Do you want to travel more but can’t find the time?
Good news, you don’t have to quit your job to travel. What you need is to leverage the time you have off and use it more efficiently and make it a priority! Because we all know when you really want to do something or see someone you find a way to create more time to make it happen.
So here are 7 tips to help you create more time to squeeze in more travel into your life.
1. Take Your Vacation Days
Sounds easy enough, but studies show that many people have a ‘work martyr complex.’ where by when we take vacation days it shows that we are taking way our badge of honor of being a hard worker.
Reality Check. You can work hard and play hard. You can find ways to be more productive and work more efficiently so that you can manage it when you come back from holidays. Work will always be there and it is replaceable but your health, spirit and family and friends are not.
So use your vacation day to create balance in your life. Don’t wait until you are burned out. Take time off to recharge and get fresh perspectives helping you up-level your productivity and A-game back at work.
2. Understand your benefits
Learn about how your company differentiates between your vacation days, sick days and personal days. Whether you can take your time off hourly vs. a full day? What type of leaves do they have – i.e. unpaid leave, sabbaticals? What is there an un-used vacation day carry forward policy. Can you bank your overtime hours for time off instead of getting paid out?
If you can use a sick or personal day to go see the doctor, use that. This way you can use your real vacation days for your vacation.
If you can take just half a day off without using the full day then do that.
If you have plans to go on a faraway trip in the future, you can plan accordingly. Bank your unused holidays and roll it over to the next.
If you have put in your time at a company, have consistently showed value in your work and can afford to ask for a leave of absence, ask! I did and I got a year with a job to return to.
When you learn about the holiday policies it will help you to plan and maximize your time off.
3. Organize Your Trips Around Weekends and Holidays
When you bookend your holidays, summer Fridays, and weekends it is easy tofully maximize your vacation time – turning a 10-day trip by using up just three or four vacation days.
If you’ve got personal days left, why not also tack on or use a personal day. Typically, I would head out Thursday or Friday night and come back the following Sunday or early Monday or Tuesday morning Monday (depending on how the long weekends fall and flight times etc.)
Depending on how I feel and where I am traveling from, I may roll in to work the same day or not. So know what your priorities are and what you are willing to do and decide accordingly.
4. Take Advantage of Business Trips
If you are traveling for work, try and see if you can extend your trip an extra day or two so you can use it to explore the city/country you are in or stop off somewhere else. Sometime you may need to foot the extra cost to the flight but isn’t it worth it?
5. Build a Case to Attend Conferences
While you are at it, why not get creative and build a budget-friendly case to go to a conference that’s happening at a city you really want to visit and how it is going to benefit your work at the company.
If it gets approved, you can also see if you can take advantage of tagging on a couple of day on your conference trip. If you can’t extend your trip, find ways to explore the city on your lunch break or in the evening when the conference is over. It’s still exciting to visit a new city.
6. Ask for More Vacation Days or Flexibility with Work Arrangements
If you value your time more than money then when it comes to an annual review or negotiating a job offer, ask for more paid vacation instead of more money. Or ask if you can work from home one or two days of the week. Or try asking to work on a compressed work week. For example, you work 10 hours a day vs. 8 hours and get one or two Fridays off a month.
In the past this has worked for me. Granted, on my days off, I still do check my emails and phone but I don’t mind it. I prefer this than having to be at the office. When you are able to work away from the office, it gives you more flexibility to plan your work around your life. And most employers (the ones with a tight budget), will be open to this request. It is a win-win for everyone! You can have all the money in the world but if you don’t have time to enjoy the money you make and constantly feel stressed, you are missing out on life!
7. Don’t Be Afraid to Travel Solo
The older you get, it’s harder to coordinate schedules with people to travel together. And even if you do, they may not have the same travel style as you. So whenever you do get a window of opportunity to travel, Go! Life is too short to wait around for the right person to go with you. The countless benefits of traveling alone but that’s a whole other topic.
There you have it. Hope one of these tips will work for you and your circumstances to create more travel time into your life.