Many people tend to think that working full time and traveling are mutually exclusive, but I am here to tell you that is not true! Here are some helpful hints and info from full time workers who still are able to be frequent travelers! These women prove that traveling while working full time can, and will, be done.
Angeline from Thailand.
1. Occupation:“Full time English teacher in Thailand.
2. Length of time with company: Been working here for 4 years.
3. Vacation days per year: We have a term break of 2 weeks and another 6 weeks of summer break. We also have long weekends and national holidays that I can take advantage of for shorter distance trips. It does help that the school pays us for the whole year so we’re paid even on holidays.
4. Traveling while working full time: As I’ve mentioned, those holiday breaks offer a lot of opportunity to travel and I can also work online on my blog wherever I am.
5. Places visited while being employed full time: I’ve travelled to about 20 countries and 2 continents during those times. ( Asia and Europe)
6. Advice/tips for traveling more: I’d say save up for your holidays, have a travel fund and then plan your leave days to make the most of a place. Traveling while working full time can be done. It takes time but I think enjoying a place and having a place to come home to after makes me happier.”
1. Occupation: “Human Resources at a Government Agency
2. Length of time with company: 9 years
3. Vacations per year: Almost once a month. Some trips were planned, while some were spur of the moment.
4. Traveling while working full time: I make it work by planning out big trips. If I’m going to be gone longer than 4 days I have to make sure that I’m covered at work. The small trips, I plan them around my days off. I usually have to talk with my colleagues, they are all familiar with my travel lifestyle, so they understand that I need them to make my trips work. They cover my daysthat I can’t make it in to work. That, coupled with my personal time off. For example, if I’m going to be gone for a week. I request personal time far in advance, if any of my days get rejected, I then ask my lovely colleagues to cover for me while I’m gone. If I’m going to be gone 3 days, I will put in for personal time, if it gets rejected, I’ll either ask my colleagues for coverage or arrange my flight to come in before I start my shift.
5. Vacations taken while being employed full time: March I did Atlanta, April was San Diego, May was Phoenix, July was Costa Rica, September was Dallas, October was Italy, Greece, France, November is New York, and that’s it for 2016. For 2017 I have Dallas, Cabo San Lucas, and Paris planned already. The rest will be spur of the moment again.
6. Advice/tips for those work work full time but want to start traveling more: Make a plan and go for it. You have to figure out what your biggest obstacle is. Write down ways to conquer them. It gets easier over time. The hardest part for me was requesting days off. I had to figure out how to get just a few more days. For some, its spending money on back to back trips. My suggestion, save save save. Put a little away when you’re not using it. Don’t eat out, no impulse shopping. Pick a place, do your research, make a plan right now, go for it.”
Helena from New York City.
1. Occupation: “I’m an IT project manager for a large retirement funds company in NYC.
2. Length of time with company: I’ve been there almost 5 years. I’m an employee working 40 hours a week, no overtime.
3. Vacation days per year: I get 18 vacation days a year, and 5 sick days. I can’t really use sick days for travel though, that may look bad in my department. I cannot work from home. I try to use all 18 days for travel, almost all internationally.
4. Traveling while working full time: When there is a holiday coming up it’s a great opportunity for travel since I don’t have to count that day. I took a long weekend only once, when we flew to Montreal. Long weekends are great if the place is relatively close, like Miami or Vegas. Most of my trips are about a week — 5 business days and 2 weekend days.
5. Places I visited while at this job include New Zealand (Well, it’s not going to backpack itself for a month!). I got the job, saved up my days for 1.5 years, and went alone for a month. I don’t know anyone there. I stayed in hostels, and twice with Couchsurfing hosts just to try it. I liked living with a local but they work [while you’re there] so it’s lonelier than a hostel. Hostels are designed for interaction, and I often meet people on the road who become good friends. I’m still friends with people I met during a 3-month European backpacking trip, while I was laid off from my Wall Street job 5 years ago. But I wasn’t employed then, so I digress.
