Lately people have told me it seems like I’m going on a trip every other week. Although this is not the case in the last year I have traveled 3 times internationally, 8 times nationally and have another 3 trips planned in the next 3 months, all while working full time!
In this blog post I will answer the question you’re all asking yourselves now, HOW! In a short amount of time I’ve learned how to strategically use my time-off to travel often & make the absolute most of every trip.
Now it’s time I share my best practices with you and hopefully help you make the most of every day off and trip opportunity!
- Use your vacation days. USE ALL YOUR VACATION DAYS, I really can’t say this enough. When I started this job I waited several months before booking a trip just so I wouldn’t have to ask for ONE day off. However, I quickly learned you have vacation days for a reason, use them!! Different employers and teams are different so ask the important questions to understand how your company works early on (I’m talking week one kind of early). These are some essential questions to ask: How many days do I get total? How many can I take at a time? How much notice should I provide? Do I get vacation days all at once or accumulated over time? What are the parameters for approval?
- Dividing your vacation days wisely is KEY. Plan vacations around holidays & long weekends and spread them out, if you want to go away for a week choose a week with a built-in day off, take four days and you can travel for nine!
- Plan ahead. Holidays/extended weekends are the most popular & expensive times to travel, the earlier you book the better the price (and you know I’m all about cheap flights😉 – read the blog post here)
- Work from home. If your job allows you to work from home find out the parameters and take advantage; you can use this to extend a weekend trip by a day or two, besides, would you prefer to work 9-5 in a cubicle or on a sandy beach with wifi?!
- Extend business trips. Whenever I have a business event on a Thursday I try to WFH on Friday to stay at the destination for the weekend, why not make a trip of a flight paid for by your company 👍🏼
- Be spontaneous. You can sometimes find great deals for last minute weekend trips, book it!
- SAVE. This goes without saying, taking lots of trips always adds up and it’s better to have extra money for any spontaneous trips. If you have difficulty saving open a bank account specifically for travel and try to have your place of employment directly deposit a percentage of each check.
- Road Trip. Flying is not always the cheapest form of travel and luckily it’s not the only one. Whether you own a car or can rent one, it might take longer to get to your destination but it can save you money and you can plan stops at other great destinations along the way; for extra savings invite some friends and split the cost. Road trips also allow you to have quick weekend trips when you might not be able to take a day off. If driving isn’t your thing there are tons of bus & train trips you can do for a day/weekend.
- Wake up early and go to bed late. I don’t really consider my trips vacations because my purpose is to experience as much of a culture or explore nature instead of just laying down and tanning. Although I’m working on finding the perfect balance between the two the less I sleep the more I experience of my destination.
- Leave at your earliest convenience, come back at your latest. I book flights as early as possible in the morning and come back so late that I head straight into the office. This rule also applies to road trips.
- Staycations are your best friends. If you follow my Instagram account & watch my stories I’m sure you’ve noticed I’ve spent most of the summer exploring different` spots in NYC. Explore your hometown, find the hidden gems, you’ll be surprised of all that has been right under your nose for years.
- Don’t stay home. Whether you do a vacation, day trip or staycation, do as much as you can with all your time off.
- Last but certainly not least, make travel a priority. Care about traveling just as much as you do about your doctor appointments, about the latest trends, about your job, etc. Once you have this mindset every other piece of advice in this post will naturally fall into place.