I’ve been on a lot of holidays this year. In fact, I’ve been to 10 countries so far for my #Europe12in12 challenge and that’s not including my second trip to Italy and any UK breaks. However, I also have a challenging full time job which I balance with my travelling. I’m often asked how I manage to travel so much whilst holding down a full time job, so I wanted to put together some tips which have helped me to visit 10 countries so far this year.
Be clever with your annual leave
I’m entitled to a pretty generous annual leave entitlement but this year I made a conscious decision to spend it wisely. Rather than long week breaks, I've broken my annual leave into smaller, shorter chunks with the aim to visit lots of countries. This became the basis of my #Europe12in12 challenge to visit 12 countries in 12 months. By setting myself a challenge, I ensured that I would stick to my guns and think about the use of my annual leave, rather than just wasting it.
Long weekends are your friend
I try to never waste a bank holiday - they are the perfect opportunity for a short and sweet city break. I also like to book a three day weekend break whenever I come across a good deal. 3 days are more than enough to cram in a city break and experience somewhere new, without putting a big dent in your bank account. For example, this weekend I am heading to Reus in Spain from Friday to Sunday for a speedy city break, costing just over £100. And with just one day of annual leave, it's a small dent on my annual leave allowance.
Don’t forget about the UK!
The United Kingdom is such a beautiful country and sometimes, we can be so focused on jumping on a plane, we forget about the places to explore on our doorstep. Most weekends I jump in my car and head somewhere to explore. If you don’t drive, keep an eye out for sales on train fares – Virgin Trains East Coast are my favourite website, offering great deals, no booking fees and free wifi if you book directly through them.
Budget and prioritise
As well as how I find the time, I’m often asked how I afford to travel so much. To be honest, it can be quite a rude question but one I’m happy to answer as actually, I don’t spend much money on travel. I budget a set amount each month to be spent on travel and I’m always scouring websites like Holiday Pirates, airline sales and Hotels.com for bargains. Like with anything, it’s about priorities – rather than spending money on beauty, shoes or nights out, I spend that money on travel and set myself strict budgets to stick to.
Holidays benefit both you and your employer
Taking a break is important and I always say that we are entitled to annual leave for a reason! When work is stressful, there’s nothing more refreshing than a break which ensures you get back into the office engaged, inspired and ready to give 100%. I feel like businesses are starting to learn the value of a relaxed and happy workforce, more than ever before, and websites like Corporate Rewards now offer employee recognition programmes which help companies reward their staff with trips away holidays - it sounds like the dream!
Do you manage to travel a lot or do you wish you travelled more? What are your top tips for fitting in travel around your full-time job?
This post is a sponsored post in collaboration with Corporate Rewards