A husband and wife who have nine-to-five jobs in IT have travelled to over 40 countries in two years – and insist their jet-setting lifestyle is achievable for anyone.
Sangam Bhandari and his wife Shikha Neupane, both 28, from Dartford, Kent own a house and have a mortgage to pay, but jet off to another country almost every single weekend.
Shikha who works for Transport For London, and Sangam who has a job at an IT consultancy company, have explored over 40 countries in the past two years alone and say you can do the same too – even if you’re on a budget.
‘Two days’ commute to work can cost around £40 depending on where you live,’ said Sangam.
‘Add the cost of breakfast, coffee, snacks, some after-work dinner and drinks, it can quickly add up. If you plan well in advance some of the European destinations can be explored for a weekend less than £200 for two.’
The IT professionals, work 9am-5pm during weekdays but sometimes jet off on a Thursday evening to take advantage of cheaper flights and then work remotely from their hotel room on the Friday.
Sangam Bhandari, who works for Transport For London and Shikha Neupane, who has a job at an IT consultancy company, have been to over 40 countries in just two years. They visited Lago di Braies in Italy (above) on 28th August 2017
With every new place the adventurous duo visit, they share a powerful post to their 40000 Instagram followers. Above, the pair pose in Hallstatt, Austria on 31st March 2018
The married couple, who are originally from Nepal, have even been named as one of the top five Asian couple travel bloggers. They visited the Rila Monastery, Bulgaria in December 2018
‘While travelling is certainly not cheap, there are tricks and trips for reducing the cost,’ said Sangam. ‘A big part of it is planning and organisation.
‘Another important consideration is living like a local and avoiding expensive tourist traps. Using cards with no foreign exchange purchase and withdrawals certainly helps.’
One of the cheapest weekends they’ve had to date was a trip to Barcelona – which cost £100 for the flights, hotel and food.
But the pair, who each earn a salary of around £50K, typically spend £300 on weekends away, a total of £1,200 to £1500 a month, plus more for long-haul trips during the year.
‘Weekend destinations are cheapest,’ explained Sangam. ‘The key is booking in advance. Shikha has booked all of our trips up until June 2019. We haven’t got any weekends free at all.’
The pair, who both work in IT, say one of the best things about their job is the flexible working. Sangam said: ‘If you’ve got a laptop and internet connection you can work from anywhere in the world.’ Above, in North Slovakia on 3rd April 2018
Sangam advises that European breaks are cheapest. The married couple once went to Barcelona for a weekend for just £100 each. Above, pictured in Paris, France on 10th December 2017
They also manage to save money on flights by occasionally jetting off on a Thursday after work, as they’re lucky enough to have flexibility in their jobs.
‘If there’s a cheaper flight or hotel we will travel on Thursdays and then work from our hotel,’ Sangam said.
‘That’s one of the greatest things about being in a flexible workplace. If you’ve got a laptop and internet connection you can work from anywhere in the world.’
But for those whose careers don’t offer such luxuries as flexible working, the keen traveller insists not all is lost.
Sangam and Shikha’s 40 countries in two years
1 Destinations around the UK
8 Czech Republic
25 San Marino
31 Vatican City
‘For 90 percent of our trips, we fly Friday evening after work from a London airport,’ explained Sangam. ‘Then we come back Sunday evening or even Monday morning and go directly to work.
‘It can definitely be done. It’s not easy and you get tired, but if that passion keeps fuelling you, anything is possible.’
The travel bloggers, who are originally from Nepal, started sharing their adventures on their Instagram accounts @fourhappyfeet back in December 2016 and since then they have amassed almost 40,000 followers.
They have even been named among the top five Asian couple travel bloggers in 2018.
The couple, who have been together for nine years, often fly on a Friday and return Sunday evening or early Monday morning – and then head straight to work. Above, Sangam posed in Puglia, Italy on 3rd August 2018
Up until two years ago, Sangam had only been to Australia once. He said: ‘Being from Nepal and not coming from an affluent family, my parents didn’t have the resources to take me on holidays.’ Above, pictured in Grindelwald and Lauterbrunnen Switzerland on 20th August 2017
But travelling hasn’t always been a normal way of life for the pair who have been together for nine years.
‘Being from Nepal and not coming from an affluent family, my parents didn’t have the resources to take me on holidays,’ explained Sangam.
‘I’d only been to Australia once and hadn’t travelled anywhere else at all. Our first trip together was two years ago to the Czech Republic in Prague and it was amazing.’
The keen Instagrammers emphasise the importance of managing your finances – and say that some sacrifices need to be paid if you wish to replicate a lifestyle like theirs.
Sangam felt on top of the world as he visit one of the canary Island’s Gran Canaria on 28th January 2017 with his wife
Instead of spending money on going to fancy restaurants, the couple class their weekend breaks as their ‘dinner dates.’ Above, pictured in Berlin, Germany on 22nd September 2018
The keen Instagrammers emphasise the importance of managing your finances – and say that some sacrifices need to be paid if you wish to replicate a lifestyle like theirs. They visited Switzerland (above) in January 19th 2019
‘We’re fortunate we have jobs that pay us sort of well,’ said the experienced traveller. ‘But you must prioritise. We don’t go to fancy restaurants or on dinner dates very often, as we do that when we travel.
‘We like to see new things and that’s our dinner date. We have cut out a few things like technology and the need to have the latest Iphone.’
He added: ‘We also pay for some of the hotels we stay in using our credit card points. Planning in advance can save you a lot of money. It can be cheaper than your commute to work.’
In addition to their weekends away, they also take several long-haul holidays each year.
The most memorable place the duo have ever been to is Indonesia and Bali, but they also loved the time they spent in Stockholm, Sweden on 15th September 2018
Sangam and Shikha braved the weather conditions in Iceland back on 24th December 2018 and had a memorable weekend trip away
Just one of the many destinations the pair have been to is Budapest in Hungary, which they visited back on 2nd April 2018
‘We go on three of four long-haul holidays but most of them are us utilising the holidays we get from work. We also centre it around bank holidays to make it longer,’ explained Sangam. ‘In February we’re going to the Philippines and the Maldives, which have been the top destinations on our bucket list for a long time. We’re really excited.’
He added: ‘We’re also planning to go back to Nepal in October as my parents are still back home, and Shikha really wants to go to Bora Bora. Tanzania and Japan are also on my bucket list.’
The couple are so passionate about travelling they spend hours replying to the hundreds of messages they receive on their Instagram account – with the majority of people keen to know how they can live a similar lifestyle.
‘Our advice to anyone is follow your dreams and passions,’ said Sangam. ‘It’s not an easy lifestyle. We spend hours planning and organising things on social media responding to comments and messages, but it just makes us really happy.’