More places while at this job: Montreal, Iceland, Brazil. Ireland and Belfast to see a Robbie Williams concert and see the country, he doesn’t tour the US. In the past year it’s been a lot — 5 trips: Club Med Cancun, Ecuadorian jungle, Cayman Islands, Costa Rica, and Santa Fe NM. Now I’m low on days and can’t go anywhere for a while, but maybe will sneak away to Miami — leaving Friday after work and returning Monday night, so I only need one workday.
6. Tips/Advice: Try not to take random days off just because you don’t feel like coming to work. Plan your evenings accordingly– don’t often stay out very late drinking when you have work the next day. You cannot take many hangover days and still travel a lot. Not implying that [you guys] do that, but many people do.
I don’t work while on vacation, my work doesn’t contact people who are away unless it’s an emergency. Also it’s good to fly and not drive, like to Montreal. Many people take an 8 hour bus ride but that seems exhausting, and then you need hours to recover. My friend finds Groupon deals for us and we often book 6 months ahead when it’s cheaper.”
Vanja from Stockholm
1.Occupation: “I’m a lawyer, I work at a law firm in Stockholm that is ranked as tier 1 in legal500 in construction law – which is the field I practice.
2. Length of time with company: I’ve been working at the company for 2 years.
3. Vacation days per year: I’d say 6 weeks-2 months depending on if business trips are included or not.
4. Traveling while being a full time worker: I’m the queen of weekend trips! They allow me to travel often but still not be away from the office for a long time, which is important – especially as availability is a big part of my profession. And I love visiting 2 cities/countries or more every time I travel. I plan long ahead, which is a key for making my schedule work – you can’t work full time, have a dog and travel a lot if you don’t make a plan. I work from airports, hotel rooms etc when i have to (even if you have a plan it never fully works out the way you planned) and I make sure putting in extra hours before every trip so I have time to really enjoy it while there. And also I chose my boss and the law firm I work for wisely, that has been really important. I can’t count all the times I’ve emailed my boss things like “Sooo… I found really cheap tickets to St Petersburg and it works with my schedule, green light?”.
5. Places visited while being employed full time: Okay, these 2 years I’ve been to Amsterdam, Paris, Nice, Biarritz, Dublin, Oslo, Monaco, San Sebastian, New York, Vilnius, Riga, Budapest, Kiev, Bratislava, Prague, Kotor, Dubrovnik, Belgrade, Sarajevo, Engelberg (not sure if this is the english name, but it’s a skii-city in Switzerland), Marrakech and Lisbon.
6. Advice/Tips: How many vacation days you have is something you negotiate, many times it’s easier to get an extra week of vacation than a pay rise. Weekends is the best thing ever! And as I said previously, chose your boss as well as your occupation. Life is short, work somewhere where they encourage you to have an awesome life.”
1. Occupation: “Fraud Analyst in Banking
2. Length of time with company: 13 months
3. Vacations per year: 3 weeks
4. Traveling while working full time: For me personally, weekend trips helped since I only work Mon-Fri 9-5 also planning week long trips far in advance was key to get the days off for work. Sounds cliche, but honestly I just had to make it work. Traveling takes me to my happy place lol when you really want to do something you will make it happen. I spent years saying oh I wish I could..now it’s more like I just booked my trip!
5. Vacations taken while being employed full time: In 2016 alone I have been able to go to Miami, Chicago, Hawaii, Belize, Cozumel, Grand Cayman, Roatan, San Diego, and Las Vegas (4 times).
6. Advice: Stop saying you can’t or you wish! It is possible while working full time! Start saving and then start planning and you will be traveling before you know it whether it’s a weekend trip that requires a car or a weeklong trip that requires a plane. Cruises are a go to for me since you can go to multiple places all in one trip!
Tips: Take advantage of deals! Any kind of deals I’m a constant price checker and when I see a deal I go for it for instance I’m in Chicago right now traveling for the long weekend 2 nights 3 days…landed a flight for $126 round trip for $126! I had to jump on that! Lol checking flight prices around midnight I have found them to be significantly cheaper. Cruises always have some kind of deals also if you know someone that has gone a cruise before ask them to check prices for you since they may get even more of a discount and can book it for you.
I know we all have bills to pay…rent to pay..or maybe you also have kids…or other responsibilities but I can’t stress enough it is possible to still travel. Just plan it and it will come!”