How We Traveled to 13 Countries in 2016 with Full-Time Jobs (and how you can do it too)

How We Traveled to 13 Countries in 2016 with Full-Time Jobs (and how you can do it too)

How We Traveled to 13 Countries in 2016 with Full-Time Jobs (and how you can do it too)

Looking back at 2016, I can’t believe we went to all the places we did while working full-time jobs in Dubai. Before you assume we’re rich, lucky or insane, you’ve got to realize that Dubai is probably the single best city on Earth to travel from. This makes weekend escapes to the most insane places very easy – which we became obsessed with.

In October 2016, Jeff and I celebrated 2 years together along with our 20th country. From April to December, we’ve traveled to 13 international destinations together, from the USA to Nepal, through Iceland, Tajikistan, India and many more beautiful places we discovered or rediscovered together. 

“We also sometimes rent our apartment on Airbnb. Now that it’s legal in Dubai, we have found it to be extremely smart money wise, as it sometimes pays for our entire flight/hotel while our apartment makes someone happy in Dubai!”

As we love to film ourselves being rediculous and document our travels for you guys and for our friends and family, we put together 7 videos guides of these (often too short) trips, and constantly Snapchat our adventures when we’re out there exploring, so you can follow us in real time.

During the last nine months, we were able to visit Tanzania, Lebanon, Iceland, Prague, France, Monaco, Italy, Tajikistan, Nepal, London, Los Angeles, San Francisco, India, and Egypt. We also stayed close to Dubai, check out our top weekend road trips from Dubai.

Here’s the thing: Jeff and I both work full time in Dubai, and we don’t have any more days off than anyone else. So, how did we travel to 13 countries in 9 months with full-time jobs?


1 – “But how?! How do you travel so much?”

You might have noticed that most of our travel videos are part of the series “48 hours in…” series. We do these videos because this is usually exactly the time we have to escape, a fully packed weekend away from Dubai. 

The thing is, we create these videos for people like us, expats in Dubai or around the world, who work full time and like to make the most out of their weekends. For us, being in Dubai is great as it’s a perfect location to travel around, right in the middle of Europe and Asia. We can be in India one weekend and Egypt the next (which is exactly what we did two weeks ago!)

With so many beautiful and sometimes unknown places less than a 5-hour flight away, why not go explore when we have 2 days off! We’ve done 5 different long weekend trips from Dubai in 2016, all without taking a single day off work. (Think short Eid, long Eid, National Day, Prophets Birthday, etc) – they add up! 

Follow all our trips on our TripVerse profile with all the details of all our 48 hour trips!

How We Traveled to 13 Countries in 2016 with Full-Time Jobs (and how you can do it too)

We’ve had to say no to parties, camping trips and beach days, but in general, we will always remember the memories we make and the excitement we feel when we go explore a new country together. It

If we have a 3 or 4 day weekend, you can be sure that we’ve already booked tickets and are on our way somewhere the second we leave work. Far too many expats know exactly when all the religious holidays are in the UAE, but if you do a little planning you can get insanely cheap flights a few months in advance. 

As Dubai weekends are from Thursday evening to Saturday evening, we try our best to leave right after work on Thursday and come back early on Sunday to have a full 48 hours on the ground, even if it means going straight to work with jetlag, no makeup, and terrible hair!


 2 – “How do you afford to travel so much?!”

You’d be surprised! We are not rich at all, and again it’s all about making choices. While we take the metro to work instead of a taxi, and we literally never go shopping (or only very rarely!), we’d rather spend some more money on a direct flight somewhere or book a staycation to escape for a weekend.

We try not to splash too much money on brunches and fancy dinners, and instead check FlyDubai or Emirates for any offer or package that might be of interest (read: if we haven’t been already!).

We also sometimes rent our apartment on AirBNB. Now that it’s legal in Dubai, we have found it to be extremely smart money wise, as it sometimes pays for our entire flight/hotel while our apartment makes someone happy in Dubai!

Finally, we tend to pick countries where we don’t need to spend much money to truly appreciate it. Thankfully, Dubai is close to many gorgeous and somewhat underrated places, such as Lebanon, Tajikistan or India, but all we found there are very welcoming people and cheap – and delicious – street food that we can only recommend!


