If I had a dollar for each time I heard someone tell me “you don’t work?!” or that they cannot travel because they have a full time job, a corporate role or not enough time off to travel, I’d be a very rich man by now. People are always surprised and seek travel tips when I tell them I do have a full time corporate job, yet I’m able to set off on new adventures, and go to places not a lot of people have been to. I have a few secrets that I want to share with you on how I get to do that without having to resign my job.
Travelling doesn’t have to be a chore, it also doesn’t have to be time consuming. In your mind now, you can come up with so many excuses and so many challenges that prevent you from going on your next adventure. But trust me, I’ve found solutions to most of the challenges that you’re wondering about right now, and this post is dedicated to busting a few of those myths and excuses not to travel along with travel tips to overcome them.
Myth 1: Flying is Expensive
True, to some extent only. Not all flying is expensive and not all travelling means to get to a plane. If you want more details on how to get a cheap flights, be sure to check my previous post for pro tips on how to save up on flying. Nevertheless, just as a general rule, you can get a cheap flight if you’re flexible enough with your destinations and if you use the right search engine at the right time. You can also consider travelling by other means, depending on your destination of choice you can drive, take a boat, bus, train. You can catch a ride with friends, family, or even other nomads heading to the same destination. We’ve come a long way since travelling on horse/camel back but that doesn’t mean you have to fly everywhere. Nonetheless, getting a cheap flight isn’t a hard thing to do, but you need to plan for it, the earlier you plan the better price you get.
Myth 2: Planning is Hard with a Corporate Job
That brings us to planning; planning is the key and most important single element of being the wanderlust nomad that you’ve been dreaming of becoming all your life. On the contrast from the general belief that you need to plan a long vacation once or twice a year in your calendar and consume all your annual leaves on that vacation -and all your money for that matter- what you need to do is actually be smart about your plan and exploit your public holidays. If you know that you get a certain number of days as paid public holidays you can string them with weekends using a few of your annual leaves and whatever comes out of that will be enough time for your next trip.
For example if your week starts on Monday, and you have two days off for a public holiday, so you already get 4 paid days off, what you can do is take three more days that week and that means you stringed the following weekend into a 9 days long vacation. Even if you only take two days off that makes the total 6 days, which is more than enough for many destinations.
In order to be able to achieve that, there are a few points that you need to take into consideration, depending on your job and your employer of course, you might want to look-up public holidays in the beginning of the year or at least a few months ahead, that way you know what days you need precisely and when, so you can book them ahead of time and plan your work schedule around them.
You also may want to look into flight/transportation times to certain destinations in certain times of year to make the most of your trip. For example, I know that my local airport only runs flights going to Rome early in the morning or in the late evenings, this means it’s better for me to go to Rome on the early flight on the first day of my vacation so that I have the rest of the day to spend there (or at my final destination if I will travel internally). Planning your trip ahead means that you’ll make the most of whatever little time you managed to take off work.
It may seem now that there is a lot of work that goes into planning shorter trips, but having multiple short vacations in a year is proven mentally and physically heathier on the longer run than spending all your time-off in one destination. Having short frequent time off your daily routine, means that you will come back feeling more re-charged and ready for work.
Myth 3: It Never Makes Financial Sense
It’s true that the majority of travel expenses go towards airline tickets. However, other elements, such as accommodation, food and transportation make up the rest of the cost, accommodation being the bigger portion. Just like finding cheap flight tickets, there are a lot of ways you can find cheap accommodation, one of the best known sites for that is -of course- Airbnb. There are, however, other options to get cheap and even free accommodation, couch surfing, staying with locals, doing a house swap, baby sitting, or even pet setting are all options. I will go more into details and give you pro tips on how to get cheap and sometimes even free accommodation in an upcoming post. For now, renting a place in a hostel or using Airbnb will get you on your next trip.
Instead of looking for cheap accommodation and flights, you can always just look for ways to expand your financial resources and make more money, before the trip, or make use of the time on the trip to make money. For example, you can look freelance jobs that can get you extra money so have a little more to spare either to upgrade your travel experience and check into a fancy hotel, or for things such as shopping or buying souvenirs for example.
Another source of income is working on a trip, there are many places where you can get assigned a job to do, and in exchange you get free accommodation or you can get paid in cash. Many places in Africa has volunteering opportunities, in places like Europe and the Far East you can get a job teaching English or other languages to locals in exchange for cash or a place to stay.
Pro Tip: Be Flexible!
If I have one tip that you must take out of this entire post, it will be to be as spontaneous as you can possibly be. Yes, I know that most of this post is about having a plan and planning ahead, but you have to be extremely flexible if you want your plan to work. Don’t be afraid to try something new, or go somewhere you never thought of going before. Some of the best trips of my life where ones that I had never thought of going on. Go on websites like skyscanner and search “everywhere”, you’ll be surprised of how many ideas and suggestions that can give you; this is also a very good trick to get cheap flights.
Don’t limit yourself to going certain places in high season; no one thinks of going to Greece in September, everyone goes in July and August. Why not go in September? You’ll get a completely different experience, the beaches will be a lot less crowded, the food will be better, the people and the transportation will be better, and you’ll get good deals on transportation and accommodation, while still enjoying very good weather. Being flexible, be adventurous and most importantly, enjoy your time!