Quitting your job to travel the world is a timeless fantasy. Some people have made travel their lives, calling themselves “digital nomads”, and hopping from one Wi-Fi hotspot to the next. Travel bloggers post glorious photos on their social media, presenting their lives as carefree, glamorous, and full of boundless pleasures. Many who quit their jobs to travel the world find it to be much more stressful than anticipated, or become very lonely in the process. Everyone has to take their own path, but I’m here to tell you that you have options! You don’t have to live with the frustration of thwarted wanderlust if you take advantage of these 12 unbelievably easy ways to see the world-- without quitting your job.
I spent three years of my life working as a flight attendant for a small regional airline. Long layovers in different cities meant that I had time to explore, which is an activity that I frequently did alone. Choosing to travel alone means you have the freedom to do exactly what you feel like doing exactly when you feel like doing it. That means no waking up early and going to a museum if you’d rather sleep in and enjoy mimosas in bed. It also means that you don’t have to rely on someone else’s vacation time opening up! I highly recommend traveling alone because it doesn’t require as much planning as a trip with a friend or loved one typically would.
There are at least 11 public holidays that are recognized by most companies. Plan your vacation around a public holiday in order to use less of your paid time off. Be sure to plan flights well in advance to save around these popular times. Additionally, airfare is typically cheaper on the day of the actual holiday!
Have you taken the time to really explore around where you live? Sometimes getting away for just two days is enough to feel renewed when you return to the daily grind. If you live in San Francisco, you could take a day or weekend trip to Sausalito, Muir Woods, Yosemite, or Monterey. All of these destinations are within driving distance, and will provide you with a unique experience.
Does your company have a work from home policy? If you are able to do your job effectively remotely, then you could technically be anywhere in the world that has Wi-Fi. Fly to your destination on a Friday, and use the Wi-Fi onboard the aircraft to bust out some work! Alternatively, if you are just starting a new position, you have the opportunity to negotiate for an additional week of vacay (perhaps in exchange for a slightly lower salary). Some employers are willing to work with you, especially if time-off is going to increase your overall performance in the workplace.
If it’s approved by your employer, you could optimize your time by working extra hours Monday through Thursday. If you work enough extra hours, you may be able to leave several hours early Friday, or take Friday off completely.
Take advantage of various mobile budgeting apps. My favorite is Mint, but other options include: Empower,PocketGuard, and Wally. If you avoid making extraneous purchases (“Round on me, guys!”), you can easily save enough money for a decent adventure.
You’ve gotta stay on top of your game in your industry, right? Take advantage of opportunities to expand and update your knowledge by attending industry-related conferences. If you plan it right, you can integrate work and play, with most of your lodging expenses covered by your employer!
If you work for a larger company with offices around the world, consider transferring permanently or for a short period. The change of scenery could be just what you need to keep your travel bug at bay! Not to mention the fact that you’ll have a new built-in set of friends in your new far-off home (in the form of coworkers)!
Remote Yearis a program that allows professionals to travel, live, and work remotely in different cities around the world for a year or four months. While is is a bit costly, this program takes care of literally all of the planning required to make a year of travel possible. They will even assist you in making a case to present to your employer!
Traveling during the low/off season is a great way to enjoy lower prices and avoid overwhelming crowds. Check out this list of off-season vacation ideas.
While definitely not an easy pursuit, if you are motivated, disciplined, skilled, and good-looking enough, you may be able to make a living as an influencer. Build a large following, and brands will begin to contact you in order to leverage your influence! This kind of job does not require a consistent work environment, so you could use your income to finance your travels. This is a pretty good guide to starting your own travel blog.
While this blog is about keeping your job and continuing to pursue travel opportunities, I can’t leave you without offering my own tidbit of advice. It’s certainly not for everyone, but working in the aviation industry is a sure-fire way to inject a little adventure into your life. As a flight attendant, I had access to free standby flights, and little built-in vacations every single week. Gate agents, engineers, and ground crew also have similar flight benefits. It’s undeniably the best industry to be in if you love to travel.
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