5 Easy Ways To Travel More (And Still Keep Your Full-Time Job)

This post was last updated on September 30th, 2014

We talk a lot about being digital nomads, or traveling the world-full time as we work from anywhere with a WiFi connection.

But we get that not all of you can – or even want – to travel that much. You’re balancing your passion for travel with a career and family and hobbies, all of which aren’t so easy to pack up in a suitcase and travel the globe with. And we think that’s totally awesome. Obviously being location independent isn’t for everyone.

But with that in mind, one of the most common things we hear from you is:


“I love travel and I would love to travel more, but I can’t take the time off to do so.”


We totally understand that. When we were teaching English in Taiwan, we were balancing our wanderlust with a job that required us to work 5-6 days a week and had limited vacation time (though admittedly way more time off than most our friends in the U.S.). Even though we were living abroad, we still wanted to travel more.

A lot of advice out there tells people if they want to see the world, then they should take a career break, ask for unpaid leave, or work abroad for a change of scene. Those are all great tips, but again, not practical ideas for people who love their current jobs and aren’t interested in such a trade-off.

If you’re one of the people we just described, then don’t worry – there are still plenty of ways to travel more without having to sacrifice your job in the process. Today we’re sharing a few of our favorite tips:


5 Easy  Ways to Travel More (With a Full-Time Job)



1. Open Your Heart to New Discoveries At Home


travel is not defined by the miles you cover


Okay, so we get that your own backyard is not necessarily as exotic as some unknown locale halfway across the globe. But often there is so much to discover right where we are most comfortable now. And it’s not until we have visitors to show around or begin to play tourist at home that we find out how little we know about our own city or state or country.

When we travel, our hearts and minds are more open to new discoveries. Even the simplest of things can have a sense of awe, like getting lost in a new neighborhood or stumbling upon an awesome coffee shop. But what would happen if we took that sense of wonder and applied it to our lives everyday? Or if we made a tangible effort to learn more about the people and places just down the road from us?

Whenever we read other blog posts and articles about North Carolina, the state where we both grew up and spent the majority of our lives, we learn something new. And it’s only now that we’ve traveled so extensively that we realize just how many discoveries were there right outside our front door.


2. Build Your Travel Fund


I love money. I love everything about it. I bought some pretty good stuff. Got me a $300 pair of socks. Got a fur sink. An electric dog polisher. A gasoline powered turtleneck sweater. And, of course, I bought some dumb stuff, too. –Steve Martin


We know we are guilty of spending too much money on small indulgences (aka: Starbucks vanilla lattes) on a regular basis. But it’s really not that hard to get by on a little when you consciously simplify and de-clutter your life.

If you’re intentional about it, you can still live comfortably on less money than you might think. In the mood for a drink? Go during happy hour. Want to try that new restaurant? Go for the cheaper lunch menu instead of the pricier dinner one. Meeting up with friends? Get outdoors, which is typically both free and healthy.

Making multiple small changes can add up to some serious moolah. And if you’re spending less, then it follows that you’re saving more. And more money makes it easier to justify those plane tickets you just bought for a quick trip halfway across the world.

Basically by cutting your costs you can easily create more money for your travel fund. And with more money it becomes easier to take full advantage of the vacation days that you do have.


Note: We have tons of tips on how to save money on your travels, but that’s enough info for an entirely different blog post (or ten). Sign up for our monthly newsletter to receive our exclusive ‘Luxury for Less’ tips and learn more about saving money on your travels.


3. Utilize Your Weekends


Go see all you possibly can


You could lie around all weekend binge-watching your favorite TV shows. No judgment here if that’s your idea of perfection. (We may or may not have just spent four days in Rio watching all of season one and two of Orange is the New Black back-to-back.) But you could also plan your weekend in advance and use the valuable time to take a quick escape.

You might be surprised with how much you can see and do during a short break. And there is plenty of inspiration out there. NY Times has their ‘36 Hours’ feature, The Independent and Nat Geo Traveler have 48 Hour Guides, and a quick google search of your desired destination is bound to reveal heaps more. You might not be able to go crazy far, but there is definitely a load of potential for adventure in just a couple of days.

