A full-time job will give you the money to travel but will also enlarge your biggest obstacle: time. Indeed, when you spend 40 hours a week at work, it dramatically reduces your free time for your hobbies. And travelling is a hobby that requires time.
I have a full-time office job. However, I regularly hear the comment “you are always travelling”. This comment is kind of true. Indeed, I do feel that I travel a lot; and it is actually my objective.
I call myself a part-time traveller: I try to move as much as I can during my free time off work.
I like this lifestyle. A nomadic life with a never-ending trip can sometimes make me dream, but I would not give up my current lifestyle for it. I find many advantages in being a part-time traveller.
If you have a full-time job, and you feel you don’t have enough time to travel, please read on. Maybe this assessment of how I manage to travel a lot will inspire you to think differently.
You have more time off than you think
These figures will depend on your country of course. They work for the countries I lived in (France, England and Australia). If paid leave is very limited in your country, consider moving abroad to seek a work/life balance that would better fit your objectives. Do you think you only have four weeks of holidays a year to travel? This is wrong.
With your full-time job, you probably have over 130 days to travel per year.
Indeed, you could choose to spend 1/3 of the year travelling. That’s a lot, isn’t it?
How do I count this? 4 weeks (paid leave) + 52 weekends + around 5-10 public holidays…
Yet, to make the most out of these days off, you may need to change your lifestyle. I have listed below some habits and tricks I put in place to increase the time I allocate to travelling. Please share yours in the comments if you have other ideas, I’d love to read them!
I consider weekends as 2 days of holidays per week
I go away during my weekends as much as I can. I keep a list of day trips to pick from in case I cannot free up my entire weekend. When possible, I like to leave on Friday night and come back on Monday morning.
There are great destinations that can be explored in 2 days. When travellers are on the road, it is not that unusual for them to only spend 2 days visiting the same place.
For me, travelling does not mean I have to go far away from where I live.
It is more a state of mind, a desire to explore somewhere new with curious eyes. Have you ever tried to take your camera and explore the streets of a familiar city? I am always surprised by how different it looks when I put my “tourist shoes” on.
I like to go on an adventure
Going on an adventure is not a trick to finding more time to travel. It is a trick to feel that I have been gone for a long time. Some activities are great to disconnect entirely from everyday life and have a real break. When I come back from a 2-day hike or an overnight kayaking trip with no phone and no electricity, I often feel like I have been gone for much longer than just the weekend.
I free up my weekends for travelling
I try to do the chores during the week to free the weekend, so I can focus on what I like doing when I am off work. It takes daily efforts during the week to organise the laundry, buy groceries and try to keep the flat clean. But that’s what makes weekends free of chores possible.
You may want to look into robots to help you with your house chores. A Roomba vacuum cleaner* or a robot mop* can clean your floors while you’re busy with other things.
Also, I don’t have a pet. I’d love to have a furry companion, but it wouldn’t work well with the habit to go away every weekend. It’s always harder to find a pet-friendly destination or activity, or someone to take care of your pet when you’re away. If you have a pet, I’m sure you’re used to it now and have found solutions – they do exist. But if you don’t have a pet and wish to travel a lot, I recommend thinking twice about it not to make a selfish decision.
I use wisely my public holidays
When there is a long weekend of 3 or 4 days, further destinations than local trips become possible. An extra half-day or day off will even open more options. I try to leave straight after work and come back early on Monday morning to maximise my time away.
I always keep in mind I don’t have to see it all at once: although it is frustrating, it is ok to skip some attractions. I can always come back if I want to.
I divide holiday trips into short trips
Many itineraries to visit an area can be split into a couple of trips.
For example, most people would take days off to visit New Zealand North Island from Australia. To keep my days off to travel more, I used a 3-day long weekend to make a road trip focused on one of the areas on the North Island. Two other long weekend trips later will allow me to do a different area of the island. That would be a 10 day trip with 0 days taken off my precious holidays. And if I’m not able to go again, which has been the case for New Zealand North Island, then at least I visited the places I really wanted to see.
This is more expensive, I agree. Click here to find out more about how I can afford to travel every weekend.
Responsible travel tip: Over the years, I have become more aware of my carbon footprint and have dramatically reduced my number of flights. I haven’t totally stopped flying (it’s hard when you’re in Australia; train connections are not developed for passengers). But I always think about alternatives before booking a flight. If I can reach a destination by car, even if it is more tiring, I now always go with this option. I avoid flying for a short trip and look for a closer destination or the opportunity to stay for longer.
You can use this tool to calculate your carbon footprint. Atmosfair is another great tool to calculate your flight’s CO₂ footprint and offset your carbon emissions. Reducing carbon emissions should be a priority; it is always better than offsetting. But offsetting is better than doing nothing at all about your emissions.
I use stopovers as a trip
I often have a layover when I travel overseas from Australia. Rather than spending six hours in an airport waiting for my connecting flights, I love to allow more time so I can get out to have a quick peek at the city.
That’s how I visited Salt Lake City in 24 hours during my holidays in Mexico for example, or how Patrick visited Dubai in one day. You can also find here ideas to visit Singapore in one day.
Booking flights with a stopover isn’t always easy. You have to play a few times with the multi-city options and compare the different combinations. But after reading this article with tips on how to book flights with a stopover, I might give AirWander a try!
I love talking about travelling
This is a way to dream about it and travel with the stories I hear or read!
This Post Has 0 Comments
Love these tips. I too have a full-time job, but it’s a shift work so sometimes getting the same days off every week isn’t possible. What I’ve found with shift jobs is if you can book the last two days of your week off, and then the first two days of the next week off you get essentially a 4 day vacation without taking any extra days off. At my work the week goes Monday to Sunday, so I can request Saturday and Sunday of one week and then the Monday and the Tuesday the next week. It might not always work (and at my job if you request every weekend off you’ll likely won’t get every weekend off), but if you have a short trip in mind it’s worth trying.
Thanks Alouise. Shift job has some advantages indeed! I had one for a little while when I was in England and it was perfect for short off-peak gataway to avoid the high price of Friday night flights! 🙂
You have a great attitude Eloise. Most people I know spend the week complaining that a weekend is not long enough but you seem to look at it more as being almost one third of the week to get away.
I have split my vacation time in to 5 day lots sometimes because when you add a weekend either side it means 9 days off, and you can do that more than once per year!
Yes Dean, I always try to be an optimistic: it makes life so much better. So in that case, with your 4 weeks of holidays a year, you actually transform them into 4 sets of 9 days off… That sounds really good to me! 😀
Ecellent post – I think that far too many people discount the 2 days off they get per week, when really, you could be traveling so much during this time, and weekend trips and staycations around your area absolutely count as travel too. You don’t need to be jetting off to some faraway exotic corner of the globe for it to count as travel – I’ve recently started exploring more of my local area after coming to the realization that people travel to my hometown from every corner of the globe just to see it and spend time here, why am I not doing the same just because I live here?!
Thanks for the tips and advice 🙂
Thanks Megan. Sometimes we need to travel and meet new people to open our eyes so we see our own region is attractive too!
You have a great attitude towards travel, I like that. We didn’t have much time for travel when we first started doing it, but using our week-ends and every opportunity we had took us a long way. You don’t need to cross the ocean to see great places, besides week-end travel is less expensive.
Thanks Anda. You’re right.
In our case weekend travel can sometimes get expensive as we could fly to a destination (Australia is so big!), but we also have plenty of awesome options nearby at almost no cost to counter-balance! 🙂
When there is a will there is a way. Great post.