In one year, I visited 5 destinations with only two being outside the U.S. Earlier this week, a friend of mine posted this as his Facebook status:
Maybe I’m hating, but I’m seeing people take 4 and 5 vacations a year. When do you guys get time to work?
After informing him that he was indeed hating (lol, joking), I decided to share tips on traveling with a full time job.
1. Look at your Calendar
Most companies provide at least 10 paid vacation days a year for new employees. This doesn’t include the 7-10 or more paid holidays available. If your company allows it, you don’t have to use all your time at once. Some of my domestic travels such as Atlanta, Miami and New Orleans have been during holiday weekends or by using one or two vacation days at a time. If I’m visiting a new city, I use Trip Advisor City Guides to see what activities can be done during my stay.
I have the ability to telecommute as long as there is a reliable internet connection and I notify management in advanced. I took advantage of this during the holiday season my first year. My family planned a last minute trip to Ocean City, MD and my vacation was denied. Luckily, my manager informed me of the department’s optional telecommuting schedule during the Christmas and New Year’s week. We didn’t say the full week, but I was able to be with my family and work. Of course, not every employer offers telecommuting, but it is definitely a plus during cold days, snow storms and other weather related issues in NYC.
3. Plan Ahead
I generally go away around the same time: President’s Day, my birthday, in the summer, Caribana weekend and in the fall. When I finally pick out my destinations, I begin to check prices on flights and hotels 2-3 months prior. Since I usually travel alone, it is easier than trying to figure out someone else’s travel schedules.
4. Be Flexibile
I know I just said to plan, but there are some times I’ve just taken spontaneous trips. There’s always a travel glitch, fare hack or awesome deal. When I find one, I try my best to buy it as soon as possible. Subscribing to The Flight Deal, Airfare Watch Dog and other travel related sites on social media has opened my eyes to see what is available in and out of the US. If you have a travel buddy, sending a quick text or social media post and making that last minute trip can be one of the best decisions you’ve made.