Traveling the world is on everyone’s to do list, but for some, it seems impossible to reach when you work 5 days a week. Don’t kid yourself though, you know better than anyone that with a full time job comes two weeks of vacation time and many 3 day holiday weekends. It’s insane to me that in 2013, only 25% of American used their vacation hours. And for Americans in the corporate world, you have 11 federal holidays that fall on a Monday or Friday that create 11 three day weekends in 2017! There are so many opportunities throughout the year to travel the world. The only thing stopping you, is you.
How to Save Money
Saving money takes a little bit of self control, but shouldn’t be too difficult if you’re hitting 40 hours a week. To save money, you’ve gotta cut your spending; pack lunches for work, avoid paying $12 a drink by staying in more often, don’t be frivolous with your spending- budget for what you actually need. Try to make a few extra dollars by staying late, or picking up an extra shift once or twice a month. If that is not an option for where you work, try to make money elsewhere; drive for Uber, sell some to your old clothes, if you’re crafty, open an ETSY shop! Spending 5 hours a week on a side job can make you a noticeable amount of extra dough. And always, if possible, save money while traveling by staying with family or friends. Reach out to your second cousin in Phoenix and ask if they’ll be around that weekend…. More than likely, they’ll offer a room to stay in.
Also, stay tuned for my upcoming post 100 ways to make money for travels!
Traveling on a 3 Day Weekend
Keep an eye out for this 3 day weekend wreath in my travel guides to know which travels I’ve done on a 3 day weekend, and are possible for you to do so too! –>
With a lot of planning and preparation, you can make it anywhere you want. For travel lovers like me, a 3 day weekend is the perfect amount of time to explore a new place. Once you become more accustomed to traveling you’ll agree that 3 days is all you really need to see a new city- even a city as big as NYC! Of course, you don’t want to spend 2 days traveling and 1 day at the destination… Save those trips for your vacation hours!
You still can travel pretty far on those 3 day weekends.. I currently live in San Francisco, on a three day weekend, I’ve been to Miami, New York City, Costa Rica, and Fairbanks, Alaska– all over 2,100 miles away! It might be harder for those who don’t live within a close distance of a major airport. For time and affordability reasons. A little life hack to traveling on a three day weekend is to use the night before your vacation begins. Find a flight directly after work on a Thursday, and if you’re crazy like me, take a redeye home and head straight to work when you land Monday morning. (That one is a little rough- lots of coffee!)
Traveling Internationally on a 3 Day Weekend
In order to get the most time out of your trip, use the latter half of your workday, as I said before. Also, only book direct flights and most importantly, stick to your region. For example, if you live in the South East, opt for a Central American, Caribbean, or South American destination. North East, check out Canada, Bermuda, and some European destinations. NYC people- there’s now a direct flight to Iceland ONLY 5 HOURS away! If you live in LA, you have it made. There are so many non-stop international flights you can choose from. Other West Coasters, however, have it the hardest for international travel. Canada and Mexico are really the only options for international travel. I wouldn’t recommend traveling for more than 8 hours one way to ensure you have the enough time to enjoy your destination.
What to Do with Two Weeks of Vacation Hours
So I’d just like to remind you, that nobody says you have to use all of your two weeks’ hours at once. You can use one or two days to extend your 3 day weekends and travel further, take two 9 day trips (including Saturdays and Sundays), or take one week for vacation and cash in the other paid vacation time to cover your expenses of your trip! If you do choose to use all two weeks, start slow by exploring one or two countries. When you’ve become a pro-traveler, see as much as you can by backpacking across Europe or Southeast Asia (I visited 5 countries on a two week backpacking trip).
Volunteer trips have become insanely popular and are not just for college students anymore! Sign up to volunteer for a week abroad and use an extra couple of days exploring deeper into the country. These have become my favorite trips almost instantly. Check out my first international solo trip: volunteering abroad in Peru!
While international travel might seem like the most exciting choice, you should truly consider exploring your own backyard first. The US has some of the most beautiful places in the WORLD! Before you go exploring other countries, you should discover your own first! There are countless road trips that could easily fill up a 2 week itinerary. I think the best road trip I took was through the southern 1/2 of Utah, and surround states in the area. THIS is one for the books!
All in all, the key to traveling full time is determination. Set a goal for how much to save. Find someone to join you. And request that time off!! You’ve definitely earned by working 40 hours a week. Everyone needs a little R&R every now and then- that’s why your boss gives it to you! For more inspiration on 3 day weekend travels see here, and for international trips see here.
This post may contain affiliate links which help fund my travels! Thank you for your support.