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Traveling the world on budget without quitting your job


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Slides used during my talk at Travel meet in Chennai on 6th May 2017, organized by Madras Photo Bloggers

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Traveling the world on budget without quitting your job

  1. 1. TRAVEL WORLDWIDE Within budget, without quitting job Shrinidhi Hande
  2. 2. SHRINIDHI HANDE Quick intro… Full time job with leading MNC Travel & Blogging by passion, since May 2006 Best Urban Chennai blogger award 2015 24 countries so far and counting Focus on adventure, budget travel, unique experiences and critical reviews @enidhi /enidhi @enidhi
  4. 4. AGENDA  Introduction  Is it necessary to quit your job to travel the world?  Barriers to travel  I don’t have time  I don’t have enough money  I can’t plan my trip well  Traveling on budget and without quitting your job  Part A: Travel for less  Saving on travel: Flights  Saving on stay & exploration  Part B: Optimize to get more value for same time/cost  FAQs Shrinidhi Hande, 4
  5. 5. QUIT YOUR JOB TO TRAVEL THE WORLD? Pros Lots of time at your disposal High flexibility in planning Ability to explore a destination in detail Can travel in weekdays Absolute Freedom Cons Lot complex than it sounds Visa process gets complicated Income concerns, payment delays Sustaining long term needs lots of talent and luck Risky/tough to manage if you have dependents on you A traveler without a plan, source of funds and a motive to return home is likely to be caught by immigrations and sent back home on net available flight!Shrinidhi Hande, 5
  6. 6. MANAGING TIME TO TRAVEL  Make full use of long weekends  Travel on work  Travel in between jobs  Job that lets you work on the go  Take leave n travel  Sabbaticals/long term unpaid leaves Barrier 1: I don’t have time to Travel! Shrinidhi Hande, 6
  7. 7. MANAGING TIME TO TRAVEL  Long weekends  Do 2-3 short trips instead of 1 long trip  Many countries can be reasonably explored in 3-4 days ex-Chennai:  Srilanka, Maldives, Nepal, Bhutan, Macau, Hong Kong etc  Weekend + 1 or 2 days leave is usually easier  Look for flights on Friday night, returning on working day morning  Plan well ahead for sure-shot holidays n long weekends (Aug 15, Jan 2 etc) Barrier 1: I don’t have time to Travel! Shrinidhi Hande, 7
  8. 8. MANAGING TIME TO TRAVEL  Travel on work  Explore during weekend/early morning/late evening  Check if return flight is cheaper on Saturday/Sunday  Transit holidays  Singapore city tour, Qatar Transit visa etc Barrier 1: I don’t have time to Travel! Shrinidhi Hande, 8
  9. 9. MANAGING TIME TO TRAVEL  Travel in between jobs  Bargain for late joining/early exit to get a month or two between jobs  Job that lets you work on the go  Take leave n travel  Support your team even while on vacation  Plan well in advance n take team into confidence  Be ready to cancel travel if you are badly needed in office.  Sabbaticals/long term unpaid leaves Barrier 1: I don’t have time to Travel! Shrinidhi Hande, 9
  10. 10. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL  Spend on experiences than things  Set Goals  Prioritize travel over other luxuries  Save everyday- tiny drops add up  Travel whenever, wherever it is cheap  Try to earn from your travel Barrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Shrinidhi Hande, 10
  11. 11. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL Spend on experiences than thingsBarrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Experience  Cost of a skydiving: INR 30000 Money spent on Things over 6 months  Party every week for 6 months: Rs 1000* 4 * 6 = 24000  Eating out twice a month: Rs 3000*6 = 18000  Some Puja/Function at home: Rs 40000  Shopping stuff hardly needed: ? It is possible to tour 4-5 countries for the cost of an expensive phone! Shrinidhi Hande, 11
  12. 12. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL Prioritize Travel & Set Travel GoalsBarrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Goal  Need to save 1 lakh for Japan Trip Prioritize travel  May be upgrade from hatch to sedan can wait?  Can we reduce shopping and eating out expense by 50%?  Jog in the park instead of expensive gym membership? Shrinidhi Hande, 12
  13. 13. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL Save Everyday- My approachBarrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Mission: Live simple, save and travel How I save for my travel?  No car purchase. Managing with bike  Travel in public transport, sleeper class train  Reach airport in 13 Rs!  Cut spending on everyday luxuries: No partying, unnecessary shopping, eating out Shrinidhi Hande, 13