3 – “How Do You Save Money to Travel?”

At the end of the day, it’s all about choosing travel over something else, whether it is buying a car, partying too much (although we do that as well!), or going shopping every week.

We sat down and did the math in March: our entire Tanzania trip cost us about AED 2,000 each including flights, hotel (incredibly cheap, thanks FlyDubai!), tours, food, and drinks. 

This is what you spend on 2 brunches + 2 post-brunch drinks, or one Friday in Dubai if things got out of hand – which happens all the time…

Similarly, a shopping trip (est. AED 1000) and 2 brunches a month (2XAED 500) can give you another trip for two to Zanzibar if you save them for a month. 

You get my point.

There are a few ways to save money in Dubai, the most obvious being walking/taking the metro to work, cooking instead of eating out and going to your own gym (big deal) instead of buying a membership to a gym you’ll never go to – but we get it, it’s tough to save money in Dubai, it just seems to disappear huh?

Write down your monthly spending and see where you can cut it. As easy as that!

Bottom line is, it’s not that difficult and you don’t need to be a professional full-time travel blogger to enjoy discovering new places throughout the year. What made us take the leap is the fact that we always push each other to do more, save more, be spontaneous and explore new places together. 

If we spend our money on plane tickets, we can’t spend it on anything else now can we? Invest in travel!


  1. nitasha says:

    Absolutely loveeeee it! I do that too! I’ve already bookmarked ‘2017 public holidays’ to make the most of next year but I do impulsive spending which means sometimes im travelling broke! But 2017 will be an year to save a bit too so… yay! LOVE what you guys post, keep up the great work. Where will 2017 take you? To your destination wedding I suppose!

  2. Juni Sui says:

    I totally agree… this is interesting read. I have cut-down on partying, fancy dinners, shopping etc… i see a new love for travel. Connecting with people and embrace different cultures.

    This year i have been to Jordan, Sri Lanka, Seychelles, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand…

    The fact that i have sister and friends working in aviation i get discounted tickets and that is something i really value.

    Fill your life with adventures, not things. Have stories to tell and not stuff to show-off…

    Hopefully could meet you in one of my trip.

    My instagram is @tasteurtravel

  3. Narbada says:

    I’m really happy that you guys enjoyed a lot in Nepal. Nepal is a poor country but it’s beauty of nature. there are lots of different places in Nepal not only in Kathmandu and Pokhara. Specially,if you guys visit valley area you guys will definitely loved. I’m proud to be Nepali. I’m very far from my country but I love my country. I suggest you guy’s to visit village area. You will definitely gonna cry when you leave from there. The way they express their love and respect for you make you come back again. 💝💝💝💝💝💝💝💝 love from Nepalese Daughter.

    • Hi Sarah! It really is the best place in the world to travel from. Something different in every direction! I am in video production and Anne is in content marketing. Happy travels!

  4. Linda says:

    Well it’s also easy when you live in Dubai because there are so many direct flights from there. Living in Beirut, most destination requires a layover somewhere. Even close and direct flight destination like Milan or Paris are +500$ minimum most of the time, more during vacations and Eids. I travel to HK last summer. Flight from Paris was 650$… from Beirut it was +1000$.
    I cut down a lot as well… parties, beach, dinner etc… but yes eventually it’s always worth it!! I just wished flying from Beirut was not so expensive and direct I would be able to fly more often and to more places

  5. Love your spirits! My husband and I live in Dubai as well and we are flying to Nepal tonight (Fly Dubai!) for the weekend too!

    I stumbled across your today while doing research on how to best spend the 48 hours we have! Cant believe how similar our planning process was!

    We are planning to do a lot more 48 hour trips ourselves, so glad to see that we aren’t the only expats hustling away

    P.s I expecting to come back to work Monday morning looking like a zombie!

    • NIiiiiiiice! You’ll have an amazing time in Nepal, one of our favorite spots. Amazing how many places we can get to so easily from Dubai! Happy travels and let us know if we can help with anything 🙂

  6. Grace says:

    I live in Dubai and so glad it’s a hub to go to so many places whether Europe, Asia or Africa. I work full time so it’s difficult to travel often and long but always make do! You are right, as long as you know what you want and prioritise it, it is really possible to travel while having a full time job.

    Great post!

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