Who says you need to leave your job to travel. The person who tells you is trying to tell you that there is a certain way you have to and can live a life. That for me is the same bullshit most of us travelers and a lot of non travelers hate and fight against every day. We have our own way of travel and it has worked for us over last few years. This post is for those of you who want to travel more and are ready to put in effort for your travels. We travel independently and truly detest taking one of the tours simply because we hate being told when to get up and how much time we have at a destination. But if you find tours to be much more comfortable and easier go ahead and use these ways to get more travel time.
Our trips this year.
For those of you who like the convenience of tours but want the freedom of independent travel check out Intrepid travel and G adventures. You could also check out these day tours from Urban Adventures and have the best of both worlds. So let’s get to the bottom of how you can travel more with your full time job.
1. We plan our travels WAY in advance
|Saving ourselves from -20C in January while trekking the Himalayas. We booked the trip in April Last Year
Seriously if I ever hear that I can’t plan that far in advance or I don’t want cancellations I am running out of the room. Ever since we started traveling we have been asked the question and we have told the honest answer. Me being the fool I am I go to lengths to explain to the answer seekers what they are doing wrong but leaving it to the last minute. Result is not always good but thankfully nobody asks me again about how to travel more.
There is no real reason to plan in as much advance as we do. The problem is most of us desk dwellers are not spontaneous enough to travel when the time comes, hence the need to plan your travels.
We plan our trips at the start of the year or as soon as we get the holiday calendar for the upcoming year. We usually plan a few 8 day trips (In 2015 we have 26 days for long trips and a lot of smaller 1-4 day trips are peppered in between. Spacing the longer trips means that we are not out of office every few days and we make sure to use all the long weekends and a lot of regular weekends too.
Planning that far in advance keeps us open to deals that might come our way. this is one of the biggest reasons why we usually pay far less for flights and can afford to travel more on a much smaller budget. If you are interested to know how exactly we plan our travel head over to this detailed post.
There is no way we would be able to travel as much as we do with a 5.5 day working week without planning in advance. If you are one of those who find both motivation and money to go on a spontaneous week long trip you don’t necessarily have to plan the way we do.
2. We got a great Travel related credit card
If almost every other traveler or blogger is telling you that you need a great travel credit card it is time to accept that probably you do. We bought our credit card in 2013 around the time we started traveling. We have had many free flights, buses, discounted flights or hotels and all from doing nothing else except for taking out credit card instead of cash at the grocery store.
|These views of Maldives are courtesy our credit card. Flight tickets are usually the make or break factor for us and with our miles we both flew to Maldives and back with just 100$ out of our pocket.
Over past 2 years almost all of our expenses have gone on the credit card as long as the vendor accepted cards. It is a boon for online shopping and more often than not we have a great deal which gets us better returns. I talk a lot about the card we own and if you have ever asked me in person about how we afford our travels this credit card would probably be the first answer. The reason is not that I am looking for referral money (which I don’t get anyways), it is simply the solution which changed the game for us.
3. We learned how to not book stuff
When we went off to Srilanka for a week long trip the first question our colleagues asked us was who did you go with. They wanted to know which tour package we had booked and how did that turn out for us. Imagine the shock when we told them we went on our own. Is that safe? Yes it is.
When we went for our honey moon we got the same question and we had the same answer. At that time it was just the easiest and cheapest option and we had the control over our own trip. After that we were mostly traveling within India and on a strict time line. Taking tours did not make sense unless we had to, like we did for Sundarbans. And that has stuck with us and we are trying to get out of booking stuff more and more.
When we went to Sri Lanka we decided to book a few accommodations and leave everything else to walk ins. We knew we could afford expensive places if it came down to it, so we decided to experiment even after Pattadakal fiasco. In reality it ended up way cheaper than pre-booking would have been. We booked everything for Maldives but not for Thailand, because we know we will have better deals and flexibility that way.
What has worked for us is leaving some areas of the trip which let us enjoy the trip and also gives us complete control on how, when and where to travel. This might not be for you but I really really recommend you try it out once or twice. For starters plan your own trips and not with a tour group just remember not to pack a tight schedule.
4. Control your expenses and be clear about your priority
If travel is your priority then you should probably not be spending on filling your wardrobe with clothes and shoes. If you want to travel to far corners of the world filling in your home with furniture and gadgets you hardly use and definitely don’t need, is not a wise plan either. So what is wise?
|Enjoying the heritage of Rajasthan at Citi Palace Jaipur.
Actually it depends on you, if like us you are happy with enough at home so that you can spend more time on the road you don’t need much. On the other hand living like we do with all required furniture and a fully equipped kitchen might feel less to people because they need TV or AC. We don’t watch TV and I believe it is a conversation killer as it is, since we are in office most of the day we don’t need Ac either. These save us a considerable amount of money every month, and we never had to bear the one time cost either.
If you on the other hand cannot live without the background television noise and you need to chill your extremities if it is hot outside buy them by all means. Like I said earlier there is no right way to travel, there is also no right way to live your life and save.
I love shoes, and when I just started working I would buy a pair every other week. When we shifted to Hyderabad I had a box full of shoes. Since we started traveling I have rarely worn any one of those and I need more walking shoes anyways. So I cut back on my shopping, and put it into our travel. This has resulted in decluttering my house as well as a slightly bigger budget for our travels.
5. We really want to travel and are OK with working for it
Do you really want to travel the corners of the world? It’s not a bad thing if you don’t want to, in past few years we have met quite a few people who would ask us how to travel, where to go but do nothing. We realize later that they don’t really want to travel. Being persistent overenthusiastic people that we are we sometimes offend them unknowingly when we ask them if they traveled recently and recount our travels. Personally I keep my mouth shut when someone is explaining how their knowledge of a place is better than ours, because they heard it from a distant relative and we went there.
If you are an armchair traveler excuse my insistence on traveling but if you actually want to travel and have a modest fund to dispense, you will have to work for it. This will include all of the above and other things you will discover about travel and yourself as you get moving.
This is one of the biggest factors which has kept us traveling more and more. Even today the sight of blue domes of Samarkand makes us want to hop on a flight, as much as we love stretching on our recliners.
What are your ways of travelling that have kept you travelling better, longer and being even more awesome? Don’t keep those hidden let them show off.