So, you want to travel the world?
But you’re working full-time?
Asking yourself (and Google) ‘How to travel the world with 9 to 5 job?’
Well, let me tell you how.
I work full time. 9 to 5, Monday to Friday, Bank/Public Holidays off.
And I travel. Sometimes nine times a year!
The internet is full of Blogs and Websites, encouraging you to quit your job and just to go, travelling. Most of the time without a plan, without thinking about the cost and how much you should have saved (because you won’t be earning right away) and see how things go. This is a new trend, a new era I would say, people, put all their stuff into storage or sell it and leave.
If you can do it, if you can afford it – do it. Life is too short to spend at least 40 hours a week sitting at a desk, staring through windows and regretting not doing more.
If you can’t afford it or have commitments, or you love your job too much, keep on reading. Today I will be sharing with you my travel tips and tricks I apply when I want to travel, as much as my annual leave allows me to do so anyway.
Be strategic with your annual leave
Rule number one. Always plan your holidays ahead. Make sure you know how many days you can take off and plan how to use them during the entire year. I get twenty-five days off from work. Three of them I have to save for Christmas (as we don’t work over Christmas), so that leaves me with twenty-two days to use in one calendar year. Also check if you can move them into the next calendar year, just in case you want to take more day off than you have allocated. Some companies do let their employees move days around, some don’t. Remember, for shorter trips and city breaks, you need only a couple of days to explore. For bigger trips and long-haul flights, you also need to consider time differences. There is no point flying to Malaysia for 4 days if you spend 26 hours travelling. Always be strategic.
Use bank holidays and weekends
Using Bank/Public Holidays and weekends is a great way how to travel with a 9 to 5 job. You can see a majority of nearby cities within a few hours! Leave as early Friday as you can and come back Sunday evening. It gives you nearly two whole days to explore that city you always wanted, cruise on the Seine under the Eiffel Tower with a glass of champagne, visit the Salient City of Mdina, spend the weekend in Portugal or dip your toes in the ocean! There is so much to see in this world and so much to do, make the most of it! The same rule applies to Bank/Public Holiday. Bank/Public Holidays in England are on Mondays and Fridays, which extends your weekend and you get an extra day for your travels. It only depends if you are willing to pay extra for the tickets because airlines usually increase their prices around Bank/Public holidays. Especially Easter and Christmas.
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Take half days off
I love half days because it allows you to travel with a 9 to 5 job even more! Always book half-day either on a Friday afternoon or a Monday morning (or before the Bank/Public Holidays.) Research your flights using https://www.skyscanner.
This can be a little bit tricky. Not every company offers its employees the option to take unpaid leave. Make sure you check your contract, to find out where you stand with your workload and if you are allowed to do so. Also, because it is unpaid leave, make sure you budget your holidays even more because when payday comes, you will be shorter of those due days. It also means that the holiday will cost you a little bit extra.
Those of you with children under 18 are entitled to Unpaid Parental Leave. Please check the UK Government link here for more details. https://www.gov.uk/
Plan 1 or 2 big trips a year
I know how difficult it can be to plan big trips with a 9 to 5 job, but it is manageable. You just have to be extra strategic on how and when you use your days. For example, if you want to go on an African Safari, of course, you will need at least two weeks to explore everything. In this scenario, try to fly out after work Friday or Saturday early morning, and fly back in two weeks, again, on Friday evening or Saturday morning, giving yourself enough time for the time difference and the jet-lag. With this plan, you have to use ten days of your annual leave, but if you plan it around Bank/Public Holiday, you can save yourself one or two days extra!
With this strategic plan, you can have a two-weeks holiday twice a year, plus small weekends away! Where there’s a will, there’s a way.
Extend your work trips
Unfortunately, I’m not so lucky. I don’t travel for a living, I don’t attend conferences around the world with my company, so I can’t speak from my own experience. But I know plenty of travel bloggers, who do so. If you are visiting a conference overseas, take an extra day or two as holidays and explore. You will probably need to pay for your hotel and return flights, but I am sure it would be still worth it!
If you live in a big country like me, there is always so much to explore and see. You don’t always have to fly. Take a train, bus, plan a road trip and explore what your country has to offer. Or the country next door. In summer 2019, I drove 760 miles to Cornwall on my own. I packed my bits and bobs and after work, on Thursday night, off I went. I had a fantastic road trip exploring not only the turquoise waters found in Southern England, which I never knew existed, but visited a few National Trust places and it was terrific. One of my best trips ever. (Blog coming soon!)
Make Travelling Priority
So, here we are. The last bullet point of How to travel with 9 to 5 job. Now you know that it’s not impossible. There are some sacrifices, especially when it comes to money and budgeting how many trips you can afford. If you want to make it work, you will, but you will have to make travelling your priority. For example, if you buy a coffee every day on the way to work which costs around £3, that’s £15 a week. Multiply that by four weeks – this little treat soon adds up and equals as much as a return ticket to Barcelona!
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Plus, the best thing about travelling with a 9 to 5 job is that you always get paid each month!