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
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
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
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
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.