As a travel blogger and someone who travels frequently, it is always assumed that I travel for a living or travel full-time. The truth is – I don’t. I have a corporate job from 9am to 5pm everyday. I have just made travel a part of my lifestyle and find pockets of space in the year to jet off somewhere new.
Post updated for 2019
I strongly believe in the benefits of taking breaks, breaking free from a routine and finding rest and relaxation. I am anti ‘no days off” culture as that is the quickest way to burn out. In this post, I will share some things that have worked for me and hopefully it can help you as well.
55% of Americans do not take all their paid vacations.
That said, here are some ways that you can travel while having a full-time job.
Make it known from the jump 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 for when you start making those vacation requests, it also fosters great bonding experience between you and your colleagues and is less awkward.
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 the salary negotiations (that’s important) but also, vacation negotiation is a real thing too!
Look for remote work possibilities
It’s 2019 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. In my role in Finance and Communications, I am able to work from home twice a week. This means I can work from anywhere in the world. Last year, I went to Thailand and because of the opposite timing with Toronto, I explored Thailand in the day and worked for a few hours at night.
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 everyday. 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 of and you have a nice and sweet five day trip and would have used only one day of vacation time. Stretch those holidays!
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?
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.
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.
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.
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. Here’s how to get good deals on airfare and how to set up a travel fund.
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.
TRAVELING WITH A FULL TIME JOB FROM AN HR PERSPECTIVE
From an HR perspective, I collaborated with Ezinne Okwuosa of www.zinnyfactor.com to share her tips and thoughts on traveling while having a full time job. Here’s what she had to say:
Zinny: I believe that taking time off work is essential and that’s why it is also backed up by labor regulations. From an HR standpoint, I am of the opinion that you should make use of your time off. Some companies don’t allow you carry it over to the next year.
- Tell your boss early enough about your travel plans because he/she may need to approve.
- Develop a relationship with your boss so he/she knows about your love for travel and possible plans.
- Produce quality work on your tasks before your trip so that there are no raised eyebrows when you leave.
- Try to work partially when traveling; respond to urgent emails if you can. Of course, you should have set up an automatic response email notifying people of your absence from work.
I believe it is important for employees to take time off to relax and rejuvenate. This ensures that they live a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Thanks for your contribution, Ezinne. Definitely check out her blog for all things work-related.
How do you manage traveling with a full time job? Share your experience in the comments below. I’ll love to learn from you.
Enjoyed this post and found it helpful? Subscribe below for more tips and share with your friends. They too might find it helpful.
Till next time,