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Perfecting Travel on a Time Crunch

We have all seen blogs and beautiful pictures of people who have quit their job to travel full time. Maybe for them it was the right move. I don’t discredit the desire to live this kind of lifestyle. The nomadic life has its perks—freedom to work where and when you want, freedom to travel around the globe, and the ability to be your own boss.

But not everyone would thrive in this situation. It takes a whole lot of courage to sell everything you own and trust you have what it takes to make it big. For the rest of us, there is a plan B. You don’t have to give up your house, your car, and your grandma’s walker to afford travel. Here are a few ways you can maximize your time to travel without giving up your livelihood.

Maximize your time off - Plenty of companies now allow employees to have paid time off. Why? Because it’s good for both the company and the employee. I know of very few people who would love their job enough to never need a break. After all, taking even one or two days off to just shoot the breeze helps you reset your physical and mental health.

Take advantage of holidays, especially holidays that most people would never request off (Presidents’ Day, Columbus Day). Request the day after the holiday for two days off at the price of one.

Go somewhere new nearby - Only have a week or less to hit the road? Why not spend less of it commuting and more of it visiting the sites. Take advantage of short breaks and explore areas of surrounding towns that you have never been to before. I bet that even in your hometown there is plenty to do and explore.

The key here is to approach travel with a different mindset. Sure some of the Instagram stars out there travel to Belize, Paris, and Australia all in the same year. But might there be something just as interesting in your backyard? I was amazed when I started to look around my hometown for things to do. I discovered frisbee golf, mountain biking, and plenty of campsites to explore!

Choose a few specific locations - It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the amount of variety. In any given location there can be hundreds of shops, museums, restaurants, and theaters. Pick a handful of places you most want to see and stick to the list.

Maybe you don’t have months to spend in any given location. But you can make the most of your time while traveling. Sticking to just a couple of places helps you to soak in the most amount of information and make deep connections between people and culture. If you try to cram too much into a short amount of time you will leave feeling disappointed. Take it slow.

Travel for work -  Maybe you don’t feel comfortable quitting your job to travel. But plenty of companies allow you to work remotely these days. As long as you can plan to visit a place where you can access Wi-Fi, you can bet that you will be able to work and play on the same trip. If you play your cards right, you may even score paid vacations as you write about specific locations. This frees up lots of time and allows you to travel in an unhurried style.

Get inspired - Some of my favorite articles to read about travel come from the NY Times 36 Hours. By reading these posts you can realistically see all that a person can accomplish in just 36 hours

Experts will give you great advice on a few of the hot spots. Remember that that this is your trip. Take time to travel to some of these destinations, but don’t bother trying to mimic their entire trip. Learn to soak up information about a location before you arrive, then be flexible enough to consume spontaneous experiences.


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