Often if you do your research and planning right, you’ll find great deals on the weekends, too. For example, right now Hilton is offering AWESOME discounts on hotels around the world, but only over weekends in 2014. Lots of their great deals are throughout Europe, but they also have some crazy specials in DC and NYC.

Many airlines (like American Airlines) also often have great last-minute deals for the weekends when flights don’t fill up. You never know what sort of spontaneous adventure you could go on!


4. Stay Inspired


What Adventures are Waiting for You


Sometimes we get too comfortable. We really want to travel the world, but we don’t really know where we want to go or what we want to do. So we put travel on the back burner and wait for the perfect opportunity to just come hit us in the face. And then before we know it, we’ve forgotten about that burning desire to take an adventure. The passion for travel is still there, but we’ve let it accumulate dust in the back of our minds for too long.

One of the easiest ways to travel more is to stay inspired to do so. Hopefully reading our blog puts you on that path. If so, read more travel blogs. Read travel books. Watch movies and documentaries about the destinations you’re interested in. Keep a bucket list or a Pinterest board. Hang your favorite photos from previous travels around your house. Decorate with maps and vintage suitcases. Whatever it is that gets you excited to plan your next adventure—do it.


5. Make It Non-Negotiable


Quit Slackin

via Fuelisms

We firmly believe that if you want something bad enough—and you’re willing to make the appropriate sacrifices—then you can make it happen. If travel is important to you, then make your trips a non-negotiable. Don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for using all of your vacation days to travel, even when other people are ragging on you for taking another trip. Don’t wait for someday because you’re too busy now. Don’t wait to have the perfect travel companion. Basically, stop making excuses, and start making travel happen!

We love this list of Top 25 Excuses People Make to Wait on Their Dreams. A lot of the points on there are definitely applicable to travel, but of course, they apply to any and every other dream out there, too!


These are our top tips for incorporating more travel into your life.  But these are only our ideas, and we want to hear yours!


How do you find more ways to travel, without having to ask for additional vacation time?


If you want to stop dreaming of traveling and start actually doing it, then our travel consultation calls are for you. We’ll give you access to the right resources so you can travel the world like you’ve always imagined…without breaking the bank.

Find out more here.



  1. LOVE this post! It’s funny that “backyard tourism” is #1 on this list because we’ve been doing that lately in Chapel Hill and Charlotte and discovering so much! What’s been biggest for us as we get ready to RV full-time is that we’ve created jobs for ourselves based on what we love to do and are good at that also support the lifestyle we want. Travel and staying active and healthy are our priorities, so we are building our businesses to support our non-negotiables :)
    Alexa recently posted…Your Brain on Coffee vs Beer [INFOGRAPHIC]My Profile

    • Thanks Alexa! It’s pretty amazing what you can find right around the corner with a little exploration and the right mindset. It’s so awesome that you are able to find ways to support your non-negotiables! I can’t wait to follow along on your RV trip!!! :-)

  2. Before I actually became a nomad I was living in the UK which was a new country for me and I literally took any opportunity to travel everywhere I could. Somehow I managed to explore more of the UK than Dale himself that is British and had lived there all is life. Great tips! There is always a way to travel :)
    Franca recently posted…Hello I’m Local, A Typically Dutch Design Hostel in HaarlemMy Profile

    • Haha, it’s so funny how that works. We always feel we need to travel so far to find something exotic and exciting when really we may not have to go as far as we think :-)

  3. Great post – perfect point about it’s not the miles. There are so many places to see and one should travel their own country as well. I’ve been trying to do that more as well – can’t always fly to Europe. And using long weekends is my favourite!
    Marsha recently posted…Neuschwanstein CastleMy Profile

    • Thanks Marsha! We always like the idea of traveling around your home country a bit as well as taking those bigger extended trips. It gives you such a better appreciation of where you come from and the culture of the places you do visit on those longer journeys.

