Having worked 9-5 most of my entire life, Ive grown quite accustomed to long, tiresome weeks, extremely early mornings and even shorter weekends. The monotony of it all is draining, and almost forces you into thoughts of quitting month after month. Often times people ask me how I’m able to afford 4 trips a year and how many vacation days I have. When I tell them not many it puzzles them even more. To me, it’s simple: plan ahead, plan smart, and plan often. Here are the 4 ways I maximize my time after 40-50 hour weeks.
Combine holidays and paid vacation days – As simple as this may seem many employees don’t practice this. Some say traveling around holidays is too expensive, airports are too busy, etc. The gem is that when planned accordingly and in advance, coupling a vacation day (or two or three) with a holiday can turn out to be quite the experience. Worried about wasting time flying depending on your destination? Hop on a red-eye or a flight immediately after work. Upon arrival you’ll be well rested from your plane nap and ready to see what the night has to offer.
Road trips – The most accessible trips can be taken with a full tank of gas and a family friend. Road trips often frowned upon because of traffic and possible road conditions can be an amazing time to bond with friends and see beautiful sunsets and sunrises. A quick 3-5 hour ride can maximize your weekend and help you escape from the worries of your stressful work-week.
Allocating extra money to a travel fund – The most important thing I’ve learned in traveling is when and how to set aside money for travel. Bonuses, tax refunds, online banks funds can all be essential in saving for your desperately needed trips. On Tuesdays, six weeks before your trip at 3:00 pm is one of the best times to book travels. Skimp on your $5 Starbucks frap and make coffee at home, that’s $100 a month that can get you on the first plane smoking to your destination. In addition to saving money for flights, you can save on accommodations by using www.couchsurfing.com. This website is safe, and allows you to find a suitable person to put you on their couch or private bedroom in their home for free! That’s right free! While in San Francisco I stayed with a wonderful, loving family who showed me around, gave me tips and even cooked a few homemade meals for me (with wine!) all for free. The best part is that these families and individuals do it out of the kindest of their hearts to provide a safe haven for travelers across the world. If that doesn’t sell you on it, I don’t know what will. If you still aren’t comfy with the idea, there is always AirBnb which provides homes for a discounted rate depending upon the longevity of your stay. Whichever you choose, save your pennies ahead of time for the 1 of 4 possible trips for the year.
Business trips – As exhausting as business trips can be, why not gain some form of joy from them by utilizing your time. Trainings, workshops and webinars will definitely consume 5-6 hours of a business trip per day. But AFTER, power up with a nap and hit the town to sight-see, try new foods and venture out on an activity you’ve been fearful of trying for years. The greatest benefit of business trips besides the knowledge you are gaining (ahem!) is that your company foots the bill all expenses paid. How could you not think to take advantage of that? So, the next time your boss mentions business trip, perk up knowing that an adventure is on the way!
Written By: JournalisticChic