How do you make time for travel while working full-time? This is a question that is often asked to us given that we manage to travel despite working full-time. I must confess that in our first few years of marriage, we hardly travelled as it was becoming impossible for the two of us to get an off from work at the same time. What was making it worse was the terrible work culture in India where asking for a leave to go on a vacation is considered criminal. But somehow, we managed to overcome these difficulties and take more than 10 trips in the last 3 years. So here are some strategies to help you make time for travel while working full-time:
1. Make a travel calendar
Making a travel calendar is a sure-shot way of ensuring you travel despite your full-time job. Sit with your partner and discuss when the two of you are likely to get time-off work and mark those days in your calendar, well in advance. (Do not overlook the words ‘well in advance.’)
2. Plan around a long weekend
This one may seem obvious but for you to be able to actually execute it, you will need some advance planning. Plan a holiday in such a way that you only need to take a few leaves adjacent to a long weekend. This way you will only need about 4-5 days off from work for a 9-10 day long vacation.
3. Discuss with your boss.
Sit with your boss right at the start of the year and inform him about your travel plans (especially your long vacation). Discussing about your vacation plans well in advance allows your boss to plan accordingly. Don’t shock your boss by giving him a short notice of your intentions to go on a leave. Your boss will most likely not approve your leave application. Sit down with him right at the beginning of the year. Doing this, sends out a strong signal to your boss that you are very serious about your travel plan and are not willing to compromise on it.
4. Slog it off
Earning a leave without disappointing your company is an art. In order to master it, you will have to be committed to become an ace performer at your job. Work hard, take responsibilities, show results at work so that you can confidently walk up to your seniors and demand a well-deserved leave. A good track record at work comes in very handy when you need leaves at a short notice.
5. Work while travelling
Now this may not be your idea of a dream vacation, but if you are absolutely unable to get time off work, you could offer to work while on vacation. This will at least allow you to step out of your office and travel, even if it means having to work on a holiday.
6. Go alone
A number of times it will so happen that despite all your planning and efforts, you and your partner or family will not be able to get time off work at the same time. In such a situation, head out alone. Don’t miss out on travelling simply because you didn’t have any company. I chose to go to Dubrovnik, without Akshay. It was a hard decision but at least thanks to it, I could realise my dream of visiting Dubrovnik.
7. Short trips
When you work full-time and yearn to travel, you must not discount the importance of short trips. Whenever you get an opportunity, take a 3-4 day long trip. It may mean having to travel somewhere close to your home city or even revisiting places you have travelled to already. But these short trips can substantially add to your travel memories. Do not leave these out of your travel calendars.
8. Travel before starting a new job or changing your job
When you change your job, do not agree to join the new workplace immediately. Buy yourself some extra time of a couple of weeks between the last day of your current job and the first day of your new job. This time is perfect for travelling as you do not have any work related responsibilities bothering you and you are not even spending work leaves.
So which of the above strategies do you think is the easiest to make time for travel while working ? Do you have any other ways in which one could make time for travel while working full-time? Feel free to share those ways with us.
(P.S. You could use this tool for planning your trips)