Travel more with a full time job and love life even more.
Want to travel more but can’t afford to quit your full-time job to do it? Don’t worry! I got you.
The average American is given a measly 10 days for personal time off. 10 days. That’s it. And this doesn’t include sick days or paid holidays.
There are at least five or six holidays that most companies recognize: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. So, you can forget about calling in sick if you really want to take those other four days as a vacation.
Compared to other countries, those two weeks are absolutely nothing! Don’t let this get you down though. There’s plenty of ways on how to travel more with a full-time job.
So, 10 days, huh? This doesn’t mean you can’t “beat the system” and use these days to their full advantage. Its all about how you space them out throughout the year and plan. You just need to get your creative juices flowing and be smart about it.
When you have limited vacation days a year, you only have so much time you can work with. Look at your calendar and plan out trips in advance – you’ll be able to ask for days off from work before anyone else, and therefore get approval.
It’ll ensure you are able to max out your personal time off and really take advantage of those well-deserved days off.
Set up your travel calendar early. Preferably when your vacation time resets. Plot in all the days your office is closed, including National Holidays and any additional days you might be granted.
Doing so will show you all those long weekends you have available, if you request days off around the holidays early, your chances of them getting approved is greater. Sorry, co-workers!
Yes, I know this totally contradicts the last point I just made. But sometimes, you just have to go with the flow and see where life takes you.
Last minute decision to head to Las Vegas on a Friday night after work with some girlfriends? Go for it! I bet you totally deserve some fun after that long week you’ve just had. I’m sure your girlfriends would like to travel more with their full-time job too.
Have a couple of days off in a row? Such as the day after Thanksgiving. That’s a three-day weekend right there. Better yet, leave Thanksgiving night. No one else wants to travel on a holiday. Can we say cheap flights?!
I understand that not everyone can be spontaneous so you may want to take a solo trip.
Say Yes (To Traveling More)
We all get into the habit of eat, sleep, work, repeat. And I totally understand its tough to break from routine.
If a friend asks if you want to take a long weekend road trip to a nearby city, say YES! The timing will never be perfect and I guarantee you’ll have an amazing time.
I suggest keeping a few vacation days saved up for when these unexpected trips arise. Saying yes can be difficult, especially when you have a house, family, and pets to look after. But remember, in order to give your all into these very important at-home parts of your life, you need to be truly happy.
And if travel is what makes you happy, well, then you know what you have to do! Which is, saying YES!
Roll Over Vacation Days
Like I said before, it’s important to have extra days saved up. Thinking of jetting off to Malaysia to volunteer with some local children and then relax in Bali? You’ll need more than a week for that.
If you know you’re planning a more ambitious trip the following year, rolling over this year’s days is usually an option with most places of work. Talk to your employer early on so there are no surprises on either end when you’re ready to book your flight.
Attend Work Conferences in Other Cities
If your job requires some travel, that’s awesome! You’re already ahead of the game. If not, you have to be creative. There are tons of beneficial conferences across the country for just about every profession.
Travel more with a full-time job by working while traveling.
Sure, your employer may not pick up all the expenses, but they’re more than likely to cover the cost of hotel and ticket.
Does your spouse have more vacation days than you? Bring them along on your work trip and spend the nights together. Of course, you will probably have to pay for their ticket.
Do some research on not only available classes/conferences, but also ways to keep the costs to a minimum. Present the cheapest possible travel option AND an awesome case as to why and how this particular conference will benefit your work at the company. Doing both will ensure a pretty good chance of being on your way.
With that being said, see if the option to extend your trip is possible (on either end, meaning either before the conference or after), and offer to pay the remaining nights at the hotel.
Travel More By Tagging Along on Work Trips
Going along with the above, does your spouse travel for work? Try to come along and stay in the company-paid-for hotel rooms for free!
Yes, your significant other may have to work during the day, but you can explore yourself, and then meet up for dinner. It’s better than staying home, right? And a way cheaper vacation at that too!
Take Full Advantage of National Holidays
This is the easiest way to maximize your trips. Add on a personal day to make your trip even longer.
If you already have a Monday off, why not take Tuesday off, too? Now you have four days in your destination of choice, and you only had to take one vacation day.
Or go on a week-long trip over a three-day weekend! You’ll use 4 days off instead of 5. Anything to conserve a day when you’ve got limited days available. Am I right?
Leave Late and Wake Up Extra Early
In order to fully maximize your vacation time, take a flight after work on Friday (or the dreaded red eye). You’ll more than likely sleep on the plane, potentially saving you a night at a hotel. Then return home super early Monday morning and head straight to the office. It can be done and you’ll have two FULL days in your destination by doing this.
Not only will you save money by booking a red-eye, you also save a ton of time and can visit a destination farther away. Have a hotel hold your bags while you book one last tour.
However, I don’t suggest flying more than one time zone away, as you don’t want to spend your weekend sitting on the plane.
