and broke’ travellers – naming places such as Turkey, Austria and the Czech Republic, for example – are a handy place to look for inspiration.

So, what tips can travel experts share?



What are the easiest ways to travel if you are ‘young and broke’?

Experts are big advocates for second-city travel, encouraging exploration of lesser-known destinations outside the typical tourist hotspots. For instance, opting for Valencia over Barcelona, or Porto over Lisbon, can offer unique and memorable experiences, while being budget-friendly.

Cat Jordan, communications director for travel club Travelzoo, says: “Not only will you get to experience something a little more off the beaten track, but it also means you’ll likely get to enjoy a quieter holiday, away from the hustle and bustle of too many tourists.”

Jordan also advises travellers to remain flexible when booking flight and hotel dates, saying that shifting plans by a day or two earlier can lead to significant savings.

“When it comes to searching for flights or hotels, always choose the flexible search option if you aren’t fussy on dates,” Jordan says.

“That way you’ll know if you’re able to save a few pounds by travelling a day or two earlier. For cheaper hotel rates over a weekend, we recommend travelling on a Sunday to Monday, when room rates are less expensive and there are bargains to be had.

“For beachside breaks, if you’re not looking to lie around in a bikini all week, then Cyprus and Greece are great in the shoulder-season months of April and October. Look at dates outside of school holidays and you’ll likely bag yourself a great deal.”

2M0R5C3 NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA – MAY 21, 2017: Young adults partying on Bayou St. John on boats and along the shoreline during the free Bayou Boogaloo Festival.
NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA - MAY 21, 2017: Young adults partying on Bayou St. John on boats and along the shoreline during the free Bayou Boogaloo Festival 2M0R5C3 NEW ORLEANS, LA, USA – MAY 21, 2017: Young adults partying on Bayou St. John on boats and along the shoreline during the free Bayou Boogaloo Festival. (Alamy Stock Photo)

Travel expert and founder of Girl With The Passport, Kelly Duhigg, says “flexibility is key” for finding flight deals.

She says: “Use Google Flights to track airfares and set price alerts – you’ll often find the best bargains on off-peak travel dates. Earning miles with a travel rewards credit card is another option, just be sure to pay it off each month.

“Hostels are a total game-changer for affordable stays, too. Not only do they have dorm beds and private rooms at a fraction of hotel prices, but you bond with other travellers and often get breakfast included.”

Duhigg also suggests that young people should consider taking advantage of house-sitting opportunities.

She explains: “Through TrustedHousesitters, you can stay in homes around the world for free in exchange for caring for pets while the owners are away. It’s a fantastic way to save on accommodation.

“Couch-surfing is also great – you meet locals who let you crash on their couch or spare room, and they usually show you around too.”

Are there easy ways to limit spending and stick to a budget during a low-cost break? 

Trimming food costs can help young travellers save cash, as relying on grocery stores, restaurants and market stalls can heavily decrease expenditure.

Sara Rodriguez, founder of Madrid Traveling, says: “To trim food costs, I rely heavily on grocery stores, mini-marts, and market stalls. Affordable staples let me picnic in parks and prepare light meals in guest kitchens.

“I also learned that blending in means adopting local customs – so joining locals for an afternoon coffee or beer is often wallet-friendly, while gaining cultural insights. Street food, too, offers snacks on the go at budget-perfect prices.”

Pre-planning transportation while you are on holiday is another great budgeting tip, as Rodriguez recommends: “With a little pre-planning, public transportation, ride-shares, and bicycle rentals also open up less expensive transit options beyond high taxi fares between areas.

“Travel guidebooks map out journeys by combining walking segments with affordable modes. Staying a zone or two out from the city centre also finds cheaper, residential neighbourhoods.”

2PYY8AM Group of friends sitting on wooden jetty with hands in the air, feeling joyful. Young adults on vacation together. Holiday, fun, lifestyle concept.
Group of friends sitting on wooden jetty with hands in the air, feeling joyful. Young adults on vacation together. Holiday, fun, lifestyle concept. 2PYY8AM Group of friends sitting on wooden jetty with hands in the air, feeling joyful. Young adults on vacation together. Holiday, fun, lifestyle concept. (Alamy Stock Photo)

On travelling while being ‘young and broke’, co-owner of website Frequent Traveller, Rosalind Cuthbertson, says: “The key is knowing when to spend money versus going for the cheapest option. We would splurge for must-see sights and adventures. Everything else was an opportunity to save as much as possible.

“It felt so empowering and made us even more passionate about travel! I believe being ‘young and broke’ taught us to be resourceful in ways that still help us run Frequent Traveller today.

“There’s something special about spontaneously exploring the world through youthful energy and clever budget tricks. It builds your sense of adventure!”