Stumble Into Indonesia's Unseen Places
Submitted by indohoyindohoy on 7 February 2012 • Tips
Tags: travel tips
2 years working as a freelancer gave me the luxury to travel longer than most Indonesians and I didn’t have to worry about going on trips on weekdays as long as I managed my deadlines right. But now that I’m back in the 9-5 – or so it should be – work force from Monday to Friday, I’m missing the chance to just go on what days and how long I want. But the show must go on! I mean, the trips still have to be done!
With only 12 leave days per year in my contract, I have to be really really wise in using them for very important and highly selected long trips (and by ‘long’ I mean 5 or more days; oh I pity Indonesian middle class workers including myself writing that). So weekends are what I have left. And it kinda tickles me to hear people whine about not having enough time to travel, that weekends are too short and expensive for going anywhere.
We left Jakarta on Saturday morning by car, spent a whole day at Anyer, crossed to the mountain in the Sunda Strait and hiked, got home on Sunday night.
Well, I don’t claim myself an expert, but I do have some travel tips for you 9-5 workers from Monday – Friday, to optimise your weekends for traveling. And these are all based on my friends’ and my experiences.
– Pack for Friday til Monday. Bring your travel gears to office on Friday, leave town on Friday night, be back on Monday morning, go straight to work. (Have your work apparel ready in your backpack or suitcase)
– Take night trains and buses into consideration. They can save accommodation budget cos you’ll be sleeping on the train or bus. It’s also a cheaper option than flights on weekend, especially long weekends.
– Research and itinerary. If you wanna fill up your weekend trip to the fullest, do some research beforehand on places to see, things to do, and how to get around. Better yet, make an itinerary. Or if you’re a planning freak, make plan A, B, C, etc. This helps you save time getting lost, spending too much time on unnecessary things or as simple as figuring out what’s next. But if you’re the spontaneous type, you might not need itineraries, but I still suggest that you do the research.
Caving at Pindul Cave, climbing the rocks at Sri Gethuk waterfall, watching Ramayana at Prambanan temple, watching Borobudur sunrise and a tour around the temple, dinner at Jejamuran & hanging out at Semesta cafe, all in one weekend. Phew!
– Get your rooms ready. Book your accommodation online or by phone, so you don’t waste time finding a hotel or hostel once you get there. Remember, hotels and hostels are most fully booked in the weekends. Unless you don’t mind spending the night in a sleeping bag on some sidewalk.
– Have someone else organize the trip for you. You can sign up for weekend tour packages. Just Google it, Facebook it, Lonely Planet it, or ask on Twitter. You just need to pay up, concentrate on work, and the organizer will do the rest.
– Finally, spread the virus. Let your co-workers know that it’s doable to release some tension in between weeks of tasks and office politics other than shopping at the mall or being a couch potato watching The Bachelor reruns!
You could even travel abroad in one weekend only. I took the first flight to Penang on Saturday, then the first flight back to Jakarta and made it to the office (just a bit late) on Monday.