How to Maximize Travel Time When You Have a Full-time Job

Swedish Globetrotters
The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque in Muscat

Liam and Henrik here, we live in Sweden where we both work. Liam work on the trains of a Swedish railway company and Henrik as a manager in the public healthcare system. Currently, we are at home in Sweden, planning our September travel to the Balkan. Liam is a typical extrovert person seeking the adventure, always wanting to break new ground, while Henrik is a bit more introvert but also a bit adventurous.

Swedish Globetrotters
Liam. Israel. Golan Heights. Arbel National Park and Nature Reserve. Sea of Galilee.

How and why did you get into traveling?

After a few trips between 2004 and 2009, in 2010 we changed our travel planning to a bit more spontaneous trips outside the traditional touristic box. Finding the less frequented destinations became our new way of thinking. What we like the most when visiting those places is that you no longer feel like a tourist, and you don’t need to use you elbows through crowds of people. And you get a connection with the real country, and not just what the brochures want you to see. Our traveling has steadily increased, due to our wish to see new places.

When you travel more spontaneous you see and do things that you normally wouldn’t plan. Often when we are going on a more detailed planned trip, a lot of the plans are being changed long the road. Due to weather, things you didn’t know about and want to see or do, or when we visited Granada in Spain to do some paragliding. It was too windy so the plans was changed to Alhambra and some city sightseeing in Granada city.

Our most spontaneous trip was when we traveled to Iceland. We wanted to go somewhere during the Swedish holiday Midsummer’s Eve, and we had no idea where. Almost a week before the holiday we found a plane that flew from Gothenburg (where we live) to the northern island. We had no plans at all and it was a very short stay, just two whole days and one night in Iceland. But with a rental car we managed to do a lot during these two days! We saw a lot of the beautiful landscape and the fascinating Strokkur geyser as well as the Gullfoss waterfall. We found our favourite place when driving on a random road towards Reykjavik, it’s called Brúarhlöd and the surroundings are amazing!

Swedish Globetrotters
Iceland seen from the sky.

Why is traveling important for you, and what’s your favorite culture so far?

We want to see and experience other cultures. We change our view of the societies in the world, learning a bit more for every trip. Honestly, we don’t have any favourite. We are very lame when it comes to pick favourites in any subject. It could be because we don’t want to get stuck with a certain label, like: these guys mostly do this or that, travel to these kind of countries, etc.

What have been the best and most difficult parts of your travels?

Best part is when things don’t work out as planned – a trip gets a bit more exciting when you make a wrong turn and ends up in an interesting new place.

Our biggest challenge is actually to get out of the bed early enough to have the hours needed to do what we have planned to see and do. The adventure makes us keep going, we want to maximize our travelling.

Swedish Globetrotters
Maletsunyane Falls in Semonkong, Lesotho

How do you manage combining jobs and travel?

As swedes, we are fortunate to have several paid vacation weeks – by law at least five weeks every year, but often more, depending on employer. Most airlines have frequent flyer programs and we collect miles at two of them. In 2016, we could travel to Hong Kong with our frequent flyer miles. We also participate in a hotel program, giving us every 10th night for free. We have spent two weeks on hotels free of charge for the last five years. By giving constructive feedback to hotel chains we also have received several free nights in more exclusive hotels and as frequent customers we also get upgrades.

The amount of weeks spent in hotels including paid nights would be a lot more than two weeks, haha 😂 Don’t dare to think of how much money we have spent on hotel rooms over the years.

Swedish Globetrotters
Inverdoorn nature reserve.

How do you prepare for and finance your travels?

We make a lot research with good help from Google and Trip Adviser, and the old-fashioned travel books. Liam loves his cameras, especially the GoPro and all its utilities! Henrik appreciate a good navigation system.

All our travels are financed by our pay checks, we aren’t sponsored in any way. Most of our travel budget goes to travelling, not the gear. We don’t dare to guess how much we have spent on our travels so far.

How do you balance normal life with traveling?

We spend about six weeks a year travelling and so far don’t think we miss out of anything. None of us have kids, which naturally makes everything much easier. As previously stated we have paid vacations, so being on a travel doesn’t mean we miss out on our incomes.

Swedish Globetrotters
Cape Point And The Cape Of Good Hope

What has been your best travel-related purchase below $100?

Our spacious backpacks have been the best travel-related purchases. One from Fjällräven (Räven 28L) and one from Osprey (Nebula). Although, the brands hasn’t been of importance, just as long as you can pack them full!

What other favorite gear do you have?

We haveGoPro Hero 4 Silver! It’s easy to use and has given us some pretty cool movies. iPhone/iPad is perfect to have on the travels to navigate, book hotels and activities and communicate with friends and family.

We have two cabin bags from Samsonite: S’CURE DLX Spinner 55cm Midnight Blue, and one bigger, Samsonite S’CURE DLX Spinner 69cm Midnight Blue.

The space in these bags are enough for us. We usually only have one cabin bag and the larger Samsonite on our travels. And of course one or two backpacks. We try to bring as few things as possible, and if we need something we didn’t bring, we can always buy it in the country we’re in.

What is your best advice for travelers?

Keep away from all inclusive trips and detailed tour schedules. Travel with your own agenda, use a rental car so that you are able to make unplanned detours.

Swedish Globetrotters
The skyline seen from Victoria Peak

What will the future bring?

We hope to be able to travel more and make even longer trips. Maybe travel on full time some day or move abroad. The website is still only a small project, the future is unwritten, but we want to keep letting our followers know what we are doing – so stay tuned!!

Follow Liam and Henrik on their travel blog, Facebook, and Instagram.

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