One of the biggest questions I get asked is “how do you find the TIME to travel?”. You may have assumed that I have just been frolicking around the world with no responsibility to my name, but this just isn’t so. Since being out of college, i’ve worked a full-time job for 6 out of the 8 years! So I can totally relate to your travel woes concerning time. It can be tricky, but it is absolutely do-able!!
Here are few tips and tricks to maximize the time you do have to travel:
1. Utilize Holiday Time
This might feel like a given to you, but if you do plan to travel abroad, you need at least a week, and every “day off” counts! When I worked full time, this enticed me to plan trips around Memorial Day in May, and Labor Day in September (Holidays where the travel expenses don’t skyrocket like they do at Christmas, etc!). Kevin and I would plan a flight that would leave Friday night after work, and get back the following Sunday. Because Monday was a holiday, I only had to take 4 days off work! This certainly helps stretched those 14 vacation days further!!
2. Take Advantage of Comp Time
This was my biggest source of finding extra days to travel. My job at ELI required me to do a lot of out of the office work on weekends or after working hours. I spoke at churches on the weekend, conferences during the week, or college groups after work hours on the week days. This allowed me to accrue quite a few comp days that I could use at a later date. When Kevin and I took our big 21 day UK trip, we went over Memorial Day (getting one free day) and I used my comp time, and ended up only officially taking 4 days off! If you are in a position that requires some out of the office work, save up your days to use for a bigger trip!
3. Talk to your boss about taking unpaid time
Some employers allow you to take unpaid time off! If this is the case,
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT *ahem* utilize it! Obviously, the down side is that you will not get paid for a few days, but the upside is that you will be having the time of your life exploring and making memories that last a life time!! HELLO! Not a bad trade off!! Remember, travel is all about priorities, so check with your employer to see if this is a possibility!
4. Ask about “working remotely”
Depending on your job, you may be able to work from a remote destination. A few years ago, my family took their annual family vacation to Santa Cruz. I so badly wanted to go for a few days, so I worked it out with my boss to “work-from-home” Thursday and Friday, and then stay for the weekend with my family. Even though I worked from 9am-5pm in the beach house those days, I was able to enjoy dinner and a lovely evening with my family that I wouldn’t have gotten had I just arrived on Saturday! This can be a great option if it’s available to you:)
5. Find a job where you get to travel
This for me was one of the greatest avenues for travel. Obviously when I worked as an English teacher in Thailand, weekends and school breaks were a great way for me to explore more of Asia. When I worked for ELI, I got to explore Africa on a deeper level. My trip to Africa was considered a “work trip” so travel and work meshed hand in hand. It can happen, so don’t rule it out!!
6. Work part-time
I know this isn’t available to everyone, but my last year of working at ELI, I moved from full time to part time, at 28 hours a week. Those 12 extra hours certainly gave me more wiggle room to help plan travel! I was off work on Fridays, and having one more extra free day was all I needed to stretch my vacation days farther! That year I was able to travel to the UK, Alaska, Germany and Greece, all because I had one less day a week I had to account for!
Know that it’s so totally do-able to travel the world while working full time!! In my 6 years as a full-time employee, I was able to get about 16 stamps in my passport! I’d love to hear how some of you have managed!! Happy Traveling!
If you love to travel, here’s the latest in my Travel Series!! Happy Traveling:
How to Pay for Travel:
Part 1- Prioritize your spending
Part 2- Travel Credit Cards
Part 3- Food
Part 4- Teach Abroad
Part 5- Accommodations
Part 6- Transportation