Travel More: 5 Tips to Help You #Take12Trips

#take12trips mountains

Up for the challenge?

Do you often sit at your desk wishing you were somewhere else? On a beach perhaps? Sipping coffee at a pavement cafe somewhere? Drinking cocktails at sunset with a sea view? It’s easy to get travel envy, especially when you work full-time.

But there are ways turn the dream of frequent travel into reality. And as several of my blogger buddies have already shown, it is entirely possible to #take12trips in 12 months even when you have a full-time job.

Here’s how:

remember you have more time to travel than you think

#1 Remember you have more time for travel than you think

How many days of annual leave do you get? Can you maximise your time off by tagging days off onto public holidays? If it’s difficult to get leave where you work then get your requests in to your boss as early as you can. If you can do this for your whole year of travel, so much the better.

My Tip: Don’t give yourself an extra day off when you return from a trip to get over it (unless it’s because you’ll have serious jet lag). Suck it up and get straight back to work. The washing can wait. I’ve come back from long weekends in Europe a couple of times on a Monday morning before heading right into work the same afternoon. Those half days add up to full days you can use on another trip.

#2 Save your pennies and set your budget

This is an obvious one, and one I’ve talked about in a previous post about how I juggle my jaunts with my job. Work out how much money you can use for travel if you really make it a priority. Cut out the unnecessary spends (clothes, expensive nights out, shop bought lunches) and get booking.

All About the Money

Look after the pennies, count the pounds, buy the euros!

My Tip: Do you have a go-to site for booking hotels? Forget it and become a booking whore! Scouring different sites can help you bag a bargain. And don’t forget to always check a hotel’s own website for special offers – you might be surprised.

#3 Be flexible about where you go

This is another favourite trick of mine – there’ll always be some places that are your absolute must-do destinations. For those, follow the dream and save the money you need to get you there. For other trips, look for the cheapest flights to anywhere on your available dates using tools like Skyscanner.

New Dusseldorf

Dusseldorf – it wasn’t on my wishlist, but I loved it

My Tip: For weekends away, always consider less popular cities, rather than the usual big players.

#4 Stretch those holiday spends

Are you used to one or two big splurge-style holidays a year? Then it’s time to change the way you travel. Think budget-luxe and be savvy without the need to scrimp. Look for things you can do for free in your destination. Do the museums have a day when there’s no admission charge? (In Paris, there are some museums with free entry on the first Sunday of the month.)

Buy a pass and use public transport instead of taking taxis, and sack off the fancy restaurants for dinner – try a slap up lunch instead when there might be a cheaper menu to order from.

Munich Train

Taxi? No thanks – I’m taking the train

My Tip: Try the local brew rather than the beer you favour at home. It’s usually much cheaper. And if you happen to be in the Veneto region of Italy – (hello Verona), get that Prosecco down your neck for next to nothing. Well, much less than you pay in a pub at home, anyway.

#5 Factor in some local travel

Get more travel out of your year by exploring close to home. Neighbouring cities and National Parks have a lot to offer.Just because a place is only two hours drive from home doesn’t mean you won’t feel like you’re on holiday. Packing up the car and travelling locally is something I plan on doing a lot more of this year now we have a new baby.

The Cavern Club

What’s on your doorstep? This isn’t far from mine!

My Tip: If your budget is already stretched – forget staying overnight. Days out can be all you need to feel like you’ve had a break, so seek out what’s on the doorstep and just get out!

How do you make part-time travel work? Share your own tips in the comments!

Remember to check out #take12trips on Pinterest – if you’re taking the challenge, follow me there and I’ll invite you to pin!

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24 Comments

  • bevchen says:

    Great tips – I’m with you on the day trips. It’s enough of a getaway to clear the cobwebs but you can still sleep in your own bed 🙂

    I would also say be prepared to travel at odd times of year. If all your colleagues want the summer off, maybe you can take your holidays in September or October instead. It’s still early enough to expect reasonable weather and lots of places might even be slightly cheaper once the kids are back at school.

    This year, I’ll be doing all my travelling after the summer – partly because both of my colleagues have children now, which means they get first choice of days off, but also because my boyfriend’s on trial at his new job until the end of September so he isn’t allowed holiday until October. And for the next few month the closest we’ll get to a day trip is flat hunting in our new city!

    • Clare says:

      Totally agree about taking holidays at odd times of year if you can – unfortunately that’s never really been an option for us as Mr HA is a teacher, but we do go to summer destinations in the shoulder season if we can!

  • Lucy says:

    Good tips – I’d add being flexible about when you go too, you can use the whole year function on Skyscanner to find when the cheapest flights are, and BA have a similar low fare finder too. Local travel is always a good one too, I’m off to the Cotswolds for a long weekend on Friday, have a gorgeous country cottage but it’s less than 20 miles away from home so no long journeys!

