This weeks guest post is by Roma from Roaming Required. Roma is an Aussie who lives in London with her husband Russell. She started up her travel blog 4 years ago as a way to share her travel stories with friends and family back home. The couple both have full-time jobs but this doesn’t hold them back from travelling the world. As part time travellers they make full use of their weekends, public holidays, and annual leave quota to visit their must see destinations and experience as much as they can.
I’ve asked Roma to share her top tips for maximising annual leave to travel the world. Over to you Roma…
5 tips for maximising annual leave to travel the world
Do you dream of seeing the world? Experiencing new towns, cities, and countries? Do you feel your full time job gets in the way of your love of travel? If so, here’s helpful 5 tips to travel more in 2018, whilst holding down a full time job.
Travelling more doesn’t always mean taking 4 weeks of annual leave in one go, don’t underestimate the humble city break! As avid travellers and short break fans (we LOVE a good city break), we absolutely recommend booking a short European city break for the weekend. Be it a winter sun break on the French Riviera or a dash to the Christmas markets in Germany, short breaks provide a break away from normality but can be packed with as much travel goodness as you want!
With these five tips, you too can travel more this year.
1. Establish a short list of destinations
This may seem unnecessary but you might be surprised why it’s a good idea. There are 2 parts to this first step – Firstly, make a long list of the places you’d like to visit within the year. Secondly, make a short list from the long list. By prioritising where you’d like to go and undertaking a little math of how long you can realistically be away for, you can quickly answer questions like; Do I have enough time off to visit everywhere? But be prepared for the answer, which is probably no.
2. Establish a rough budget and put money aside every payday
As much as we may want to travel all the time, the simple truth of it is; holidays aren’t cheap. If you want to take advantage of long holiday weekends like Easter and other bank holiday weekends then you need to be prepared for increased prices because the airlines and hotels rarely discount these days. You’ll be paying peak prices so you’ll need to save for it!
Consider putting money aside into an Explore the World account every month. This way when it comes time to book a hotel or snap up a lightning fast error fare you have the money ready and at hand. There’s nothing worse than having to say I don’t have the money this month and letting the opportunity pass you by. Start putting aside those pennies today, you probably won’t even miss them!
3. Ration your leave
Working full time comes with its own set of challenges. Restricted to a limited number of days leave each year means you can’t always travel on a whim. Respect the number of days you have and be realistic with your travel expectations. Yes, you can use all of your holiday on a month-long colossal road trip across the USA but then you’d have no more leave to travel for the rest of the year. Or maybe all you need to is a week off in August to regroup and recharge your batteries while basking in the European sunshine? If so, save those five days.
4. Long Haul Stopover
Long haul flights are gruelling for most people. (I know I’m one that doesn’t look forward to those long hours in tiny seats…) Sure, two weeks in Australia sounds great and doable with your vacation allowance of just 25 days, but are you really prepared to sit on a plane for 23 hours each way and contend with the jet lag from crossing 10 time zones? Consider breaking up the flight using the airline’s stopover programme. Numerous airlines offer them, Icelandair is famous for their free stopover which is great for transatlantic flights, while Etihad has one loaded with deals if you want to spend time in the UAE enroute to Asia or Oceania.
The stopover is the perfect opportunity to not only ease the mounting jet lag but it can also reduce your chances of DVT. So in theory, taking advantage of a stopover is good for your health. Get off the plane and start your holiday early with exploring a new country or city for a few days, it’s like getting more than one holiday out of a holiday! And who doesn’t want that?
5. Understand School Vacations
Unless are a teacher or have children then you’re unlikely to know when school holidays are in the calendar year. However if you’re looking to travel more often then it’s probably worthwhile to note them down. School holidays are peak travel time for airlines, tours and hotels. If you don’t need to travel in school holidays, then it’s worthwhile waiting a couple of weeks as destinations will be more crowded and much more expensive. You need to ask yourself; is there a benefit to me to travelling in the school holidays if I don’t have kids? Travelling a week either side of half term is unlikely to have a dramatic impact on the climate at your destination and yet you benefit from quieter hotels, shorter queues at landmarks, cheaper airfares, and a little more money left in your Explore the World bank account.
That’s it! 5 very achievable tips to enable you to travel more in 2018 by maximising your annual leave . With a little bit of pre-planning and thought, you’re opening yourself up to the possibility of more weekends away.
Would you like to share your travelling tips with us? Contact Lisa on firstname.lastname@example.org