How To Travel With A 9 – 5

I can’t tell you the number of times I have thought about throwing in the towel at a “normal” job, buying a one way ticket out of Melbourne and just start travelling and see what happens. There is something that always stops me. Even though this might be the dream for a lot of people, at this point in my life it’s just not something I can bring myself to do for many reasons. Instead, I like to think I have perfected the art of travelling the world while still maintaining a 9 to 5 day job.

Work for an understanding company 

I can’t stress how important this first point is, and obviously it’s not something that we can all do as most companies are not understanding about their employees taking off on long holidays a few times a year. Whilst I am an extremely hard worker when I am at my job, I am also not prepared to be walked over or sacrifice traveling for a job. I’m talking about all those jobs that deny your annual leave and then tell you that you will have to be paid out instead (I have quit a job that told me that before). I am lucky enough to work for an amazing company that are part of the travel industry, so travelling is highly encouraged and supported. Always make sure you have secured a new job before quitting your current, you don’t want to be irresponsible or unemployed, and quitting without a new opportunity will not help your holiday savings.

Take advantage of the benefits your job offers you 

Some jobs offer you the opportunity to earn more annual leave days (or days in leui) by working overtime hours during your normal work weeks. I love this option. Why not make the most of your time at home by clocking up some extra hours so you can take more paid days off to holiday?! It’s all about working smarter and these options can give you the potential to take extra weeks off without guilt.

Book long holidays, but space them out 

While your boss might be supportive of travelling, they of course need to put their business first, so booking back to back month long holidays is most likely not going to be okay. If you’re planning trips that are a bit longer in duration space them out, leaving plenty of time in between to show your face at work. During the periods that I am at work I like to book short domestic getaways or local getaways for long weekends and public holidays so I am always exploring something new and I feel like my next trip isn’t too far away.

Be upfront in job interviews 

If you’re interviewing for a new job be honest about your upcoming plans. If it’s a breaking point for you you definitely don’t want to leave your employers in the dark and then be surprised when they don’t approve your leave. Tell them about all future plans that you know 100% are going to happen. For example, when I interviewed for my current job in March I told them about my Europe trip coming up in June, as well as my wedding and honeymoon plans for the following February. Even though it might seem like it’s extremely far away it’s better to be honest and then you know that if they hire you they are essentially approving that leave for you. All of those details are recorded in an interview, so if there are any problems with it later on your can always refer to your HR department and your interview notes.

Take advantage of any days off you get 

Depending on your industry long weekends, public holidays, school holidays or Christmas lock downs might be days you’re automatically given off. Take advantage of all of these times by planning your trips in these designated holiday days. Whether it’s a road trip around your home state, flying to a quick domestic getaway or really getting every minutes worth of your days off and jetting away overseas, there’s no better time to travel than days you don’t have to ask for off. Yes, the prices might be a little higher if you’re travelling on long weekends and school holiday periods, but if it’s worth it to you it won’t make a difference! If you’re lucky enough to get those free days off, take advantage of them. 

Plan and book in advance

If you know that you’re going to be travelling over high periods such as public holidays or school holidays make sure you book your flights and accommodation well in advance. The closer you get to these dates the higher the prices will rise, with flights and hotels often being completely booked out during these periods. You’re much more likely to grab a deal or a cheap price the earlier in advance you book.

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Are you travelling the world with a regular 9-5? What are your best tips!

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Emma Shaw

Emma is a travel photographer and blogger, living in Melbourne, Australia with her husband Thom in between adventures. She started A Make Believe World to share her experiences, travel tips and destination advice with others, and to show that you can still explore the world while holding down a 9-5 job and paying off a mortgage!

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