  14. 14. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL Travel when it is cheapBarrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Reality! Holiday in Malaysia may be cheaper than holiday in North India Travel when it is cheap vs when it is convenient  Look for airline sales, grab cheapest tickets  Travel during off-peak season  Identify newer, less popular destinations  Plan on your own instead of 3rd party packages Shrinidhi Hande, 14
  15. 15. SAVING MONEY TO TRAVEL Earn from your travel!Barrier 2: I don’t have money to travel Let one trip fund your next one!  Write articles for reputed publications  Sell photos online (500px etc)  Association with brands  Income from blogs (ads, sponsored posts etc)  Travel consultancy/ Organize trips Shrinidhi Hande, 15
  16. 16. TRAVELING ON BUDGET & TIME CONSTRAINT: HOW? Barrier 3: I don’t know how to plan my trip well Part A: Saving on flights, hotels, siteseeing etc Part B: Optimizing your plan to get more value for same money/time Shrinidhi Hande, 16
  17. 17. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS  Look for airline sales  Use low cost airlines  Avoid add-ons where possible  Risk of booking very early # Destination (ex Chennai) Normal Airfare Low cost fare Remarks 1 Japan (Osaka Kansai) 45000-50000 20497 Hand bag only 2 Australia 55000-60000 32000 With 20kg bag 3 Bali, Indonesia 35000-40000 17000 With bag 4 Manila, Philippines 35000-40000 15500 Hand bag only 5 Macao 35000-40000 17000 With bag 6 Cambodia 12000 7 Phuket 15000-20000 9900 Shrinidhi Hande, 17
  18. 18. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS- AIRASIA BIG SALE  Before the sale  Sign up and keep passenger profiles ready  Shortlist few destinations  Check Visa Requirements  Note min # days required  Note flight timings, airport to city commute  Note normal/average fares  Shortlist potential travel dates  Ensure adequate cash in net-banking A/C Shrinidhi Hande, 18
  19. 19. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS- AIRASIA BIG SALE  During the sale  Use incognito mode  Search for only 1 Passenger  Try multiple date ranges to identify cheapest fare within sale period  Book only if fares are 40-60% cheaper than avg  Avoid buying add-ons  Pay using net banking  Avoid booking for your friends- let them book on their own Shrinidhi Hande, 19 More details :
  20. 20. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS- AIRASIA BIG SALE  After the sale  Plan day-wise itinerary, hotel bookings  Plan leave  Schedule change entitles you to credit refund  Book add-on services such as bag, meals etc closer to travel date  Web check-in opens 14 days prior Shrinidhi Hande, 20
  21. 21. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS- MORE TIPS  More flight tips  Try to fly without check in bag-quicker, cheaper  Look for airline schedule change and use it to your advantage  While ticket rates change w.r.t time, add-on service rates don’t. Book them later  Book direct on airline website, avoid 3rd party sites  Pay attention to what’s auto-selected (bag, meals, insurance etc)- de-select if not needed  Look for cheaper cities nearby- flights out of Chennai/Kochi are cheaper than ex-Blr  Watch out for new route launches Shrinidhi Hande, 21
  22. 22. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- FLIGHTS- MORE OPTIONS  Other popular low cost airlines to track (ex-Chennai)  Spicejet & Indigo  Scoot/Tiger Air  Srilankan  Malaysian  FlyDubai  Websites  Momondo  Skyscanner Shrinidhi Hande, 22
  23. 23. RISK OF BOOKING TOO EARLY # Risk Probability How to deal? 1 Flight schedule change Very High Work with airline to select an alternate flight that may be more convenient Worst case, take refund claiming rescheduled time is not convenient to you 2 Not getting leave Moderate Inform your team about upcoming trips Try to finish your responsibilities before leave starts Delegate Offer to work/support from destination if needed Worst case- be mentally prepared to sacrifice the trip! 3 Health problems/ emergencies Low NA 4 One or more of the co- passenger not able to join High Be prepared to travel solo- it is also an experience Keep them regularly in loop about trip planning and keep them interested and prepared 5 Destination weather conditions not favorable Medium Never possible to predict exact weather well in advance- take chance and travel. You may have to spend a day or two indoor and might be able to explore on rest of the days 6 Visa rejection Low Follow all requirements and documentation diligently to ensure full compliance Apply well in advance so that if rejection is due to technical reasons there’s time to apply again Shrinidhi Hande, 23
