What if I helped you create travel planner 2018 so that you can travel for more than 4 months Would you still say “I wish I could travel like you.” As people have often told me. Or will you still lament “And how am I going to fund my travels if I don’t have a job” Everyone I talk to seems to be saying same or similar things. They can’t travel because they have a job which (for whatever reason) they can’t quit.
Although I do understand that not everyone can do what I did after this trip in 2011, I also honestly believe that people can travel a lot more if they actually put in the efforts to do so. Without quitting their jobs. All it needs is a little planning. And yes, I keep my travel planning to the minimum but had I limited amount of time to travel, I sure would have planned better.
With the year 2017 coming to an end it is the perfect time to create your own travel planner for 2017. And with a little bit of foresight and efforts, you can travel more than 4 months. And I’m sure even if you hit the road on half of that, most of you would end up travelling more than what you did in 2017. Let me put a disclaimer here that this post is India specific for a bit. But there’s no reason why the same principle cannot be applied by anybody anywhere in the world. So here’s how to go about it.
1. Create your own Travel Planner 2018
It so happens that 2018 is a great year in terms a number of holidays that can be clubbed with the weekend for you get and extended break from work. Look for a holiday calendar with gazetted holidays and festivals depending on where you reside or your employer. Here’s a sample Indian holiday planner that I made for 2018. Based on your city or state or country you reside in (or your employer) I’m sure you can tweak it a bit for your holidays in 2018
Indian Holiday Calendar 2018
|Holiday||It falls on||If you apply for a leave on||And club it with the weekend of||So you can travel for|
|Republic Day, 26 January 2018||Friday||You don't have to||27-28 January 2018||3 days|
|Mahashivaratri, 13 February 2018||Tuesday||12 February2018, (1 Day)||10-11 February 2018||4 days|
|Holi , 02 March 2018||Friday||You don't have to||03-04 March 2018||3 days|
|Good Friday, 30 March 2018||Friday||You don't have to||01-02 April 2018||3 days|
|Labour Day, 01 May 2018||Tuesday||30 April 2018 (1 day)||28-29 April 2018||4 days|
|Eid, 15 June 2018||Friday||You don't have to||16-17 June 2018||4 days|
|Independence Day, 15 August 2018||Wednesday||13- 14/16-17 August 2018 (2 Days)||11-12/18-19 August 2018||5 Days|
|Ganesh Chaturthi, 13 September 2018||Thursday||14 September 2018 (1 Day)||15-16 September 2018||4 days|
|Gandhi Jayanti, 02 October 2018||Tuesday||01 October 2018 (1 Day)||29-30 September 2018||4 Days|
|Dussehra, 19 October 2018||Friday||You don't have to||20-21 October 2018||3 days|
|Diwali, 07-08 November 2018||Wednesday-Thursday||09 November 2018 (1 Day)||10-11 November 2018||5 days|
|Christmas, 25 December||Tuesday||24 December 2015 (1 day)||22-23 December 2018||3 Days|
|Total weekends||8 days||12 weekends||45 days|
As you can see a little bit of holiday planning and applying for leaves you can already travel for almost 7 weeks. However, that is not all. An average employer in India offers at least 3 weeks of paid holidays a year. Assuming you have already used a week of those with the long weekend above, you still have 2 more weeks in your kitty to travel.
And then you can also add 40 weekends left (excluding the 12 long weekends above). That’s another 80 days. Bit of simple math Holidays Long weekends (as per above) – 45 Days
Paid holidays (excluding the amount used for long weekends) – 10 Days +
Remaining weekends – 80 days (40 weekends)
Total number of days you can travel – 135 Days!!!
Yes. You read that right!!! 135 days. That’s more than 4 months. That’s 1 day of travel for every 2 days of work. You get the point! How best you can/want to utilise it, is completely up to you. But even if you travel on just those long weekends above, it is still a day of travel for every 9 days of work or something.
Now, a bit of reflection. Think of how many days you actually travelled in 2017. And looking at this calendar, how many days can you realistically travel based on your social life, family commitments and what not. I’m sure you’ll realize that you can travel a lot more than you thought you could.
