A Guide to Travel while having a full-time job
Before I entered the world of blogging, working full-time is all I knew and still do. In South Africa, the Basic Conditions of Employment Act only allows one 15 days of annual leave which in hindsight, is too little for my liking. But it shouldn’t hinder your love for traveling.
Nowadays, so many people quit their jobs and travel the world; something I find quite inspiring but in reality, not everyone can pack up and race around the world. It’s even harder when you have two full-time jobs (a personal choice). It comes with loads of challenges; navigating the two like ping-pong balls but somehow, it works well. It gets tougher if your travel partner isn’t on the same schedule as you and workarounds often flare up.
On a daily basis, I get asked how I manage to travel as often as I do and I always say it’s due to skillful planning. Every ones’ priorities are different. I choose to spend mine saving whatever I have left of my salary, plan the trips in advance and use the 15 days as carefully as possible on getaways.
For the last two years, Courtney, my partner and I would sit towards the end of the year, plan dates and hand the full list to our employers the minute we come back in January. (Courtney works right through the festive break hence why we never travel in that time frame). That way, we plan ahead and so can they in our absence. Its worked well so far besides the odd occasion of having to change dates due to unforeseen reasons.
Here’s a guide of what worked for me and might work for you too:
1. Plan trips around public holidays
Public holidays are there for a reason. Besides the importance of the day, you can plan a 4-5 day getaway trip with only having to take off one day. Make sure to ask way in advance to get approved before your other colleagues get the chance too. There’s one coming up on 9 August (Women’s Day) which falls on a Thursday. Catch my drift?
Don’t take your leave at one go unless you have ample leave days which Courtney does. I believe he has over 60 days. Unless it’s really necessary, go ahead but allow yourself short breaks throughout the year to allow your mind, body, and soul to destress.
2. Take breaks close to home
As a small town traveler, I make sure to take breaks that are about 2-3 hours away from home. I’ve never tried this before but instead of taking a full day off, why not work half day if your trip is about an hour or two away? That way it won’t really affect your annual leave days.
It will also give you a chance to fully explore your backyard and learn a thing or two about the establishment. It also makes for a great trip if you going solo, with a partner or with friends.
3. Book local flights
We all want to get on a plane from time to time so instead of taking International trips that can take hours of traveling, why not take a local flight that will only be two to three hours; depending on where you off too. That way you get to explore other provinces or states and, get that traveler experience.
4. Extend your business trips
If you travel frequently for work, then definitely ask to extend your trip and take a vacation; preferably over a weekend. The ticket is paid for but you’ll probably have to pay extra for lodging which in fairness won’t be much.
5. One day stays
If you work on Saturdays like I do and don’t really want to put in a day off, I often leave straight after work for a quick one night stay to rejuvenate when it’s utterly necessary. It is a bit of a rush but the Sunday we spend a whole day out and about in a town which is quite fun.
6. Unpaid Leave
If you really have that travel bug, just take unpaid leave if you’re vacation leave has run out. Yes, you’ll be short at the end of the month but if the trip is well worth it then don’t think twice about asking your employer if it’s possible. I had two unpaid leave days last year because I traveled quite extensively in the year 2017.
Whatever you may choose, just remember that you have tons of options when you have a full-time job. There’s absolutely no need to give up your employment in order to travel and see the world. Just do what’s best for you and have fun!
Until next time.