Traveling with a Full-Time Job

“You work full-time and travel this much? Man! I wish I could afford that, I wish I could take that much time off work, I wish I was single so I could travel too!” etc., etc. etc. I get it. You are busy, and travel is expensive. So let’s just get down to how I manage to see the world and work a demanding full-time job. Oh, and I don’t just work a normal 8-5. I am also in the home stretch of obtaining my Bachelor of Science in Accounting AND I am the Infant Nursery Director at my home church. Full-time job, full-time student, full-time servant of God. Which means, I am busy. And tired. And broke. And stressed. But I still manage to see the world. Not as much or as often as I would like (Hello, full-time travel bloggers, I am officially jealous!) But I do see it, and that’s what counts.

  1. I make the most out of my time off.
    I do not take time off unless it is a family emergency, or for travel. If I need my car serviced, have a doctor’s appointment, need a personal de-stressing day, etc.— I just don’t do it. Saturdays are for errands, sick time is for early morning doctor’s appointments so I can go to work after, and nice relaxing baths at night are for de-stressing. I am constantly exhausted, and I could use a de-stressing day twice a week (who couldn’t?!), but I always focus my mind on my next adventure and that gets me through. And with a different perspective on things, it could get you through too!
  2. I make travel my financial priority.
    Do I travel to several different destinations a year (even out of the country)? Yes. Am I rich? No. Now don’t get me wrong, I don’t eat ramen noodles every single meal. I still occasionally get my nails done and I like to shop. But I limit myself. Money goes into my travel account every single paycheck and that money does not get touched. I still pay my bills, tithe and give God what is rightfully His, and enjoy myself. But there are things that I don’t do because of my love for travel. I don’t spend a lot of money on local events (concerts, festivals, etc.). I also don’t spend money unnecessarily. I buy what I need, and only what I need. Sure, I splurge occasionally (but in a budget friendly way). I would rather splurge on my trips, than at the mall. (Side note—I love clothes. So my one foe is clothes shopping. But I buy cheap, and on sale. And that’s how I manage.)
  1. I make the most out of weekends.
    Every day is an adventure, as I like to say. And what better way to spend your weekends, than adventuring? If you aren’t lucky enough to get to travel several times a year, but you have the wanderlust bug—start small. Weekend trips to nearby cities (I promise you, you can find interesting things to do anywhere in this world), things in your own home town, hiking (if that’s your thing), etc. Make Saturdays work for you, and you will start seeing a change in how you view and organize travel overall.

 

  1. I travel alone.
    Gasp! But you’re a single female! The world is so unsafe! How do you manage?? Yes. The world is unsafe. But I am not any safer in Atlanta, Georgia than I am in any other place. Yes, the dangers are elevated in different parts of the world, but listen—you have to be smart. The best benefit of traveling alone is going when and where you want, in your own time. Have you ever tried to schedule a trip with a friend or family member, and make it work around your work schedules? Forget about it. That’s the worst. Summer is my busiest time at work, and that just so happens to be when everyone else in the universe can take off work. So I go alone. I have a whole blog post on why solo vacations rock! So make sure you check that out for more reasons.
  1. I am a budget traveler.
    Look, I like quality just as much as the next person. I don’t ever feel like I am suffering for my travels while I am away. But I do make sure I get the BEST deal on my trips. That may mean seeing Amsterdam in a few months instead of Spain because of the price difference during the time. Or going in the off season. Or bundling through travel apps and websites. Or using airline rewards. Whatever I have to do to find the best deal, I do it. My friends (even those who travel) tell me that I should be a travel agent or offer my services to others because I find deals that even they can’t find. And it comes so natural to me (I say God knows I need good travel deals so He sends them my way)! But I promise, finding the best deals is not hard. With a little research and a little luck (as is always in my case) you can travel the world for less than a week in Florida. Pinky promise.
  1. I make sure the people in my life know that behind God and Family, travel comes next.
    I love my family and friends. And of course I love the One who sent His Son to die for me. But I also love travel. I really make it a point to never put my travels above God or my family. But after those two very important things, it comes next. I have a busy life, and balancing it all can become very difficult. That’s why when I saw a deal for a trip I wanted to take during Thanksgiving, I took it (it was originally going to be during Christmas, so see, I can compromise). Will I spend as much time with my family as usual on holidays past? No. But I will spend time doing something I love.  And I will make it up to them. But a good deal is hard to find, and I can’t always pass that up.
  1. I just do it.

Listen, I am not saying you should do what I do. Every single person on this earth is different. And how I manage my life might not (and probably will not) work for you. Most of you have kids and that is probably your #1 priority and you think travel is not possible. But here’s an example– my friend Rachel at Unjustwanderlust.com is a single mom, with a full-time job, and is a full-time student, who travels more than anyone I know in real life. She makes it work for her circumstances, and you can too! It is all about priorities. So comment below, what holds you back from taking the leap to see the world? And make sure to following my Instagram and Facebook to know when a new post goes up! XOXO

9 Comments on “Traveling with a Full-Time Job

  1. So…do I just clap for this post? Because YES all day long! I also work full-time, am a cub scout leader for my community and a choir director for my church. It’s frustrating because people make a lot of assumptions because I like to travel. Totally agree with the money thing – we just make travel a priority. It’s like, no, I don’t need to go out and drop $200 at the club, that’s a RT ticket pretty much anywhere in the US. It’s just a different way of living and I’ve found that sometimes it just makes people uncomfortable because it isn’t what they consider “normal.”

    1. Yes! You hit the nail on the head. They are uncomfortable because it isn’t their “normal”. And don’t get me started on the fact that I’m single as well, so that’s another “oddity” to people. But that’s a whole other blog post for another time! 🙂 Thank you for the comment.

  2. Totally agree with what you are saying. I was exactly the same a few years ago. Had a full time job ( in the travel industry – so that made it a bit easier 😉 ) and travelled many times a year. I also made it a priority rather than buying expensive stuff, car or clothes. Now with our 2 year old son, we are still travelling many times a year 🙂

    1. Thank you! It is possible. And I’m glad you are introducing your son to the world at an early age. How wonderful! 😃

  3. Laura! YES! I love this post. I feel like I’m one of the few travel bloggers that actually enjoys their real 9-5 job. But I definitely agree on taking advantage of the time we get. Every three day weekend, I travel. Every extra day off, I travel. When I’m not traveling, I’m planning my travels around work. And I love it. I feel you girl!

    1. Agreed! I love my 9-5. It is a great company with great benefits. And it allows me to travel whenever I get an opportunity. I’m not jumping ship anytime soon. Glad I’m not the only one who feels this way!

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