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In Travel, Travel Tips

The Full-Time 9-to-5 Barrier

Have you ever said or heard someone else say “I wish I could travel the world but I can’t because I have a full-time 9am to 5pm job”? I’ve heard many people make that exact statement and to behonest, I think it’s a poor excuse.

This is coming from someone that works a full-time 9am to 5pm job and often works weekends with only two weeks of vacation. Yes that would be me! Last year alone I went to Argentina, Spain, Morocco and England. I did it all within my two weeks of vacation time. Hard to believe eh?! No I do not time travel or teleport to different countries. I’m like you and everyone else that takes a flight from the International airport closest to me and sit on a cramped flight for however many hours it takes to get to my destination. What’s my secret you ask? Well the secret is to attach vacation days to long weekends! Your three day long weekend can become a five day mini trip by only adding two days. Mind you, while these vacation trips aren’t long, I still manage to see and do most of the things on my list in the city.

Here’s how I did each trip:

  • Argentina – Took 3 days off on a long weekend = 6 day vacation
  • Spain – Took 3 days off attached to a weekend then flew to Morocco = 5 day trip
  • Morocco – Took 3 days off and flew back home on Sunday = 4 day trip
  • England – Didn’t take any time off because my office was closed between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day = 6 day trip

Another tip is to look for red-eye flights. I often take red-eye flights purposely to maximize the amount of time I can spend on each trip. I also often come home late at night and work the next day. Yes I suffer a bit but it’s always worth it in the end! This type of traveling is not for everyone and you may not go to as many places, but do consider attaching vacation days to long weekends. If you are also fortunate to have your office close between Christmas and New Year’s Day I highly recommend you skip out on opening presents and take a trip. Or you can do both, like I did! I was able to enjoy Christmas breakfast with my family and open all my presents before heading to the airport for an evening flight to London. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of having the extra time off for free! Just think about it.

Some people say five day trips are not enough time to really explore a country but for someone that can’t take that much time off, I will take many short trips to see the countries I’ve always wanted to visit than to see none at all. I look at each of my small trip as a taste of a country. If it’s a place that I really enjoyed and would want to see more of then I will make sure to go back. But don’t knock the idea of going away far because you have a full-time job. Yes it’s a barrier when you have limited vacation days, but it’s not an excuse to not travel at all. Pick a place, look at the different things you might want to see and do there and create an itinerary. Most often you won’t get to do everything you planned but if you at least get to do the top two or three things on your list, I’m confident to say that you won’t regret spending the money on the short trip.

Now start planning where you’re going to go the next long weekend!



One Response to The Full-Time 9-to-5 Barrier

  1. Angela Myers says:

    Now you’re just telling all my secrets! LOL. I am the QUEEN of long weekend vacations and maximizing vacation time. When I first started my job, I had 10 vacation days which is not nearly enough time, but I managed to get 2 international trips and 5 domestic trips in.

    I wish my office were closed between Christmas and NY, but it’s still a perfect opportunity to maximize vacation days. Last year during this period, I pointed out to a co-worker that 4 vacation days, gets you 10 days off! I’ve already reminded my friends/family that the first two months of the year contain 3 day weekends so make their plans early. I’ve already purchased tickets to MIA (Jan) and PSP (Feb).

    I don’t think people think this way. Buy hey, that’s what we are here for!

    Happy Travels!

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