Everyone tells you to quit your job to travel the world as if it is the one and only option. I have a full-time job and travel quite frequently. How?
I want to see as much as I can from this beautiful earth and as long as I can. How many times I thought about quitting my job to travel the world till I realised I made myself miserable thinking about it all the time but not being able to make it real.
There are many private reasons why I keep my full time 9-6 office job and I believe there are many people out there who have enough reasons not to take that step which is constantly advised by many travel bloggers and digital nomads.
I mean you don’t have to quit your job or become a digital nomad to travel the world. There are many ways how you can travel frequently to fulfil your passion while maintaining your job.
Here are some tips how to find time to travel more with a full-time job.
You don’t need to travel thousands of kilometres away to fulfil your passion for travel. No doubt that exploring the far far away countries is a unique experience. It is and I would not want to give up on that. But why not also travel locally. Embrace the region you live in and spend a day to explore a place you haven’t been to yet, even though it is only 1-2 hours away by car or train. Remember, the earth is beautiful, everywhere.
Weekends are precious. From Friday evening till Sunday night you have 2 full days to use for a short trip. Let it be a trip to a small city or an escape to the nature. To make the most of the trip itself I prefer to go somewhere reachable within 1-3 hours, either by car, plane or train.
Add Friday and/or Monday to your weekend and have 3-4 days for a slightly longer trip which fits perfectly to visit a big city or to tank sun in the beach or on top of a mountain. Again here, rather choose a destination you can reach within couple of hours and choose the fastest way of transportation.
Be aware, flying is not always the fastest option if you count in the time you spend to get to/from the airport, the waiting time at the check-in, security, boarding gate, baggage pick-up, passport check, etc.
Don’t care about the weather
Don’t make your travel time dependent on the weather. Visiting a city in winter can be also very charming. Not to mention the cheaper prices you get in winter months.
If you live in a rather colder region go to warm travel destinations in winter to shorten your winter sadness and stay in your home town during spring and summer days to have weekend escapes or day trips.
Remember what matters is that you find time to explore a new place and culture, no matter if it is sunny or it snows.
Make use of public holidays
Take the day(s) off before or after a public holiday, plus add the weekend on top. There you go. You have at least 4-5 days to have a longer trip. If some of those public holidays follow each other with one week, you can even combine them and have 2 weeks holidays with only 4-6 days vacation days.
For example in Germany the day of “Ascension of Jesus” (Christie Himmelfahrt) is a public holiday which is on a Thursday. The week after there is another Christian holiday called “Pentecost” (Pfingstmontag). Naturally, I combine these and have a vacation of 12 days with taking 6 days paid vacation.
Generally, I recommend to plan the upcoming 12 months this way to see your possibilities and to spread your vacation days the whole year over.
Extend Business Trips
If you’re lucky enough to have a job for which you need to travel regularly, don’t hesitate to extend the business trips over the weekends. You’ll need to pay for the non-working extra days yourself but the journey will be paid by your company. Besides you most probably will get the valuable insider tips from the locals, in this case your business partners, clients or colleagues from overseas.
Some call it “fakecation”. If your work can be done remotely without being in the office, at least for a limited time, ask your employer to consider it as an option. If you are a trustworthy employee and if your employer is not too conservative and willing to give free room to his/her employees there is a good chance you can take your work to any place for a week or longer.
Make sure you have all the communication ways you need for a smooth and unobstructed work day with your colleagues in the headquarter. Probably a destination in the same time zone is a better choice so that you don’t walk like a zombie around.
After the work day, you’ll have plenty of time to explore the destination in the evenings and at the weekend. I use this option to visit my family in Istanbul every 3-6 months.
Take unpaid vacation
If your paid vacation is not enough for your travel needs ask your employer for unpaid vacation. I believe every employer would be ready to give you 5-10 days unpaid vacation as soon as s/he realises that this extra time will make you more motivated, efficient and productive.
Take a longer break
If you have travel plans for which you need more than just couple of weeks, consider to have a so called “sabbatical break”. You can individually decide how long the sabbatical break should be. It can be only for 2-3 months or even for a year.
Remember, during the sabbatical break you will not be paid, but you’ll maintain your job and can travel carefree without worrying about not having a job when you’re back.
[Germany only] Educational Leave
In Germany it is called “Bildungsurlaub” which gives the employee the right to take 5 work days off (paid) per year for educational purposes. For example if you speak a specific foreign language for your job and want to improve your skills, joining a language course in the respective country is a perfect combination to learn something new and to discover a new place and culture.
To make use of this right you need to be employed in the same company for at least 2 years and you can take 10 days maximum at one time. Obviously you pay for everything yourself which however is tax deductible.
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