How to travel with a full time job

There are many people who love to travel, but have to work full time in order to save some money and to travel. I am one of those persons. Since I started working full time at a travel agency in November, I have the feeling like I’ve only little time left to travel. I do have vacation days, but I have to plan my trips in a smart way to travel at the fullest! In this article I’ll give you some tips on how to travel while having a full time job.

1. Take your vacation days
Every one with a full time job has an amount of vacation days per year. Use them! And use them wisely of course. You don’t have your vacation days to just collect them. Try to use the vacation days and travel at the fullest!

2. Plan trips around holidays and long weekends
And if those vacation days aren’t enough, you should totally take advantage of long weekends and holidays (if you’re free on those kind of days). Easter, for example, provides a long weekend which makes it perfect for a short (city)trip. If you would like to go longer, you should have some vacation days after the holidays. In that way, you take the most out of your vacation days, because you don’t use them all, but still have a nice and long vacation.

3. Make travelling your priority
If you want to travel very badly, you should make travelling your priority. Take advantage of all the free and vacation days you have and try to plan a trip. Of course it’s also a nice idea to rest at home for a week during a vacation, but don’t regret it after your vacation!

4. Weekends are also free days
If you’re working from Monday until Friday, you’ve always the weekends you can travel. If you plan this in a smart way (more about the ‘smart way’ at point 9), you can have a nice get away. It don’t have to be far from home. A nice little city trip in your neighbour country isn’t that bad either!

Taormina, Sicily

5. Go on business trips
If you’re lucky enough to have a job with travel possibilities, I can recommend you to totally go for the opportunities you’ll get! Not only it will give you a chance to travel, it will also learn you a lot about networking and give you business-related experiences. As a travel consultant, we also get some chances to travel to a certain destination. I find these chances very learning. It gives you the chance to explore a new destination, so you can tell your experiences to the client and so you can give them better advice on where to travel to. It will also give travel consultants a better image from an airline or travel organization, which they can also tell to the client. Nothing is better, than giving advice, based on your own experiences!

6. Plan ahead
In the company I work for, we had to give our vacation days for this year already in January. This is also for the best, because now I can plan my trips better. I can look at my vacations and look what kind of trip fits my vacation. It’s good to mix your vacation days from one week to three weeks. One week gives you the opportunity to make a short trip and three weeks gives you the opportunity to make a roundtrip, for example. I split up my vacation days in one week in Spring, two weeks in summer and two weeks in autumn. Besides, I have some long weekends I can take advantage of.

7. Roll over vacation days
In contrast to what I said at point one, if you’re planning a big trip of a few weeks, it’s best to roll over your vacation days. In other words, if you’ve the plan to do, for example, some volunteering work next year and would love to do that for four weeks, you’ll have to collect the vacation days of this year and take them with you into the next year (but this depends of course on the amount of vacation days you CAN take with you to the next year). The best thing to do is to talk to your employer early on so there are no surprises on either end when you’re ready to book that flight.

8. Go on a short, national trip
If you’re only away from your daily environment, it can already feel like a vacation. I live, for example, in the east of the Netherlands. I have to say, going to the West of the Netherlands and going to the sea, makes me believe like I’m really on vacation, and that only because we don’t have a beach and sea in the east of the Netherlands. I love to make some short, national trips and explore new places in my home country. It never gets bored and you can have a great time as well. A great trip if you have only a weekend to spend.

9. Leave late and wake up early
Coming back on point 4, I have an adjustment to make. Weekends are great for having short trips, but use them wisely and you’ll take the most out of your weekend! If you’re planning to go late on Friday, after work time, you have one night extra at your destination. The same is for the Monday. It’s better to have the Monday off of course, but if this is not the case and you have to work in the afternoon, for example, you can decide to take an early flight back so you can still have that last night at your destination.

10. Make every day a vacation
And last but not least: make every day a vacation! This can be hard sometimes, but it can also make you very happy at certain moments. Watch some travel movies, read a good travel book, have a look at the internet for beautiful destinations photos or just have a great walk around your home town and just dream away! Get the feeling you’re really on a vacation.

Hopefully these tips will help you by planning your vacations! If you have any adjustments or questions, don’t hesitate to tell/ask me in the comment section below.

Author: Tamara


  • sugarandstamps

    These is spot-on what I tell people when I am asked this question! As a full-time nurse and part-time blogger, I have to always make the most of what I’m given. Amazing list you’ve got here. I’ve always taken advantage of work-trips that my husband has gone on — we got TWO fantastic Europe trips out of it! It’s always what you make of it!

  • Ferna Mae Fernandez

    I so agree with this. I have been to the corporate year working in finance and travel was also my priority at that time. These had helped me to pull things out. I am glad you shared this as it will give more ideas to those who are working full time.

  • Aubrie

    I loved this article! When I was working as a manager full-time, it definitely made it a bit harder to travel, but I tried to take advantage of weekends, holidays and vacation time as you said! Sometimes you can also vacation close by which can actually be really fun! Nice article!

  • Anne @TravelTheGlobe (@TTGLOBE4L)

    When I first started travelling, the only full time travellers were really dropouts and hippies. There was no such thing as the internet hence no such thing as a digital nomad. I therefore always had to make the most of my travel time and have made use of many of these tips over the years. I have managed to visit over 80 countries fitting in around a full time job so I must be doing something right.

  • Paige Wunder

    The last couple of years we’ve been saying loads and loads for a 9-month trip abroad, which, of course, means holding down full-time jobs. We’ve managed to make the most of it using a lot of the same tips you’ve included. Long weekends around holidays are key as is waking up early! This year we’ve been limiting the weekend trips too, but we’re heading out on a camping trip this weekend and I’m so excited! Great tips!

  • Anisa

    Great tips! Agree planning ahead is key and will definitely payoff. I have also gotten used to overnight flights and going to work the day I arrive. Being able to sleep on the plane is key so I always take my neck pillow with me. It really helps maximize my time!

    • Girlswanderlust

      Thank you for your comment! 🙂 Yeah, overnight flights really helps to get the most out of the weekend! And best is then to travel to a destination in the same time zone, so you won’t have a jetlag haha!

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