When it comes to traveling, money and time are two of the biggest hindrances. Unfortunately, when most people think about traveling, they have large misconceptions. In reality, travel can be quick, memorable and affordable when the right approach is taken. Regardless, of whether you are a retiree, professional, student or recent graduate, there are many ways to incorporate travel into your life.
1. Study Abroad: If you are in school, give this one a try. Studying abroad is a once in a lifetime experience. Look online for more information. You may also want to contact your university’s International Programs counselor to learn about your options.
2. Volunteer or intern abroad: If you have recently graduated, you can gain valuable international work experience and also add an extra boost to your resume. The time to move to a new country and gain work experience is now! Volunteering abroad is also a great option. You can use volunteer experience on your resume, so do not discount these opportunities.
3. Ask for more vacation days: Two weeks vacation is standard practice for full-time salaried positions in the United States. Some companies are more stringent with their vacation policies than others. You won’t know unless you ask! Before accepting a new position, inquire about vacation time with your employer. While you are discussing compensation, request for a certain amount of your paid vacation. For example, if the offer states 10 days, then ask for 15.
4. Take some time off with unpaid leave: If your company is unable to give you extra time off, take an unpaid leave. Ask management if this is acceptable to them before actually doing so! It is not the best situation, but if you are burnt out and need a change of scenery, then do it! You can always book a mini trip.
5. Take your entire time off at once: Generally, two-week vacation is standard, but companies also allow personal days and floating days. If you want to plan a long getaway, ask if you can take all of those days together with your two week vacation time. This will come in handy if you are planning to go long distance. You will want to make the most out of that long flight. Don’t forget that you do have to eventually come home and at least two days out of your entire vacation time will be spent in flying from home to destination and vice versa.
6. Plan a trip around an existing holiday: If you have a two-week vacation coming up, plan it so that a paid holiday falls on it. That way you are only using 13 out of the 14 days. Sandwiching your paid time off with vacation time off is an efficient and smart way to stretch out your valuable vacation days.
7. Roll over your vacation time and plan long trips: If your employer allows you to roll over last year’s vacation time, then two weeks can turn into a four-week vacation! Take advantage of this and book a trip to far away destination such as Central America, Europe or the Caribbean. Think strategically and look for good deals online.
8. Make use of time between moves or between jobs: If you are moving to a different city or taking up a new job, use this transition time to plan a mini-vacation. Whether it is for three days or three weeks, you can find great deals and vacation packages online. Doing so will help you relax and give you a fresh start.
9. Opt for a working vacation: Try to negotiate a remote work agreement or if you are self-employed you can take road trips and work from home. This only works if your work only requires a laptop and a Wi-Fi connection.
Planning the perfect vacation requires strategic planning and creativity. The best vacations capitalize on available time and use the least amount of money.