It’s difficult to have a work-life balance, and you are telling me that there are people that have a work life and travel balance? Sustaining a full-time job in Kenya especially Nairobi is no joke. We have people that work from Mondays through Saturdays. Then there is the pressure of waking up as early as 4 am to beat Nairobi’s terrible traffic to get to work on time. Can you blame these full-time employees if all they want for the weekend is to sleep in after a super exhausting week? Here are seven ways we manage to maximize travel with a full-time job, part-time classes, and side businesses.
1. Change your definition of travel.
Is your definition of travel getting your passport stamped and catching flights? Yeah. You need to change that because you cannot afford to be jumping from one country to another with an 8 to 5 that requires you to be at your physical workstation every Monday through Friday. Have you tried maximizing on local tourism? Kenya is vast with several hidden treasures. Have you explored them all?
2. Weekend road trips
After you have changed your definition of travel, can you set aside one weekend every month or every two months to explore local gems? Yes, this applies to even those that work on Saturdays and those that have classes. You can carefully plan to take a weekend off every month or bi-monthly to #tembeakenya. Kenya has several counties which have something unique to offer. Nanyuki, Naivasha and Machakos are all possible travel destinations for the weekend. The best part is that you can take a road trip to some of these places and come back to Nairobi if you do not fancy spending the night.
If you feel like you do not know what do in these places, remember several travel blogs and vlogs document what to do in such areas. You will always find recommendations online.
What if the place you want to explore is rather far? You can choose to take Friday and Monday off, combine it with the weekend to have four days to explore this specific place.
3.Exploit public holidays
At the beginning of every new year, I always note all the public holidays for the year and strategically plan my travels around them. For example this year I took advantage of the Easter holidays, took a few days off my precious leave days to visit Rwanda and Burundi. My friends and I took advantage of Madaraka Day which fell on a Friday to explore Taita Taveta County for three days. So are you taking advantage of all the public holidays? 12th December is a public holiday, can you take Thursday and Friday off to travel?
4. Traveling with tour groups
Tour groups are convenient for those that hate the planning and research process. There are several tour operators that organize regular weekend trips. These trips enable you to make new travel friends and discover amazing things to do.
5. Solo Travel
Stop waiting for your friends to get their shit together. Raise your hand if you have been part of a WhatsApp travel group whose plans to travel died? Most of these plans never work and you are lucky if your friends live up to the travel plans. If you want to go, then stop waiting on your friends and travel alone if you have to. I have traveled solo severally and created long-lasting memories. If you keep waiting for your friends, I promise you might wait forever.
Read this if you plan to travel solo for the first time.
The first five points highlight the importance of splitting your travels to short weekend trips every month and one or two long trips within the year. It requires lots of planning and dedication.
Are you planning a trip on soon? Read this.
6. Plan for longer trips
Planning is very significant for long trips because you can’t just wake up one morning and decide to leave your day job to fly to Greece or South Africa. Every fulltime employee is entitled to annual leave days. At the beginning of the year, have a solid plan on a destination you would want to see for a week or two, or three depending on your number of leave days. One you decide, you can settle on when you want to travel. It allows you enough time to save and get ready to go. Work with the days you have. If you can only afford eight days to explore Thailand, then work with that.
7.Take advantage of business trips
Business trips are for those that have the opportunity to travel for work. I know someone that frequently travels for work. If the business trip is supposed to last for five days, she will ask to extend the trip by 3-5 more days on her account. For example, if she travels to Johannesburg for work, she will extend the trip by a few days to explore the city.
Do you work full time? How do you manage to maximize travel?