Over the past year, I hope you’ve been inspired to become a part-time traveler and recognized that travel isn’t just for nomads. This last year I took 23 overnight trips, this year I’ve got two international trips on the books and many smaller ones in the works.
One thing I’ve learned over the course of this last year as a travel blogger is there are so many of us out there working traditional 9 to 5 jobs but trying to be as much of a traveler as we can. Whether it’s day trips or weeks away they are all ways to make travel a part of your life.
To help you get the year started off with as much travel as possible I’ve rounded up tips from a variety of part-time travelers.
How To Travel More From the Experts
Let someone else pay. Our tip for new travelers is to let someone else pay for your vacations – namely your employer! The best approach is to extend business trips and turn them into vacations. If you do this, you can get your company to pay for your airfare, which is usually your largest expense, but then the rest of the trip is on you. Since your employer would be giving you the time off to travel anyway, you are also saving your limited vacation days too! You can save a lot of money – and vacation time – by employing this strategy.
Use all of your vacation time. I have traveled to over 40 countries and all 7 continents while keeping a full-time job. How did I manage this? The simple answer is I use ALL vacation time allotted to me. Unlike many of my friends and co-workers, not even one vacation day is left unused. Of course, I also squeeze in a few extra vacation days by taking advantage of weekends, especially three day weekends. As much as I enjoy travel, I also enjoy spending time with loved ones. Instead of choosing one or the other, I try to plan some trips with family as well.
Plan routes ahead. My biggest tip is to create your routes ahead of time. Avoid double-backing on yourself (unless it can’t be helped), and know when places open. If you’re taking public transportation that comes less frequently, know when it arrives and plan to meet it, even if it means spending a few minutes less at the museum.
Go on little holidays. No matter how tough the work week may get, there’s always the weekend to look forward to. Travel doesn’t always have to be grand – it can be as simple as a weekend trip to the countryside, or even an afternoon exploring a different part of the city. Don’t let the pressure and demands of work hinder you from having a little fun. Come back to work refreshed and with a clearer mind, ready to give your best work yet.
Get into teaching. Many people out there don’t believe teaching is a full-time job, unfortunately for me it still is but it has its perks. These perks are the holidays. During this time we are still marking, drafting etc but we don’t have to be on the work site and hence I travel. I bring the necessities with me and endeavor to get them done whenever I am on a plane, train or bus. That way I still get to experience the beauty of travel. Therefore, if you are a travel nut like myself get into teaching because the holidays allow you to jet set off for extended periods of time.
Move somewhere that makes it easier to travel. This might be a little extreme, but this year my husband and I decided to move to London for a few years so we could travel more. Not only does it put us much closer to a lot of destinations on our list, they also offer much more vacation time to traditional office workers compared to the U.S. The standard is six weeks off plus additional bank holidays. And even more crazy, people are encouraged to actually take time off, so we’ve been able to take more trips together!
Take advantage of holidays. I’m a part-time student and work full time, so I understand how difficult it can be to travel with a nine to five job. I’ve learned to take advantage of the major holidays. My job is closed for at least one day (if not more) for major holidays. If I have to take those days off why not use them to travel? I spent Labor Day this year in Peru, visiting Machu Picchu, and this upcoming Easter I will be in Prague and Budapest!
Don’t be afraid to work extra hours! Talk to your boss, explain the situation and arrange that you can work more when it’s needed but in exchange ask for extra days off. Sometimes it’s exhausting but so worth it! I work full time yet I managed to spend 124 days traveling this year and over hours were the main reason how I could do that! And when your boss sees you working with such a dedication you might get some benefits. It’s a win-win situation!
Take advantage of the off-season. We’ve found that everyone is as smart as us while planning vacations and as it is long weekends and vacations are bad times to plan trips. Too many tourists, hiked rates and no leaves might be some of the reasons to reconsider. Instead, plan for “off seasons”, chances are for most places it just means taking a few extra leaves to use a middle of the week holiday but also translates to cheaper stays and having the whole place to yourself.
Making Travel A Priority
There are so many opportunities to travel whether you work a traditional 9 to 5, shift work, a teaching schedule or anything else. Take time to work on integrating these tips into your practices and you can make travel a priority in your own life, becoming another part-time traveler on the road with the rest of us.
Do you consider yourself a part-time traveler? What are your favorite tips to use to fit more travel into your life? Leave a comment below.