6 steps to travel for more than 4 months in 2017 (without having to quit your job)

5th Dec 2016

What if I helped you create travel planner 2017 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 2016 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 travel more than what you did in 2016. 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 2017

It so happens that 2017 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. Here's a sample holiday planner 2017 that I made. Based on your city or state or country you reside in (or your employer) you can tweak it a bit

Photo of 6 steps to travel for more than 4 months in 2017 (without having to quit your job) 1/1 by Venkat Ganesh

Travel planner 2017

As you can see a little bit of holiday planning and applying for leaves you can already travel for almost 6 weeks. However, that is not all. An average employer in India offers at least 3 days of paid holidays a year. Assuming you have already 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 39 weekends left (excluding the 13 long weekends above). That's another 78 days. A bit of simple math and you realise have to 131 days to spend on the road. Yes. You read that right!!! 133 days. That's more than 4 months. How best you can/want to utilise it, is completely up to you.

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 place. 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.

Photo of Petronas Towers Kuala Lumpur City Centre Kuala Lumpur Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur Malaysia by Venkat Ganesh
Photo of Vietnam by Venkat Ganesh

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 5 months 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.

Photo of 6 steps to travel for more than 4 months in 2017 (without having to quit your job) by Venkat Ganesh

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 boss so that instead of flying back on say, a Friday evening, you come back instead on Sunday night. You can pay for your own accommodation for an extra day or two that you're there.

Photo of 6 steps to travel for more than 4 months in 2017 (without having to quit your job) by Venkat Ganesh

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 you 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 2017 works. Or not. Either way, thanks for reading!

Photo of 6 steps to travel for more than 4 months in 2017 (without having to quit your job) by Venkat Ganesh

This blog was originally published on 'INDIA BACKPACK MOTORBIKE'