Planning to visit Ethiopia for the first time but wondering what the experience would be like? We’ll give you a glimpse in this article – the first of a two-part article on Ethiopia. Here, we’ll outline some of the things to expect, what you should know and why you should visit Ethiopia.
If You Love Coffee, You’ll Love The Coffee Tradition In Ethiopia
If you enjoy coffee, then welcome to Ethiopia already! Ethiopians are not only active producers of the coffee bean but also active consumers. What’s more? They’re terrific at roasting the bean and for the young women; the skill though taught almost seems to come naturally.
The coffee ceremony is a major part of Ethiopian life. And for a country known to be the home of coffee worldwide, it is not very surprising.
There are coffee ceremonies on every street corner around the country. The markets are not left out in this love and appreciation for coffee; coffee is served there! And in the home, it’s the same story, coffee, coffee, and coffee.
Known as “bunna” (the Amharic word for coffee), it is cheap and can be gotten at just about any bend you take in Ethiopia. During these coffee ceremonies, the coffee beans are roasted and passed around for participants to inhale the scent.
The brew is then served out of a jug reserved for this purpose in three rounds with the first being the strongest. If you like your coffee sugar-free, don’t forget to make it known as it is usually served with sugar for sweetness.
Experience Ancient Language And Civilization Firsthand
If you would love having a feel of the old, then the northern town of Aksum is one fascinating place you should visit in Ethiopia. Aksum boasts ancient sites that make the modern-day town an intriguing architectural masterpiece.
You’ll find stone tablets dating as far back as thousands of years. The languages often inscribed in these tablets are Greek, Arabic, and Ge’ez. The latter is an ancient Semitic language with origins predating regional languages in present-day Ethiopia.
Till today, monks and priests in Ethiopia are required to learn the language and church services are still held in Ge’ez.
A Mix Of Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity And History
While many are aware that Ethiopia was one of the first nations to adopt Christianity, what many do not know is the magnitude of documentation this part of their history enjoys. One striking feature of Ethiopian churches is the abundance of the original paintings and frescoes from as far back as over 1000 years ago.
In the churches, the ancient texts and relics still remain in use. During services, willing churchgoers are blessed by the priests using the ancient metal crosses.
You’ll find the mountaintop churches carved out of caves dating as far back as the fourth century. These are located in the Gheralta Mountains. The idea behind it was to keep the churches protected from invading armies while bringing them closer to heaven.
Adventures In Mountain Climbing
Enjoy adventures and also love to explore? Then, the Simien and Gheralta Mountains of Tigray are all yours to visit! You’ll enjoy exploring the Gheralta Mountains near the town of Hawzia in Ethiopia’s Tigray province.
The red rock backdrop and outcropping will leave anyone stunned but what’s even more fascinating and equally as precarious as it is draining is the trek to the 1500-year-old cave churches. Two of such churches are the Maryam Korkor and the Daniel Korkor.
WARNING: These may not be suitable for you if you have a fear of heights or are faint-hearted. Thankfully, however, there are several other less-demanding sites to explore.
The Amazing Ethiopian Food
Ethiopian food is simply amazing! A common Ethiopian cuisine is injera. It is a fermented, highly-nutritious pancake made from tef, (a gluten-free grain indigenous to Ethiopia). Injera is served as an accompaniment to almost every meal.
It works as both plate and cutlery (a piece is torn and used as a scoop) and is usually served with a variety of spicy stews made from vegetables, meats, and lentil with spices such as berbere containing up to 15 ingredients.
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll find more than enough for you as Ethiopian meals and meal habits are highly vegetarian and vegan-friendly.
Ethiopian Orthodox Christians are the largest religious group. Every Wednesday and Friday and days preceding many religious celebrations, they fast. During these fasts, foods like dairy and meat products are avoided.
If you love salads and fruits, Ethiopians serve them in abundance. They eat healthy and fresh salads are available all year (possibly one of the reasons they stay slim). Restaurants will also serve you natural fruit juices including papaya and pineapple alongside freshly-squeezed lime.
There are handwashing stations for use before and after meals in most restaurants. And you’ll need them when served injera.
