EXPLORE: How I Get to Travel so Much a Year
I’m in a travel group on Facebook and a recurring question from group members is, “How do people get to travel so often?” Over the past few years, I’ve taken a lot of amazing trips. Last year I went to Colorado and New Orleans, in 2017 I went on an epic road trip, a cruise, to San Francisco, and a couple other places. In 2016 I went to Iceland and Maui! I thought about it and made a list that outlines how I get to travel so much and how you can, too!
Look for a Job with Good Benefits
This one is pretty obvious but next time you’re job hunting, look for a job that has a good vacation package. Some companies give you a bank of time off and some make you earn time off. Make sure you understand how you accrue time off and how you can use it before you accept a job offer.
Inconsistent Schedule? Perf!
Have a retail gig or call center gig? A lot of jobs with inconsistent schedules are out there and the benefit is that you can use your days off in groups (think 2 days at the end of one week and 2 days at the beginning of the next week).
Use Holidays to Travel
Forget Thanksgiving and Christmas… take a family trip! You can get even more time off work if you add a few vacation days to the holidays. I did this with my folks back in 2009 and it was one of the best Christmases we’ve ever had! Flights can be more expensive but there are deals to be had. Cruise, anyone?
Have Weekend Trips
Head out after work on a Friday and come back Sunday! Or, add a vacation day to a weekend to have a three day weekend. You can usually grab flights pretty cheap to different destinations or take a road trip to a closer city or destination. If you need a last minute cheap flight, check out this cool tool for finding cheap flights from your city.
TIP: Holiday weekends like Memorial Day, the 4th of July, and Labor Day can be a little crowded and expensive. I try to avoid the beach and flying on these weekends.
Use Vacation Days Intelligently
Whenever the paid holiday calendar comes out at work, be sure to sit down and plan out how to use your vacation days efficiently. Add them on to weekends, holidays, and be sure to use them all.
FUN FACT: Vacation time is the #1 employee benefit that workers don’t take advantage of! It’s there for you to use and it is important for you to take a break.
Cough. Cough. I’m sick.
Have a few sick days left? Use them to go somewhere if you can! And if you “can’t” then at least don’t post about it on social media when you go somewhere and be sure to use sunscreen.
Make it a Priority
The number one trick I have for traveling is to make it a priority! Save up to travel and do it with intention! Put aside money from every payday and save your bonus or tax refund to travel. Plan out when to take time off and where you want to go. Dreaming about travel is fun but if you really want to travel more then you’re going to have to make it a priority.
Travel Reward Hacking
Most importantly, sign up for a reward card and use it to make your monthly budgeted purchases and pay it off each month. You’ll accrue points and miles for free or near free travel. Save up your miles and then apply them towards airfare, hotels, rental cars, and more. My favorite card to start with is the Chase Sapphire Preferred. 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $625 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. When you get approved, I get points too!