Many of us will have been there, the tug of war between travelling the world and building a career. We really can’t have it all, we think. I was lucky in a way as my decision was made for me. I have never been very good at saving and leaving University with a ton of debt meant that I couldn’t afford to swan off with a backpack so I chose to build a career instead. Luckily for me, that career has since allowed me to travel the world, just in a different way.
I think there is a common misconception that in order to see the world and experience new things, you have to quit your job, leave your life and jump on the first plane out of Heathrow. Luckily for most Millennials we live in a world where this just isn’t the case. We can build great careers, earn good money and still have the time and funds to visit all the countries on our bucket lists.
Last year I managed to visit nine countries - Hong Kong, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, China, Paris, Dubai, Barcelona & New York - and I also had three weekends away in the UK - Dorset, Cornwall & Brighton. I am not trying to brag I am just highlighting that it is possible to see lots of the world whilst still holding down a full time job (and a blog.)
So how can you do it?
Keep an eye out for good deals
I love websites like Secret Escapes because I am a sucker for a bit of fancy. Secret Escapes is a great website for luxury travel on a budget. You can get five star hotels and travel for great prices and the deals change on a regular basis too, so there is always lots to choose from.
Don’t be afraid to ask for help
One of the most stressful things about trying to travel and hold down a full time job is finding the time to plan your trips. Research, bargain hunting and itineraries all take time and sometimes you just don’t have that time. Last year I was introduced to a wonderful travel agent called Neil Pirie. He took a brief from me for my Dubai trip and came back with a perfect travel plan for us at a very good price. Everything was looked after and I didn’t have to stress one bit. We have used him multiple times since and have recommended him to everyone we know. It’s worth finding someone like that to ease the stress.
Get savvy with your annual leave
The bugbear of travel, your annual leave allowance. But if you get savvy with how you take it then you can cram in even more trips. Try and book flights to leave and arrive on a weekend, bolt your holidays onto a bank holiday weekend so you get an extra day or two, fly out in the evenings after work and fly home late on your return, and don’t forget that you can take half days. Don’t waste a whole days holiday unless you need to. If you have a flight at 5pm in the evening, take a half day instead of a full day, then you can make more from your allowance.
Book things up in advance
I know it always feels like it will take ages to come around, but having things booked up far in advance means you can spread the cost. If you can spread the cost of your holiday over a longer period of time then it will be easier to budget for more trips in between. Unless you won the lottery overnight it just won’t be feasible to book everything you want to do in one go. And don’t forget that leaving it to the last minute isn’t always a great idea either, sometimes flights can actually skyrocket in price the nearer to the departure date. Last minute doesn’t always mean cheap.
Head somewhere for a night
On more than one occasion I have taken a trip somewhere in the UK or in Europe for 48 hours. Paris is a great example, I have visited the capital for just one night three times, but I didn’t miss out on a thing. Many city breaks can be achieved over a weekend or by just taking a couple of days annual leave. An early flight on the way out and a late one on the way home means you can get two whole days of exploring in whilst only paying for one nights accommodation and if you head off over a weekend you don’t even need to take a days leave.
See, travel doesn’t need to be as complicated and life-changing as you may think. You just have to be savvy and you can experience just as much, if not more than the backpacker you once dreamed of being. Who said us Millennials couldn’t have it all aye?