Things To Know Before Traveling To Ethiopia
You Can Get Your Tourist Visa On Arrival
Instead of an e-Visa before arriving you can opt for a tourist visa at the airport. However, check with your local foreign embassy for confirmation. Once you qualify, all you’ll have to do is pay $52 USD for a 30 days tourist visa. You can also get longer visas for additional money.
Those coming by land (if you visited a neighboring country before arriving by land) would need to get a visa online in advance.
If you’re traveling in and out of Ethiopia within three months, a multi-entry visa would be a better option. This option is cheaper and more convenient than multiple single entry visas or transit visas.
The Ethiopian local currency is the Birr (ETB). It can only be gotten within the country, so you either exchange your money at the local bank or withdraw from an ATM. Also, Ethiopian laws do not allow travelers take over 200 Birr out of the country.
Birrs come in five denominations; 5, 0, 20, 50, and 100. There are also coins. 100 birr is worth around 4 USD. This means that you would need to reserve a lot of space to carry lots of notes around during your visit to Ethiopia.
You can exchange your money immediately you arrive or at the banks across the country. ATM instructions are in English and easy to use. The machines accept both Visa and MasterCard. Also, don’t forget to keep all exchange receipts as you’ll be required to present them when leaving the country.
General Information On Ethiopia
Amharic is the national language in Ethiopia, though, there are about 83 other languages spoken across the country. You can expect an Ethiopian to know at least 2 languages in addition to English. The latter is widely spoken and understood by the locals including those in the tourism industry.
Ethiopians use the Julian calendar and this means that their months, days, and years are different from Gregorian used internationally. Days in Ethiopia begins at 12 o’clock, so, remember to regularly ask which time they are referring to; Ethiopian or international time.
In Ethiopia, every business shuts down for lunch between 12 pm and 2 pm. You’ll have to reserve your errands for after or run them before these times.
Safety And Tourism
Ethiopia is safe for even the solo traveler without a tour guide. This may be partly due to being a religious country and partly the result of a cultural expectation for utmost respect and hospitality for visitors.
While you’ll be able to walk freely through most of Ethiopia without a tour guide, they are highly recommended. And without one, you may never fully maximize your visit to this country.
Touring places like the Omo Valley, Simien Mountains, and the Tigray churches would require the help of a tour guide. Just like others in the tourism business, these guides speak great English; however, ensure you confirm this before paying for their service.
Ethiopia Is Not Super-Cheap
You’ll spend money on tours and guides; you’ll also spend on accommodation, on “tourist tax” and on long-distance domestic travel. Food and drinks, on the other hand, can come really cheap and amazingly tasty.
Packing For Ethiopia
- European adapter
- European 2 pin travel adapter (used throughout Ethiopia)
- Clothes for cold evenings
- Hiking gear
- Headlamp or torchlights with extra batteries for use during power cuts (common in rural Ethiopia)
- Camera (Ethiopia has lots of scenic sites)
- Quality moisturizers and lip balm (it is dry and arid)
You’ll Make Lots Of Friends
Love coffee and also love conversations? Then, expect to make many friends in Ethiopia as they are generally friendly people. Even if you don’t enjoy coffee, hospitability is a cultural thing in Ethiopia, you’ll still make friends.
If people are being nice, it’s because they truly are not because they’re looking to get something from you or rip you off. You’ll make lots of friends who you’ll notice are usually curious about the world outside theirs and also eager to speak and practice their English with the faranji.
Yes, the faranji!
In Ethiopia, visitors are referred to as faranji while the locals refer to themselves as habeshas. Relax; there are no discriminatory connotations to it. And try not to be offended by it because you’ll be called just that severally in Ethiopia.
An Array Of Greeting Styles
There are several ways to greet in this country. It ranges from simple handshakes, shoulder bumps, to multiple kisses. Don’t worry; you don’t have to do all. Simply try out as many as you want and settle for the ones you’re most comfortable with
Only Hotels. No Hostels
Budget guesthouses are your best bet if you’re backpacking in Ethiopia. They can be found almost everywhere. The rooms are usually private and each with bathrooms and also usually with breakfast and Wi-Fi included in the package.
Prices typically start from 300 birrs (about $15 USD) per night. It’s hard to find anything lesser. The guesthouses are secure with lockable gates and 24hrs security.
