Save a Portion of Every Paycheck in a Travel Fund
A “travel fund” is a savings account created for the sole purpose of travel and related expenses. By consistently saving for travel, I was able to visit Cuba, Japan, and Indonesia in my first year of working on an entry level salary! You can read more about why I love travel funds here.
To get started, first open a new savings account, give it a memorable name like “New Years Eve in Bali,” and set up a direct deposit from your employer’s payroll. Decide on a comfortable amount to save based on your travel horizon and how quickly you want to stash the cash. For example, if your ideal vacation date is 5 months away, you could divide the trip total by the amount of paychecks until your trip to determine how much to save from each check.
Automate these deposits and you’ll be sipping margaritas on a beach in no time!
Maximize Your Personal Time Off
The key to seeing more of the world with a 9-to-5 is maximizing your personal time off (PTO) or vacation days. I travel frequently because I work for a company that gives me the flexibility to use as many of my PTO days as possible. You can maximize your PTO in a couple of ways, even if your employer doesn’t offer a generous vacation plan.
Plan to travel around holiday weekends, when you’d otherwise have vacation time. You can easily tack on one extra business day before the holiday for a long weekend, which is plenty of time to explore a new city in the country or abroad. This tip allows you to experience 4 days in a new city while only using 1 PTO day.
Extend your weekends by traveling on Thursday evenings or Monday evenings. If you’re able to travel Thursday to Sunday or Friday to Monday, you can extend your weekend in a new city while only using 1 PTO day. As more companies shift to more remote work placements, this will be a critical step to maximizing your PTO. I like to travel to a new place on Thursday evening after work, work remotely on Friday from my hotel or airbnb, then explore for the next 36-48 hours before heading back home on a Sunday flight.
Decide on whether you prefer quantity vs quality when maximizing your PTO. If you have 10 PTO days to use annually, you could decide to take 5 long weekend trips, 1 epic two-week trip, or any combination in between. The choice is up to you on what you prefer!
Get Creative with Your Destinations
Once you’ve saved and maximized your employer’s benefits, here comes the fun part: deciding where to travel! Whether you want to take a road trip to a nearby city or hop on a flight to a new country abroad, there are many incredible cities you should consider for short but impactful weekend trips. I’ve summarized some of my favorite destinations in and near the continental United States below.
For stateside travels, consider Austin, New Orleans, San Francisco, Miami, Chicago, or Washington, D.C.
For international vacations, consider San Juan, Cartagena (only 2.5 hours from Miami), Tulum, Guadalajara, or Mexico City.
By using the tips above, I am confident that you’ll be able to see more of the world with a 9-to-5 job. I use these same tips to help me live a travel-abundant lifestyle, even with a full time career.
What are some of your best tips for seeing more of the world with a 9-to-5? Drop a comment below or send me a note on Flynanced. I’d love to hear from you!
Stop by Flynanced and follow me on Instagram at @fly.nanced for more tips on how I save for travel around the world!