This blog post was updated on May 28, 2020.

It is no secret that millennials love to travel. What millennials might love even more than travel is saving money on travel. They tend to spend less money on travel than older generations, and they manage to squeeze in more trips each year. However, millennials are not immune to mistakes when it comes to saving while seeing the world. At times, their penny-pinching ways can actually have the opposite effect.

Whether you are a millennial or you just love traveling like one, don’t make these costly mistakes when you travel.

Packing Too Light

Backpacker travelling through Europe by train.

Millennials love to pack light. They don’t want to pay baggage fees or be tied down to a lot of luggage when they’re trying to globe-trot. And while packing light can save money, sometimes they go a bit too extreme. Millennials might resolve to just pick up items they need as they travel rather than forking over the $25 baggage fee. If you’re someone who travels like this, you could end up buying a lot of things when you get to your destination. Suddenly, that baggage fee seems like a steal. Some credit cards and airlines will even lend free checked bags. Rather than just assuming you can carry on a small backpack for a 3-month trip to Europe, do the math first. Calculate how much you’ll have to buy when you get there and see if it’s more than paying a baggage fee to pack just a little bit more.

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Assuming an Apartment Rental Is Always Cheaper Than a Hotel

Woman tourist backpacker relax in high quality hotel room

When it comes to accommodations, millennials love to check in to apartments and vacation rentals; they can get tunnel vision, assuming the apartment rental is always a cheaper option when compared to a hotel. However, this can end up costing them more when they travel. Apartment rentals aren’t always cheaper than hotels, especially when you factor in deposits and cleaning fees. You don’t want to assume that it’s always the cheaper option. By doing a bit of price comparison, you might find hotels can be a bargain compared to an apartment rental.

Always Consulting the Online World for Travel Tips and Advice

Embracing couple using mobile phone in cafe

Millennials grew up online, connected and dialed in with cell phones. And as they travel, they love nothing more than to consult the online world for where they should eat, where they should go, and what they should do. And while you can stretch your budget by constantly polling your online community, you can also be missing tips and advice from locals right under your nose, which could also end up saving you a lot of money. Sometimes going with the flow of your destination, having a chat or two with a shop owner, can lead to cost-saving benefits your online world might not give you.

Staying Outside the City Center to Save Money

attractive traveler waiting for public transport standing on bus stop

Accommodations can often eat away at travel budgets. Millennials don’t want that to happen so they will often select the hotel, hostel, or apartment that is far outside the city they want to visit. While these properties are often cheaper than staying in the heart of town, being cheap can end up costing precious time and money. With limited vacation days, you’ll spend much of your trip on public transportation just trying to get to where you want to be. Again, price comparison is key here. Sure, that hostel on the outskirts of Rome might be several euros less than the one in the center, but how much will public transportation cost you each day? By spending a little bit more on accommodations in a good location, you won’t be wasting as much time, and generally as much money, getting to where you want to go.

Trying to Plan It All On Your Own

Hipster guy checking message on cellular during studying at netbook

Millennials don’t like to just sign up for a tour that includes flights, accommodations, meals, and attractions. They are an independent-minded group, often organizing their own travels by booking flights, hotels, tours, and car rentals separately. Millennials hunt for the best deal on each area and in turn believe that they’ve lucked out by doing so. However, sometimes bundling hotels and flights can be more cost-effective than trying to book each separately on your own. And while millennials have an aversion to big tours, these too can be easy on the wallet, totaling far less than if they booked each area on their own.

Millennials might think that they have traveling cheaply down to a science, but they’re still making mistakes along the road that can end up being costly.

What other millennial travel tendencies have you found that actually ended up costing you more money? Share your experiences with us in the comments below.


About The Author

Suzy Guese is a travel writer from Denver, Colorado. She caught the travel bug after taking her very first flight at just three months old—she was headed for Disney World—and has been a total travel junkie ever since. From family car trips across North America to stints abroad in Europe, Suzy travels the globe with her redheaded temperament in search of sarcasm, stories, and travel tips to share with anyone willing to listen. She blogs about her travels at