Travel planning for 9-5 folks – get the most of your time and travel light!

Traveling the world is getting more and more fashionable these days. So many people decided to ditch their 9-5, sell everything, buy one way ticket to Bangkok (I do  wonder sometimes why Bangkok???) and travel the world with a backpack. They feel the need to completely change the way they live, escape the gloomy and uninteresting mornings in the office, need to deal with everyday stuff, perhaps unpleasant boss and even more unpleasant work colleagues, job which is not giving them any satisfaction at all… 

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Escaping 🙂

If you feel the need to ditch your job and travel the world you really should not sit and read this now but start saving and do it. You cannot travel without a financial safety cushion under your bum and if anyone tells you differently then well, they are telling you a lie. Not many things are free in this world and if you want to travel longer, for 6, 12 or even 24 months, you need to support yourself and make sure you have enough money to travel without worry. Of course, you can always try to get some work while traveling long term or use volunteering opportunities, but that is totally different story. And besides – still, traveling full time is so much different than traveling during your work leave. And as there is a lot of really good tips on how to travel long term, there is not many on how to organize your travel when you are 9-5 folk. 

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Wandering around Rome – St Peter’s Basilica square

As we are approaching new year I decided that my next post should be about travel planing. Even if you are a full time working person you can maximize your leave and potentially travel more than you think! So, lets look at opportunities which 2015 brings:

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Credit to http://www.cgvector.com/70-creative-2015-vector-calendar/ for creating this lovely image

1. Book your leave during Bank Holidays to gain more leave but use less of your holiday entailment. Look at the 2015 calendar – you could have a long weekend between 1 and 4 January for a quick journey somewhere nearby – it will cost you only one day of your annual leave.

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Catching winter in January could be fun!

Then – 3 till 6 April – another long weekend (yes, it is Easter, so you might wish to spend this time with your family, but why not travel somewhere together or visit your distant family – it is one of the ways of traveling cheaply too!). Book some annual leave around these days so you can buy cheaper tickets!

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Easter time!

May has two Bank Holidays weekends, on 4 and 25 – book your 2 weeks holidays then, so you will be loosing just 9 not 10 days! And by traveling out of season you will save money! Remember, that the ticket prices for these times are higher, but if you book a week around these dates, you can get cheap tickets too! 

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Gatwick airport

Then we have 31 August Bank Holiday – another week or two off, traveling out of season! 

And finally – Christmas time! You know what to do by now, don’t you?

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Christmas time in Larnaca, Cyprus
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London eye during Christmas:)

2. I am big fun of traveling out of season, it’s cheaper and less crowded, but I would like to catch a good weather too, so check the weather using this website – Travel Supermarket – it might give you an idea of your next destination! That way we went to Cyprus in November and I swim in a quite warm Mediterranean Sea! Just take all the information you need and start looking for deals! Some of the links in my helpful links section might help 🙂

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Visiting Al-Aqsa Mosque with my sister, Israel in June
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Turtle beach, Cyprus, November

3. Apart from traveling out of season another important thing to consider is organization of your holidays.

You might be surprised but sometimes taking care of everything by yourself will bring the best savings you can hope for. In order to do that you must, and believe me, this is an imperative, plan your holidays well in advance.

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Discovering Isla de Cristina, Spain, October

My mum, sister and I will be flying to Corfu in September – not getting into any specific details we have manged to cut down the cost of this holidays by at least 200 euros by deciding to organize the trip by ourselves. We bought the tickets a month ago (flying with Easy Jet from Berlin for 140 euros per person, plus 45 euros for one hold bag, plus ticket for me from London to Berlin for 90 euros) and booked an apartment (for 250 euros for a week, with a free cancellation option – for a choice of booking websites visit my helpful links section).We are going to rent a car for about 150-170 euros. If you never rented a car before – please, check my tips on renting a car, so you are well prepared. 

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Our self catering cottage we have rented in Scotland for our trip in May
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Living room
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Kitchen, Marcin and in laws 🙂
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Our bedroom

For under 1.000 euros we have manged to organize very nice trip for three people. We have saved by doing it ourselves, buying tickets as early as it was possible and finding nice and cheap apartment to rent. And as we are full time working people, we manged to beat flexibility as well – yes, you can find cheaper trip if you are more flexible with your dates! So, be aware that sometimes it is worth to avoid travel agent and just men up and do it yourself! Furthermore organizing your own holidays is a great fun!

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Discovering Jerusalem in June

4. Let’s get packing! O, this can be a nightmare! Since I travel more often I gradually learnt how to pack less and less and this year we are attempting to travel with hand baggage only, as I noticed a half of the things we used to pack we really did not need! 

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Marcin and his hand language – traveling by train to Fucimino airport, Rome

There is a lot of good tips around the internet on how to pack, what might be needed and what can be left behind. For me the biggest problem is my camera as it is taking a half of my hand baggage allowance! Then we have cosmetics – all small bottles, all small sizes. Even if you forgot anything you can buy stuff when you arrive. It is not going to make a huge hole in your budget if you buy tooth paste or some shampoo when you arrive. 

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Shopping for essentials in Bath 🙂

One of my favorite things I bought recently is a see through plastic cosmetic bag with about 6 small bottles and two small containers in it. I paid £5.00 in Sainsbury, but you can get yours from ebay or Boots.  They do save a lot of space and money on a long run, as buying miniature cosmetics will work out expensive. Just buy a mini toothpaste and small deodorant and you are sorted for your trip. 

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Very handy travel cosmetics case

As I am a contact lenses user, I bought a small bottle with a contact lenses solution and I just refill it when needed. Be careful as not every small bottle of contact lenses solution can be refilled, buy one which can be or use one of the bottles in your traveling cosmetic bag.

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You can use these as often as you need

Then the last thing – clothes. Be cruel to yourself. Put all the things which you want to take on the bed and then put a half of them back away. Get things which you really need and wore the heaviest cloths and shoes you are about to use on your trip. 

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There is always a possibility of buying something you like – Marcin’s souvenir form Portugal

 Don’t forget to pack some chocolate bars and sandwiches – you do not need to spend more than needed at the airport. 

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Packing a chocolate is not always a great idea if you travel in a hot country 🙂 Portuguese heat got to it 🙂

5. Think ahead and make sure you got your travel insurance sorted. It is just something you might wish to consider for an extra piece of mind. A lot of banks offer travel insurance which is valid all year round and it will cost between £15-£20 per month. You need to have an account with them and in my opinion it is something what is worth doing if you are a frequent traveler. 

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Enjoying the view from copula of St. Peter’s Basilica, Rome

And my last bit of advise – enjoy your time, have fun during your short lived break, experience other cultures and countries, keep open mind and don’t forget that soon, as you are well organized and prepare, you are going to do all this again!

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Are you ready to go???
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