How to Travel When Working Full-Time

Traveling long-term is not realistic for everyone. Many of us try to find the balance on how to travel when working full-time. I will admit – it can be a struggle. It’s shocking to find that 15% of Americans did not take any of their vacation time last year. Either they really love their jobs or they might be workaholics. It is so important to me to take my vacation days especially because I work so hard for them. Prioritizing two trips a year is how I am able to still manage work and a full time job. Make your time off count for you – that’s what is most important.

Escape on the Weekends

Weekend trips do not have to be an entire weekend or even to somewhere that requires a plane ride. Some of my favorite escapes include day trips to Napa, two day trips to New York City and getting to know San Francisco a little better. These escapes are often easier to plan since you can only do so much in a short period of time.

04-20-12 - San Francisco

Take your Vacations

Use it – don’t lose it. If you have vacation days worked into your job, then you should use it! After working hard all year you should reward yourself with either a nice relaxing vacation or an adventuress one exploring new places. Trips are only as limiting as you see it. I have planned big trips to Asia and Europe with only 8 days of vacation time not including travel. While long trips may be ideal, sometimes it’s just not possible. I always feel like some trip is better than no trip.

Travel during Work Trips

If you travel for work, it’s often that you can travel somewhere else if the return flight is comparable to the cost that the company is paying if you had not taken a side trip. This can be great way to see a place that may normally require more travel time and money. You can have a mini trip added onto your work trip.

2014-09-04 15.17.10

Negotiate for Time (find a good employer)

Working somewhere that is accommodating, flexible and understanding of the time off you take for trips is important if it’s important to you! Negotiate for more vacation time during the hire process or at your performance reviews. It can be a great opportunity to to get more vacation time and take more trips. I have been fortunate enough to have employers that accommodate my vacation requests.

Everyday is a Vacation

Do as my friend Sofia does -live everyday as if you are on vacation. Discover the area you live in and get out of your comfort zone by exploring new places. One of my favorite things to do when I have a free day is try a new restaurant or visit a coffee shop I have never been to.

How do you balance work and travel?

  • Steph, this is a great list of tips! They are all things I’ve done over the years to make the most of our limited vacation time. I especially love the last one and that’s something I try to remember and live by–it’s the attitude that inspired my blog’s tagline, “finding adventure every single day”. I consider every trip outside my front door a travel adventure 🙂 Thanks for sharing this!

  • Nice photo of the wall! I’ve heard people don’t take all their vacations and I think it’s crazy! Especially as the US has one of the lower amounts of vacation days compared to some countries in Europe. As a school teacher (and currently working at an international school) I’m fortunate to get a lot of vacation days to play with!

    • I certainly agree! That’s great that you have so many vacation days to play with – keep at it! 🙂

  • Ailene Rhea

    I love this! It’s true that travelling long term is not for everyone – but it would be nice! And earn a decent living while doing it too =)

    • Stephanie Uniacke

      Thanks! Yes, for some it just makes sense to just work and travel. 🙂

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