Some people play sports or take art classes or play an instrument. I travel. Travel is my “thing.” It’s what I do.
How do I travel with a corporate 9-5 job? Here’s how:
1. I Make Travel A Priority
It’s easy to think that it’s impossibly to travel frequently when you have a full-time job. I mean, let’s be honest, it’s hard enough to balance getting everything done at work, spending time with friends, getting to the gym, keeping up with chores etc…before even starting to think about travel! However, the good news is that working 9-5 doesn’t necessarily mean travel has to fall out of the picture. If you make travel a priority and you will find a way to it happen. I have tons of priorities in my life, but travel is definitely one of them. I love travelling, so I travel. I find a way to balance it with all the other priorities I have in life.
2. I Use Public Holidays To My Advantage
My leave balance from work is 20 days annually and I live in a country that is far from everywhere (Australia). It’s not like Europe where you can hope on a train and be in another country in an hour. New Zealand is still 3 hours from Sydney and Asia is a solid 8 hour flight away. So, how do I get away with travelling so much while working 48 weeks of the year? Public holidays. The state of New South Wales gets about 9 public holidays each year, which takes my 20 days up to 29. Sure, I don’t have control over selecting the timing of these days, but I do have control over booking annual leave days around public holidays! I took 3 days off over Christmas, and because of holidays and weekends, I was able to spend 10 days in the Philippines. I took a couple days off before Easter, which meant I could spend nearly a week exploring New Zealand. Leveraging public holidays and weekends is the key.
3. I’m Always Watching For Sales
I had absolutely no plans to go to New Zealand this year, until my husband found an outrageously great flight deal. He emailed me the flight details while I was work, asking “want to go New Zealand over Easter?”
I’ve gone on so many random trips because the price was right. A quick weekend trip to Surfer’s Paradise because we found flights for $75 return. Why not, right? Cheaper flights mean you can travel more often and also that you have more money to spend while you’re there! Win-win.
4. I Don’t Forget To Explore Close To Home
After living in Sydney for 5 years, it’s easy to forget how awesome this place is and focus on other countries around the world. So I try not to forget. Traveling doesn’t necessarily mean always taking a plane to a far-off destination. I’m heading to the Hunter Valley in a few weeks to spend a weekend in an amazing wine region only 2.5 hours from Sydney. If I drive 3 hours south of Sydney, I end up in a gorgeous area called Jervis Bay, home to the whitest sand in the entire world. Sometimes, you don’t need to go far to experience awesomeness!
5. I Get To Go On Work Trips
I work in the Sydney office of an American company, and my job involves some travel. Sometimes the travel is domestically within Australia, but I’ve also been lucky enough to get to go to the US twice in the past six months. Although these trips are obviously primarily for work, I get evenings and weekends to explore the cities I visit. I also get to stay in some pretty fab hotels and go to some pretty amazing restaurants.
6. I Use Frequent Flyer And Hotel Club Points
Another perk of travelling with work is that my company lets me collect all the points. As soon as I realised this, I signed up for a Qantas frequent flyer account, Starwood Club and Accor Hotels Club. I use the points I collect towards flights and resorts on other trips!
So, as you have seen, there’s no special “aha” answer to how I get to travel so much. Sure, there are things in my life that make it easier for me; I have a husband who loves travel, we’re well-paid DINKS (double-income, no kids…yet) and I get to travel with work. I’m grateful for all of those things that make it easier for me to explore the world, but the main reason I travel so much is because I want to. Travel is a major priority in my life, so I make it happen. Everything else just helps facilitate the “how”.