There are few ways better to spend your time than seeing the world. The trouble is, there always seems to be obstacles standing in the way. Aside from a lack of money, lack of time is the biggest issue, which is why many people working full-time struggle to get away. While the idea of ditching your job to travel sounds romantic, it certainly isn’t for everyone. We all need a break now and then, but ditching your job often isn’t the best way to go about it. Thankfully, travel and work aren’t mutually exclusive. With that in mind, here are twelve great ways to maximize your travel time.
- Take Your Time Off
Using vacation days to go on vacation seems to have become an act of bravery in this country. Far too often, employees choose to save their time off for an unexpected event. If you’re one of those people waiting for a rainy day, then check your company’s policies. Most will allow time and days off for bereavement and emergencies. This means that you needn’t use the days allowed in your compensation package. You can’t travel if you don’t take your time off work.
- Stay Close To Home
You don’t have to travel thousands of miles to enjoy a vacation. No matter where you are in the world, there is always an interesting place or attraction to visit within driving distance of your home. Rather than waste whole days flying back and forth, you should load up the car and head to one of those destinations. Because the vacation is so close to home, you may not have to book any time off work. Instead, you could take advantage of the weekend you already have off.
- Plan Breaks Around Weekends
Although it would be easier if you chose a destination nearby, it is possible to travel abroad in just a weekend. If you left town on a Friday evening and returned home on Sunday night or even early Monday morning, you would have plenty of time for a fun and action-packed getaway. Those wanting a longer break should plan their vacation so that it runs over a weekend. By doing so, you would only have to use one or two of your vacation days for the trip, rather than four or five.
- Extend A Work Trip
Traveling for work might seem like a dream, but it is rarely very fun. After all, most business trips are spent sitting in hotels and conference rooms alone, as opposed to seeing the sites. This is why you should ask if you can extend your work trip. Adding a day or two to the beginning or end of your time away will allow you to get out of the hotel and explore for a while. You could even invite a loved one to fly out and join you. As well as saving time, this will cut costs significantly.
- Work On The Road
When there isn’t a business trip for you to take advantage of, you should create one of your own. Today’s technology makes it easy for employees to do their jobs from almost anywhere in the world. While the different visual elements and guidelines used to cause difficulties with corporate branding, there is now software, like storage systems, that allow companies to stay compliant. When making a remote working case to your boss, make sure you emphasize their benefits.
- Fly Through The Night
To make the most of every minute of your vacation time, you have to learn to love nighttime travel. Red-eye flights might not be the most fun way to reach your vacation destination, but they do save lots of transit time. Instead of wasting the last day of your vacation at an airport, you could spend most of the day enjoying yourself and catch your flight just after dinner. You may not feel the most refreshed heading to work the next day, but sleeping on the plane will help with that.
- Discuss A Flexible Schedule
Different industries have different typical schedules. While certain employees have to work Monday to Friday, from nine in the morning until five in the evening, most companies would survive if their staff didn’t do that. Because of this, you should talk to your boss about changing your schedule. If an extra day or two on the weekend would make it easier to travel, then suggest working ten days on and four days off. You can then use these extra days to travel further afield.
- Head Off By Yourself
Securing time off work to travel is tricky enough, without having to consider the schedules of your companions. Just like you, they will have their own vacation days struggles to contend with, which can make planning a trip difficult. The easiest way to eliminate this problem is to travel by yourself. Booking a solo trip can definitely be scary, but it does offer big rewards. When you travel alone, you have the freedom to go wherever you want and do whatever you choose to.
- Save Up Extra Hours
Most people work overtime to make a little extra money. If you’re low on vacation days, however, you could do so to earn a few more. Working just an extra hour or two for a couple of weeks should be enough to allow you to “buy” a few vacation days that fit your travel schedule. Many companies that don’t take federal holidays off allow their employees that work Christmas and New Years to take a day off some other time. If your company does this, use that day wisely.
- Buy More Vacation Days
While it definitely isn’t offered in all companies, some allow their staff to buy extra vacation days, as well as sell those that they don’t want. This would enable you to pick how many days you wanted to take off work. The difference between this and working in lieu is that the company would take a set amount of money from your paycheck each month to pay for these days. All you have to do is make sure that you have enough cash in your savings to cover the additional cost.
- Negotiate For Unpaid Leave
Even when you run out of vacation days, your holiday dreams don’t have to be over. As long as you give your boss plenty of notice, they may allow you time off as unpaid leave. When you make this request, be sure that you emphasize the benefits to you and the business as a whole. For example, having time to relax will improve your mental health and, therefore, make you a better worker. A good employee is more likely to be granted leave, so make sure that you try to be one.
- Transfer To Another Office
Big international companies tend to have offices or operations in countries all over the world. If you’re looking for a change of scenery, then it won’t hurt to ask your boss to transfer to another location. Living abroad will allow you more time to explore the area and get to know the culture in depth. Depending on where you move to, you might also find it easier to travel to other countries. Living in Central Europe, for example, would allow you to visit many different European places.
Traveling can be tricky when you have so little time to spare. However, that doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. Hopefully, with the advice above, you can make time for vacations no matter how busy your life may be.