  • Amy says:

    All great tips! I never take time off after my trips for recovery either. I’m probably pretty miserable that first day back, but taking a vacation day when I’m not actually traveling seems like such a waste! You mention flexibility as being important in scoring good deals on travel and I agree 100%. I rarely set firm travel plans before booking but instead just keep an eye out for good deals to random places. It saves me a ton of money and allows me to see some places I probably wouldn’t have otherwise!

  • Vlad says:

    Great tips! I got travel envy just by reading the first paragraph, haha. Since I’m planning a rather costly trip this summer, I want to travel more locally and explore new and old places. And if I can throw a few weekend trips abroad, I’ll call this year a success! 😀

  • Another vote for day trips and flexibility – travelling at slightly odd times can work out cheaper (even a Saturday morning flight and Monday return rather than time off on Friday and flying out then). I’m a big fan of travelling just out of season too.

    And make the most of any opportunities – I’ve stopped off at historic houses just off the motorway for a break with look round and lunch. So much nicer than services too 🙂

  • Shere says:

    Great tips!! This year i have “less” holidays (as i have reduced my full time job to take care of my son one day per week), so I took one of those one-year-in-a-page calender and looked for the few bank holidays, then I started thinking about how to maximize those precious holidays.

  • Josh says:

    I must try harder this year! Never had time to write up about all the lovely places I saw last year!

  • Maddie says:

    All great tips, you can make so much of annual leave in the UK if you learn how to play the game properly.

  • Megan says:

    Love this. Its great to remember to think about local travel as a trip. I definitely hit 12 that way. Just spent the weekend in San Francisco and going to Tahoe in a couple weeks.

  • Adrienne says:

    Great tips, Clare! I’ve definitely set the goal of taking at least 12 trips this year. With these tips and some dedication, I’m sure I’ll get there!

  • Adrienne says:

    Great tips, Clare! I’ve definitely set the goal of taking at least 12 trips this year. With these tips and some dedication, I’m sure I’ll get there!

  • tianna says:

    great ideas! I try to utilize all this stuff as well. I live near NYC perfect for day trips that feel like I am far from home and so much to explore!

  • Ed Rex says:

    Hey Clare,

    Cheers for the great tips! I’m in full-time work now and I’m struggling to travel as I was a solo independent traveller for my job then. I’m actually going to take inspiration from you and do the #Take12Trips. I’ve already got Barcelona and York lined up.

    However, as annual leave is very precious, I wondered if you have any problem booking flights that leave on a Friday night and return on Sunday? Do you have any tips? I keep looking on Skyscanner but to no avail. I think one of the major problems is that I live in the North East. Humberside is my local airport but the actually flights worth going on are to Amsterdam With KLM (daily) and the odd flight with Flybe to Jersey. Doncaster Sheffield and Leeds Bradford are my next nearest airports but their destinations are expensive for budget flights (compared that with Manchester and London). I could go to Manchester airport but it will take me 2.5 hours to get there and it’s just not feasible after leaving work at 5. Any tips?

    Ed

  • Alli says:

    Awesome tips. I never take a recovery day either, even if I feel like I’m dying. I can rest later! Such a waste for limited travel days, so true 🙂 🙂

  • Great post. I always extedn holidays a little bit with some extra free days to add up and I never take a day off after Im back home from traveling – its such a waste of time! I also strted to travel close to my home, lucily I live one hour from Italy, on hour from Austria and one hour from Croatia so I can make all bunch of combination for my weekend ecapes as well.

  • Bailey K. says:

    Great tips! I think one of the biggest things is prioritizing travel. If it’s not at the top of your list of priorities (or near the top), then travel just won’t happen that much for you. If it IS a priority, then the excuses will stop and you’ll start setting in place ways for travel to happen.

  • #1 is my favorite – everyone has more time than they thing! Tacking on days to long weekends and holidays is a great way to stretch even a quick getaway.

  • Lexi says:

    I absolutely love skyscanner except when trying to find flights out of australia as we have a few budget airlines that have better deals. For everything else though its amazing!

  • Great advice and great idea with the #take12trips idea. I am so with you on sprinkling in both local travel and places that aren’t the big players, especially on weekends. Places like Paris, London, and Barcelona are best left to weekdays in off or shoulder season in my opinion. Like you said about the flights, too, being open to letting a place surprise you is another great way to travel. I have never shown up somewhere and not been pleasantly surprised when I had no expectations to start.

  • Good tips! I strongly agree on being flexible on where you go. I live in New York, and there’s typically a bunch of really good deals to someplace. Being flexible on dates can also net you big savings if you can – traveling on a Tuesday or Wednesday, traveling in early January after most people used their vacation days over the holidays, etc.

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