How to Travel while working a 9-5 job!

Tuesday, March 25

One of the biggest questions I get asked is "how do you find the TIME to travel?". You may have assumed that I have just been frolicking around the world with no responsibility to my name, but this just isn't so. Since being out of college, i've worked a full-time job for 6 out of the 8 years! So I can totally relate to your travel woes concerning time. It can be tricky, but it is absolutely do-able!!

Here are few tips and tricks to maximize the time you do have to travel:

1. Utilize Holiday Time
This might feel like a given to you, but if you do plan to travel abroad, you need at least a week, and every "day off" counts! When I worked full time, this enticed me to plan trips around Memorial Day in May, and Labor Day in September (Holidays where the travel expenses don't skyrocket like they do at Christmas, etc!). Kevin and I would plan a flight that would leave Friday night after work, and get back the following Sunday. Because Monday was a holiday, I only had to take 4 days off work! This certainly helps stretched those 14 vacation days further!!


2. Take Advantage of Comp Time
This was my biggest source of finding extra days to travel. My job at ELI required me to do a lot of out of the office work on weekends or after working hours. I spoke at churches on the weekend, conferences during the week, or college groups after work hours on the week days. This allowed me to accrue quite  a few comp days that I could use at a later date. When Kevin and I took our big 21 day UK trip, we went over Memorial Day (getting one free day) and I used my comp time, and ended up only officially taking 4 days off! If you are in a position that requires some out of the office work, save up your days to use for a bigger trip!


3. Talk to your boss about taking unpaid time
Some employers allow you to take unpaid time off! If this is the case, TAKE ADVANTAGE OF IT *ahem* utilize it! Obviously, the down side is that you will not get paid for a few days, but the upside is that you will be having the time of your life exploring and making memories that last a life time!! HELLO! Not a bad trade off!! Remember, travel is all about priorities, so check with your employer to see if this is a possibility!


4. Ask about "working remotely"
Depending on your job, you may be able to work from a remote destination. A few years ago, my family took their annual family vacation to Santa Cruz. I so badly wanted to go for a few days, so I worked it out with my boss to "work-from-home" Thursday and Friday, and then stay for the weekend with my family. Even though I worked from 9am-5pm in the beach house those days, I was able to enjoy dinner and a lovely evening with my family that I wouldn't have gotten had I just arrived on Saturday! This can be a great option if it's available to you:)

5. Find a job where you get to travel
This for me was one of the greatest avenues for travel. Obviously when I worked as an English teacher in Thailand, weekends and school breaks were a great way for me to explore more of Asia. When I worked for ELI, I got to explore Africa on a deeper level. My trip to Africa was considered a "work trip" so travel and work meshed hand in hand. It can happen, so don't rule it out!!

6. Work part-time
I know this isn't available to everyone, but my last year of working at ELI, I moved from full time to part time, at 28 hours a week. Those 12 extra hours certainly gave me more wiggle room to help plan travel! I was off work on Fridays, and having one more extra free day was all I needed to stretch my vacation days farther! That year I was able to travel to the UK, Alaska, Germany and Greece, all because I had one less day a week I had to account for!

Know that it's so totally do-able to travel the world while working full time!! In my 6 years as a full-time employee, I was able to get about 16 stamps in my passport!  I'd love to hear how some of you have managed!! Happy Traveling!

love Katie 

If you love to travel, here's the latest in my Travel Series!! Happy Traveling:
How to Pay for Travel:
Part 1- Prioritize your spending
Part 2- Travel Credit Cards
Part 3- Food
Part 4- Teach Abroad
Part 5- Accommodations
Part 6- Transportation 

My favorite "Small"Cities in the World


33 comments :

  1. Great list! Thankfully my current joh affords me with a lot of leave without pay if I want it. Which is great because who really wants to work 40 hours a week every week forever? At my old job as a Caseworker I was basically the only one who could do my job so leave without pay was pretty much out of the question.

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    1. What do you do, if you don't mind my asking?

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  2. This list is FANTASTIC! My old job gave us a lot of "floating holidays;" we had to work on MLK day and Columbus day but we got an extra day off for each that we were able to take whenever we wanted. I also saved up sick days since I rarely took them.

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  3. I LOVE how you approached this realistically, understanding that "part time" isn't an option for everyone :D Yah, for good advice!

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  4. This is great, I'll definitely have to pass this along to my husband. He is planning to get started in his career later this year and it's going to be a big adjustment for us since we're both self employed together now. It's awesome to hear you can still make it work and have freedom!

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  5. Angel's hospital nurse schedule is only 3 days, 12 hr. shifts per week. Having only a 3 day work schedule can really help with making us flexible--we've never even come close to running out of vacation days! The downsides are that he works nearly every holiday and a lot of weekends, so our days off might not match up with the days off of people we want to visit or spend time with, but when it's adventures with just the two of us, that's perfect!