No Skimpy/Short Shorts
The culture in Ethiopia might be more conservative than you’re probably used to. Revealing clothes are not commonly worn here. As a country that actively combines the old and the new, you’ll find both young and old people dressed in a mix of traditional and western clothing.
Why You Should Visit Ethiopia
Until some years, what many knew of Ethiopia was the grim images of war, hunger and drought-ridden landscapes.
Despite past unrest, Ethiopia is and has been a land bursting with intriguing landmarks and traditions, tasty meals, and possibly some of the friendliest people ever. So, yes; you should visit Ethiopia for a firsthand experience of this amazing country.
Ever been to Ethiopia? How did you like it there? Any tips you’d like to share with first time travelers? Please do so in the comment section below!
Solo Travels: Why You Should Travel Alone
Solo travel! You’ve seen others take the leap. And while you admire the fact that they can just wake up and decide to travel alone, traveling alone isn’t something you look forward to or ever considered trying. Like most first-time solo travelers, the thought of being out there in the world, accompanied by no one or at least not by anyone you know can be too frightening.
If you have never tried traveling alone or felt “brave” enough to give it a shot, I’ll outline some of the reasons you should. Hopefully, these reasons will help to convince you that while travel companions are great and fun, you can still have the time of your life all by yourself in a new place.
Benefits Of Traveling Alone
You Leave Your Comfort Zone
As the saying goes, the comfort zone might be a very beautiful place but nothing new or interesting ever comes from it.
You need your solo trips not only as a way to get out of the old routine but as one of the several ways you can refresh yourself with new experiences. Scared of flying? Scared of the long bus or train trips? Try going on a solo trip! By pushing yourself out of your comfort zone, you become more confident in yourself and how you look at things.
Take that first step; buy the plane, train, or bus ticket. And yes, the first time will not be easy but don’t let quitting be part of your options. You want to force yourself to get comfortable with being uncomfortable. And soon enough, solo traveling will be your new normal.
You Engage More With Your Destination
On solo trips, it is less about your companions and more about the destination. You are completely free of the distractions from the other person and have more opportunity to engage better with the destination. You engage with the culture and history of your destination instead of a travel companion.
You Making Lasting Friendships Easily
Think about it; when traveling or going anywhere at all, it is easier for you to be approached on your own than as a pair or in a group.
You are much more likely to begin and enjoy conversations with people you meet alone on your trip. And who knows, you may gain a friend for a lifetime with that simple encounter.
Curiosity Takes You Even Farther
When you travel solo, you earn the admiration, respect, concern, and interest from fellow travelers. People are eager to help and would go out of their way to improve your travel experience.
People are naturally more curious about the solo traveler than the pair and as such, would waste no time to be of help in any way possible.
You Get An Opportunity To Learn A Different Language
When traveling alone with no distraction from a companion, you are a lot more likely to make the most of your trip.
One of the several things you can do is learn the local language. And no, you don’t have to be fluent at it. Just simple words and sentences to help you know the places you’re visiting better and also understand the people there.
This also means that you’ll be more likely to engage in meaningful conversations with the inhabitants.
No Undesirable Habits To Deal With
Traveling alone can mean that you do not have to put up with annoying small habits you’d have dealt with. No snoring companion, no blanket-grabbing companion, and no arguments about decisions or possessions.
You Can Reflect And Think With No Distraction
True, traveling alone allows you to meet and make new friends along the way but it can also be an opportunity for deep reflections and thoughtfulness if you want.
This is especially true if you usually struggled to get the chance to be by yourself and think. Now, you have all the time and space in the world to look deeply into your life and redirect your path if needed.
Your Confidence And Self-Reliance Increases
You boost your self-confidence by forcing yourself out of your comfort zone and dealing with “uncomfortable” and unexpected events.
Your experiences from these events have taught you what to do and how to act in a tight spot. You have seen a lot to give you the experience to improve should the need ever arises.
For example, you know what to do during transport delays on backpacking trips; you know how to do the simple things like setting up a mosquito net, and how to manage if your bus develops a fault in the middle of nowhere. All of these experiences shape your character and build you to become more confident in yourself and your capability in many situations.