  4. Great post, love the tips! When I was still in Canada working a 9-5 I used to ‘hack’ holiday long weekends by combining one or two vacation days or sick days when there was a holiday on a Tuesday or Thursday… add in one vacation day to cover the Monday or Friday and BAM you’ve got a 5 day long weekend using only one vacation day!
    Rika | Cubicle Throwdown recently posted…The Definitive Guide to an Incredible Weekend in Ucluelet, BCMy Profile

    • Such a great idea! Adding on an extra couple of days to the either side of a holiday is a great way to take advantage of vacation days. Just make sure you’re asking before everyone else ;-)

  5. There are many good points here. I would especially advise people in North America to consider those long weekend getaways that take advantage of a work holiday on a Monday or Friday. Just pick a city that might only be a 4 hour or less flight away – i.e. New Orleans, Vancouver, San Francisco, Memphis, New York, Denver, Montreal etc. and just explore the heart of a metropolis area for 2 nights and 3 days. It is amazing how much inspiration and “recharging” can occur during a short stay in a new place.

    • Great ideas Sarah! There are a lot of really cool cities (you named a lot of really great ones!) to explore in North America that are just a couple of hours away and offer vastly different travel experiences.

    • It is really convenient when you live in a place that attracts a lot of vacationers! Makes finding those hidden spots even more fun :-)

  6. Casey, I think there is so much to do and see in this world, wherever you live. I talk to so many people about having seen this or that and they live close and have never been. People get caught up in an everyday life that can be all-consuming. I think the trick is to step back from that life and see where you can build room to play, to explore…to travel!
    Corinne recently posted…Is Three Days Enough at Ankor Wat?My Profile

    • Thanks so much for sharing this Corinne! It is so important to take a step back and remind yourself what is important to you and make time for it. Whether it’s travel or any other passion, you’ve got to make it non-negotiable :-)

  7. This is a great list. In china my friends can’t believe how much of this courtry I’ve seen and how little of the US I’ve been too…. We’re all funny that way I guess :)

    • It is surprisingly easy to say “oh I’ll get around to it” when it’s so close. That is great you are able to explore China so extensively. Applying this same sense of wonder at home can add a whole new element of travel into your life :-)

  8. These are some great tips! I have a full time job and a mortgage but still travel a fair bit and people seem to think I have loads of time off work. I don’t – I just use my holiday time wisely :) I make the most of weekends and bank holidays and I’ve started doing a lot more closer to home. I’m always going on adventures and finding new things and I love it!
    Ayla recently posted…Big City SafariMy Profile

    • Thanks Ayla! It’s so good to hear that you’re able to travel so much while still having a full-time job :-)

    • Maximizing vacation is a great way to travel more when you’ve got a 9-5 job. Being a full on digital nomad certainly isn’t for everyone, but that doesn’t mean you can’t travel :-)

  9. I love your advice! When I eventually move back to the NJ/NY area from Paris, I want to keep that “travel in your own backyard” / weekend trip mentality. I am always out exploring more of Paris and the surrounding area on the weekends here, and it’s made me realize there is so much I haven’t seen back home. Like the fact the Washington DC was only 3 hours away and the last (and only) time I’ve been there was in 8th grade. You can definitely change the way you view your home by changing your mindset to be open to discover new things.
    Sara @ Simply Sara Travel recently posted…Day Trip from Paris: Chartres, Paris, Part IMy Profile

    • Great suggestions Sara! It’s pretty funny what we overlook when we get comfortable at home.

  10. Great post and excellent advice. I’m currently stuck in a desk job here in Taipei and to overcome the amazingly dull days I’ve been exploring the countrysides every weekend and camping. It’s brought a whole new life to a city I thought I’d already seen every side of!

    If you guys are ever back in the area and want to grab a drink the first round’s on me.

    • One of the great things about living in the city in Taiwan is just how easy it is to get into the countryside! If you haven’t already, we loved Teapot Mountain and Jiufen for quick city escapes. We’ll definitely let you know if we ever find ourselves in Taipei again :-)

    • Thanks Sandra! You’re so right, it can be easy to sit back and make excuses. You’ve gotta make it non-negotiable :-)

  11. These are great tips! I love the last one – making it non-negotiable. Jobs can come and go, but if you really want to travel, you’ll always regret not making travel a priority in your life.
    Micki recently posted…Things To Love Right Here In CalgaryMy Profile

    • Thanks for your insight Micki! You can’t always just follow your dreams, you’ve got to find a way to make them happen :-)

    • Thanks so much for sharing Gabi :-) We really appreciate it!

