I can’t tell you how many times I have been asked the million-dollar question:
“HOW DO YOU TRAVEL SO MUCH?!”
Before writing this post, I had a hard time answering those people who would ask me this. I never really thought about it. I have no master plan or secret “hacks” for traveling while answering to beloved corporate America.
To be honest, there is no guide. It is just something I do. I find a way to make it happen. If you are truly passionate about something, you will find a way to pursue it no matter what. And that is just what I do. Working a 9-5 (more like 9-9) has its restraints, but you also have to see it for its perks and use them to your advantage. Below are my tips to help you travel more while not losing your day job.
RELATED: Make Money While Traveling
Take Advantage Of Holidays
American holidays rarely overlap with international holidays. So while it may be expensive to fly internationally, use those days to go overseas since the prices won’t spike as much and you have the days off. If that means missing Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner one year so that you can travel more, so be it.
Don’t be afraid to speak up and make your passions known. When starting my job, I made it known that traveling was my passion. This is something I needed to do to keep me motivated, inspired and coming back to do my job. Being in a more of a creative industry helps, and my leaders were receptive to my personal needs and helped me work out an agreement.
Travel Trumps Money
When I was up for a promotion, I declined a salary increase for more vacation days. In the end, I was able to get a bit of both, but showing them that I valued travel over money was an eye-opener for the team.
Work It Out With Your Team
If your team trusts you and you get your work done before jet-setting, they should have very little hesitations to you wanting to take an extra day or two.
Save, Save, Save
Although a corporate job can suck sometimes, don’t forget, you are probably in a pretty good position to save. You more than likely have a decent (probably great) annual salary with opportunity for bonuses or commission. Don’t go blowing it on the next pair of Louboutins or Louis bags to impress your coworkers or people who really don’t matter. That money could be used for your next plane ticket! Sacrifice is the name of the game.
Stack Your Vacation Days And USE THEM!
So often I hear people telling me they don’t use their vacation days. You have them for a reason! Personal and sick days are real, so use them to travel more. If you are like me and have the perk of having Summer Fridays, tack them on to your trips. If you plan a vacation around a holiday, throw in a few vacation days and a Summer Friday or two and you’ve got yourself 6 days in South Africa!
Find Flight Deals
Become religious about finding flight deals like it’s a second job. Keep in mind that flight deals may mean long layovers and are not always the most luxurious or quickest route to your destination, but if saving money is important to you, you will deal.
Do The Work
Nothing worth having comes without hard work. Start early and compile a spreadsheet of resources, activities, and things to do, eat and see in your destination. You don’t have to do everything on your list, but planning early on will save you time when you are away. Every moment counts when you don’t have many vacation days. The last thing you want to do is waste hours in Thailand on slow Wi-Fi trying to find your next move.
Take Advantage Of Business Trips
If you have the luxury of traveling for work, use that time wisely and explore during your business trips. Extend a work trip and make it into a vacation or fly from your conference or meeting to your next dream destination. If your job isn’t flexible, at least get those miles and points! Don’t let that trip from New York to California go to waste. Next trip, store your frequent flyer number in your company’s travel arrangement services.
I hope you find these tips helpful. As often as I travel, I still feel like I want to travel more! I am constantly trying to figure out ways to work around the inflexibility of corporate life, so if there are other methods, be sure to share them with the world.