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.
#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.
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.
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.
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.
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!