You Plan Your Trip However You Want It
Been trying to plan a perfect trip? Traveling solo gives you a chance to do so. When planning a trip for you, there are zero arguments about preferences. There are no compromises or worries about dining and touring. You can freely visit all of the places that you have always wanted to be without worrying about your travel partner not liking the places you choose.
Your Opinion Is All That Matters
When you travel solo, no other person’s opinions matter. You do not bear the burden of another’s opinions on your relationship choices, careers, or any other aspect of your life.
You Learn Through People
Thanks to the new people you will meet on your solo trip, you learn new things about places and ethnicity to broaden your knowledge. You will also understand and appreciate the vastness of life beyond what you have been used to.
Also, with frequent communications with other people, you will better understand your communication and interpersonal skills and the areas you can improve on. Your professional life also improves as you meet new people, new experiences, and adventures that add to you.
Until you set out alone, you will never know who you will meet on your trip. I mentioned meeting new friends as one of the perks of traveling alone. You could also find romance; a new relationship or a lifelong friendship that you would have missed out on had you stayed home or traveled with a companion. You will never know until you make that bold move and set off on your own.
Opportunity To Make New Memories
Solo traveling is an opportunity to make new interesting memories that you will hold dear forever. True, you can stay home, live “normal” and still be happy. But if you are looking to create new wonderful memories, make that move. Travel solo and consciously decide to make new experiences that you can share with others or even keep to yourself but cherish forever.
Before you travel alone, know the following;
You Will Never Be Lonely
The fear or worry of being alone in a new place is a common reason people put off traveling solo. Well, this fear is very much unfounded.
You are not the only one who will be on a solo trip to your destination. Several others are on solo trips as well. Plus, thousands of people travel by themselves every day. It is also very likely that you will meet more than a few of them in your travels. And who knows, your new best friend may just be sitting behind you in the backpacker bar or the overnight trains.
The point is; you’ll always have company when and if you want. Just a simple “hello” and small conversation can make a world of difference. The choice is yours; being lonely and staying lonely is always optional on solo trips.
Solo Travels Are Completely Safe
When many think about solo travel, “dangerous” is often what they associate it with. But this is as far from the truth as it gets. Yes, you do need to be careful but no more than you would need to be when traveling with a companion or in a group. Male or female, traveling alone is completely safe once you apply general travel safety precautions.
Why You Should Travel Alone: Conclusion
Solo traveling offers you so many benefits. You should give it a try and before you know it, you will soon start looking forward to solo travels. Simply follow basic safety precautions and you will be fine on your own. Besides, waiting for others to travel at the same time as you may mean that you would never get to experience new places as they may not be ready when you are ready.
Buy that ticket, take that solo trip and see parts of the world you have never before seen for yourself, believe it, you will love the experience.
To make your trips even more enjoyable from the start, make sure you follow the basic plane etiquette if you are traveling by air, and also, don’t forget to pack some delicious and nourishing homemade travel snacks.
Should You Get Travel Insurance?
Designed to protect you against travel-related problems and misfortunes, travel insurance continues to be a hot topic as more people continue to use it and more also wonder if it is truly worth it.
Should you get travel insurance? Is it really necessary to buy travel insurance? You may have asked these questions in the past when you booked your flight or cruise. And maybe more than a few times, you actually bought travel insurance.
And these days, it’s even easier to purchase insurance thanks to travel sites and even credit card companies. But then, is travel insurance worth it? Would you do just fine without the extra cost? We’ll find out as I discuss all of these questions and more in this post. But first, we’ll look at the main types of travel insurance and what they cover.
Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance
With this insurance type, you are reimbursed on non-refundable travel costs if your trip is canceled or delayed due to ill-health, natural disaster, or your travel company goes out of business before you travel.
Many independent and carrier-provided insurance policies will offer you protection up to the amount of insurance you purchased. If you want a raise on the cost of your insurance policy, you can always purchase the “cancel for any reason” coverage. To be eligible to purchase this package, you may have to buy your policy two to three weeks before buying your plane or cruise tickets. On this package, you can cancel up to just days before your departure and get around 50% to 75% of your travel costs.
