If you’ve been reading my blog for a while, you’ll know that 2017 was a big year of travel for me. In 12 months I took 11 flights, visited 14 destinations and managed to travel for 52 days of the year while only using 22 days of annual leave. Not bad, hey?
Today I thought I’d share my tips, tricks and travel examples with you to show you how I managed to travel with a full time job. If one of your new year’s resolutions is to travel more, this post should come in very handy indeed…
(If you’re interested in reading where exactly I visited in 2017, make sure to read this post!)
I made the most of my weekends
One thing that really helped me to travel to more destinations last year was making the most of my weekends. Around half of the trips I took in 2017 were squeezed into a weekend, meaning I could squeeze in extra travel time without dipping into any annual leave.
It’s super easy to visit UK destinations in a weekend if you hit the road straight after work on Friday, but I’ve also managed to squeeze weekends in Europe in by taking a late night flight on a Friday and heading home on Sunday afternoon.
It can be a brilliant way of breaking up long periods of time between more substantial trips!
As well as maximising my weekends for travel, I also made sure that I made the most of the bank holidays for travel in 2017. Three of my trips took place over a bank holiday weekend, which mean that I got three bonus days of travel without dipping into annual leave.
It’s true that flights and accommodation can be a bit more expensive over bank holidays, but if you plan ahead you can usually still get a pretty good deal. If cost still remains an issue for you, why not use the bank holiday weekend to visit friends and family who live in a different place to you and explore their home turf?
I squeezed multiple destinations into my trips
One of my favourite travel tips is to squeeze multiple destinations into one trip. There are two ways you can do this – either by making the most of your flights by hitting up multiple locations in one area (as we did when we visited Bilbao and San Sebastian), or by breaking up a longer journey with a stopover en route.
Doing this not only means better value for money on your flights, but it’s also a more efficient way of visiting a few places as you can squeeze more into your travel time.
I used the little and often approach
One of the things that really helped me up my travel quota last year was by taking the little and often approach. Rather than booking any epic two week long haul holidays, I opted for short but sweet trips to more local destinations.
I think this is a great solution if you’re someone who loves to travel regularly but still has a full time job to hold down as it means you never have to go too long without a trip. Plus, you can squeeze in lots of new destinations too!
My final tip that helped me travel so much in 2017 is that I planned ahead. Rather than waiting until the end of the year and realising I had annual leave leftover, I planned and organised to make sure I’d made the most of every single day of holiday I had.
I would thoroughly recommend sitting down sometime this month and looking at your calendar for the year ahead. Work out when you can take some annual leave and how best to cut it up to achieve as many of your travel goals as possible and then get it booked! That way you won’t be tempted to change your plans to fit around your work schedule.
So there you have it – the secrets behind how I visited 14 destinations in a year without quitting my job. Do you have any other tips for balancing travel with a full time job?