  24. 24. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- STAY  Try Hostels and Capsule Hotels  Use websites like that allow free cancellation  Try couch-surfing  Avoid pre-booking extra nights  User locker/baggage drop facilities  Book stay closer to metro/train station  Overnight train/bus options  Stay with friends/relatives  Tent/Camping  Try your luck getting free stays in exchange for reviews Shrinidhi Hande, 24
  25. 25. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- EXPLORE MORE  Research better  Opening and closing hours, weekly offs etc  Entry fee, best season etc  Relative worth of the attraction  Optimize your itinerary  Avoid loop travel, sequence the attractions better  Start very early, explore 24x7 attractions early morning or late evening  Pre-book to avoid queue where possible, skip if waiting time is not worth  Walk/use trains where possible Shrinidhi Hande, 25
  26. 26. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRIP-STARTING VERY EARLY Standard Itinerary Optimized itinerary Tips •Get up at 6.30 AM •Fresh up, breakfast by 8 AM •Start by 9 AM •Reach Nikko by 11.30 AM •Explore Nikko till 5 PM •Return to Tokyo by 8 PM •Dinner and rest by 9 PM •Wake up at 3.30 AM •Check out by 4 AM, walk to train station •Train to Nikko, reach by 7.30 AM •Explore town, have breakfast till 9 AM •Explore attractions from 9 AM till 1 PM •Back to Tokyo by 3.30PM •Explore places in Tokyo till 9 PM •Dinner and rest by 10.30 PM Get up early Check opening hours and sequence your visit Check photos n details online to decide if an attraction is really worth Sample itinerary: Nikko World Heritage town, Japan- Save half a day by starting early Shrinidhi Hande, 26
  27. 27. MAKE THE MOST OF YOUR TRIP-STARTING VERY EARLY Early morning Day time Late evening 1. Gardens by the Bay 2. Labrador nature reserve 3. Fort Canning centre & park 4. Botanical Gardens 5. Sentosa common areas 6. The Merlion 1. Gardens by the bay cloud forest and flower domes 2. Various museums, zoos 3. Sentosa attractions - Madam Tussauds - Underwater world - Universal Studios 1. Night Safari 2. Marina Bay Laser Show 3. Gardens by the bay sound n light show 4. Reverse Bungee in Clarke Quay 5. Singapore Flyer 6. Marina Bay Observation Deck 7. Shopping in Mustafa Singapore: Shrinidhi Hande, 27
  28. 28. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- LOCAL TRANSPORT Standard Options Rent a cab- Very expensive Take travel package that includes hotel transportation- Time consuming Ride on two wheeler taxi- not always available (No local bus/train in Bali) Sample itinerary: Bali local site seeing Smart option Rent a scooter- 8 USD per day, fuel extra My 4 day, 823 kms Bali exploration ground transportation cost: Rs 5000 all inclusive airport to airport (rent+ insurance + fuel + parking) Full details here Shrinidhi Hande, 28
  29. 29. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- LOCAL TRANSPORT Standard Options Rent a cab between destinations Macau local transportation: Walk! Smart option Just walk Shrinidhi Hande, 29
  30. 30. TRAVELING WITH TIME CONSTRAINT! Trip 1 Leave from Chennai Friday night Day 01 Arrive Saturday 3 AM Leave for Galle, reach Galle by 12 Noon explore attractions on the way, Explore Galle on Saturday afternoon Day 02 Sunday morning leave for nearby reservoir, tea factory, Matara, Weligama Back to Galle & Rest Day 03 Galle to Colombo, Colombo local Reach airport by night Tuesday early moring flight back to Chennai Srilanka exploration using multiple short trips Trip 2 Leave from Chennai Friday night Day 01 Arrive Saturday 3 AM Leave for Kandy, Nuwara Eliya, Stay in Nuwara Eliya Day 02 Explore Nuwara Eliya area and back to Negombo/Bentota etc, stay Day 03 Explore more nearby places, back to airport Tuesday early moring flight back to Chennai Shrinidhi Hande, 30
  31. 31. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- STARTING VERY EARLY Standard Sequence Time (cumulative) 1. Arrive at restaurant 2. Go to restroom (5 min) 3. Check menu & order (5 mins) 4. Order arrives in 10 mins 5. Take photo & upload (3 mins) 6. Eat (15 mins) 7. Ask for check 8. Check arrives (3 mins) 9. Pay & leave (3 mins) 0 min 5 min 10 mins 20 mins 23 mins 38 mins 41 mins 44 mins Sample time management- At a restaurant Standard Sequence Time (cumulative) 1. Arrive at restaurant 2. Check menu & order (5 mins) 3. Go to restroom (5 min) 4. Order arrives in 10 mins 5. Take photo (1 min) 6. Eat (15 mins), ask for check while still eating, about to finish 7. Check arrives while you finish eating 8. Pay & leave (3 mins) 9. Pic upload later when free 0 min 5 min 15 mins 16 mins 31 mins 31 mins 34 mins Shrinidhi Hande, 31
