6 Great ways to find more time to travel
For many of us, it can be hard to find more time to travel, particularly when you work full time. This is such a pity, because traveling is one of the most rewarding experiences that life has to offer. While COVID has changed the concept of the office and there are more digital nomads and remote workers now, not everyone is able to work remotely these days. I still meet many people that tell me they don’t have enough time to travel as much as they would like. For all of you, I’ve collected some tips that can help you find more time to travel.
Travel in the weekends
There are 52 weekends in a year. This are 104 days to travel, which is roughly 28% of the year. Amazing, right?! When you think about it, we actually have time, but we just need to prioritize things better. Why don’t you go on a standard 1-day weekend trip? Or let’s say, Friday afternoon to Sunday morning? Then use the Sunday for other things like cleaning the house and doing groceries.
Be a local tourist
Of course, you can’t go very far if you only travel for 1 or 2 days over the weekend, but use this time to explore your surroundings. Stop defining travel in terms of how many miles your destination is from your home or whether or not you can only get there by flying. Travel is about exploring and learning.
You don’t have to go too far, consider using the time to explore destinations that are a little closer to home. Visit nearby cities, national parks, landmarks, etc. Are there places that are just a little too far for a day trip and you haven’t made it there yet? That can be your next destination for a weekend getaway! Even a couple of days somewhere are better than no days anywhere!
Have you ever thought of switching residences with a stranger in the same city? This way you can stay in another part of the city or country for free and it hardly costs you any money. Most likely just some transportation costs. There are several website where you can swap homes with a stranger. It’s simple to use, with users choosing their destination (country) and a home they want to stay in, then making the swap directly.
Take time off around holidays and weekends
Throughout the year, there are numerous long weekends and holidays that you might have thought too short for travel. However, these are ideal for city breaks. Mark your calendars and know when all your (company) holidays are. Figure out where you can take a day off here or there to turn each of those weekends in an extra long weekend or even in a short break. Scheduling your vacation days smartly can double your days off!
With a rough idea of timing, you can also start tracking flights and keep an eye out for flight deals. Travel companies such as lastminute.com offer a wide range of last-minute city break deals that you can make the most of when planning a last-minute getaway for your next long weekend.
Double your days off in The Netherlands:
In the Netherlands, every employee gets a minimum of 20 vacation days, based on a 40-hour work week. This is regulated by law. The best opportunities to get more time to travel are in May and June. For a short trip, it is best to take time off around Easter or King’s Day. If you want a long vacation, it’s best to take your days off at the end of May and early June.
Overview of 11 paid public holidays in the Netherlands:
- Goede vrijdag
- Pasen (eerste en tweede paasdag)
- Bevrijdingsdag (1x in de 5 jaar vrij)
- Pinksteren (eerste en tweede pinksterdag)
- Kerstmis (eerste en tweede kerstdag)
Being public holidays in The Netherlands does not automatically mean that you are off. It depends on your employer and what sector you work in.
Double your days off in The United States:
In the United States, most Americans receive an average of 8 paid holidays per year. The best opportunities to get more time to travel are in January and November. For some short trip, it is best to take time off around New Year’s Day, Veterans Day Weekend and Thanksgiving Weekend.
These are the most common paid holidays:
- New Year’s Day
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day (4th of July)
- Labor Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Friday after Thanksgiving
- Christmas Day
Which holidays are paid holidays vary from employer to employer. Some companies add several other holidays to their paid holiday schedule. These additional holidays often include:
- President’s Day
- Good Friday
- Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Birthday
- Veterans’ Day
- Columbus Day (also observed as Indigenous Peoples Day)
- Christmas Eve
- New Year’s Eve
Buy extra days of vacation time
If you can afford it, take some unpaid days of vacation time. By taking some extra unpaid days, you can find more time to visit countries or regions that are far away.
Go out on your own! Please don’t wait around for your partner, family member, or friends to find time to travel. Many places are solo travel friendly and you get to know your true self. If you are continuously waiting for other people to join you, you waste a lot of travel time. Afraid for traveling solo? Learn some tips for meeting new people when traveling solo.
While COVID has changed the concept of the office and there are more digital nomads and remote workers now, not everyone is able to work remotely these days. If your current job does not provide you with the opportunity to relocate overseas, there are plenty of jobs that will. Try for example teaching English overseas or working in restaurant, bar or hotel.
Similarly, higher education can also be completed while you travel. With courses such as the Online MBA from Anglia Ruskin University, you can study on a schedule that suits your travel needs. Just make sure to choose locations with a reliable internet connection! But even with non-remote studies, you can take advantage of short-term remote options. I lived and studied for 6 months in Bali, Indonesia, for 6 months in Tenerife, Spain and for 6 months in Panajachel, Guatemala. There’s nothing like being an expat to take yourself out of your comfort zone. You learn much about yourself and the day-to-day lives of locals by becoming one of them.
Speak to your boss or study mentor about being remote on the go. By taking your career or education on the road, you can make the most of your time by incorporating it into your travel schedule.
I am on the road since September 2022 and I am totally loving my ‘digital nomad’ life.
Finding time to travel doesn’t have to mean abandoning the rest of your life to do nothing but travel. I hope that these tips, combined with some tricks of your own, will help you maximize your time to travel.
How have you made more time to travel? Share your tips in the comments below.
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