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8 Tips to Travel with a Full Time Job

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Working towards big career goals AND traveling the world are both attainable.   It can feel easier and more typical to hold off until retirement for big trips but there are so many benefits in traveling: learning about new cultures, meeting new people, trying new foods and developing agility (traveling rarely goes 100% according to plan!).  It definitely takes more work to travel with a full time job, but it can absolutely be done. I’ve traveled to 51 countries while working and I know others who have seen even more places. Read below for 8 tips on how to prioritize travel with a full time job!  

1. Have a running list of where you want to visit

This is one of the most important things you can do!  Being really clear about where you want to visit can help you prioritize your time off.  I have a list for local, domestic and international places to travel and each year I work to visit places from all three of these lists (in non-pandemic times).  I’m always adding to my list too from places I see on Instagram, Pinterest or other Travel blogs.

To learn how to build a travel list, read my article here.

2. Plan your days off at the start of the year

Tip 1 makes this step way easier! At the start of each year, plan out where you want to visit that year.  I start with the number of days off I have and calculate roughly how many days I need to visit each destination on my travel list for that year.  For example, a trip to Thailand is likely more 10 days because it takes longer to get there whereas a trip to Florida could be just a few days off. In a non-pandemic year, I strive for 1-2 global trips, 1-3 domestic trips and lots of local exploration! 

If you’re not sure where you want to visit that year, just pick places from your list.  We’ve done this many times! You may not know what’s pulling you to a certain destination that particular year so be open.

3. Maximize all public holidays and plan longer trips around them

Try to maximize all your public holidays by planning your bigger trips around them. While places can be more expensive during popular holiday times, the earlier you book, the better deals you can find.  Plus, if you travel internationally where they may not have the same public holidays, there’s not much of a price increase except maybe on airfare.

4. Communicate with your manager and team early

This is so critical, especially for longer trips.  I usually take a 2-week period off each year to visit a destination that’s further away.  By ensuring I’m not missing critical deadlines and that there’s coverage from my team for my business partners, I can proactively make sure things run smoothly in my absence.  Working for a company and on a team that supports your personal pursuits is important!  I find that recharging over an extended period of time makes me more creative and energized when I’m back.

5. Plan local travel around weekends so you don’t need to use as much PTO

The benefit of local travel is that you can do so much over your weekends!  Map out all of the local spots you’d like to visit and see which ones are doable as a day or weekend trip.  For anything that requires more than 2 days, make sure to budget it in your time off allowance or see if you can work remotely from there.

6. Look for options to work remotely

Especially now when remote work has become more commonplace, this option has become more viable.  I recently worked remotely from a family condo in Florida for about 7 weeks which was an incredible experience.  While our workday was the same, our lunch breaks, nights and weekends were different! Changing up your routine can be so helpful for creativity and recharging.  Look for good deals on Airbnb or other hosting sites to help keep the cost down.

7. Put your travel on the calendar

I find that the simple act of putting an activity on my calendar makes it way more likely I’ll do it vs. saying I’ll get there someday.  I rearrange dates all the time but I rarely take a trip (whether it’s a day, weekend or multiple weeks) off the calendar entirely (except in 2021, like many others). 

8. Find opportunities to travel or move abroad for your job

While this is very industry dependent, there may be options for this in your field.  Communicating your interest early and often with your manager and other leaders can help them keep you in mind for opportunities.  I’ve had the chance to travel for my job and move abroad, which were both incredible experiences.  Traveling for work also has the benefit of accumulating points that you can use on personal trips. 

I hope this has made you feel like travel with a full time job is entirely possible!

If you’re looking for destination inspiration, check out my Minnesota, US and Global guides to start planning!

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