Travel the world on budget n without quitting job- My talk at Travel Meet by MPB

Few months ago, I had an opportunity to be part of Kiruba's unconference on How to Travel the world on budget. Check this post for details. Yesterday I had another opportunity to speak to a group of audience sharing my travel experience and tips, as part of Travelers meet, hosted by Madras Photo Bloggers, in association with Kolkata Bloggers supported by Manfrotto and Zeiss.

I was one of the four speakers in the meet, other 3 being Anirban Saha, Sai Priya and Srivatsan. The event, held at Urban Desi house, a nice little cafe in Thoraipakkam area was a grand success with every available seat taken and many having to stand all through the session. Many who couldn't attend expressed interest to know what they missed. In this post, I am summarizing the key points I mentioned during the talk and also have tried to very briefly summarize what other speakers spoke, so that the tips can benefit a larger group of audience.
First photo from event's facebook page. Above photo courtesy Karthik Murali.

My topic was: Traveling the world on budget and without quitting the job

Key points:
Quitting the world and traveling seems like a great thought but has its own limitations-not everyone can succeed in making a long term, full time business out of traveling. Not being able to win right/enough clients, Payment delays, visa complications, irregular income, having a family that's fully dependent on you are some of the barriers to this approach. So for majority of us, travel has to co-exist with our regular jobs.

Barriers to travel are on 3 fronts: Not having enough time, Money or not able to plan your trip efficiently. I made an attempt to address these concerns in my talk.

Not having time: It is primarily about how you prioritize travel. We all have long weekends, leave options, option to travel in-between jobs, work on the go where possible, travel on work or weekend + one or two days off. It is possible to make say 2 trips to Srilanka of 3-4 days instead of trying for 1 trip of 7 days. Many nearby countries can be explored to some extent over 3-4 days. Leaving on Friday night and arriving on next morning day morning, lets you make use of all days in between, losing very less time for travel/transit. Check slideshare for elaboration.

Not having money: This is again about prioritization. We all do spend small small amounts on various things like partying, shopping, eating out, functions/events at home etc. These things do add up to a significant amount over an year. If you can cut on unnecessary expenses and prioritize travel, you will be able to save the required amount over time. Just that we should be ready to sacrifice on everyday comforts and conveniences. You may check guest post on Payaniga- how I save for travel.

Planning: The next part is to plan your trip economically and in an optimized manner. It has 2 parts:
Part A: Traveling cheap (flight, hotel etc) and Part B: Making the most of your trip my optimizing your itinerary.

Cheap flights:
My mantra is to fly to wherever it is cheap, whenever it is cheap, than fixing a destination and finding out cheapest way to reach there. I rely heavily on AirAsia big sales for traveling cheap in South East Asia region. You can check my dedicated post here to know how to make the most of Air Asia sale.

If you plan well and book smart, it is possible to travel to a destination minimum 50% cheaper than normal fares.

For Stay,I use cheap hostels and capsule hotels via booking.com (here're the reasons why) which gives free cancellation and spot payments. You can also try couch surfing, camping and other means (refer slide). Select a stay closer to metro/public transport. Avoid pre-booking extra nights for early arrivals and also use intercity night travel where possible to save on stay cost.

Once flight n stay is sorted, next is to optimize your day. Lots and lots of research is needed to identify what attractions are really worth and how explore for less or in less time. These are simple decisions but can make huge difference in the time and amount you save or end up spending. Of course some of these will not be very convenient but if I have to save on time n money, I am willing to compromise on comfort and convenience for a few days. Do check the slide for details- hard to cover in brief here.

My presentation can be seen in below slide share!

Above: Me receiving a token of appreciation from the organizers
Below: Packed audience. Both photos from Saakshi and Vivek Syal, who run seatbackupright.com. It was nice meeting them again after GRT Bloggers meet.
What others spoke:(very briefly)
Anirban spoke about various unique cultural aspects of West Bengal and North East- the places to visit, dances, festivals that regular tourists often miss. He spoke about giving back to the community, benefiting from the community and making money in the process. He has left his lucrative job with TCS to run his own Blogging and Travel consulting business. His website has more details

Sai Priya is an acclaimed travel photographer. She has traveled to remote corners of India capturing wonderful moments of various culture, tradition and festivals. She spoke largely about being a women travel photographers- her experiences-good and bad, the dangers, unpredictability and precautions to take.

Srivatsan spoke about being able to tell the story right through photographs and the need of earning from your travel photography. He is founder of Madras Photo bloggers and has won multiple photography awards and contributed to reputed publications included National Geographic.

Enjoyed preparing and talking at the meet and also was great to hear from other speakers. Hope my talk was of some use for those looking to travel around for less and within constraints of their job. Thanks to the organizers for the opportunity.

Do watch out for a possible coverage in tomorrow's New Indian Express.

Do you have a question to ask or a feedback to give? Please comment below.
Indian Bloggers

12 comments:

  1. Great tips for traveling on a budget with proper planning. Any tips for couple travelers/luxury travelers?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Sandy & Vijay

    Couple/luxury I may not be the best person

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would love to be part of such travel talks.... discuss & share knowledge on different aspects. When are you coming to Mumbai ? Or shall I head over there? :)

    ReplyDelete
  4. You're most welcome to Chennai! I am sure Mumbai has its share of travel events.. will keep you posted about ones in Chennai

    ReplyDelete
  5. Awesome.. but media will only highlight you if you QUIT your job to travel... he he ...

    All the best sir keep traveling and keep inspiring...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Great tips. I need to click on some of those links to make the most of your ideas.

    ReplyDelete

Appreciate your efforts and interests to comment. Comments may be moderated due to increased spam. Will ideally respond to comments within few days- Shrinidhi

Powered by Blogger.