How To Travel With A Full-Time Job
Updated: Mar 31
Americans are known for work and no play. Why work and earn all this PTO if you aren’t going to use it? We all need a vacation from time to time… well in my case, every weekend, but it isn’t that hard.
1st Mistake- Too Scared
OMG! What are you scared of? Your job will be there when you get back! Along with all the rest of the things called life. Hoarding money gets you nowhere. The money isn’t going to come with you when you die, so you might as well make memories while you can. And I’m sure some doctor did a study in regards to how travel is good for your health and if not they should because it is!
My biggest fear is being on my death bed and realizing I haven’t lived. Travel is more than a flight and a hotel. It’s more than a suntan, although nice, and a few cocktails. It's adventure, its culture. It’s your life story. Travel helps one discover. The beauty of it all is, it’s your story… so it’s what you make it and what you want it to be.
2nd Mistake- No SavingsHow can you take advantage of all the great deals if you aren’t able to purchase your ticket right away? The whole purpose of the “error fares” and cheap deals is to take advantage of them at that moment. There’s no layaway option for that unless you want to pay regular price PLUS whatever fee they are charging for the layaway option. (Yes, there are companies out there with layaway airline ticket purchasing.)
How about starting a Travel fund or savings? Depending on your budget, set aside a certain amount every check to a particular account geared towards travel. I set aside $50 every time I get paid, have my bank remove $25 once a month into the account, and put any extra spending or earned money into the account. Eventually, it adds up. And with all these $100-200 deals lately, one can get mighty far sooner than later!
3rd Mistake- Need Too Many DaysI never understood why people need a week off for a trip to somewhere like Puerto Rico. It’s not much to discover that a week is necessary. I would find myself quite bored after day 3. I’m not saying week long trips aren’t necessary, but you have to use your time wisely. Unless you are crossing the pond (going to any other country outside of the North, Central and top of South America region), it’s no need for a week.
Ok. Ok. There are exceptions. Cruises to various islands and multi layovers or backpacking to multiple countries, but seriously, many are not about that life. No offense. Or don’t want to put in the time to plan such an extravagant trip (humble plug- check out my company TravelBug. I do freelance travel consulting. You’re welcome.) All in all, I just want you to enjoy multiple vacations instead of one. The year is too long to live for one trip. At least shoot for 4!
Sooooo… How do I travel will a full-time job?
Well… I’m so happy that you’ve asked! It’s super easy. It’s all about maximizing your weekends and holidays. With an average company giving two weeks PTO (the horror!!!), one can fit in a big vacation, and at least 3 mini ones and still have a couple of days left over. But to do so, you have to be aware of your location.
Location. Location. Location
Where you live matters. Well… not really. What I’m saying is knowing how far and how long it takes to travel to certain areas are important. For example, I live in Houston. I know for a good weekend or holiday trip, I don’t want to spend over 3hrs in travel time. To me, 3hrs is sufficient enough that if I take a late flight, I can still benefit from my trip when I arrive. Knowing how much travel time you are willing to commit to will help determine what locations you can visit.
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday
These are the days to fly and have a lower ticket price. Plus a lot of the deals are based on these days. The prices seem to be much lower due to less traffic. Because a lot of travelers, especially business travelers, travel on the other days, the sales are higher. There is still hope to find deals on those days, but I’m all about maximizing chances and saving coins.
I consider holidays as a cushion for a longer vacation. Yes, flights may cost more during this time, but if planned correctly and purchased in advance one can still find a great deal. Also if you add a day in front or behind the holiday, you’ll see a significant drop in flight options. So, now that three day weekend becomes a four day weekend!
Late Nights, Early Morning
Another way to maximize your time is to catch late or early flights. There are plenty of occasions I am caught running out of work to catch an evening flight on a Thursday. I do this because I can catch a late flight and still enjoy Friday through Sunday. And if I’m lucky, find an early flight Monday and go straight to work. In the end, I only took off one day, for a 3-day vacation, and still, have plenty of PTO for another weekend of fun.
Hopefully, this helps or at least gets those engines running! It’s too much world to see to be stuck behind a desk all your days. Quite dull if you ask me. If you have any questions or need help, don’t forget I’m a travel consultant. Have any questions you’d like me to answer in a post? Connect with me via Social Media!
Travel... Like Yeah!, XOXO