How to Travel When You Have a Full Time Job

At Home, Wanderlust

I love to travel, but I also have a full time job. And while there are hundreds of blogs out there convincing you that the way to see the world is by quitting your job and becoming a nomad, I’m not one of them! I know you might have very real responsibilities keeping you from doing that, or you might just love your job, your life, or your dog too much to take up a nomadic lifestyle.

Not to worry! I’m here to help you with some tips for fitting in travel when you have a full time job.

How to Travel When You Have a Full Time Job

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Look at the Calendar Early

The first step in being sure you have the time to travel is to look ahead. Start off by making note of how many paid vacation days you can take next year. Then, begin marking down all of the times you know you’ll have to use your days off.

If you know your cousin is getting married this summer and you’ll need a vacation day for that, mark it down. Keep track of trips you already have planned so that you can start filling in the calendar with possible times for travel.

You’ll also want to look ahead to see which holidays your company takes. If you travel with a partner, compare notes and see when you might be able to fit in a wonderful adventure. Don’t be that person who realizes a week before President’s Day that they don’t have to work next week–that could’ve been a weekend trip!

Use Your Long Weekends

Again, if your weekend has an extra day, you have an extra day for a trip! Don’t underestimate the restorative value of a weekend on a beach when it’s snowing at home. If you can’t plan a months-long journey through Europe, you can still have a fabulous trip! In fact, there’s reason to believe that shorter trips make us happier.

One of our favorite things to do is to fly out Thursday or Friday and come back Monday night. I’m doing it for President’s day, and we’re looking at fitting something in for Good Friday as well. Who needs a Netflix binge day off, when you could be on a plane?

Consider Travel Time and Jet Lag

I’m not telling you not to go to Australia if you live in the United States, but it’s just a fact that you’re going to have to deal with travel time and jet lag, and if you’re already planning a shorter trip because of your limited vacation days, that will eat into your trip in a very real way.

If you live in the US, you could probably fly to South America or London in about the same time, but if you can stay in the same time zone and avoid jet lag, you’ll be fresher and ready for adventure for your entire trip.

While I wouldn’t choose a destination just because of the time difference, it’s something to consider.

Do you fit in travel with a full time job? Let me know how you manage it in the comments!

-Darcy

PS: San Francisco Weekend

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  • Java and Junket

    Great post, Darcy. I take advantage of being a remote employee. This lets me travel on Friday and stay as long as I’d like (to be away from the dog), working during the (US) workday and enjoying the destination beyond those hours. It’s not feasible for everyone, but if you work remotely or have the option to telecommute it can stretch your trip quite nicely.

    • That’s such a great point! I work from home 2 days/week, so sometimes I can wiggle some work into my vacation time too. Flexible employers are the best, aren’t they?