CAN YOU TRAVEL THE WORLD WHILST HOLDING DOWN A FULL-TIME JOB? YES YOU CAN!
My Instagram may make it look like I travel pretty much all of the time, but I actually have a full-time job! I promise you, it IS possible to see the world with only 28 days’ holiday a year.
I visited 6 countries in 2017 and didn’t even use up all of my allowance! We are now in July 2018 and by the end of this month I’ll have been to another 4.
Here are my 10 top tips to help you travel more, and more effectively, whilst working full time.
1. Make use of bank holidays
If you are lucky enough to not have to work bank holidays, Easter weekend is a blessing! Taking just one day of holiday either side of the long weekend gives you 5 nights away!
Travelling on a bank holiday will often be more expensive but if you book in advance then it is still possible to get incredibly cheap flights – my favourite website to use is Skyscanner.
2. Work at the weekends
My office is open 7 days a week, so if I was to book a trip for Monday-Friday (as it is cheaper), I can decide to work on Saturday and Sunday which means I have only used 3 days of holiday. This may not work for everybody due to the nature of different jobs, but if it works for you, take advantage of it!
3. Use your location to your advantage and be open minded
If you live in Europe, there are hundreds of places you can visit just a short flight away. I live just half an hour from London Stansted Airport and they now fly to so many destinations that I am spoilt for choice.
If you just want to get away but aren’t quite sure where, try using the ‘Everywhere’ tool on Skyscanner and you will be surprised at just how many options you have. It can be great to visit somewhere new with no expectations, it might just end up being one of your favourite places!
This happened to me – read my post on Carcassonne, France.
You will be surprised at just how much of a place you can see in 48 hours. It is totally possible to jump on a Friday evening flight and be back at home by Sunday evening ready for another working week.
It is up to you whether you want to cram lots of sight-seeing into a weekend to try and see a city in its entirety or just pick a couple of places that excite you the most and factor in some more time to relax and unwind.
5. Small budget? No problem
Travelling is still possible on a budget; you just have to be clever about it. I once flew home from Copenhagen for £17 (2hr flight), yet a train ticket from home to London Liverpool Street (45 minutes) cost me almost double that in the same week. I have no idea how airlines manage to offer flights for such low prices, but to be honest who cares?! They get even cheaper still if you are prepared to fly at unsociable hours.
Trying to save up ?
- Make your own lunch for work instead of buying it.
- Don’t deny yourself to dinner with friends but go somewhere with discount vouchers, and avoid the more expensive options on the menu.
- Have a coffee with a friend at home rather than going out.
- Avoid the shops if you know you’ll give in to another purchase.
- Set up a standing order into a travel fund every month.
These are not ‘sacrifices’ if travel is your number one priority. If you want to make it happen you can make it happen!
Are the hotels at your chosen destination looking expensive? Try Air Bnb or consider hostels – they still offer private rooms too. After all, if you are on a weekend trip most of your time will be spent out exploring, your room will just be a base for the night! For breaks up to a week long just take carry-on luggage to save baggage costs, and you can even take snacks with you for the mornings if your accommodation doesn’t include breakfast.
6. Multitask if your job allows it
Whether it is a good idea or not, I have my work emails linked to my phone so I can always keep up to date. The fact that we can now get 3G anywhere in Europe means I can always stay connected and often do a little bit of work here and there whilst travelling. It doesn’t spoil my trip or stop me from ‘switching off’, if anything it is good to be productive and pass some time at the airport whilst making you feel better that you’ll be coming back to slightly less work in the office!
7. You don’t need to catch a flight
We are all guilty of not counting visiting places in our own country as ‘travelling’, but it is! Check out my post on our recent trip to Yorkshire to explore some awesome waterfalls. The weather was beautiful, the surroundings were amazing and if I didn’t know where I was I would have believed you if you told me I was the other side of the world.
You can also take advantage of our amazing train links. The Eurostar got me from Ebbsfleet to Brussels in 2 hours, and travelling by train rather than plane cuts down journey time even more due to not having to arrive at the airport 2 hours before etc.
8. Take the planning out of your hands
Loads of websites advertise deals which include flights, hotels, transport and sometimes activities too. If you have a hectic job leaving you too busy to organise things yourself, there are so many companies out there who will be happy to do it for you. Just be sure to make full use of TripAdvisor to check out reviews first.
Or, if you are reluctant to pay that little bit extra for their services, there is nothing stopping you from looking at online itineraries (like mine!) and copying them for yourself!
9. Do your research, and do what YOU want to do
J and I are super fast travellers. It always used to take us much less time to see a place than we expected it to which left us with lots of spare time. We now know how to manage our time better.
Just because you’ve read ‘the top 10 places to see in bla bla’ it doesn’t mean you have to visit them all. If you want to visit the outside of beautiful buildings but not pay to go in then that is fine. If you only want to visit 2 places out of a recommended 10 because they’re the only two that interest you then that is fine too. Don’t listen to the people that say ‘you haven’t visited a place unless you visited bla bla’ because that is what they wanted to do, not what you wanted to do!
Travel is very personal and everyone has different ideas on what satisfies their own travel bug. If you have your heart set on a destination for a particular attraction or two but realise that you don’t want to visit much else then you’re still winning because you will therefore be able to cut a trip down from 3 nights to 2 and save money because of it. That is not only money saved but a day’s holiday that you can put towards your next trip!
10. Sell stuff!
I have probably made about £500.00 doing car boot sales. You will be amazed at how your second-hand items are treasure for somebody else. If you don’t fancy the early mornings you can try Ebay or Depop.
Travel is more accessible now than ever and we don’t realise how lucky we are to be able to get from A to B so seamlessly.
Your travel goals can be achieved even whilst working full time if you use the above tips to help you.
If you have any more questions please let me know!