In today’s day and age, travel is not just a hobby or passion, it’s also become a career. But let’s leave that topic for another time. Today, I will highlight some tips on how to travel the world even with a full-time corporate job, as I know it’s hard for people to think the two together are possible.
It basically boils down to just 2 things really – Time & Finance. Let’s look into them in detail.
Planning Your Time
How many days do you have?
Every corporate job as a fixed amount of leaves you can take annually. If you don’t know what your limit is, find out from your HR now. It is usually around 20 days give or take with an additional 20 days of public holidays. That’s already more than 1 month of travel that you can potentially plan!
Getting your leave sanctioned
Planning in advance is the key here. Most bosses don’t mind you take a few days off work – especially since they do it themselves. What is important is that you plan it well in advance, so that –
- You don’t know what project might come your way around the time you will be on leave, which makes it easier for the boss to approve and
- If there is an important work to be done around that time, you can either get it done early or train someone else to do it.
Utilising your weekends wisely
If you lived in Europe, sure you could do a weekend trip to some exotic new city every few months. But from India, how does that work? It is all about using your weekends and leaves wisely my friend!
Choose a public holiday that’s near a weekend (Thursday/Friday/Monday/Tuesday) and take one additional day off. That gives you a nice 4-day long holiday.
Planning Your Finance
How to save your money?
Honestly, I’m quite terrible at savings. If I see money – whether I want to or not, it just gets spent! And I know a lot of you have a similar problem! But it is, of course, a large part of how you eventually pay for your trip.
So a tip that I use, is to ‘not see’ my money, so that I don’t spend it. 2 easy ways to do it –
- Open a simple recurring deposit account which automatically deducts money from the bank account every month. So that it doesn’t pinch me, I keep this amount low, like Rs. 3000 – 5000. In 1 year, I’ve saved anywhere between 30 to 60k with a small interest.
- Transfer a portion of your salary every month into an FD account. Choose a small tenure, so that this money is useable for buying air tickets or hotel bookings before you even begin your trip. So 30 to 90 days is a good time frame for these. The interest rates may not be the best, but it keeps your money hidden from you and yet easily accessible – as you can always break an FD if you want, without incurring much damage.
You don’t always have to spend a lot of money to enjoy travelling. You can look at budget accommodations like Hostels or look at cheap airlines that don’t offer any premium services. If you’ve saved on these, you have more money to spend on actual experiences at the destination. Carrying some amount of packed food also helps – Or you could look at buying packed food from local supermarkets there, instead of eating gourmet meals at fancy restaurants.
Early Bird Fares
You tend to get the best rates a few months before travelling. I have known of people who get great last minute deals – but do you really want to take such a risk? I wouldn’t. Not when I know my dates are fixed, thanks to the advance approvals I’ve already taken on my leaves.
So I’m always on the lookout for the cheapest flights through apps like Wego, Hopper, Sky Scanner etc.
Also, it is easier to pay smaller amounts in parts rather than 1 big payment. So if I spread out my flight tickets, with my hotel bookings and expenses at the destination and shopping etc. it is better to manage. I also find that I am more likely to save-up more if I know that with just a little more money, I would have purchased my flight or hotel or whatever it is. It’s like I’m achieving a goal or ticking off a list.
Points / Air Miles
If you have credit cards or someone in the family does, try to get those ones which give you good benefits that you can use against your travels. Many cards today offer reward points through air miles and/or discounts on hotel bookings etc. Just find the one which suits you best! I have one card which gives me good deals on shopping and just got a new one which is supposed to give me good air miles. Lets see how that pans out!
Time Share Vacations
If you don’t have the money to buy one of those time share vacations, don’t stress. Find someone who already has it and then maybe you should plan travelling with them more often! 😉 The hotel is almost free in most cases, so that saves you money. Also, many of them also allow guests to travel at a discounted rate. Or you could ask your friend to book you a room – and pay them at a lesser rate. You won’t believe the no. of people out there who have bought these time share holidays and are doing NOTHING with them!
EMI / Travel Loans
Last resort, I’d say – but never the less, it’s a very handy one. I’ve converted some of my expenses into easy monthly instalments (EMI) on my credit card. But you really need to find the right bank – else the interest you end up paying would be more than the trip itself! I also like to restrict the duration to less than 1 year. If I take up too much time clearing a loan/EMI – I wouldn’t be able to plan my next trip, as I hate being in debt. So I try to pay them off quickly which keeps me motivated to save more.
Quick note – I am not a financial adviser or planner! Any tips mentioned above is merely to ‘save’ money and not to ‘grow’ it!