  12. Good tips. As someone with only 2 weeks (!) of vacation a year from my job, it’s about weekend getaways and checking out local spots to hold us over between our bigger ticket vacations.
    Adrienne S. @ AdrienneAway recently posted…LA’s Best Rooftop BarsMy Profile

    • Glad to hear you’re making the most of your weekends and vacation days Adrienne!

  13. I have to agree with the other people here; this is really good advice that helped us out while planning our own trip. We lived in Oakland, CA and while we were saving up to travel we explored as much as we could around. If it helps, I want to add that Atlas Obscura (atlasobscura.com) is a site we found useful for finding new and interesting things in our own backyard. It also helped us plan things to do in other locations.

    • Thanks so much for your insight Maya! Atlas Obscura sounds like a great resource.

  14. Smart tips — particularly mining your own backyard. I live in New York and could spend a lifetime traveling my city and never seeing the same thing twice. But no matter where you live there’s always something you haven’t seen or experiences and that can turn into an enticing adventure.
    Terry at Overnight New York recently posted…Hotel Wales: Who’s Mac Conner?My Profile

    • I’m sure there plenty to keep you busy in NYC, but you’re so right! If you look hard enough you can find adventures in cities of any size :-)

  15. Love this post, guys. Whilst there are numerous beaches we’d love to explore worlwide, there are over 80 on Gran Canaria. Just 20 to go now, though.
    Gran Canaria Local recently posted…Parque Juan Pablo IIMy Profile

    • Wow! Sounds like you’ve got plenty to see in your backyard. Glad to hear you’re making the most of it :-)

  16. Great post. After a year of a travelling I’ll be back to me 9-5 job in a few weeks, I’ll be living for exploring my own country at the weekends and saving for long weekends. Travelling to so many countries has made me ashamed I haven’t seen most of mine!
    Laura McDonald recently posted…A 4 Day Jungle Trek to Machu PicchuMy Profile

    • That is one of the great things about going abroad! It’s surprising how much you realize you don’t know about, not only the rest of the world, but your home country as well :-)

  17. Great inspirational post to get out of your house, get inspired and start traveling. You don’t have to be a nomad, any outing can expand your world. Bret and I were just talking about this very subject. Our love of travel started with our love of exploration- ethnic food, independent films, cultural festivals and unique neighborhood pockets all within 45 mins of our house.
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted…MEXICO: 7 Awesome Cancun Ecotourism Attractions to See at TBEXMy Profile

    • That’s so cool! With ethnic neighborhoods popping up more frequently, it’s getting easier and easier to explore other culture’s food and festivals right in your hometown :-)

  18. Great post! Especially love the point about people making excuses etc! There are so many times people have said to me, you are so lucky to be able to travel! I never understand why anyone would say that because I work hard at saving and it’s something that I really want to do, it’s not just given to me on a plate :)

    • You’re exactly right Laura! We aren’t lucky to travel, we make a very concentrated effort to work hard so that we can make our travels possible. Keep up the good work and happy travels :D

  19. Great post! I love to travel, but sometimes life just gets in the way…

    I HAVE been looking for things to do a little closer to home, but I really need to work on taking that last bit of advice to heart and stop making excuses!
    Brit @ The Britter Truth recently posted…W69: Run or Dye!My Profile

  20. This post is really inspiring and touching. And I love they way of your honeymoon!
    As a typical Asian kid with lotsa a burden on our shoulder while we grow up, I almost lost track of my travelling dream.
    Boyfriend is supportive, but both of us seems to have devoted too much into our working lives. Sad.
    After reading through your blogs, I almost have tears in my eyes and I’m right on my track again to travel the world! Keep going and I’ll be waiting for more from your blog!



  1. Why I haven’t quit my job to travel ! | My Favourite Things - […] one doesn’t have to or want to quit their job in order to travel. In fact, I have come…

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