True, it doesn’t seem too reasonable to get insurance for potentially changing your mind, but life happens. Your family member’s illness, a job loss, or even any other unforeseen circumstance not covered by regular cancelation insurance may require it.
Travel Accident Insurance
One of the commonest travel insurance types, this plan typically covers doctor visits, ambulance rides, prescription medication, and hospital stays. Some also cover evacuation costs back home in medical emergencies. When traveling abroad, you want to stay covered in case of a health emergency.
Baggage And Personal Items Coverage
Another common travel insurance package, it covers the losses you could have incurred from baggage content theft, stolen, lost, or delayed baggage. The insurance will pay you for the troubles of replacing personal items. It typically covers up to $1000 per lost bag and up to $500 for delayed baggage.
Dismemberment Insurance Or Accidental Death
This plan covers accidental loss of life or life-altering accident (losing a limb, eyesight, etc.) if it occurs to someone in your party. The receiver may get up to $500,000 depending on the severity of the condition.
Should You Get Travel Insurance? When You Don’t Need Travel Insurance
Just like other insurance policies, travel insurance is more or less a gamble. You may never need it but you also don’t want to regret not buying one.
Should you or should you not get travel insurance? That will be for you to decide in the end. However, if you already have life insurance that covers situations such as death or dismemberment, or even health insurance covering overseas health emergencies, travel insurance may not be necessary.
Other reasons you may want to consider skipping on that extra cost are outlined below.
Traveling Within The Country
If you’re traveling to a state within the U.S/state within your country, remember that the travel costs are usually low; hence, spending extra on travel insurance may be pointless.
The airfares are relatively inexpensive and for most people, planning just days before the trip works for them (most travel insurance types will have to be bought more than a few weeks before).
Also, if you have medical or life insurance, you are usually covered for emergencies that could occur. That said, you should check to confirm exactly what the insurance covers and where the coverage ends.
If Your Credit Card Offers It
Does your credit card offer travel insurance as a bonus? Some reward credit cards provide users with complimentary trip protection benefits. These include cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Citi Prestige, and the Sapphire Reserve. Some of these cards may reimburse non-refundable travel purchases, collision damage waiver, and accidental delay-related expenses.
May Not Be Needed For Flights
While it may seem like a smart move purchasing trip cancelation insurance on flights costing up to hundreds or even thousands of dollars it becomes pointless once you familiarize yourself with the rights you enjoy as a passenger.
An example is a canceled flight; you are by right supposed to get the next available seat on the next flight to your destination. Getting insurance, in this case, would be a waste of money plus it would do little or nothing to help you get booked again faster.
Also, you are supposed to get compensation if you experience a major delay or your flight gets canceled. You are not required to have insurance for this. however, getting your due compensation may take some time, but there are organizations such as AirHelp that are set up to help hasten the process and get the payout in exchange for a set percentage of any compensation won.
When You Waited Too Long
With travel insurance, you want the best rates and coverage amounts. To do this, you would need to buy travel insurance within 10 to 15 days of making your travel reservations. Beyond this time frame, you’ll have to pay higher for most packages or even have to settle for a significantly reduced policy.
Should You Get Travel Insurance? When You Need Travel Insurance
Unless you have a life insurance policy or any other wide-covering policy, many experts advise that you buy at least an emergency or evacuation insurance when traveling internationally.
This is particularly important if you have to plan the trip far ahead of your departure date. International trips are more expensive and travelers tend to stay longer than they would on domestic trips. According to these experts, you should consider buying a comprehensive coverage that covers you for a broad range of situations. That said, travelers are generally advised to buy travel insurance if they have to pay up to 80% of the trip cost upfront.
For Medical Reasons
During vacations, things can go wrong and when you’re far away from home, medical help may not be very easy to come by. Plus, it can be too expensive to comfortably afford from your pocket.
With a comprehensive travel insurance policy, you’ll avoid spending out-of-pocket. If you already have medical insurance or life insurance covering “customary and reasonable” hospital costs abroad, you may not need it. However, serious issues can cause your bills to go up quickly. Medical evacuation internationally, for example, can cost as high as $50,000 depending on your health condition and the location and that is a lot of money to pay from your “travel pocket”.
