For a lot of working people, traveling can be extremely tough to plan due to busy work schedules. Working 9-5, 7 days a week doesn’t give you much leisure time to get up and go.
I always get asked the same questions by my friends: “how do you get to travel so much?”, “do you get a lot of vacation time from work?” and I’ve also heard: “are you ever home…?”. Yes I am! However, when I’m home I’m usually planning another trip.
The truth is, I use up all of my yearly vacation days and I get a standard 3 weeks vacation time. I’m living proof that you don’t have to quit your job or have a lot of vacation to pick up and go somewhere more than once a year. It’s all about having the right priorities and planning out your travels accordingly.
Here are my top 4 tips on how to maximize your vacation time when you’re working full time:
My job as a Marketing Manager & Event Planner has allowed me to piggy back on a lot of trips to some great destinations within Canada and the United States. If the destination is one that peaks my interest, I make a plan to extend my stay for a few days. Usually it works out that I extend my personal stay on weekends and don’t have to take any time off.
It’s a great way to see so many places in a short period of time. I was able to explore Vancouver, Whistler, St John’s, Halifax, Calgary, Banff, Quebec, Florida, Arizona and California, all because I had effectively planned around work trips. The term I often use to describe this kind of trip is “Workcation” (half work / half vacation) as long as you’re paying for the vacation part yourself.
2. Combine Vacation Time with Weekends:
If you’re anything like me, you want more time to explore and you’ll do anything to get it. But how do you possibly do that when you can only take 5
consecutive business days off of work?
If you already have weekends off, they are your best friend when it comes to gaining time. When two weekends are combined with a 5 days vacation, you’ll get a good 8 days of adventure and 1 day of travel time. You can even explore 2 different places in 8 days, but I’ll get to that in another blog post.
3. Choose the Right Flights & Destinations with Favourable Time Zones:
Booking a late flight or red-eye the day prior to your first day of vacation will help maximize your time. If you only have the weekend to travel, book a flight that leaves late after work on Friday and arrives on the same night or early to your destination on Saturday morning.
Another way to maximize is to book a flight back home on the last day of your vacation and arrive home on the same day. You can do this by picking a destination with a time zone that is ahead by several hours. You’ll be home in time to rest before going into work the next morning.
Planning around time zones can help you gain a lot of travel time. It may hurt a little coming home if the time zone that you’re coming home from is behind, but I’ll be blogging about tips on how to avoid this painful journey in another post.
4. Take Advantage of Statutory Holidays & Long Weekends:
One of my favourite things about living in Canada is that we get A LOT of stat holidays which always fall on a Friday or Monday. It’s great to be able to combine your three non-vacation time days and go somewhere!
A lot of people think that 3 days isn’t enough to travel, but it really can be. When planning a long weekend trip, I always book my flights the night before my first day off. For those of you that don’t do well on tight schedules like this, you can always take one day off to get a 4 day weekend and you will still get 3 full days to explore your destination.
Using the tips above, you’ll maximize your vacation time and get see a few more destinations throughout the long year. Not only will you become a pro at planning your holidays, but if you space them out correctly, you’ll feel like you’re never in one spot!
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