How To Travel A Lot When You Have A Full-Time Job

A full-time job will give you the money to travel but will also enlarge your biggest obstacle: time. Indeed, when you spend 40 hours a week at work, it dramatically reduces your free time for your hobbies. And travelling is a hobby that requires time.

I have a full-time office job. However, I regularly hear the comment “you are always travelling”.  This comment is kind of true. Indeed, I do feel that I travel a lot; and it is actually my objective.

I call myself a part-time traveller: I try to move as much as I can during my free time off work.

I like this lifestyle. A nomadic life with a never-ending trip can sometimes make me dream, but I would not give up my current lifestyle for it. I find many advantages in being a part-time traveller.

If you have a full-time job, and you feel you don’t have enough time to travel, please read on. Maybe this assessment of how I manage to travel a lot will inspire you to think differently.

You have more time off than you think

These figures will depend on your country of course. They work for the countries I lived in (France, England, and Australia). If paid leave is very limited in your country, consider moving abroad to seek a work/life balance that would better fit your objectives.

Do you think you only have four weeks of holidays a year to travel? This is wrong.

With your full-time job, you probably have over 130 days to travel per year.

Indeed, you could choose to spend 1/3 of the year travelling. That’s a lot, isn’t it?

How do I count this? 4 weeks + 52 weekends + around 5-10 public holidays…

Yet, to make the most out of these days off, you may need to revise your lifestyle. I have listed below some habits and tricks I put in place to increase the time I allocate to travelling. Please share yours in the comments if you have other ideas, I’d love to read about it!

I consider weekends as 2 days of holidays per week

I go away during my weekends as much as I can. I keep a list of day trips to pick from in case I cannot free up my entire weekend. When possible, I like to leave on Friday night and come back on Monday morning.

There are great destinations that can be explored in 2 days. When travellers are on the road, it is not that unusual for them to only spend 2 days visiting the same place. If you live near Paris, London, Istanbul or in Australia, you’ll find great day trips and weekend trips on my blog!

 

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For me, travelling does not mean I have to go far away from where I live.

It is more a state of mind, a desire to explore somewhere new with curious eyes. Have you ever tried to take your camera and explore the streets of a familiar city? I am always surprised how different it looks when I put my “tourist shoes” on.

 

I like to go on an adventure

Going on an adventure is not a trick to find more time to travel. It is a trick to feeling that I have been gone for longer. Some activities are great to disconnect entirely from the everyday life and have a real break. When I come back from a 2-day hike or an overnight kayaking trip with no phone and no electricity, I often feel like I have been gone for much longer than just the weekend.

 

I free up my weekends for travelling

I try to do the chores during the week to free the weekend, so I can focus on what I like doing when I am off work. It takes daily efforts during the week to organise the laundry, buy groceries and try to keep the flat clean. But that’s what makes weekends free of chores possible!

 

I use wisely my public holidays

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When there is a long weekend of 3 or 4 days, further destinations than local trips become possible. An extra half-day or day off will even open more options.

I always keep in mind I don’t have to see it all at once: although it is frustrating, it is ok to skip some attractions. I can always come back if I want to.

 

I divide holiday trips into short trips

Many itineraries to visit an area can be split into a couple of trips.

For example, most people would take days off to visit New Zealand North Island from Australia. To keep my days off to travel more, I used a 3-day long weekend to make a road trip focused on one of the areas on the North Island. Two other long weekend trips will allow me to do a different area of the island. That would be a 10 day trip with 0 day taken off my precious holidays.

This is more expensive, I agree. Click here to find out more about how I can afford to travel every weekend.

 

I use stopovers as a trip

I often have a layover when I travel overseas from Australia. Rather than spending six hours in an airport waiting for my connecting flights, I love to allow more time so I can get out to have a quick peek at the city. That’s how I visited

That’s how I visited Salt Lake City in 24 hours during my holidays in Mexico for example, or how Patrick visited Dubai in one day. You can also find here ideas to visit Singapore in one day or an itinerary for seeing Hong Kong during a one day layover.

Booking flights with a stopover isn’t always easy. You have to play a few times with the multi-city options and compare the different combinations. But after reading this article with tips on how to book flights with a stopover, I will give AirWander a go!

 

I love talking about travelling

This is a way to dream about it and travel with the stories I hear or read!

 

What about you? How do you manage work and travel?

 

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9 thoughts on “How To Travel A Lot When You Have A Full-Time Job

  1. You have a great attitude towards travel, I like that. We didn’t have much time for travel when we first started doing it, but using our week-ends and every opportunity we had took us a long way. You don’t need to cross the ocean to see great places, besides week-end travel is less expensive.

    1. Thanks Anda. You’re right.
      In our case weekend travel can sometimes get expensive as we could fly to a destination (Australia is so big!), but we also have plenty of awesome options nearby at almost no cost to counter-balance! :)

  2. Ecellent post – I think that far too many people discount the 2 days off they get per week, when really, you could be traveling so much during this time, and weekend trips and staycations around your area absolutely count as travel too. You don’t need to be jetting off to some faraway exotic corner of the globe for it to count as travel – I’ve recently started exploring more of my local area after coming to the realization that people travel to my hometown from every corner of the globe just to see it and spend time here, why am I not doing the same just because I live here?!

    Thanks for the tips and advice :)

  3. You have a great attitude Eloise. Most people I know spend the week complaining that a weekend is not long enough but you seem to look at it more as being almost one third of the week to get away.
    I have split my vacation time in to 5 day lots sometimes because when you add a weekend either side it means 9 days off, and you can do that more than once per year!

    1. Yes Dean, I always try to be an optimistic: it makes life so much better. So in that case, with your 4 weeks of holidays a year, you actually transform them into 4 sets of 9 days off… That sounds really good to me! :D

  4. Love these tips. I too have a full-time job, but it’s a shift work so sometimes getting the same days off every week isn’t possible. What I’ve found with shift jobs is if you can book the last two days of your week off, and then the first two days of the next week off you get essentially a 4 day vacation without taking any extra days off. At my work the week goes Monday to Sunday, so I can request Saturday and Sunday of one week and then the Monday and the Tuesday the next week. It might not always work (and at my job if you request every weekend off you’ll likely won’t get every weekend off), but if you have a short trip in mind it’s worth trying.

    1. Eloise - MyFavouriteEscapes.com

      - Edit

      Reply

      Thanks Alouise. Shift job has some advantages indeed! I had one for a little while when I was in England and it was perfect for short off-peak gataway to avoid the high price of Friday night flights! :)

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