Cruises often require upfront payment, carry a much higher risk of problems, and usually involve international travel; hence they tick virtually every requirement for comprehensive insurance. You can buy the insurance through your cruise company when booking or from a travel insurance company. There isn’t much difference between the options offered.
Buying Travel Insurance: deciding if is it really worth It?
Travel insurance to some may seem like those several other types of “pointless” insurance. But is it really? Maybe, maybe not. In some cases, it can be one of the smartest moves you make towards your travel and in some other cases, it can be truly pointless. If you’re still not sure, the following considerations may help you arrive at a final decision.
The Amount At Stake If Something Goes Amiss On The Trip
On local trips, travel insurance may not be needed but on an expensive international trip, you don’t want to take chances. For one, there’s a higher chance of something going wrong and if it does go wrong, you want the trip insured.
Does Your Credit Card Offer Travel Insurance?
As discussed earlier, most reward cards offer users some coverage. But don’t assume. Instead, read the fine print to be certain that it would take care of your insurance needs on trips. And if you don’t already, try to book your trips with the cards offering travel insurance.
Does Your Life Insurance Policy Provide You With Trip Coverage?
Health emergencies are often the most important and as discussed earlier, if your life insurance policy or any other insurance type covers international travel health emergencies, it’d be pointless to get travel insurance.
Conclusion: Should I Get Travel Insurance?
Is travel insurance worth it? Once again, you’ll decide this. However, keep in mind that travel insurance can be a huge blessing for expensive, non-refundable travel costs. While it may seem like a financial loss when all goes well on a trip, it is always more than worth it if and when accidents occur.
Finally, start getting familiar with your credit card travel insurance offers, know the extent of your life insurance, or any other coverage, and this way, you can maximize the benefits on future trips.
Thoughts? Questions? Share in the comment section below.
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How To Travel More Even With A Busy Schedule
Travel can be expensive but even more expensive is the time needed for traveling. Time! You never seem to ever get enough of it for the vacations you really want to take. And you wonder how the others make it happen. Do people who travel regularly even work? Well yes, many do.
How Can You Travel More With A Tight Schedule? Is This Possible?
If you’ve been thinking about traveling more with a busy schedule, know this; it is completely doable. I’ll share some of the ways you can prioritize traveling even with a heavy workload or a super-busy schedule.
Set Aside A Travel Budget And Fund Monthly (Or Weekly If You Can)
Travel is essential and if you can afford to, set aside a travel budget; just like you do for rent, groceries, or any other necessity.
It doesn’t have to be huge, just a small budget. Having one will also constantly serve as a reminder to take a trip. You’re also inclined to fund this budget and that in turn makes you feel OK when you take out of it for its specified purpose. With a set travel budget, you won’t ever feel guilty for taking out cash for a plane ticket, car rental or train ticket, hotel accommodation whenever you feel like seeing new sites or just visiting family or friends.
Take Unpaid Leave
Paid leaves especially when you need them are hardly ever guaranteed. What can you do then? Take unpaid leaves! You have your travel fund and your company will most likely allow this arrangement as long as it is not for an extended period.
You can start planning now; while not ideal from a financial point of view especially if you’re yet to set up a fund designated for travels, unpaid leaves allow you to travel longer than your paid leave vacation would likely have allowed.
Discover Your Main Travel Motivation
What motivates you to travel? Knowing this is crucial to creating the time and devotedly saving up to travel.
Do you see travel as a form of self-care and a way to reset and feel rejuvenated from the usual? Do you simply have a desire to experience new things? Is travel the way you get some relaxing alone time with your significant other?
Find what spurs you to travel and let it push you to create time and make plans to travel more than you currently do.
Make Use Of Weekends
Yes, a week may not seem long enough but it’s enough to get away from the usual. It’s enough to get away from the hustle and grind in the town you’ve lived in since almost forever. Just two days away from the usual will do so much if you put it to good use.
It doesn’t have to be a long-distance trip. You can take a hike with friends or colleagues, visit the nearby city, go on that mindfulness retreat you’ve been putting off, visit relatives in the country, or even go for a spa weekend. Think of anything; the options are unlimited. The best part? You can make it a long weekend; leave on Friday and return on Monday morning.
