Are you dreaming of exotic locales but wondering how to do it for real while being on a 9 to 5 job?
There's nothing quite like the feeling of discovering a new place, tasting delectable cuisines, immersing yourself in a different culture, and experiencing all the magnificent sights that the world has to offer. But more often than not, our jobs tie us down to a set schedule. With responsibilities to fulfil and bills to pay, we sadly often bid adieu to our plans for that vacation.
But trust us, with a bit of creativity and planning, it's possible to have your cake and eat it too! Whether you're planning a backpacking adventure or a quick weekend getaway, our tried and tested tips can help you maximize your time off and make the most of your travels.
So buckle up, grab your passport, and get ready to see the world! With a little bit of planning and a suitcase full of enthusiasm, there's no limit to where your travels can take you.
1) Get creative with your weekends
If you're struggling to take time off during the week, don't be disappointed! Instead, make the most of your weekends. Plan day trips or staycations to explore your local area and enjoy some downtime. Whether it's hiking in a nearby national park or traversing nearby towns, there are plenty of ways to satisfy your travel itch without taking time off from work.
You can plan ahead and maximize your time off as well. Look at your work schedule and try to plan your trips around long weekends or holidays. This will help you make the most of your travel experiences. Almost every workplace puts together a list of public holidays in their calendars. Use this as your guide to plan your week-long vacations in advance.
Pro Tip: Pre-apply for leaves on dates that fall between national holidays and the weekend- this way you’ll maximize your time off and get an extra day or two, to enjoy your vacation!
2) Plan shorter trips
Although our minds are accustomed to thinking of vacations as a period of seven to ten days, shorter trips might be a welcome change. Don’t fret about the length of the trip. Embrace the idea of shorter but more frequent travels.
This is a good solution for people who get restless when preparing for long trips. Holidays do not have to be extensive, they can simply be spontaneous, budget-friendly affairs as well! Moreover, it is always easier to take out three to four days as opposed to a whole week or a fortnight.
3) Take advantage of remote work opportunities
Home is where the wifi is! If your job allows for remote work, consider taking a trip and working from a different location. This can give you the best of both worlds – travel, and work. Plus, you'll get to experience a new culture and environment while maintaining your career.
If you need to stay connected to work while you're travelling, plan ahead to make sure you have access to your email and other work-related tools. Do ensure you set clear expectations with your colleagues and managers about your availability and schedule. This way, you can still enjoy your travels without worrying about work piling up back at the office.
Pro tip: Invest in technology that helps you live your travel dream! An internet dongle can be your best friend in a ‘remote-working’ setup.
4) Use your vacation time strategically
Plan ahead and use your vacation time strategically to maximize your time off. Whether it's a two-week backpacking adventure or a relaxing beach vacation, make every moment count! Try to book non-stop flights and limit your layovers. While layover flights may save you money, they can also eat up valuable vacation time and disrupt your travel plans.
Consider booking evening flights and trains for your travels. This way you can get your beauty sleep while traveling and wake up feeling fresh and energized to start your vacation. Other than being pocket-friendly, night-time travel can offer unique and stunning views of a city's skyline and countryside. So, why not take the opportunity to enjoy a beautiful night view during your travels? We recommend pairing these views with a smooth jazz playlist to make the experience even more magical.
5) Indulge in solo-travel
Are you tired of waiting for your travel stars to align with your friends (only to have them cancel at the last minute)? Then, may we suggest the exquisite pleasure of solo travelling? It may seem scary at first, but you can ease into the idea by travelling alone to neighbouring cities before diving deeper into international or more adventurous holidays.
If you still aren’t convinced, allow us to make a case for solo travel! Want to spend all day at a cat café? Go for it! Want to go skydiving? There’s no one to stop you! The world is your oyster, and you can do whatever you want with it. Solo travel can be a great way to challenge yourself grow as a person, and have fun while doing it! It allows you to navigate new situations and cultures on your own and build upon your self-confidence. And remember, alone never means lonely!
6) Go for off-season and off-beaten paths
Travelling during the off-season gets you lower rates, fewer tourists, the ability to book last minute, and availability at some of the top accommodations for which you would usually need to book a year in advance. Fewer tourists also mean more availability, which means you can negotiate some pretty sweet rates for an extended stay without emptying your pockets!
While it's common to visit popular tourist destinations, we encourage you to consider adding lesser-known locations to your itinerary. Exploring these hidden gems can provide a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in local culture and escape the monotony of daily life!
You don't have to quit your job and become a full-time nomad to travel the world. You don’t have to settle for daydreaming about your next getaway when you can actually make it happen.
So what are you waiting for? Pull out that map and planner, start brainstorming your next destination, and get ready to live your best travel life! Because with a little bit of effort, you can make your wanderlust dreams a reality - even with a full-time job.