2. Make a list of places you want to travel
Having an idea where you want to go is essential. This is because for people with day jobs have certain limitation. I’m not talking about planning what to do at a given place. But more about where you want to go. My style of travel (and recommendation) is to just stick to one destination. For e.g. I would never do Delhi-Agra-Jaipur in a 4-day trip. Although a lot of people do. I’ll just stick to one. Not only is it less physically demanding, but also helps me explore a given destination at a slower pace. It also saves you the trouble of planning commute between destinations, accommodations etc. Just have book a return ticket to the place you want to go to. That’s it. I suggest you take the flexibility of not having to plan your travels further than that. And then work your way around the destination from there.
3. Apply for leave at your workplace
After having tweaked the holiday calendar to your needs and having a rough idea where you want to go apply for leave at your workplace. The earlier you do this better. In fact, I suggest that you do it right now. Or within this week. Before 01 Jan 2017 at the latest. The reason being, you can plan your work in such a way that you’re able to hit the road as you rightfully deserve. Also having a goal in sight is always something to keep you motivated to work in such a way that nothing comes between you and your holiday.
I’ve never understood when people have said “Oh! My boss will never approve my leaves” Their response is immediate. As soon as I suggest something. Even if that plan is two months ahead. Why the hell not? You’re entitled to whatever paid holidays your company offers. Come next year these same people have encashed their leaves or carried them forward and are ranting the same thing again.
4. Plan your finances
Not only for your travels but financial planning generally is an essential in life. However, let’s stick to travels. Get an idea of how much the journey, accommodation, activities at a given destination are gonna cost you. There’s no point in doing the above and then not having any money in the bank when the time comes. Put away a part of your salary every month for your travel goals. See if you can cut some expenses. Do you really want to buy that PS4, when you’re going spend most of the week working, and you want to travel as much as possible in the coming times?
In about a month, it’ll be almost 6 years since I’ve had a regular job or a source of income. The only way I’ve been able to do it is because I’ve been able to manage my money. And a strong desire to travel.
5. Travel your own backyard
More often than not, while dreaming of an exotic destination, we forget our own city, state or country. Whenever people ask me what is the most underrated destination according to me, I respond “It’s your own hometown or country”. Take time to travel your own backyard. A friend of mine who unwillingly accompanied me to Sanjay Gandhi National Park in Mumbai, after the visit, said, “I never knew this place was so beautiful. I always thought this was a place for couples to make out 😉”. Similarly, people still respond with “Where’s that? In Mumbai? Really?” when I tell them about Maharashtra Nature Park.
We always underestimate the possibilities to see something new in our own home. With enough efforts, you can unearth a whole new history or perspective about your city that you never knew about.
6. Make the most of your work-related travel
A lot of you might be travelling to another city or country for work-related purposes. Make the best of those opportunities and they could be a paid holiday. For e.g. let’s say you’ve been asked to fly to another city for a couple of days. Why not club it with a weekend and stay in that city for a couple days more.
Most companies pay for travel, accommodation and some allowance when you travel for work. Work with your employer so that instead of flying back on say, a Friday evening, you come back on Sunday night instead. You can pay for your own accommodation for an extra day or two that you’re there.
In the end
These days your social media is full of feeds of people quitting their jobs, selling off their stuff and hitting the road. As glamorous as reading stories might feel it is certainly not so for people who do so. And there are your own assumptions, prejudices and myths when you read about them. They are rich. Or they must be doing odd jobs like waiting tables or cleaning toilets. They smuggle drugs. Yes, I’ve heard that from someone.
Well, the thing is not all of them are rich. Not all of them do odd jobs. They all have just figured out a way that involves their passion – travelling plus something else they’re good at to keep them on the road. Some are freelance travel writers and photographers. Some others connect with the world through their art.
The point is that feeling bad about yourself or doubting other people’s lifestyle choices is not going to make you happy. If travelling is what makes you happy shouldn’t you be looking at possibilities to do exactly that instead of looking at obstacles? Here’s one way that I’ve told you how to. Leave a comment and tell me if this travel planner 2018 works. Or not. Either way, thanks for reading!