Raise your hand if you wish you traveled way more than you do. If your hand is outstretched, don’t worry—you’re not alone.
We all have those friends that appear to constantly be on the go, always kicking their feet back on a tropical beach or sipping espresso in a French bistro. The same question arises each time: how on earth do people travel like that with a full-time job?
While it would be easy to chalk it up to them simply being fortunate, the truth is that many of us have the ability to travel way more than we realize. It just takes some extra planning, patience, and a few sneaky travel hacks. (Spoiler alert: I’ve got the travel hacks!)
If you’ve been wondering how to travel more with a full time job, I’ve got good news for you. It is very possible! And it’s probably easier than you think. In this blog post, I’m sharing some of my top tips for traveling more than you ever thought you could while working full-time. Now, let’s get into it.
Here are some simple ways to travel more with a full-time job:
Take weekend trips.
One of the best ways to maximize your time off and travel more while working full-time is to take weekend trips throughout the year. This could mean hopping on Skyscanner to check out cheap flight destinations near you, or pulling out a map and finding desirable destinations located within a 4-hour drive of your home base.
After you’ve selected a few spots to add to your travel bucket list for the year, start planning a weekend trip. Cities you can get to by car or by a cheap, short flight are great for shorter weekend visits. By taking just one paid day off on a Friday, you can leave Thursday after work and enjoy three awesome nights at your destination of choice.
Plan trips around holidays.
When you work a 9 to 5, you’re only guaranteed a set number of paid time off (PTO). One of the best tips I can give you on how to travel more with a full-time job is using public holidays to your advantage. By planning your vacation around holidays, you can maximize your time off with a few extra days without it coming out of your PTO days.
For example, let’s say your company’s designated holidays include December 24th, December 25th, December 31st and January 1st. That means that you could leave on December 24th and return home on January 1st for a 9-day trip while using just three days of your PTO. Pretty sweet, right? That’s called clever planning, my friend!
Be flexible on dates.
If you work a full-time job, it’s important to be flexible on travel dates. For those of you with kids, this might mean planning around their winter or summer vacation dates. If you work as an accountant, this could mean avoiding travel during tax season. If there’s a specific week each quarter that you know you can’t leave during, plan accordingly.
By writing down all the dates that you know you can’t travel, you can start to focus on all the dates you can travel. Once you’ve determined your potential travel dates, you can then start figuring out the cheapest times to travel and the cheapest destinations to visit.
Work on your vacation.
I know this might sound crazy, and it’s nobody’s first choice, but hear me out. Let’s say you want to enjoy a full week at the beach, but you only have two days left of PTO. Should this mean you can’t take your family to the beach? Negatory! Talk with your employer to find out if working remotely on your vacation is an option.
While it may not be ideal, working on vacation allows you to get out of town and work from a new location. You can still enjoy quality time with your family, go for morning walks on the beach, and hit the town in the evenings. If you’ve got to work anyway, why not make the most of it?
Put in extra hours.
While this isn’t an option for everybody, many employers will allow their associates to put in extra hours to use towards PTO or compensation (comp) time off in lieu of overtime pay. If you aren’t sure whether you have this option, it’s definitely worth a conversation with your boss.
If you decide to go this route, make sure that the extra hours you work are accurately recorded and that those hours translate into PTO.
Take advantage of red-eye travel.
This travel hack isn’t for everyone, as I know there are plenty of people out there who can’t sleep well in transit. Totally understandable! However, if that’s not an issue for you, I highly recommend taking advantage of traveling at night.
You can work a full day, hop on a plane or train after work, slap on your eye mask and take a snooze, then wake up at your vacation destination. This is a great way to maximize your time when you don’t want to use up too many vacation days at once.
Traveling With a Full Time Job
If all else fails, look into switching to a full-time job that allows you to work from home. With the global pandemic forcing companies around the world to readjust the way they run their businesses, there are more opportunities for remote work than ever before.
I hope these tips on how to travel more with a full-time job help you travel more this year and beyond! The world is a beautiful place, with a never-ending supply of incredible destinations to see and diverse cultures to immerse ourselves in. It might take a little extra patience and planning, but I guarantee you can travel more than you know.
Looking for more family travel hacks? Check out this blog post on how to save money on your family vacation or this one on family road trip essentials.
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