How to travel with a full-time job.

Gone are the days I could juggle my shifts around, take unpaid leave and work as much or as little as I wanted to suit my travel needs. For over two years now in Sydney, I have had permanent, full-time positions, but my first job was shift work and it allowed for a little extra travel due to the way rosters ran. From February this year however, I am working a normal 8 hour day, Monday to Friday. At first it was unsettling and I wasn’t sure how I would cope with four weeks annual leave a year. Although every day I want to pack up my life and hit the road to travel for months on end, I am still slowly ticking off all my must-go to destinations. Full time travellers are often very quick to tell people to quit their jobs but what if you want the best of both world’s? Here’s some idea’s on how to juggle a full time job with itchy feet!

Take advantage of public holidays.

I mark out every public holiday in my diary and ensure that I plan a new adventure for the ones that create a long weekend. Why not go camping or catch a domestic flight somewhere? Make the most of the country you call home! If you live in Europe, you have an abundance of countries less than a few hours away.

Unpaid leave.

If you can afford it, why not ask for a day off unpaid to lengthen weekends or add to the end of a longer trip that you are using annual leave for. While employers are likely to be reluctant to let you take a week off unpaid, a day here and there might just get approved.

Plan your trip time

Make a list of the countries you want to see and what you want to see in each country, work out which ones you can see the best of in a week and which ones you will need longer for. This way, you can work the week long trips around public holidays and save yourself a day or two in annual leave to use towards the longer trips.

Time off in lieu

Do you have extra training that you need to do? Why not opt to do this on a weekend or in the evenings? That way, as it is likely to be outside of your working hours, you can take this time back when you need it. I did a four day training course across four Saturday’s and got four days extra annual leave!

Travel at Christmas shutdown.

Many companies close down between Christmas and New Year and you are forced to take leave anyway or take it unpaid. So, why not spent that time overseas? Depending on how the public holidays fall, some years you will be able to have a week away and only use 3 days of annual leave.

Ask for a secondment or relocation.

I am still working on this one! Having only been in my new position 6 months this isn’t something I feel I can ask for just yet. But, if your company operates offices/sites etc in more than one location why not see if there is an opportunity for you to work regionally or overseas. This is a fantastic way for you to fully experience somewhere new.

Ask for a sabbatical (career break)

If you don’t ask you don’t get. Again, I wouldn’t be asking your employer to let you go off gallivanting around the world if you have only been there a few months but if you have put in your fair share of hard work it is definitely something worth asking. A sabbatical allows you to take time out of work (unpaid) to do and see everything you want to with the reassurance that a job will be waiting for you upon your return. Make sure you sell it to your employer though, how will you taking 6 months out to travel the world benefit the company, how will it improve your skills? etc.

Time off between jobs.

If you are looking for a new job be sure not to jump straight into the next one and take some time in-between to get your travel fix! Most employers will ask for your start date so be sure to push it forward by a few weeks and if they want you for the position they should be willing to wait.

Sick Leave

You can interpret this one as you like, but as I said in my previous blog, which you can read here… The travel bug is real! 😉


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