Getaway Compass

10 Tips to Travel With a Full-Time Job

Secret Cove Beach (Makena Cove)

I have been traveling while working full time for the last eight years. I do this by taking advantage of weekends, national holidays, and paid time off to travel. Since I have limited time to travel, like most people who are working full time, I try to balance saving time and money when planning trips. Saving time is most important so that I am able to visit the places I want to see in the time span that I have. Continue reading to see the top 10 tips for traveling while working full time.

1. Use your PTO to travel

The most important thing is to make time to travel. First, always take your PTO! You deserve it, and the company will function without you for a week or two.

2. Use weekends and national holidays to travel

Us at Great Wall of China

Take advantage of your weekends, especially those rare three-day weekends. Our weekend getaway guides are a perfect place to start planning trips that are possible to do in a weekend. 

If you are looking to take a longer trip, leverage your company holidays and combine them with PTO. For example, Thanksgiving is the best time to travel internationally. You get two holidays and only need to use 3 PTO days to add up to nine total travel days (including the weekends). Flights during Thanksgiving can often be cheaper internationally than within the United States. We flew to Beijing during Thanksgiving last year from PHX for $410, which was about the same price as flying to Boston or Atlanta to see our families (sorry mom and dad).

3. Take advantage of travel benefits your company provides

Many companies offer travel benefits such as rental car deals, lower hotel prices, hotel status, or airline status. Make sure to check your travel benefits through your job and take advantage of them, as they could save you a lot of money and make traveling easier. Always book your work trips with your own travel rewards credit card instead of a corporate card so you can take advantage of the points for your leisure travel.

4. When in doubt, take a road trip

Mesquite Flat Sand Dunes California

For longer trips look at the quick guides to help you decide where you want to go. Choose your top few options, then look out for flight deals to those destinations to save money. For weekend trips, road trips are always a great option! Are there any national parks within six hours drive from you? State parks? Beaches? Mountains? The easiest traveling is exploring your own backyard!

5. Save time by finding the best flights

Use google flights to search for the cheapest dates to travel to your destination. How much more are you willing to pay in order to fly nonstop or with less connections?  I recommend paying more for a nonstop flight if you are able to. You get there faster and reduce risks of missing a flight or losing a suitcase. Take a look at our guide for how to find cheap flights for more information.

6. Train yourself to sleep on flights

Teach yourself to sleep on red eyes. Drink that glass of wine. Bring your embarrassing eye mask. Do whatever you have to do to make the most of red eyes. This can allow you to do a three day trip in just two days especially when you are traveling across the US.

7. Prioritize location when booking accommodation

Montepulciano Tuscany

When booking accommodation always prioritize the location. The closer you are to the main attractions, the faster you can visit the places you want to see. If you have limited time to travel you can save a lot of time by staying in the best location. Make sure to read our article about the best sites for booking your stay.

8. Book activities in advance

Rotorua White Water Rafting Experience

Make sure you get to see everything you came for by planning your activities in advance. In popular destinations during peak season activities can sell out. One of my favorite ways to find unique experiences is by searching for the destination on Viator. Here you can book organized tours and experiences.

9. Extend your travels by working remote

Kefalonia Guide

Not everyone has this flexibility but if you do it is a great way to extend your time traveling. A few days of working remote from your destination could make your trip go over a weekend which would add 2 more days to your vacation which don’t need to come from your PTO. When we went to Greece my husband didn’t have enough PTO to extend our trip over the next weekend so he worked for 3 days. The hours weren’t great but we were able to explore during the day and then he would work in the evening / late night during the US west coast work day.

10. Explore nearby places

Laguna Beach

I’m always surprised by how many people don’t explore the area they live in. There are so many ways to find hidden gems in your own back yard. Take a look at google maps and see what parks, walking paths, lakes, or ponds might be near you. You can find so much using google maps satellite that you might have never known exists around you. 

Disclosure: Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links for products and services I recommend. At no additional cost to you, I earn a commission if you make a purchase. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Reut and Zack Elopement-5

Travel guides created to inspire and enable people to use their time away from the office to explore the world.

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