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Think like a Gen Z: How to Fit Adventures and Travelling into Your Budget Now


Gen Z stands out for their unique approach to travel. Unlike past generations, who often waited until securing high-paying jobs or accumulating substantial savings, Gen Z is adopting a new mindset that prioritises adventure.

Gary Clark, Academy Director at Basecamp, said:

“Instead of waiting for the perfect conditions, Gen Z seize the moment and follow whatever opportunities are available to them. This could include working abroad so they can earn while travelling on a budget.”

While financial cost remains a major concern for young travellers, with 76% of full-time students aged 18 to 25 citing it as such, their attitudes towards travel aren’t affected much.

In fact, the survey showed that only 8% would halt their travelling altogether due to the cost-of-living crisis, while 65% would look for the cheapest options.

“By embracing the adventure mindset, individuals can open themselves up to a world of possibilities without the constraints of traditional financial expectations.” continued Gary Clark.

In this article, we explore the mindset of Gen Z and share some budgeting hacks that can help anyone embrace their adventurous side without breaking the bank.

Flexible travel dates

Gen Z understands that being flexible with travel dates can result in significant cost savings. The key is to be open to exploring different travel options and have the right tools at hand to make your search successful.

Airlines use ‘dynamic pricing’, which implies that ticket fares fluctuate based on the number of tickets sold and the time remaining before departure. The most affordable flight on one day may not necessarily be a favourable deal the next. Generally, Tuesday is considered the cheapest day to travel and Saturday the most expensive one, but again, that may vary. Skyscanner’s Savings Generator is a new tool that tells you which day would have the best prices for you and how much you will save by booking for then compared to average prices.

There are other comparison sites that can help you with “window shopping” for the best deal, such as Kayak and Google Flights, and you can also set up alerts to see how your desired flights are performing price-wise.

Last-minute deals and fare finders

Opting for budget airlines and keeping an eye on last-minute deals can lead to substantial savings. Gen Z is adept at leveraging technology to find the best bargains. Numerous apps and websites specialise in offering last-minute travel deals, allowing you to find affordable flights and accommodation.

Most airlines also have in-house tools such as fare finders that give you an overview of cheaper tickets in the nearer months, as long as you’re flexible with your dates.

Accommodation alternatives

Gen Z is known for exploring unconventional accommodation options. Beyond traditional hotels, consider hostels, Airbnb, or even CouchSurfing for a more affordable and authentic experience. Many Gen Z travellers prioritise the cultural aspect of their journeys, seeking connections with locals that go beyond standard tourist experiences.

Vocational travel

Purpose-driven travel is gaining a lot of traction amongst young people. According to a recent StudentUniverse survey, 78% of the respondents would go on a vocational trip if the opportunity was there. Long-term travel experiences such as a gap year volunteering abroad or a work experience equip you with transferable and interpersonal skills that can be applied to further career development.

Long-term vocational travel isn’t suitable only for Gen Z. In fact, recent research by Applied shows that 33% of UK employees have taken a career break of six months or more. The adult gap year can be anything from taking a work-approved sabbatical to doing a ski course abroad.

“Both a gap year and a career break can be a very productive time in which you combine rest with learning new skills, and possibly, changing the course of your life for the better. Becoming a ski instructor means that you can earn from what you love doing while travelling, whether it’s a seasonal thing or a full-time career,” commented Gary Clark at Basecamp.

Earn while you travel

The gig economy has empowered us to earn money while on the road. Consider freelance work, remote jobs, or short-term gigs that allow you to sustain your travels. Many digital platforms connect freelancers with opportunities, making it easier than ever to work from anywhere.

Travel Now Pay Later

Gen Z embraces technology and are also one of the biggest consumers of fintech services, such as Buy Now Pay Later (BNPL), which allows them to pay for purchases in instalments over time. That way, they can rediscover their financial freedom and not miss out on valuable experiences such as travel.

Travel Now Pay Later (TNPL) is a revolutionary financing option that allows travellers to spread the cost of their adventure and make it more affordable, and it’s something you can consider too.

Pack smart

Gen Z travellers are experts at packing efficiently and are often inspired by trending TikTok videos that showcase valuable packing hacks. For example, this video by MakeLifeSimpler on winter packing with 2.9 million views suggests using packing cubes and rolling your clothes instead of folding them to make the most of your luggage space.

Investing in quality travel gear and applying various packing tricks can help you avoid unnecessary baggage fees.

Travel insurance

While travel insurance might seem like an additional expense, Gen Z recognises its importance. However, they are savvy about finding the best deals. Compare different insurance providers and policies to ensure you get adequate coverage at the most competitive price. Some of the best travel insurance compare websites include comparethemarket.com and travelsupermarket.com. Some credit cards also offer travel insurance benefits, so be sure to explore those options.


The willingness to embrace new ideas, the yearning for independence, and the prioritisation of experiences have positioned Gen Z as the experts in budget-friendly travel. There is a lot to learn from them when it comes to smart, efficient, and affordable travel for voyagers of all ages.