Do you struggle to make travel a part of your life? Is it difficult for you to get time off? Would you like to travel more but you feel guilty when your colleagues have to do the work when you are off? Whether you're interested in solo travel for women, a much-needed wellness vacation or you want to tick something off your bucket-list, you DESERVE that vacation.
I travel a LOT. Often as a woman traveling alone which is why solo travel for women is one of my specialty areas. I get asked often how I manage to do so when I work full-time. You don't need to leave your job, just change your perspective, take the necessary steps and stay focused on your priorities.
If you have other responsibilities and can’t devote all your vacation time to travelling, try to go to at least one place you have never been before each year. It does not matter how long the trip is or where you go. Getting out of everyday life is so refreshing.
Start slow and see how it goes. If you enjoy it, you can travel further and longer next time.
I started with easy all-inclusive trips, with many independent excursions. As my confidence built up, I began to take more adventurous trips and some of them solo.
Travelling, just like many things, has a learning curve, but you need to take that first step.
MAKE USE OF YOUR ALLOTTED VACATION DAYS
Did you know that 55% of Americans do not use up all their paid vacation days. Some people are scared to take time off work because they think they will be perceived as lazy or uncommitted to the job. Others feel they are too busy and overwhelmed on the job. Once you view your days off as a benefit which you have worked for, then you will take it. There are plenty health benefits to it so not taking time off is no bueno. You do not have to travel, you can take those days off to sit at home and enjoy some downtime while sipping tea. You wouldn’t turn down your pay check so why turn down your allotted vacation days when it is your entitlement?
PLAN YOUR TRAVEL AROUND HOLIDAYS AND WEEKENDS
Weekends and especially long weekends, are sacred to me and I am sure it’s the same for others who like to travel but have a job they have to clock-in to everyday. If nothings else, you can go for short trips during the weekends that will help you relax and have some great leisure time. I call these "bite-sized getaways" and love to curate these for others (you can find more information about these on my website)! Taking days off around a long weekend make for longer trips with less days off. Instead of taking the Friday off, I recommend taking the Tuesday as you will find more affordable flights typically and the workplace will be quieter on the Friday. Pick one holiday a year where you get multiple days off outside of personal vacation days--like Christmas--and maximize them with an international trip.
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF BUSINESS TRAVEL
If your job allows you to travel, you’re in luck! Add on an extra one or two days before or after the working portion to sneak in some personal adventures of your own. This was one of the ways I started adding my travel to my life. If you are in the job market for a new job, you can target the jobs that require traveling. Otherwise, look for opportunities to travel for business within your organization if you can.
WORK EXTRA HOURS TO BANK TIME FOR VACATION
If your job offers you flex-time, you can work extra hours to “save up” and then use all those extra hours as part of your vacation days. For instance, if you worked 9 hour days instead of the normal 8 hours, you’ll have 1 extra “vacation day” after about 2 and a half weeks. Combine those days with your real vacation days and you’ll be able to take more time off… which means you can explore cities or countries farther away.
ASK FOR UNPAID TIME OFF
My organization allows us to request up to 20 unpaid days off. Your workplace may not have the same policy, but it doesn't mean you can't make a similar request. Just be responsible about it. Work out a plan with your boss and make sure there’s coverage for you while you’re away.
KEEP YOURSELF MOTIVATED
If you have a lot going on in your life, plan well in advance. Request your time off, start saving and tell others of your plans, to make yourself more accountable. I will often book my flights well in advance and book accommodation and tours at a later date to spread out the payments. Once you make the arrangements, put the dates on your calendar, computer screen or fridge. It will put a smile on your face every time you look at it – guaranteed! Anticipation largely contributes to the happiness travel brings.
If you dream of exploring the world, you don’t need to leave your job. It might not be easy, but it is possible to travel with a full-time job. You just need to allocate some of your time, money and energy to make your dreams a reality.
A couple of additional tips:
- Tell your boss early enough about your travel plans because he/she may need to approve.
- Develop a relationship with your boss so he/she knows about your love for travel and possible plans.
- Produce quality work on your tasks before your trip so that there are no raised eyebrows when you leave.
You can always make money, but you can’t always make memories.
What are your struggles with travelling while working? Message me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let's problem solve together.
And if you found these suggestions helpful and are beginning to dream of your next vacation, I've created something to make your travels easier, "The Ultimate Guide to Stress-Free Travels". You can download it for free here: