Do you love travelling but feel like you can’t because of your full time job? I know the feeling. It’s hard to travel while working full time, however it is possible. I worked in a corporate office for 20 months and went on over 20 trips in that time, both short trips but also long haul international flights. In this article I will share my main advice on how you can travel more with a full time job.
You see so many stories online of people who quit their jobs to travel the world. It’s incredible and they are really inspiring stories, however the reality is that not everybody can do that. For those that work full time, there are ways that you can travel more without leaving your job. I’ve become known at work for being the person who is always on holiday. In the year and a half I worked in a corporate office I went on 8 long haul trips to destinations like Kenya, Thailand, Bali, Mexico, Dubai, Canada and the Caribbean.
I also went on multiple trips to Italy (Tuscany, Milan, Sardinia, Cinque Terre, Madonna di Campiglio) and weekend breaks to European destinations such as Bath or Seville. That’s more than 20 trips in 20 months. Many of my colleagues used to ask how I manage to do that. To which my answer is always the same; we all have the same job title, the same salary, and the same amount of annual leave. So if I can afford to go on cool holidays multiple times a year, so can you. It’s all about priorities and what you chose to spend your time and money on. Travel is my priority, which is how I manage to make it work and go on so many trips while having a full time job.
4 tips to travel more when you work 9-5
Be flexible about dates
If like me, you’re a recent graduate in your early 20s and just started working, you don’t have to be restricted on dates. You’re not a student anymore and unless you have kids in school, you don’t have to go travelling during school holidays anymore, you can go whenever you want! I’ll usually have a rough idea of the period I want to go travelling, for example I like going to hot countries around October and February, when it’s cold and miserable in London and everyone is feeling the post summer or post Christmas blues, but I don’t have specific dates I need to stick to. So what I do is I usually go on SkyScanner, select the whole month option as opposed to dates, and voila’, it’ll tell me on which dates it’s cheaper to fly.
Take your annual leave around public holidays
If you take your annual leave around public holiday days, you can travel for longer while using less annual leave. For example I was away over Christmas and New Years for two weeks while only using three days of annual leave from work, because most of the days in between are holiday for everyone anyway. Now this kind of goes against my first point, since flights and hotels are usually more expensive at this time, but you need to find a balance between the two that works for you. I usually alternate between a trip over public holidays, so I can save annual leave days, and a trip at a random time so that I save money on flights.
Go on weekend breaks
I do quite a lot of these. From London it’s about a two hour flight to most European cities and it would be silly not to. You can go for a long weekend and just take off work Friday or Monday, or literally just Friday night to Sunday night. Both work well, depending on where you’re going and how much there is to see, and they’ll allow you to travel more, breaking up a normal working month with a weekend break to look forward to. Don’t underestimate how much you can see of a city in just a couple of days! I’ve been on lots of weekend breaks while working in an office, some of them to beautiful European cities like Rome, Seville and Bath.
Take evening flights
This might not be the best technique for everyone, as I know some people struggle to sleep on planes. I’m one of those people that can sleep anywhere. Be it a plane, car, train, boat, bus or whatever mode of transport, I snuggle up in a corner and manage to fall asleep. When I went to Thailand I had a flight at 9pm, meaning I worked the full day then went straight to the airport from the office. After a long day of work I was even more ready to fall asleep on the flight. Depending on where I’m headed I will land in the morning / afternoon / evening, meaning I’m either ready to see the destination or head to my hotel to chill and go back to sleep.
As a 9-5 office worker, these are the techniques that I personally used to travel despite having a full time job. If you also have a fulltime job and love travelling, I’d love to hear how you make it work! Let me know in the comments below. Still looking for more advice? Check out these 17 easy ways to save money on your next trip. Also, for the people out there that are thinking of quitting their jobs to travel, you might want to check out my post with advice on ways to make money travelling!