Travel planning is both planning your budget and time. If you do so with care you can really have a wonderful time and make your vacation both restful and affordable. Like other things in life, your annual travel plan is extremely important. A vacation provides the much-needed rest that we all need. It rejuvenates us and improves work life efficiency. Unfortunately, a vacation duration is hardly 10 days for a busy senior executive and 20 days a year for a younger person in the corporate sector. Only if you are in a Government job, and not at a very senior rank, you could perhaps have the chance of enjoying your due quota of annual leaves. Most business persons and entrepreneurs deny themselves of the much-needed rest on the pretext of having too much work.
All over the world people do not compromise on their annual vacations. But in India it is strangely different. Whether you like it or not, the more you climb up the corporate ladder in India the lesser you find time for your annual outstation trip. This is because we tend to confuse leisure with rest. People in India often feel that vacation is for leisure and hence not important. Nothing can be further than truth.
Top music composer Shantunu Moitra of Taare Zameen Pe fame takes two to three vacations a year, despite his hectic schedule. This time along with a wildlife photographer friend Dhritiman Mukherjee he travelled from Leh through Tibet and Bhutan at a height of 14.000 feet, all the way to Arunachal Pradesh for 100 days. “We only know that it’s an exotic place; it has high mountains. We know Kashmir, Kargil, war. What about the people? What about the music? What do the children do?” Moitra asks.
Ever since the last five years things are beginning to change. As the hotel and tourism industry is evolving, so are Indian customers. There are many creative people who are taking serious time off for a vacation. And if you really don’t have that luxury at your workplace, you must create your own cheat sheet for regular weekend vacations.
So financially you could plan for a 10 day annual trip and two to three weekend trips a year. Also, once in 3 years you can plan a foreign trip if you are keen and can plan your savings and vacations properly. Now planning for your holiday expenses depends entirely on your idea of a holiday. You can spend a lot of money and have a luxurious vacation or a less comfy budget vacation at a low cost.
If you are adventurous, you can plan some really low budget trips using various apps like the couch surfer. These are non-paying option where people across the world connect and stay at each other’s homes across the globe without paying. There are 200,000 cities where you can visit through Couchsurfing including in places like Iran and Afghanistan, Colombia and Haiti. Then you have various low-cost room sharing options and services like AiR BNB which provides a low budget accommodation across the world. Then there are other options that offer a low-cost membership based package for your boarding and lodging in different cities.
Travel planning is an elaborate process and needs to be done meticulously to get the best vacations for your money. One key question that people ask is how much do I keep aside for my annual holiday considering that the demands on the purse is high. The answer is clear and simple. It needs to be around 4% to 5% of your take home income each month. In short you need to save at least Rs 4000 per month in case you have a six figure income, so that you can spend your vacations with comfort.