Travel: the elusive mistress we all dream about, but feel we can never obtain. When you have responsibilities, it can seem impossible to find the time to travel more—especially when you work a location-dependent 9 to 5.
Sadly, most people see finding the time to travel as an impossible challenge rather than a puzzle to solve. You can still have a full-time job and travel frequently. Changing the way you look at it and maximizing on some opportunities can turn your one-vacation-a-year life into a travel-all-the-time situation.
1. Stop Thinking it’s Impossible
This is the first step in traveling more without quitting your job. If you flat-out think you can’t travel more with your current responsibilities, budget, and schedule, then you never will. You can travel more, and you can keep your current job and keep up your responsibilities.
2. Sign up for Conferences
Attending conferences for work is the best way to travel without spending your own money and using your PTO. Most companies will pay for employees to attend educational events because they benefit the company in the long-run.
Search for conferences that will add value to your work (and are in some cool places), and then pitch the idea to your boss. As long as you fully explain how attending will benefit you, your work, and the company’s bottom line, you stand a good chance of receiving a green light.
3. Ask for Projects That Include Travel
It’s always a good idea to speak up about what you want at work. If you want to travel more, talk to your boss about it. Ask if there’s any way you can take on some projects or assignments that include traveling. Explain that this will allow you to continue your work, which you enjoy, and satisfy the vacation itch.
The worst thing your boss can say is no, and that’s okay. You still have the weekends anyway. Besides, if your boss knows you’re willing to travel for work, they might think of you the next time something comes up.
4. Take Advantage of Your PTO
If you have a certain allotment of paid time off, then you need to use it and use it wisely. Use your PTO to go somewhere you’ve always dreamed of right now. Saving it in case of emergency might seem like a wise decision, but not living your life is the real emergency. Throw caution to the wind and take off for whatever places your heart dreams about. It’ll do your body and mind major good.
Sure, you can sit at your desk and work your life away because it’s the responsible thing, but the stress will eat away at your health until you no longer have a life to live. I mean, you’re already guaranteed that PTO, so why not use it? You’ll get more time next year anyway. And if you’re one of those lucky sons-of-guns who has unlimited PTOyou have no excuse to not travel all the time.
5. Plan Out Weekend Trips
Don’t waste your weekends either. You have two days off each week, so instead of using them to catch up on your chore list and Netflix-binge, take off for a weekend trip. You can easily go on short, five-to-seven-hour road trips to visit fun cities and attractions. Weekend trips are an easy way to satisfy your wanderlust without breaking the bank or disrupting your work schedule.
You can also go places that are a few hours away by plane. You can get from New York to LA within seven hours, and that’s cross-country. Heck, you can head to Mexico from Texas and be there within two hours. Many people forget that traveling can be done in short bursts just as well as fast ones. So don’t count out your weekends.
6. Use National Holidays Wisely
Your office is required to close in observance of certain holidays. Memorial Day, Labor Day, Fourth of July, Thanksgiving, and Christmas are all chances for you to jet off somewhere. Depending on which day of the week the holiday falls, you can take longer trips to places a little too far away for a regular weekend. You should take these days as chances to see more of the world.
7. Ask to Work Remotely
If it’s feasible for you to continue your work out of office, ask your boss if you can work remotely for a few weeks out of the year. Explain that you would still be reachable during business hours and would still be working, but that you want to explore new places while you can. Be honest about your desire to travel, but also your desire to continue working for the company. Again, the absolute worst thing is you can be told no. You can still use your PTO, weekends, and national holidays to take some much-needed vacation time.