In the least braggy way possible (!), I’ve achieved exactly that – and will continue to tick off my bucket list and explore the world, whilst having a stable income, too. Travel is possible with a full time job!
You hear stories of people who quit their job, sell their house, pack their bag and head off to travel the globe, but it’s just not always realistic for those that have a mortgage to pay, a job you love and a base you want to keep.
The tradition to take a two-week holiday is dwindling, with more people than ever opting instead to take advantage of their annual leave; ensuring they coincide their travel plans with bank holidays, long weekends, and Christmas holidays.
More and more young adults are opting for experiences over material objects, and instead are spending their money – and their weekends – travelling across Europe, or booking a long haul flight to far-flung places in the world, only to return to their jobs a few weeks later.
Which is where my story comes in – because whoever said you couldn’t work full time and travel, they are wrong.
In 12 months, I managed to explore 11 countries and take 20 flights across three continents. I travelled for 56 days in 2016, but only took 26 days’ annual leave. Cool, huh?
It’s about maximising your weekends, Bank Holidays and time away from the office
I managed three days exploring Berlin using one weekend and one day of annual leave in January to kick my year off. I had a staycation in February in The Cotswolds staying at a beautiful hotel and spa spending three days and using one weekend and one days’ annual leave. When March rolled around, I was on a plane again flying to Amsterdam for five days using two days of annual leave, one weekend and Good Friday.
Easter is the perfect time to book a trip and make the most of those bank holidays, so start to consider your travel plans early.
Last year, I went to Wales for a long weekend using Easter Monday. In May I made the most of the latter May Day bank holiday taking a trip across one of the bank holiday weekends venturing off to Marrakech in Morocco for five days using two days of annual leave plus May bank holiday and a weekend.
It’s about maximising your weekends, Bank Holidays and time away from the office – fly in the evening after work, arrive back late the night before you go back. Really make the most of your free time.
In June, I spent five days in Mallorca using one weekend and three days of annual leave, before later exploring Crete for six days using a weekend and four days’ annual leave.
In July, I took my only long haul flight of the year and spent seven days in Aruba exploring the island using one weekend and 5 days’ annual leave. In August, we ventured up to Rutland for three days using one weekend and one day of annual leave.
It may take a lot of time to arrange annual leave at work, to book flights early for great deals and properly researching where you want to go, but if you manage all that? It’s so worth it.
It may take a lot of organisation, but it’s so worth it
September saw me spend time with family at our villa in Portugal for five days using one weekend and three days of annual leave. Come October, I flew to Sicily with my best friend for four days, using a weekend plus annual leave.
Northumbria was up next in November, where I spent four days exploring the North using one weekend and two days of annual leave – and as the Christmas markets opened, I jumped on my last flight of the year to Copenhagen, using the extra leave my job gives us at Christmas.
As with everything in life, you need to create the perfect balance – and that is what I did for the past 12 months. I took 12 trips throughout each month, whilst also managing a full time job back at home.
Some top tips to help you do the same?
- Use weekends, public holidays, and bank holidays to your advantage, and really plan how to maximise your days away from the office.
- Travel for work when you can
- Don’t disregard the humble staycation: the weather may not be guaranteed, but it’s a cheaper and easier way to maximise your annual leave
- Research your trips because time is precious
- Remember – you can also take 18 days of holiday with only 9 days of annual leave over Easter this year! Find out how here.
Read my original article for Cosmopolitan UK here.