Traveling more – this is something that is almost always on people’s New Year’s resolution list, and overall, their biggest desire when planning out their year. Does this sound familiar?
However, when it really comes down to it, you may have a full-time office job that may not always allow for frequent travel to be much of a reality. With a full-time job, you may ask yourself, “how can I possibly do it?” “How can I just take off and travel more than I did the year before while working at the same job, with the same hours?”
Well, I got a few things on this that can help you see your options when it comes to traveling more in 2020 when working a full-time job.
Before going freelance, I used to work for an organization with the typical benefits package that offered a decent vacation option. Nothing too extravagant, but not super limiting either. By using some of the tips I’m about to share below, I was able to travel more than a couple of times a year while friends guessed how I was able to.
Below, I’m going to share with you some of my biggest tips that I used while I worked a 9-5 job, and how I managed to travel multiple times out of the year ✈️✈️✈️
Before we get started:
I’m not saying that this is a blog post that will help you hack your way into getting more vacation days, but what I will say is that this post will help you hack your way to extending your already available vacation days, and then some. So if this post just got a little bit more interesting to you, read along.
A couple of stats and interesting facts on American vacation/travel culture:
- Even with Americans saying they want to travel more, making the money to actually afford to travel if they wanted to, and having vacation days saved up, they still don’t travel! According to CNBC, between the years of 1976-2000, Americans usually took around 20 or more vacation days. Today, this number has decreased to 16 – but this may actually be lower for some.
- The U.S Travel Association did a study that showed that 52% of Americans didn’t use all of their vacation time in 2017.
- According to CNBC, American workers usually receive fewer vacation days in comparison to other countries around the world. In Austria for example, people receive 13 paid public holidays and 25 days of paid annual leave. In the states professional and full-time employees have between 7-8 paid holidays and around 10 days worth of paid vacation time off during their first year of employment according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.
- “The United States is the only advanced economy in the world that does not guarantee its workers paid vacation days and paid holidays,” says John Schmitt, Vice President of the Economic Policy Institute, in a report for the Center for Economic and Policy Research.
SO with all of that said….here’s how you can maneuver your way around that ^^ as you learn how you can travel more in 2020 even when you’re working full-time.
1. Ask yourself why
First and foremost, do you actually want to travel? Or do you just like the idea of traveling? Yup, we’re getting deep on this. Seeing your friends and influencers take amazing trips around the world, and post pictures on Instagram can create FOMO, and this can steer you in a different direction as far as your reason to travel. Think if there’s a place you want to see, an experience like a local festival you want to visit, or a culture and language you want to learn more about, let that guide you as you start to set the intention to travel, full-time and all. When you can see and feel your personal reason as to why you want to travel, it’s easier to commit to it and actually go through with it, instead of tying this desire to travel to something vague like a pretty photo on Instagram. No personal connection to your why equals less chance of actually traveling.
2. Mindset above all
Once you figure out your reason to travel more in 2020 when working a full-time, you have to set your intention to actually travel. Finding the dates that work for you, the deals and steals on the flight and lodging, and the fun activities are not the only things that will determine you actually traveling. Cultivating a mindset of travel in 2020 will jump-start your mindset to start to set the intention and momentum in your mind of travel and what it will feel like for you. And that’s key. What will it actually feel like to travel to X destination??
Setting your energy and focusing on that will result in finding opportunities to make it more of a reality for you. Visualize yourself at your destination; what are you doing? Where are you off to? What’s on the itinerary? Who are you with? What are you looking at? When you get into the vibration of already being there, it’ll feel like you’re already there, and you’ll be more open to finding the way to actually make it a physical reality.
3. Plan what days are already available
Now that we got our reason and mindset established, it’s time to look at the logistics. When I worked my full-time job, I always looked at the month ahead or couple of months ahead and looked at my schedule of work events I absolutely HAD to be there for. If you do this, you’ll get a better picture of what days you actually have available to leave. Look at holidays, long weekends, and see if maybe you can miss that Monday and Tuesday or that Thursday and Friday. Or better yet, look for the quiet “seasons” within your job/job role and consider taking a longer vacation then.
To help you with this, I have created a FREE resource for you where I give you a snapshot/cheat-sheet of the most common holidays and days off in the U.S. that you can take advantage of! Look into this list, and already start to visualize and plan a couple of trips around the long holidays ahead, while using minimal vacation time. Click HERE for your copy!
This is what most people look into when they’re planning travel, and that is traveling on the weekend. This isn’t anything new or shocking, there’s a reason why tickets go up around these days of the week for a reason. However, kind of like I mentioned above, you can manage to travel more in 2020 by taking advantage of any weekends that have a holiday on that Friday or Monday. Take day trips, go to a new cafe in your town or the one next to you. Do something a little out of your ordinary, and take a different route. It automatically starts to transport you to the mindset of curiosity and spontaneity – as if you were traveling far away.
Related: How To Be A Curious Traveler
5. Exploring your surroundings
Let’s say you look at your calendar, and you find that you have weekends, but not too many long weekend opportunities. What can you do? You can always sprinkle in a couple of local trips! I think that when people think or hear the word “Travel” it’s easy to automatically think; international, far away, long flights and journeys, etc. But it doesn’t have to. Take the opportunity to travel within your own city/state/country if you find that you may only have weekends available to you! One of the things that I thoroughly enjoyed doing when I lived abroad was taking small day trips to neighboring regions or towns. When I came back to the states, it’s something I did and still do, and I’ve come to really discover and appreciate places around me that I didn’t know I had so close. Traveling on the weekends is such a good opportunity to do that, and isn’t too expensive to do either.
6. Travel solo
In order to really, REALLY accelerate the opportunities to travel more in 2020, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the possibility of traveling solo! The reality is that the times that you are going to want to travel, your friends may not be able to. However, if you’re really determined, already set your intentions to travel more in 2020, and feel ready to take the opportunity to visit the place you’ve been visualizing for so long, then consider going solo.
Now, just because you’re traveling solo, doesn’t mean that you’re going to be alone all the time (unless you want to). Between 2017 and 2018, solo travel has increased in popularity by 7%, with around 18% of bookings done in 2018 being associated with solo travelers (source). Traveling solo is really not a rarity nowadays, and because so many people do it, there are ample opportunities to meet other like-minded solo travelers abroad on your journeys.
Here are my biggest tips on ways in which you can travel more in 2020 – even when working full-time! Just to reiterate, it’s so important to start with 1 and 2 (there’s a reason why I put them first on this list). In doing so, you’re already setting and priming your mind and intentions towards actually traveling, rather than saying that you are, and letting it be a distant dream with no real intention of doing it.
Don’t forget to click below on the graphic to get your hands on this cheat sheet that I created called “Full-time Potential Travel Dates 2020 at a Glance” for an easier and visual way to look at a couple of travel opportunities where you don’t have to spend more vacation days than you have to!
Do you have any tips that have helped you travel more even as you work full-time? Do share in the comments below!