How To Travel With A Full Time Job
It's no secret around here that I love to travel. Whether it's a weekend escape here in the UK or an American adventure across the pond, I never grow tired of exploring somewhere new. It's an obsession of mine and one I spend a lot of my disposable income on - I've pretty much always got a trip booked! However, I also have a full time job, so I can't just go gallivanting off around the world whenever I fancy it. A couple of people have asked me recently how I manage to squeeze so many trips into a limited amount of annual leave - it's an art I've been perfecting for the last 6 years and I feel like I'm a bit of a pro at it now.
I always try and squeeze in 4-5 trips abroad a year, as well as a couple of little UK based jaunts too. Add in Christmas and the days of annual leave needed for other occasions like weddings and family celebrations, and those holidays can quickly rack up.
So today I thought I'd share with you how I make the most of my annual leave and show you how to travel with a full time job...
1) Always use your annual leave
I feel like this is a really obvious thing to put on this list but you would be amazed by how many people tell me they don't use all of their holiday allowance! There are various reasons why - they can't take it at the same time as other colleagues, they didn't plan ahead in time, they don't like to take time off if they don't have plans, etc. Annual leave is a benefit that you are absolutely entitled to, so get it booked in early and start planning your travels.
2) Buy extra if you can
I know not all companies offer this, but if yours does I would definitely recommend it because it can make a huge difference to your travelling potential. I'm lucky enough that the company I work for gives us the opportunity to buy additional holiday and this year I chose to invest in 4 additional days of annual leave. Those extra 4 days has helped me to squeeze in 2 extra city breaks, so it really is worth it.
3) Make the most of bank holidays
Here in the UK we get 8 bank holidays a year which equates to over a week and a half of extra time off. I always try to make the most of the bank holidays to squeeze in an extra trip - we spent the Easter weekend on Anglesey this year and we'll be in France on the August bank holiday next week. Bear them in mind when you're planning your travels - you could either enjoy a long weekend away or take advantage of a "free day" during a lengthier trip.
4) Weekend trips are your new best friend
So many people think that you need at least a couple of days off work to visit anywhere abroad, but that is absolutely not the case! In the past few years I've managed to squeeze quite a few European city breaks into a weekend without so much as an hour off work by heading to the airport on a Friday evening and flying home on Sunday night. This is also a great way to see more of the UK too - train travel means you can be at the opposite end of the country in less than a couple of hours.
5) Squeeze multiple destinations into one trip
Another way to see the world without using loads of annual leave is to squeeze multiple destinations into one holiday - it often works out cheaper than planning separate trips too. A couple of years ago we had a stopover in Iceland on the way to New York which saved us hundreds of pounds in airfare, and next week we're tagging on a few days in Madrid on the way home from my friend's wedding in Toulouse to make the most of already being in the area.
6) Take advantage of any work travel
This is a tip that won't apply to everyone, but if you do get the opportunity to travel for work then use it to your advantage! In my last job I was lucky enough to travel to Hong Kong, China, Munich and Nuremberg and I made sure that I utilised every spare hour I had to explore these new cities and environments. In my current role I don't get to travel as far, but I still take advantage of my trips to London to catch up with friends or try new restaurants.
There you have it - my top tips for how to travel when you have a full time job. Have you got any more tips to add?