Do you have a serious case of the travel bug, but you are working full-time, and you feel that you have no time to travel? No worries, we are going to give you some tips to help you get out there and travel, while also working your full-time job! We are James and Laken, AKA The Traveling Duo, and we are a couple who loves to travel, but we also work full-time jobs. James works as a programs manager for an optics company, and I work as an elementary teacher. Although we are both busy with work during the week, we always make an effort to go out and travel during the weekends. Many of our friends and family have asked how we are able to travel as often as we do, well we are going to tell you!
Travel within four hours of your house
Our first tip is to travel to an area that is within a four-hour drive of your house, with traffic included. By keeping travel time below four hours, you are allowing yourself more time to spend doing an activity that you enjoy, and not wasting your weekend sitting in your car driving somewhere. Most weekends when James and I travel we end up going hiking, camping, or fishing in the Shenandoah Mountains which is about a two-hour drive from our house. There are so many great hiking trails in the mountains and a lot of great fishing streams as well. To keep our mountain visits fun and to excite we always try to check out new hiking trails and fishing areas. Another place that we enjoy going is Washington D.C. Since we only live a half hour away from the city we enjoy going to see the monuments, museums, and getting a bite to eat at the local restaurants.
Now I always hear people say that there is “nothing to do where I live.” I would have to disagree. James and I both grew up in small cities in the Midwest and just recently moved to the D.C. area. Although I do have to agree there is a lot more for us to do in D.C. than where we grew up, you can still find fun activities close to your hometown no matter where you live. To find fun activities in your area just go online and do a Google search. This is how James and I find a majority of the hikes that we go on, and places we visit in Virginia. A personal favorite of mine is to go on Pinterest and search for activities in Virginia, or whatever state we are visiting. I like Pinterest because the pictures draw my attention, and I find great things to do all over the state I am searching.
Maximize Your Vacation Days
Our second tip for traveling is to maximize your vacation days. Maximizing your vacation days can be especially helpful if you just started a new job, or if you don’t have many vacation days. To maximize your vacation days plan on taking a vacation day on a Monday or Friday to give yourself a long weekend. Another way to maximize your vacation days is to plan your trips around long weekends and holidays. Maximizing your vacation days is great for when you don’t want to travel close to home, but instead, travel to a different state or country. James and I have taken trips out to Montana, Wisconsin, Florida, Connecticut, Massachusetts, and New York all within the past six months, and we still have vacation days to use at work. We have been able to go to each of these states because we took vacation days before long weekends, or just took an extra day off to give ourselves a three-day weekend. Although it is only one extra day, it allows us to have two days to see the city we are visiting and one day to do the driving.
Extend a Business Trip
A third tip is to extend a business trip into a vacation. This tip is really only useful for the people who travel for their job, but we are sharing it because it is a way that we have traveled. If you happen to travel for your job, consider extending your business trip into a vacation. Although your hotel costs will no longer be covered by your company, it’s a great opportunity to explore a different city. So how have we done this when traveling? James currently works at a company where he travels to a different state at least once a month. One of his business trips took him to Tampa, Florida for three days. After his business trip was complete, we drove to Orlando, Florida to spend the weekend with my sister. By extending the business trip into a vacation, we were able to save money on our vacation because the company paid for James to fly to and from Florida. The only things we had to pay for were entertainment and food while we were visiting my sister. Normally we would also have to pay for a hotel, but we were lucky enough to stay at my sister’s house for the time that we were there visiting.
We hope that the tips we have shared will help you travel the world. There is so much to see and do out there that you don’t want to waste your life just working. Get out and see the world around you during your weekends and make sure to use your vacation days from work.