Approximately every five minutes someone out there writes an article about how they quit their job to travel the world. Okay, maybe not every five minutes, but these days it does seem like there are many people who do just that — save up money, quit their jobs and go from country to country, city to city, having great travel experiences. And you know what? I think that's wonderful. I really do. I am a huge advocate for travel, so if that is what you want and you're in a position to do just that, then I say go for it.
But what if you're not in that position or what if you want to stay in your job and still travel? In reading so many of these "Quit My Job to Travel the World" articles, I feel as though travel is often presented as an either/or option — either you have a job and never travel or you quit your job and travel the world. Why not something in between these two extremes? I believe it's possible. Actually, I know it's possible.
When I first started working, I put my love of travel on the back burner to focus on my career, but it didn't take long for the travel bug to bite again. My 10 vacation days were used, but in retrospect, I didn't utilize my time off as wisely as I could have. Since then, I have become much more knowledgeable about everything from which credit cards earn me the most airline miles, to where to find the best travel deals (hint: check out my Resources page), to how to use my vacation days more efficiently. These changes have allowed me to travel the world while continuing to work. Is it easy? Not always. Does it require prioritizing travel? Often times, yes. Is it worth it? Always.
In launching this site, I wanted to not only share my tips and advice for having more great travel experiences but also highlight people who have embraced travel as an integral part of their lives. They know that travel isn't just about taking a few days off from work and mentally checking out but rather travel is an opportunity to immerse ourselves in a different environment, to gain a greater cultural understanding of another place and interact with a group of people unlike ourselves but similar in ways we may not have anticipated. These travelers — featured on my site as Globe Getters — love travel, and we want everyone to love it as well, whether that involves quitting your job or not.
So how does one travel the world while working full time? Below are some of the best tips from people who have made travel a priority:
Combine Vacation Days with Paid Holidays
- Combine with holidays or other time off and always make full use of weekends. – Matt Long
- Combine work trips and vacation days; let the office pay for your travel sometimes, even if they just get you closer. For instance, I work part-time in Boston and have been known to fly to Europe from there because it is cheaper and takes less time than from my home in California. – Chris Christensen
- Tack on days to the holidays people usually don't take for vacation, like the few days after Columbus Day or Presidents' Day. – Roxanne L. Scott
Look Into Flexible Work or Telecommuting Arrangements
- If your employer offers telework, you can work from home while still being able to travel without taking any time off. – Ashlee Tuck
- A lot of times you can get to one place and, instead of going back home, you can travel relatively cheaply to a nearby country. – Rondel Holder
- Plan your itinerary ahead of time so your days are productive. You don't want to spend precious time in your dream destination figuring out what to do next. – Katrina Garrier
- Wake. Up. Early. This is my secret. I wake at dawn (sometimes before) and get going! There’s a whole world out there to experience, and I’ll sleep when I’m dead. – Patrick Bennett
- Take advantage of long weekends — a Monday or Friday off gives you plenty of time to travel! – Christina Saull
- If time is tight, plan 48-72 hour getaways and have an itinerary of what you want to see, eat, do, experience, etc. to ensure you make the most of your time. – Metanoya Z. Webb
- Spread vacation days throughout the year by taking long weekend trips to different places each time. This will give you a chance to see more! – Nastasia Wong
Do you have more travel tips that have helped you see the world? Tell me! Sharing is caring.