It was a summer of 2015. I was in the transition phase from being an Employee to a Freelancer.
I left my full time job and failed at 2 startups. I was running my house on my savings and freelance income.
I had dreams of living near a beach and enjoying a life of freedom. I wanted to make that reality without burning my pockets.
I was not rich yet but I wanted to live a rich life.
I decoded how to travel for longer duration in the same budget that we spend on the short vacations.
“short vacations are hectic and expensive”
Short vacations are more like a punishment than a pleasure. You pack your days like a project with a deadlines to click photographs on all popular tourist places.
You book a 4days trip and boarded the flight in the early morning. You don’t want to waste any time after reaching the hotel. You go out in the evening without doing any rest at the hotel.
The result of the hectic vacation is that you come back with a tired face rather than feeling fresh.
- trying to touch all popular places
- plan all the possible activities in the town
- not to miss early sunrise point and night life
I realised that’s not a good way of spending time and money on a vacation.
I learned the new way of enjoying a vacation with my trip to Goa.
Let’s see how much it costs for a typical 4-day vacation (for a small family of three) in a beautiful destination like Goa from a city like Delhi.
Air fair in economic airline = 3 * 5000 * both ways = 30,000
Taxi required to/from Airport = 4 * 500 = 2000
Accommodation for three nights in 3-star hotel = 3 * 4000 = 12,000
Lunch & Dinner expenses for 4 days = 6000
Shopping and other activities = 5000
An expense of about 45K to 50K for a family of 3 (as per the rates in 2015)
When I tell someone that I am on vacation in Goa for a month-long duration, the first thing that came into mind is — “From where he is getting so much money to waste on a long vacation”.
You will be surprised to know that I was earning less than what I was earning during my software development job.
Here are the expenses that incurred on my travel to Goa
Going to Goa by Train = 2 * 2200 = 4400
Coming back by Air = 3 * 4500 = 13,500
Accommodation for 4 weeks through AirBnB= 20,500
All other expenses = 19,291
Total Expenses = 57,691
here is snapshot of my expense tracking app.
wait, wait.. here are some savings also.. if we had we stayed at home.
Electricity = 3000
Fuel/Travel = 4000
Groceries = 10,000
Savings of total — 17,000
The effective cost of our trip is 40,000.. cool, it’s even cheaper than our last trip that lasted just for 4-days and 3-nights (effectively 2 days of enjoyment and 2 days of hassle)
Key Learnings for domestic travel in India
- Book AirBnb rather than a hotel if you are planning a long vacation.
- Don’t book a package online but make your own travel plans
- Get ‘Work From Home’ if you can not get long leaves
- Combine train & air travel to save a lot of money (depends where you are travelling)
- Cook your own food at long vacation (find an apartment with kitchen on Airbnb)
Long vacation means keep working and enjoying the stay. A balanced mix of work & enjoy.
I extended my long vacation experience to international by staying in Thailand for 50 days with family in less than Rs. 2,00,000 budget (all inclusive).
We spent entire summer vacations in a pleasant place because we wanted to avoid the heat of Indian summer.
Anyone can go for long travels if they can get remote work.
I will share more about managing foreign travel trips in a pocket-friendly budget.
Let me know if you also have any experience of long vacations.