Over the past few years I’ve gone from assuming that I can only have one big holiday a year and wasting a fair chunk of the annual leave from my full time job, to fitting in as many trips as I possibly can and making the most of every spare day. It is possible, and with these 5 top tips, you can travel more too.
Book shorter trips
Not every holiday needs to be a mega two-week break (as nice as that would be). I used to think this way, until one day when I fell into a rabbit hole of trips that fell across weekends, and now I can’t stop booking them. For example, our four-day trip to Paris last year only used two days of annual leave. Booking a trip from Friday to Monday is a great way to see more of the world without falling behind at work.
Reserve your weekends for travel
Better still, just go away at weekends and save your annual leave for the destinations a little further afield! We often book weekend trips which mean we don’t have to sacrifice any of our annual leave. Our recent trips to Dublin and Budapest both began bright and early on a Saturday morning and ended late on a Sunday night. They’re hard work and can leave you feeling like you need another holiday, but you get to travel so much more, so its up to you to weigh up what’s more important.
Read more: 10 Ways to Plan a Cheap Weekend Break
Take advantage of Bank Holidays
We have eight of them a year in the UK, so why not take advantage of them? Even just using one of the bank holidays as part of a trip is a great way to feel smug about saving a day of your annual leave. That’s exactly what we’re doing for New York City later this year. Here’s a reminder of this year’s bank holiday dates:
- Friday, April 19: Good Friday
- Monday, April 22: Easter Monday
- Monday, May 6: Early May bank holiday
- Monday, May 27: Spring bank holiday
- Monday, August 26: Summer bank holiday
- Wednesday, December 25: Christmas Day
- Thursday, December 26: Boxing Day
Tip: if you utilise the upcoming Easter bank holidays and surrounding weekends, you can have a 10-day holiday this April but only use 4-days of your annual leave. And if you want to go really big, book 15 – 18 April and 23 – 26 April to get 16-days off and only lose 8-days of your allowance. Thank me later.
Work weekends and save up your lieu days
Depending on what company you work for, you may be able to work some weekends and get that time back at a later date. Last year I worked three Saturdays which meant I got three random days off. Tag these onto weekends and you’ve got yourself a trio of short breaks just waiting to be booked! Some companies also allow you to purchase extra holiday, which I’d do if I had the opportunity to.
See if you can travel with work
Having to work on a fun adventure isn’t the ideal solution, but if you have the chance to tick new destinations off your bucket list and perhaps assess if you liked the places enough to go back to in the future, then why not? I haven’t been able to travel with work, but Darryl has been lucky enough to go to Spain and Austria in the past couple of years. I can’t wait to recreate his Austrian trip this April with my mum!
Read more: 5 Things to Do Before You Book a Holiday
See, it’s easy to travel around full-time work when you put your mind to it! You just need to be smart with your planning. Start by noting down the places on your bucket list that are only a short drive or flight away, and you’ll soon find ways to fit more travel into your life without it getting in the way of your 9 to 5.
Do you like to travel as much as me? What’s your top tip for travelling around work?