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I’m not a back packer or full time traveller. In fact I have a full time job and busy personal life, but I still manage to go travel. How to travel with a full time job was the main reason I decided to start this blog. I want to inspire people to travel more and show that it is possible to do so even if you work full time. So now you know my story, just in case you didn’t read my “about me” page.
Coming back to our topic. How to travel with a full time job ? It’s all about preparation and making the most of the time you have available. As I only get 20 days of annual leave a year, I have to be very precise with my planning. The minute my holiday allowance is refreshed on the system I start planing the entire year of travel.
I first mark all the bank holidays on the calendar to see where we could go. My fave is easter holidays as you have 4 days off without booking a single day of holiday. I normally plan all our short breaks/ long weekend during bank holidays. The good thing is that you can fly somewhere like Barcelona or Krakow from London in less that 2 hours. So you can catch Friday evening flight and come back Monday night or Tuesday early morning this gives you 3 full days to explore your destination, which in most cases is the perfect amount for a city break. Not counting Christmas break, that’s 5 getaways you can have without using single day of annual leave just by booking on a bank holiday. Yes, prices are normally a little bit higher during that time but if you plan in advance you will get the opportunity to grab your early bird offers. Lots of airlines have January sales on a selected number of seats. Take advantage and book it then.
When it comes to proper holidays I belive sometimes less is more. What I mean by that is that typically people intend to book their holiday for 7 night’s which means you are using 5 days of your holiday allowance and in total you can visit max 4 destinations. By cutting your holiday a day short, for example going away Tuesday to Sunday, means you are using only 4 days of your holiday allowance. This mean you can go away 5 times in a year. This is what we did when we visited Monaco in June.
If you feel like you need a bit of a longer holiday make sure you use both weekends on each side of your week off. Fly out Friday night after work and come back Sunday night. That will give you a 9 day long holiday instead of the usual 7 days you would normally book.
Chris and I also like to go away on a weekend. It doesn’t even have to be an overnight stay. We try to go away at least one weekend a month on top of our already planned holidays. You will be surprised how much there is to do within a 2 hour drive from where you live.
How to travel with a full time job on a budget
Despite the lack of time, the other reason that prevents people from travelling is money. When you live the adult life: full time job, home, bills to pay etc. I get that. I’m not rich by any means but I try to make my money go further as much as I can. I love discounts and bargains. In fact I cant remember the last time I paid the full price for something.Here is a list of all the tricks I use to save for my travels.
Sign up to every possible site that sells flights and hotels so you know when they have a sale on.
I like to book my accommodation through booking.com as if you book with them fa ew times, they will give you the genius discount which takes 10% off the normal price on most accommodations.
Use sky scanner to find your flight. Booking directly with the airlines is not always the cheapest. Also sky scanner will show you different options like using one airline one way and the other airline on a way back to make sure you get the best deal. That also helps when you need a flight at specific times.
I use cashbacks apps every time I buy anything online. From House insurance to a new pair of trainers. Over a year I can get around £300 back just by doing this. This will normally pay for our flights or accommodation.
Take time to look for discount codes online before you book anything. There are hundreds of them out there. You just need to take the time to look.
Sign up to every possible member scheme there is. You can get free flights or free night stays quicker than you think. We are lucky enough that Chris travels a lot for work. Chris often goes to Paris via Euro Star. He signed up to their loyalty scheme and after only few work trips he had enough points for us to be able to go to Paris for the weekend.
He also signed up to collect points with Jurys Inn. After a year we had enough points to stay couple of nights for free in one of their hotels.
Travel with a full time job – it’s possible…
Just to show you it is possible to travel with a full time job, here is a list of what we have done so far this year with a few more trips planned for the next few weeks.
January– Poland. We spend Christmas and new year in our apartment with our family and a week of skiing. Instead of booking accommodation in the mountains we drove there and back every day.
February– As it was my 30th birthday Chris booked for us to spend a week in Gran Canaria, which was perfect winter sun holiday
March– we visited the Cotswolds for a day
April– We used the Easter Holidays to have a long weekend glamping in Snowdonia, Wales
May– The first bank holiday we went to Cornwall and the Second bank holiday we decided to camp in the nearby campsite. I also managed to go away with Chris for one of his work trips to Brighton. We also had a day trip to Weymouth
June– this was super busy month for travels. I flew to Poland for the weekend to see my family. Followed by our road trip to Monaco this was great as we could discover so many other places on the way. I was also lucky enough to go on a work trip to Switzerland. In the evening after work, I explored the area near the office. I managed to squeeze 2 hours of exploring before I headed off to the airport.
August– Yet again we went to our flat in Poland but we wasted no time and in the few days we were there we spent a weekend in Krakow and Wieliczka salt mines, explored Wroclaw, climbed Sleza mountain and visited Ksiaz Castle.
September– as we decided to redecorate our house we spent most of our weekends doing this but we still managed to go away for a day to Rye in East Sussex.
We also have a few trips planned for the rest of the year such as Cotswolds in October and Christmas markets in Manchester, Bath and London over November and December. If you don’t want to miss any of this follow me on Instagram and watch my stories 🙂
So there you go! I manage to travel with a full time job and visit over 20 destinations using only 20 days of annual leave. To be honest, if not for the house revamp that we have spent lots of time and money on, we would probably have explored a few extra places 😉 My challenge for next year is to visit even more places and spend even more weekends discovering.
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