“Do you travel full-time?” – one question that pops up quite often in my messages. Even people who know that I have a full-time job seem to assume that I travel a lot – whatever their definition of “a lot” is!
Having a location-dependent job and an Indian passport is a combination that pretty much means that traveling isn’t as easy for me as I’d like it to be. Nonetheless, I’m pretty content with what I manage to do. To find out how I satisfy my wanderlust alongside my other commitments,
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Explore your city
Have you tried being a tourist in your own city? Put on that cute dress, throw on your hat, and walk around with a map!
Wake up early to catch the sunrise. Jog along a different route each day. Take the bus or metro to meet new people, and chat with the strangers sitting next to you. Find out what their favorite hangouts are – you’ll hear about new places that you never knew existed. Make a list of themed-restaurants you want to try and check the list off over time.
You’ll be surprised how your perspective of your city changes completely!
Use your weekends & long weekends
Weekends can mean binge-watching and binge-sleeping. Or they can mean little getaways to nearby towns and states. Or nearby countries, if you’re in Europe!
Two to three days can be plenty, depending on how you plan and prioritize your itinerary. It’s just like eating at a buffet. You get to sample multiple places and figure out where you want to go back when you have longer breaks!
Make your own long weekends
Taking a day or two off around regular weekends make my favorite kind of long weekends. They’re so much better than actual long weekends because:
- Places are way less crowded, which translates to less frustration
- Smaller crowd also means you can see and do more in a shorter time
- The trip can be planned last minute – flights and hotels won’t be sold out months in advance
- The entire trip is so much easier on your pocket
Bonus tip: You might be able to convince your boss to get the day(s) off in compensation for working on a holiday when you don’t have plans.
Plan family vacations in new cities
Most of us live away from family, and need to save vacation days to go see them. Last year, I (finally!) decided that I should put my vacation to better use than just trying to get over jet lag at home and eating mom’s yummy food (although I admit that it’s a pretty good deal as is).
So, instead of going to India, I took my family to Paris & Italy; it was the first time for all of us, and we had a lot of fun! Sure, my pocket felt a lot more empty after the trip, but my heart – a lot more full!
Don’t think you have to go crazy with the expenses, though. Plan a trip to any place that you’ll all enjoy. You’ll bond better, and make beautiful memories together!
Travel for work
Some of you might have a traveling job, and that’s a fantastic way to see the world! That’s not what I’m talking about here, though.
Your company will be willing to fund your trips to conferences that are related to your field of work. Find out what’s going on, make a compelling case, and off you go! This will also help you keep yourself updated – that thing that we all say we should do but never get to!
Recruiting is another great opportunity to get on that company sponsored flight. Add a few days around the recruiting event, and make a trip out of it! You get to have fun while doing important work for your company. Win-win, amirite?
There you go, fellow wander-luster with a full-time job – you now have the 5 big tricks I use to plan my travel! Let me know if you have other tricks up your sleeve?