Don't Quit Your Job! How To Travel While Working Full-Time

Jessica Ufuoma

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55% of Americans don't take their paid vacation. This could be down to many different reasons but one of them is because of a 9 to 5 corporate job. So many people are of the opinion that you can't travel extensively with a full-time job but while you might be limited with the number of vacation days you have, you can absolutely maximize it. Here are some ways that you can travel while having a full-time job.

1.) Make it known right off the bat that you love to travel

Gone are the days when we pretend! One thing that has helped me is letting my employees and colleagues know that travel is a part of my lifestyle. I love to travel, so why hide it? Not only does this condition their minds when you start making those vacation requests, but it also fosters a great bonding experience between you and your colleagues and is less awkward.

2.) Negotiate more days off when signing a new offer

I know people do not like to negotiate (especially women) but it is important to make sure terms are favorable for you. When I first got my offer for my current job, I was offered 15 days of vacation but I negotiated for more time. We eventually landed on 20 days and that's 5 extra days of vacation simply because I asked. Many people focus on salary negotiations (that's important) but also, vacation negotiation is a real thing too!

3.) Look for remote work possibilities

It's 2020 and there's a thing called technology that enables us to work from anywhere in the world. While I know not every profession can do this (I mean, a surgeon cannot Skype her way through an operation, or can she?) but many professions allow this. Remote work has become increasingly popular these days and while there are challenges with this new work environment, there are also opportunities to seize.

4.) Plan your travels around holidays and (long) weekends

Bank holidays are sacred to me and I am sure it’s the same for people who like to travel but have a job they have to clock-in to every day. Every year, get a calendar and plan to travel around the days when you get a statutory holiday. Usually, those fall either on a Friday or Monday, making for an extra-long weekend. You can take an extra day off and you have a nice and sweet five-day trip and would have used only one day of vacation time. Stretch those holidays!

5.) Use your vacation days

A lot of employees are scared to take time off work because they think they will be perceived as lazy or uncommitted to the job. I don't believe that should be the case. Once you view your days off as a benefit which you have worked for, then you will take it. It's almost like refusing your salary, would you? So why treat your vacation days as something you have to beg for?

6.) Accept that your trip might be different from others and that's okay

As someone who works full-time and still wants to travel, I sometimes wish I could spend a month in a place to take in all the different areas of the country. But I have to understand that I do not have the luxury of time like say, a full-time travel blogger would have. So I take what I have and make the best of it. Comparison is the thief of joy - use what you have and water your own grass.

7.) Kick-ass while at work

I'm an advocate for always giving things a hundred percent. While I am at work, I always make sure to give it my best, go the extra mile and deliver great results. This is great especially if you want to travel as well because it shows your commitment. It's also important to remember that your job funds your travels so it should be given the attention it deserves. Whenever I ask for time off work, my boss knows I deserve it.

8.) Take advantage of business trips

If your job allows you to travel, you’re in luck. Take an extra one or two days during business travel to sneak in some personal adventures of your own. 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 company if you can.

9.) Be money-savvy

Ideally, having a full-time job can provide some financial support to help with your travels. In an ideal world, that is. But then there's real life which comes with responsibilities. Also, because you are traveling within a strict schedule such as on holidays and long weekends, the cost increases due to the high demand. To navigate this, you have to be wise and plan properly.

10.) Make travel a priority

After all, said and done, if travel is not a priority, it’s not going to happen and you will not know how to take windows of opportunities that inevitably pop up. If you make travel a priority, which you really don’t have to if it’s not your cup of tea, you will set realistic goals and find ways to make it happen.

Are you looking to do more traveling when it is safe to travel again? Where would you go first?

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I write about lifestyle and travel experiences in the United States. I'm also passionate about Diversity and Inclusion and that reflects in some of the pieces I write. My topics range from culture, travel, uplifting marginalized voices and much more. If you're interested in these topics, feel free to hit the subscribe button.

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