  32. 32. TRAVELING ON BUDGET- PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION # Mode Pros and Cons 1 Hop On/Hop Off Convenient but waste of time as you wait for next bus to arrive 2 SIC (Seat in Coach) City tour Packages Need to wait for everyone else to arrive- waste of previous time Not flexible to deviate/spend more time 3 Taxi Expensive proposition More time spent in traffic Mandatory Designated spots could mean extra time and money 4 Bus/Train Most efficient way. Buy daily pass where possible Helps understand a city better 5 walk Best for short distances 6 Cycle/Segway/bike rentals Usually no cons, but need to find parking spot Best option when in groups Can be an experience in itself 7 Hitchhike! Cheaper/free transport Not always possible + safety concerns 8 Free Guided Walking tours Popular in many European countries, usually on weekends at specific timings 32
  33. 33. PROBLEM WITH STANDARD ITINERARIES/PACKAGES # Standard Itineraries Smarter way to explore 1 First and Last day is for arrival, departure, no other activities Start exploring right after landing, make full use of first and last day as well 2 Pre book hotel if arriving early If arriving at 6 AM and check in is at 1 PM, explore city half a day n reach hotel by 1 PM. Use locker facility in stations OR go to hotel at 6 AM, drop bag. Save one night hotel expense 3 No overnight travel Where possible, overnight travel can save you one night hotel expense (Ex: Melbourne to Sydney) 4 Assume exploration starts after breakfast Lot of places can be explored very early in the morning or late evening. Use day time for attractions which have specific timings 5 Too much creative wordings (Day at leisure = we won’t take you anywhere, spend extra on your own) sumptuous breakfast (just standard hotel breakfast exaggerated) If hotel breakfast opens only at 8 AM, either skip it or use 6 to 8 AM to explore some more places nearby. 6 Forceful inclusion of unwanted items like souvenir shopping & not recommending public transport Shrinidhi Hande, 33
  34. 34. PROBLEM WITH CITY CARDS/PASSES # Pros Cons 1 Give free access to multiple attractions, always be cheaper than buying tickets individually Usually claim to cover 50-60 attractions, but most of them are museums with fixed timing like 10 AM to 5 PM. Not possible to cover all in 2 days, nor everything is worth 2 Includes public transport use in some cases No refund if your plans change 3 Saves time in queue while visiting an attraction Timings- Calendar days or 24/48 hours from first use 4 Usually some of the most important attractions in city are not included or need additional payment Shrinidhi Hande, 34
  35. 35. TIPS FOR DESTINATION RESEARCH To know how much a website/blog is bluffing about a destination, read what they’ve written about your city!  Pay attention to  Opening/closure hours, season  Entry cost, possible/need for prior reservation  what’s allowed inside (photography etc)  Possible combo tickets/passes  Additional needs/demands such as mandatory guide/dress code  Availability of public transportation  Impact of weather  Nearby attractions  There will always be some negative reviews- don’t get discouraged  The photos on official websites are often taken by professionals, at best time of the year in exclusive conditions (like no crowd etc)- keep your expectations right  Be careful about extreme superlatives used  Check for blogs, amateur photos Shrinidhi Hande, 35
  36. 36. MY RECENT TRIP EXPENSES # Country Duration All inclusive expenses (INR per person) Key expenses 1 Japan 6 nights 75k Flight 20.5, JR Pass 17.7k, Stay: 8k [Full details] 2 Philippines 5 nights 46.6 k Flight 15.2, Local flights 13k [Full details] 3 Andaman 3 nights 20k Flight 5k, hotel 5k, scuba 4k [Full details] 4 Srilanka 3 nights 20k Flight 8.4k, taxi 5.4k [Full details] 5 Australia 6 nights 60k Flight 32k, visa 7k [Full Details] Travel when it is cheap, than when it is convenient Shrinidhi Hande, 36
  37. 37. SUMMARY  It is possible to travel a fair bit with regular day job  It is possible to fly cheap by making smart use of airline sales  Lot depends on how you prioritize your time and expenses  There is no magic formula for budget travel, but constant research will help  Risk involved in planning early is usually offset by cost savings  Sacrifice comfort, convenience to explore more in less time and money  Research well for optimal benefits Shrinidhi Hande, 37
  38. 38. THANK YOU!  Blog:    dhiblog/ Shrinidhi Hande, 38