Balancing a Full-Time Job and Jet-Setting: Anu's Expert Tips for Travelers
Anu Agarwal
Introducing Anu Agarwal: the ultimate multitasker.
17th Jun | 6 min read

Table of Contents

    By day, Anu Agarwal is a dedicated wife and a loving mom, juggling the demands of a full-time IT software engineer. But beneath her everyday roles lies a relentless passion for travel.

    Whenever there's a window of opportunity, she's jetting off to discover new destinations. Anu's travel obsession doesn't stop at exploration; it extends to meticulous travel planning. In fact, she's the genius behind Destination Checkoff, a blog created to ignite wanderlust in fellow working professionals.

    Through her blog, Anu shares detailed itineraries and savvy travel tips, aiming to inspire others to embark on exciting journeys.

    Join The GAFFL Newsletter

    Join our subscriber list to receive the best tips on solo travel, helpful travel guides, inspirational travel stories, and more. You can unsubscribe anytime with just one click.


    From India To The USA: My Journey Of Travel And Transformation

    I spent my childhood and young adult life in India. As a kid, I hardly ever traveled as my parents were not the traveling kind.  

    When I grew up and started working, I had an opportunity to travel to the United States for a work project. It was such an incredible experience to be in a new country far away from home and explore new surroundings. 

    After that, I took every opportunity I got to travel through work. After marriage, my husband and I decided to explore work opportunities in the United States and moved here. 

    Being in the United States opened up the doors of travel for me. We worked hard and saved our earnings so that we could travel to new places!

    Traveling has become a passion for me, and travel research is my obsession. I love planning detailed itineraries for our trips. Upcoming travels are what keep me going!

    Duration Of My Trips

    I have a full-time job and can only travel when I can take vacation days from work. I typically plan for 7 to 14 day long trips, during the summer and winter breaks. I also have to look at my kid's school schedule, as I mostly take family vacations.

    Unlocking The Secrets Of My Travel Planning Process

    I always have a bucket list of destinations running in my mind. As a travel blogger, I network with a lot of other travel bloggers and keep hearing about new places and experiences that keep getting added to my list.

    My next destination is based on a lot of factors, the most important of those are work and family commitments. If I have fewer days, I pick a closer road trip destination, if I can get away for two weeks, I will pick an international destination that needs more time. Cost is also a factor; how much I can afford to spend on vacation at that moment in time.

    Once I lock down a destination, I start my travel research which is my favorite part! How to reach there, where to stay, what are the top things to see and do, any unique experiences that are a must-do, what else is nearby that can be explored as day trips, etc.

    From California To The World: A Traveler's Journey

    I want to see the world! I have lived in India as a kid and young adult and now living in California, US. 

    I have explored many states in the US, like Alaska, Hawaii, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Oregon, and Washington.

    In Canada, so far, I have explored the Banff and Jasper National Parks in Canadian Rockies and the Quebec region - Niagra falls, Toronto, Ottawa, Montreal, and Quebec City.  In Mexico have been to Cancun.

    I have traveled to Germany, France, Switzerland, and Austria in Europe. 

    I have also been to Dubai in UAE. 

    There are quite a few adventures and experiences that have been memorable. Walking on a 1000-year-old Athabasca glacier in Banff National Park was an exciting experience.  Seeing the bright red lava glow from the Halemanu crater in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park after a night hike was surreal and a humbling experience against the immense power of nature. 

    Parasailing over the stunningly beautiful Lake Tahoe took my breath away!  Jeep safari over the sand dunes in Dubai was an adventure for sure and nerve-wracking!

    The Everest Base Camp hike in the Himalayas is on my bucket list! Also, exploring more of Europe, Canada, and Central America is on my bucket list as well!

    Connecting With Locals: The Heart Of My Travel Experiences

    I try to indulge in tours and local experiences on my trips so that I can bring those experiences to my readers and make good recommendations. It is fun interacting with the local tour guides and hearing their stories. On the Big Island, I remember the Waipio Valley tour and hearing about the sacred valley from our local guide. 

    In Quebec City, Canada, the boutique hotel where we stayed had an excellent manager, and the pleasant interactions with him during our stay were actually one of the fondest memories my family has of Quebec City. 

    Once, when I was traveling alone internationally, my fellow passenger was also traveling alone, and we bonded instantly. She is still one of my dear friends after several years!

    The Joy Of Travel Research: How It Became My Passion And Profession

    I love travel and travel-related research. Friends and families always asked me for itinerary planning advice for their trips, and that was the main driver that led me to start documenting my trip itineraries. 

    I started exploring how to get my travel research to more people, and that is how I found travel blogging a year ago. 

    Before I had my blog, I used to feel a void after my travels and a longing to go back. Now in between vacation travel, writing about travel keeps me busy and happy! 

    Not everyone loves or even likes travel research for their trips, or might not have the time for it.

    My blog’s mission is to make it easy for working people to plan extraordinary trips and enjoy them to the fullest.  For working people, time is money sometimes, and I want to help them utilize their vacation days to the maximum by indulging in unique experiences and traveling to new destinations.

    How I Manage My Work & Travel

    I will admit that it is a difficult task to manage a full-time job, a travel blog, and travel along with family commitments as well. 

    I work hard at my day job so that I can travel. Travel blogging is a creative outlet that keeps me occupied and connected to the travel world when I am not traveling.

    Major Challenges That I Have Faced

    So far, the most challenging aspect of traveling for me has been finding time to travel with work and family commitments! Once my kids are off to college, I can explore a lot more destinations.  Safety is big on my list while exploring new places as I travel with family. I book hotels in safe and well-known areas by reading a lot of online reviews. 

    I book tours that have good ratings and reviews. I double-triple-check everything before we start our trip. I would never recommend a hotel or tour that is not safe to my readers. 

    Banff Bliss: A Tale of Canadian Rockies and Pristine Lakes

    The trip to Banff National Park in Canada was one of my most memorable trips. The entire region is so beautiful, with snow-capped mountain peaks and aqua blue lakes and wildlife.

    We spotted so many black bears just walking along the road on Icefields Parkway. The excursion on the Athabasca Glacier and walking on a 1000-year-old sheet of ice was mind-blowing!

    Advice For People Who Wish To Travel Maintaining Full Time Jobs

    Use your vacation time wisely! Plan out at least two week-long trips a year with your time off days at work. With advance planning, you should be able to get good deals on flights and do a 9-10 day long vacation with 5 days off at work and combining the weekends before and after. 

    Use weekends and long weekends to explore nearby destinations. If your job allows you to work remotely, that opens up a lot more possibilities for travel!

    Join The GAFFL Newsletter

    Join our subscriber list to receive the best tips on solo travel, helpful travel guides, inspirational travel stories, and more. You can unsubscribe anytime with just one click.