How do you quench your thirst for travel when you’ve got limited vacation days and a corporate job? Glad you asked, because that’s exactly what I’m trying to do at this point in my life. My wanderlust is huge and I like to try to satisfy it.
Credit card rewards
Use travel credit cards because they really pay off! Harrison and I flew round trip to Paris last February for $150… total. Our Chase Sapphire points purchased a majority of the flights, leaving us with a measly $150 to pay.
Search for the lowest hotel rates in your destination so that you can save money for future travel. Sites like booking.com allow you to sort by price while filtering for things you absolutely must have.
Book in advance
Have a big trip you’re going on? Let your boss know in advance, especially if it’s over a holiday. That way, when everyone else realizes that Memorial Day is next month and scrambles to ask for an extra day off, your vacation isn’t threatened. You’ve had your tickets booked for a long time and there’s nothing they can do about it!
Ask for more vacay
The next time you’re up for a raise, try this out-of-the-box move: ask for more vacation days instead of more money.
Crazy? Maybe, but it doesn’t hurt to ask! (Though I do need to listen to my own advice- this is the one thing I haven’t yet done!)
So really ask yourself- what matters more to you? Money or travel?
A lot of times AirBNBing is cheaper than hotel rentals. We rented an AirBNB in Paris and loved it for its charm and true Parisian feel (read about it here!). You then get to see a place more like the locals do!
Get good flights
This could be a blog post all in itself, but if you want to travel a lot, it helps to find low fares.
Some ways you can do this:
Do one or two big trips a year
If you want to travel internationally, book longer vacations semi-annually. You’ll have plenty of time to look forward to your vacations, and knowing that they’re approaching calms the travel bug in you. More frequent travel doesn’t help us in America much, because international tickets can get pretty pricey. Instead, booking longer trips makes the cost worth it.
Plan days wisely
Use those holidays to your advantage! Especially days like the 4th of July, Memorial, or Labor day. That way you don’t need to use as many of your precious vacation days!
At the end of August, Harrison and I are going on an 11 day trip to Iceland, but are only using five vacation days because it’s the week before Labor day.
Do small weekend trips
If you aren’t able to take too many vacation days off at a time, use the weekend to your advantage! You can do small weekend trips by leaving Friday night and returning Sunday night. Sites like Skyscanner and Kayak (mentioned earlier) are great for these situations! You can see what the cheapest destination is that weekend and go on a mini vacation! And of course, feel free to do a road trip to save on airfare.
Trust me, there are beautiful things to see nearby!
Even if you’re in a small town, there are guaranteed things to do and/or beautiful places to visit. You just need to look for them!
Incorporate your sick time *cough cough*
And when all else fails and you simply don’t have enough vacation time, see if your supervisor is fine with you using a sick day or two. Of course, not all employers let you do this, so tread carefully.
These are just a few tips, but hopefully they help! So go out and do it! Travel with a full time job! It’s possible!
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