Utilize Holiday Breaks
You have no excuses, lots of workers get days off during major holidays. These holidays include Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year. Most also let workers get some time off for the Fourth of July celebrations.
While it would mean missing out on the usual festivities and traditions, these holidays are excellent opportunities to finally go on that vacation. You can even request for a few more days off; this way you can have an entire week or more to travel wherever you want.
Take Some Time Off Between Jobs
Take that period between leaving your old job and taking up a new one to travel. You’re as free as bird within this time frame even though briefly.
Unless finance is a huge constraint, you shouldn’t be too eager to begin a new job (yeah, you want to impress your new boss) that you jump right into it even before you’re officially required to begin.
Also, many companies let you negotiate a start date and if your new company allows for that, you can request a later start date. You don’t have to reveal why. And even if you do reveal your intentions, they may not mind at all especially if you aced the interviews and already got the job offer.
Find A Travel Buddy
This could be significant other, your friend, a sibling, or even your neighbor. It’s all too easy to cancel or postpone trips if you have to travel by yourself. But with a travel buddy, you become more accountable.
Your buddy will remind and force you to go on the vacations. You’ll be reminded of how much you deserve and need the trip if you ever start feeling guilty or too busy with work to take some time away.
Fully Build On Work Trips
Not everyone has the opportunity to travel on the job but if you’re lucky enough to land a job or run a business involving regular trips, then milk it.
Take advantage of the free flights, take some time to explore the new place, request for, and spend a few more days if possible to fully tour the area. Visit interesting places, see amazing sites, and taste different cuisines.
Negotiate Favorable Vacation Time For Yourself Before You Begin A New Job
You did it! You got the job! Great! Now, this is the moment to negotiate vacation time, yes, you should negotiate vacation time or you’ll likely have to make do with whatever you’re offered for a very long time. However, make sure you only do this when you have the job offer in hand, you don’t want to give off the impression that you’re more focused on your time off. No recruiter wants that.
That said, once you get the offer; negotiate favorable time frames if the one offered isn’t. Another way to negotiate for more vacation time is by asking for more pay than you were offered, if they refuse, you can ask for an extra week or two of vacation time. Most will agree to it than paying you more.
Make Travel A Priority
Your self-care should be a priority. And priorities help you decide what you need to leave out or allow. You should never get too busy to give yourself the care you deserve. Make traveling a priority and when you do so, you won’t have to wait until a perfect opportunity arises. The perfect opportunity may never come.
And no, you don’t have to disrupt your entire schedule to take trips. Watch out for gaps in your schedule; take advantage of holiday breaks, take advantage of tasks you can easily handle later, or have a colleague handle for you. And before you know it, you’ll be relaxing by the pool in a different country.
Start Your Business
Start a business! Quit that job now!
Just kidding. But then, starting a business is something you should consider if you’re looking to gain more travel experiences. And yes, it’s easier said than done but it’s still achievable.
These are just basics but should help steer you in the right direction; get marketable skills and in-demand expertise. Learn, learn, and learn! Find new challenges, new experiences, and read books on those in the same or similar line of business.
Read books on entrepreneurship, do your research, test the waters, build relevant contacts, and pursue that ambition fully once you feel ready.
It would take a while, lots of sweat and tears but rewards are always worth it in the end. Plus, once you set the ball rolling, you can finally travel as much as you’ve always wanted.
How To Travel More With A Busy Schedule: Conclusion
In this increasingly busy world, putting yourself first can be hard. Even when you try, there’s always some quote about why you should be grinding round the clock.
Unless you inherited a huge fortune, you need to work to fund the vacations in the first place so the quotes are not exactly wrong. But the thing is; work never stops and until you make yourself a priority, the perfect opportunity to travel may never land on your laps.
Put self-care first, and if you haven’t been doing that, you should begin right now. Your physical and mental health needs it and if traveling is something that helps you feel so much better, then make it a priority on your list of “true” priorities.
Don’t feel guilty about traveling, learn to see it for what it is; an investment in your wellness. Budget, save up, find a travel buddy, use the weekends, start a business, build on work trips; do just about anything legal if it helps you give yourself the care you deserve. Again, don’t ever feel guilty about it.
Know other tips for making time for traveling with a busy schedule? Share in the comment section below.
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