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  6. Such great tips! Part of the reason Zack and I decided to move and join the family biz was because we realized the life we had was never going to give us the life we envisioned for ourselves and our future family. Zack was working 2 jobs opposite hours of my 1, and the 5 days off a year was just not cutting it. Being part of a family business is a lot of hard work... but we feel like it's worth it just for the flexibility of our schedules. :)

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  7. How have I only just discovered your blog?? I love it! Amazing photography and looks like we've got similar tastes too. I love traveling and travel whenever I can. Thank you for sharing these great tips! x

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  8. I love utilizing any paid holidays to my advantage. I hope to have a job someday where I get to travel and can add on vacation days to those trips. That way I'll get to save on airfare as well!

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  9. In Christopher's job he's allowed to work on holidays in order to get other days off. Obviously he wouldn't do that on a major holiday, but he's been known to work on MLK day or the 4th of July in order to get an extra vacation day elsewhere. That's actually how we had enough days for our 16 day trip to Italy last year! :D Great tips, as always, girl!

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  10. These are some great tips! I'll keep these in mind for when I'm a little older!

    http://livingininfinitemoments.blogspot.com/

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  11. Love this! I really need to find a job that will send me all over the world . . . :)

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  12. Hi!
    I'm really sorry this is random, but I was reading your blog and researched ELI a bit and I love the heart behind the organization. I'm about to graduate college in West Virginia, but I'm originally from California. Do you know if ELI is hiring anyone or do you know of any other organizations like ELI in the Southern California area? (I actually grew up in Montclair, you may know where that is!)

    Thanks!

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  13. Great thoughts and lovely photos.

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  14. I am a Dutchy constantly wearing those shoes you portray in that last photo. Did you get a pair ;-) ?

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  15. With my work schedule, I am just too tired to even think about travelling!

    www.hungrycaramella.blogspot.com

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  16. I'm only a teenager so I can't really use these tips. But already I want to go see so much of the world. This year alone I've been to both the UK and Cyprus. Later on this year a big might is Jamaica and hopefully China and California in the summer! I would really like that, because 5 countries in a year? Good for me ^^

    But really, being in school and travelling should also have its own post. It's really hard. A major tip for me was to join missionary trips and sports teams at school. That was how I got to go to Cyprus and Later maybe America and China too.

    Check out my procrastination/beauty post: http://olivia-savannah.blogspot.nl/2014/03/procrastinating-beauty-blogger-tag.html?showComment=1396092461347#c5449352992058212236

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  17. We love love love traveling. I am in a busy season at my new job, no sure yet if I get comp time.....sure hope so.

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    1. We are hoping to adopt soon, Lord willing. Our journey has been a roller coaster thus far, but we are planning our second attempt at a home study this summer!!

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  18. Great tips! Working part time is awesome (I only work for 15 hours in a week). Although now that I'm saving for my New Zealand trip, I'm hoping to get more job on oDesk.

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  19. Normally I found a job abroad, so I was paid and could explore the country as well. And it was easier to get to know people and the country better, not just as a tourist.


    http://theshortiesfashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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  20. This is very helpful! I think finding a way to let work and travel meet is the ideal, although it's definitely tough! Tough is not impossible.

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  21. Thanks for this post Katie! I just started my first full-time job and I'm looking forward to planning vacations when I get 2 weeks PTO next year! (After 5 years, I'll get 3 weeks PTO!)

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  22. It's a shame I only have one day off per week :/ It doesn't allow me to go anywhere far - maybe to Spain, the nearest country, and that's it. I am currently on holidays so I've chosen going to Seville and to Ireland (wise picks for a 15 days holiday)... When we work to a family business, it's complicated because they depend on us to a point where we can't be free when we need to. xx

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  23. Oh it's a family business but not my family... Sorry, forgot to mention that! If it was my family, I guess it would be easier for me to negotiate the holiday deal ahah^^ They own a hotel and I'm just working as their own receptionist for now because they are probably too busy to do them themselves :P x thanks for answering! Lovely blog by the way!

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  24. Wow these options are great! I can't believe how much you must love to travel to use all of your 14 days for it! In Germany we have 28 days which seems like such a luxury considering how little you have o.O
    http://love-your-ego.blogspot.de

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  25. It's located in Lagos, South of Portugal :)^^ x

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  26. This list is so awesome!! You hit the nail on the head.

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  27. Love this list! Thanks so much for sharing! :)

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  28. great ideas! oh, and you look sweet in the polka dot dress. :)

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  29. I didn't realize this blog was yours, Katie! I pinned this blog post 2 months ago!

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  30. I didn't realize this was your blog, Katie! I pinned this blog post 2 months ago!

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