Travel is a bug bite with no cure.
For me personally, it started like it does for most people – you book your first trip somewhere, have an amazing time and as soon as you get back home, start thinking of booking your very next trip. And then there is this full-time job that you can’t let go off! I know the feeling.
So, I put together an article to give you hands-on tips on how you can travel more while working 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. Why? If it was that easy, half the world would have done it already, won’t they? Some wouldn’t want to let go of their safety net, while some don’t know how to start traveling full-time, and few others might actually enjoy their full-time jobs!
Whatever be the reason, this 800-word article would help you to accommodate more travel in your calendar along with your 9 to 5 job.
At the time of this article, I had been to 9 countries and had covered India extensively. That’s more than 40 trips in 36 months while working a full-time job.
It’s all about priorities and what you chose to spend your time and money on. Travel is my priority, which is how I manage to make it work and go on so many trips while having a full-time job.
Here’s how I afford to travel frequently.
5 hacks to travel more when you work 9-5
1. Include your weekends
Never break this rule! Always travel over the weekend
Whether it be Thursday through Sunday or Wednesday through Monday, weekend travel will help you save vacation days. Essentially, you’ll have 2 extra vacation days that you’d otherwise be using if you traveled throughout the week.
i.e. Instead of traveling Monday through Friday and using 5 vacation days, you can travel Thursday through Tuesday and use only 3 vacation days. Instead of traveling Monday through Friday, try traveling Friday through the next Sunday – this gives you 10 vacation days opposed to 5 using the same amount of time off, because you included the weekend before and after.
That could be some math, I understand. I’m a strategist by profession, so had to do my best to strategically maximise my time off
2. Be flexible around dates
You’re not a student anymore and unless you have kids in school, you don’t have to go travelling during school holidays anymore, you can go whenever you want!
I’ll usually have a rough idea of the period I want to go travelling, I plan some International trip around February – March and October-November. I travel on my birthdays as well, which is in December, so if I’m taking an International trip in October, I settle for a domestic trip for my birthday and vice versa
So, what I do is I go on SkyScanner, select the whole month option as opposed to dates, and voila’, it’ll tell me on which dates it’s cheaper to fly.
3. Take leave around public holidays
If you take your annual leave around public holiday days, you can travel for longer while using less annual leave.
I took a trip to Philippines during Diwali holidays cause I had 6 days off and I had to apply for only additional 4 days for leave which gave me a 14 days including weekends.
I don’t travel around Christmas cause the rates are inflated 5x so I plan my trip in the first week of December and I’m usually home during Christmas and New Year when my other colleagues go on their annual vacation, which is a win-win professionally as well.
4. Work From Home
If you have the ability to work from home, you’re pretty lucky. Take advantage of your flexible work arrangement and work in a new city. It’s 2020, so you should have no problem finding wifi(or a Starbucks, if all else fails).
Use your free time explore when you get off, especially in the Spring and Summer when the days are longer. And of course, the time really adds up when you include weekends (refer point 1)
5. Take advantage of travel opportunities at work
If you work as a consultant or a company that allows you to travel for various events, you should try to make use of the trip that you’re taking. If you happen to have a Wednesday – Friday conference, consider asking your manager to arrange your return flight to leave on Sunday instead of Friday especially if it is at no additional cost to the company. You can then spend the weekend exploring at no additional cost using no additional days off. And even if you can’t choose your flight days, you can spend your evenings exploring the city that you’re in if you plan accordingly.
As a 9-5 employee, these are the techniques that I personally used to travel despite having a full-time job.
If you also have a full-time job and love travelling, I’d love to hear how you make it work! Let me know in the comments below.
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