How to travel while working full time

“You’re always off somewhere! How do you do it?” is a question I am asked often, usually in a slightly disparaging tone. 

How to travel while working full time

I do a travel a lot. To give you perspective, this year I, along with my boyfriend Paul, spent four days in Hamburg in April, four days at the Primavera Festival in Barcelona in May/June, two days in Cambridge in August, two weeks in Korea and Japan in September/October, and we are going to Berlin for three days over Christmas this December.

Last year we went to Liverpool for two days in March, Milan for four days in April, Dublin for three days in June, London then Marseille for six days in July, spent two weeks in Greece and Lebanon in September, and three days in Dresden over Christmas.

The year before that (2015) we went to Paris for four days in January, Marseille for three days in March, Prague and Warsaw for six days in May, then we travelled around Spain for three weeks in September.

All of the travelling above was done while we both worked full time.

How We Travel While Working Full Time

There are three reasons Paul and I are able to travel a lot; we prioritise travel and don’t spend money on other things, we are experts at travelling on a budget, and even though we work full time, we utilise our time off as best we can so we are able to travel as much as possible. In this blog post I’m going to explain how we do the latter.

We live in the UK where legally a workplace must give you 20 days (four weeks) holiday a year along with eight public holidays. Most workplaces will give you more than 20 days, often 25, but my job gives me 22 days, the extra two days I’ve accumulated from working there for years. I also get an extra local Glasgow public holiday. This takes me to a total of 31 days holiday a year, including bank holidays.

Here’s how I take those 31 days and pack them with as much travel as possible.

I Work Every Bank Holiday (Public Holiday)

My workplace allows you to work bank holidays and take them at a later date. I work every bank holiday (except for Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day and 2nd January which is a public holiday in Scotland). Doing this provides me with an extra week I save for travel.

Every Holiday Day Is Used For Travel

Every day I take off from work is used for travel. Sloping around is Glasgow reserved for weekends. The only exception to this is the buffer day I always take off between returning from a trip and going back to work which I use to relax.

I Travel Over The Weekend

For the first few European city breaks Paul and I took we made the rookie mistake of travelling from Monday to Thursday. Now when we take a short city break we always travel over the weekend, usually leaving on the Thursday and returning on the Monday. Not only do places tend to be more lively at the weekend, doing this means you can spend four days in a destination taking just three days off work (as I said above, I always take a fourth day though to just relax before I go back). Another bonus of travelling over the weekend is only working a three day week before and after your trip.

I Am Very Strategic About My Flight Times

Flight times are hugely important when it comes to maximising travel when working full time. We usually fly in the morning which gives us the first full day in our destination. Sometimes we’ve even flown after work, taking our carry on suitcase into work with us. When you’re only taking four or five days off work, it is crucial to pick flight times that allow you to spend the most time in the place you are travelling to.

You Can Travel While Working Full Time

Travelling and working full time can be mutually exclusive – you don’t need to give up one to do the other. What I am hoping to show by passing on the information above is travelling doesn’t necessarily mean giving up your job, packing up all your belongings and throwing your settled life out of the window – it can simply mean making the most of your time off work to see as much of the world as you can. 

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