Ask a bunch of people what they wish they had more time to do and the chances are most of them will say ‘travel’. Sure, there may be plenty of people who would rather stay at home and garden or play video games, but most people want to be able to see more of the world. But a 9-5 job really does take away a lot of the opportunity to do just that, right?
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Well, maybe not as much as you’d think. It’s all about how you approach these things. The truth is that pretty much everyone could find a bit more time to do some traveling, even if they’re working 9-5 five days a week. Let’s take a quick look at how we can approach the issue of traveling when you don’t seem to have that much free time.
Think about time in a different way
Our jobs make our free time feel very short and compressed. We end up not using our free time very productively, often because we’re so focused on how glad we are to not be working (or homeschooling!) as opposed to focusing on important things to do in that free time!
Perhaps it’s time to do a better calculation of how much free time you get a year. According to research, most Americans work fifty weeks a year, with two weeks allowed for vacation, and MUCH of that actually goes unused! (There are plenty of other countries and most of Europe where much more is standard for vacation time – it’s twice that in the U.K. -, but I’m using America to help highlight my point!) Doesn’t sound like a lot, right? But if you add those two weeks to the amount of weekends you have off, then you get about 110 days off a year.
What “travel” means
A good counterargument to that approach is that you’re not exactly getting a bunch of consecutive days off, right? It’s not like we have the ability to fill a lot of that time up with travel. But this mindset might be coming from a limited definition of travel. When people think about travel, they’re usually thinking about long and expensive trips. But traveling more can take the form of shorter and more frequent trips. With this in mind, perhaps you’d better start thinking more about things like weekend getaways, and to consider the difference between a trip and a vacation.
Negotiate with your boss for more time off
Of course, most people still want to go on slightly longer trips because it allows them more time to travel to places farther away. So perhaps you should think about negotiating some more time off. This could be more realistic a goal than you think! After all, if you don’t ask, you don’t get. It’s worth keeping in mind that bosses will be more reluctant to give you the OK unless you offer to take that time off unpaid. Still, either way, it’s worth asking.
Another thing to consider: if you’re about to start a new job and you’re soon to enter negotiations for pay, consider asking for more time off then, as opposed to asking for a salary increase. Most employers will be happy to offer more time off as opposed to paying higher salaries!
Get help with the planning
Part of the reason a lot of people don’t get around to traveling during their time off is that arranging everything can be such a hassle. Honestly, it can feel like the time you spend finding flights, booking flights, filling out visas, finding hotels, etc., exceeds the time you actually spend traveling! If you want to free up time in this area, then you look into something like a Travelsphere touring holiday. When you book holidays in this way, with accommodation, flights, meals, and tour managers already arranged, fitting the whole thing into your schedule can feel much more realistic.
Consider remote work
Something else you may want to discuss with your boss is the possibility of telecommuting. People usually use this as a fancy word for “working from home”, but that’s not its exclusive definition: it means being able to work from anywhere, which is more feasible now than it’s ever been. Why not see if you can arrange to do some work from your laptop while you’re in another country? Sure, you’d have to do hours of work at your destination, but the rest of your day can be used to seeing new sights.
Travel more at home
One more thing: have you actually considered traveling more locally? Most people are eager to see new countries despite having barely scratched the surface of their own. Try traveling in your own backyard- a staycation! Or, why not look into cheap weekends somewhere not too far away, perhaps just a few hours by car or train?