Maximize Your Vacation Time with Shorter Weekend Trips
Travel more with a full-time job by maximizing your vacation time with shorter weekend trips.
Instead of using your ten days all at once, take a day off here and there to extend your weekends. Visit a city that is only a two-hour flight away so you’re not losing much time on travel.
A vacation doesn’t always have to be two weeks long and in a far away place! Three-four days can make an amazing adventure.
Learn About Your Sick Days
If your company differentiates between paid vacation leave and sick days, see if you can use the latter for doctor visits and other personal appointments.
Most are totally fine with this, and therefore, you’ll be able to use your days for true vacations. Plus, make sure to only take off the time you actually need for your appointment.
Some companies unfortunately dock you for a whole day, while others work on the hourly system. It’s always best to do your research and know exactly how your workplace handles such a thing.
And if you’ve got to take the entire day, use it to your advantage and spend the rest of the day exploring your hometown!
Call in Sick
I know. Not a best practice, but stay with me.
You’re a healthy person. You’ve got sick days burning a hole in your pocket, and guess what? If you ever leave the company, those days disappear. Use them to your advantage once in a while.
Ever taken a mental day so you can reset? It’s practically the same thing. I can’t say that I’ve done this, but ya know…it’s an option if you don’t have a guilty conscious like I do.
Check out these ideas on how to stay healthy while on vacation.
Dust Off Your Benefits Package
Remember the company welcome packet you first received when you were hired at your job? Most people don’t. The pages of overwhelming information are hardly memorable and you’re just happy you have a job and can pay your bills.
Many jobs offer a health and wellness program that rewards you for prioritizing your health. You might earn points for completing your annual check up or earn money for meeting new fitness goals.
Some jobs will pay for you to volunteer and may even have an incentive program for taking a wellness vacation. So, go dust off your benefits package and see what sort of travel your company can help you experience.
You’d be utterly amazed at what you can find close to your own hometown. Tour your own city. Sometimes a night in a nice hotel will scratch that travel itch of yours.
You shouldn’t be afraid to pamper yourself every once in a while. You earned it! And if you can squeeze it in over a weekend, even better!
Zero vacation days used!
Find great deals on websites such as Groupon, so this Friday or Saturday night stay doesn’t break the bank. My husband and I will travel about an hour away once a year to check out a different city, eat at a fancy restaurant we normally wouldn’t, and stay the night in a hotel.
Ask for More Vacation Days
Are you doing an awesome job at work and feel you deserve a raise? Instead of monetary compensation, suggest another week of paid vacation. Most employers, especially those with a tight budget, will gladly accept this request. It’s a win-win for everyone!
Yes, you won’t be making any more money than you previously were, but what’s the point of the strenuous, stressful, well-paying job if you have no time to enjoy yourself?
Ask Your Boss If You Can Work from Home Or ‘Remote’
There is no better way to travel more with a full-time job than to do it remotely. It’s becoming more and more common for people to work remotely in the work force, especially after the 2019 pandemic. More companies allow their employees the flexibility of working from home.
Why not ask for remote Fridays? Yes, you will still have to work that Friday, but you could be doing it at a coffee shop with a view of the beach in a city you’ve never been to before.
There is even plenty of research that shows employees can work more efficiently when working remotely. Employer benefits of remote workers include:
- Less micromanagement and more efficiency
- Less distraction and more productivity
- Gain action-oriented/self-starter employees who take initiative
- Improved employee retention, personal wellness, and morale
- Decreased office expenses
Ask Your Work for a Leave of Absence
Fancy a month or two in Europe? Go for it!
Many companies will agree if you prove to them how it will increase your work productivity once you return home. I have done this and taken a month off to travel around Australia. My company valued me enough to keep the job waiting for me when I returned.
Make sure to get all necessary work done beforehand, and ask when you feel you have been a great contribution to your team. Show your boss you deserve it.
You will probably not be getting paid during this time, so plan accordingly. Sabbatical anyone?
Travel More with a Full Time Job
You see so many stories online of people who quit their jobs to travel the world. It’s incredible and they are really inspiring stories, however the reality is that not everybody can do that.
If you are fresh out of college and reading this, then check this post out and travel before you even get a job.
For those that work full time, there are ways that you can travel more without leaving your job. It’s all about priorities and what you chose to spend your time and money on.
So, start to travel more with a full-time job and leave your co-workers wondering how you do it.
I hope these tips gave you some ideas on how to make the most of your time and work benefits to travel more. Now all you have to do is take care of your body and get better with your money so you can see the world more.
Remember: no adventure is worth compromising your health for. Listen to your body first, don’t take on more than you can handle, and avoid sacrificing sleep.
Still need convincing? Check out these 21 amazing benefits of travel and why it’s good for you.
Maybe going on that staycation sounds appealing? Be your own tour guide and help others travel around your city by becoming a Vocal Local.