How to travel more while working 9-to-5

People on a hike

Going from studying to working full-time is a weird transition. While studying you have plenty of time to go on trips and to see the world but no money. Then, once you start working, you have a bit more money but no time at all. But at the same time, you still want to find ways to travel and see the world.

Finding the time to travel while having a full-time job can be challenging. There are holidays but depending on where you live these might not be enough. Or you just want to travel a little bit more to begin with.

So here are my best tips on how I manage to see the world while working 9-5. I understand that some of these are probably not possible for you, depending on where in the world you live and how many holiday hours you have, or how close you live to the nearest airport/train station. So these tips are probably more fitting for people living in Europe.

1. Make use of the weekends

Even a weekend can make for a nice little holiday. You can travel somewhere on Friday night and return on Sunday evening. Or take just one day off and fly somewhere Thursday evening already or return Monday evening instead, for an extra day.

This way you can make the most out of your weekend. Just make sure to plan a bit in advance so that you can still get some good deals for your desired times.

I have done a little trip like this to Edinburgh, where I just took 2 hours off of work on Friday evening to head to the airport. It turned out to be one of my favourite trips.

The houses in Amsterdam

2. Use National holidays, but plan ahead

Make use of national holidays when planning trips. Such as travel over the Christmas holidays or over the Easter weekend. The only thing to know is that it will be quite busy and more expensive during that time period. So make sure to plan ahead.

3. Find a job that lets you work remotely

If you are working a desk job, most likely you will be able to work from home nowadays. However, lots of companies also allow you to work remotely from a different country for a few weeks a year or even longer than that. Make sure to make use of those days and work from abroad.

I have for example worked from a friend’s house in France for a few days, so I could combine a visit with work and only had to take a few hours off for flying in the end.

Check out these 10 tips to work more productively from home.

4. Go on a Workation

Or if you want to travel somewhere more far away, spend some more time there but do not have that many holiday hours, you can also turn it into a workation.

Either work a week and take one week off, or for example work half a day in the mornings and spend the rest of the day exploring. A workation is also a fun thing to do with friends who can also work remotely.

a group of people on a trip together

5. Find a job that lets you travel for work

Having to travel for work is probably one of the best ways to travel while working a 9-to-5. While I haven’t mastered this skill yet myself, there are plenty of jobs that allow you to travel for work. The most obvious one being a flight attendant or pilot. But also if you work in sales you might need to travel a lot to attend trade shows or to visit companies.

6. Travel to more affordable countries to work remotely

Travelling to a country nearby where you end up spending half your salary on the accommodation, while also working, doesn’t sound ideal. So if you can travel somewhere where you don’t end up paying a fortune, paying to work is a little bit more enjoyable. For example, living in the Netherlands, I have worked remotely in Albania, Portugal, and Istanbul for a couple of days. I combined that with taking a few days off to explore.

Working from a laptop remotely

7. Travel in your own country

Money and time wise, travelling abroad isn’t always an option, but there should be plenty of opportunities to travel within your own country. Depending on where you live, this might look a little bit different though of course. Here in the Netherlands, for example, we have the option to get a train ticket for €35 a month that allows you to travel anywhere in the country by train on the weekends. Germany for example has the Deutschland-Ticket, and other countries might have opportunities, too, to travel more within your own country. There is plenty to see, and you don’t even need to take a day off.

For example, check out all these day trips I have taken from Utrecht, where I currently live.

8. Be flexible in where you travel to

If you are limited to when you can travel, you sometimes need to be a bit more flexible in where you want to travel to. Not every destination nearby has a flight schedule that allows you to arrive late on Friday afternoon and travel back on Sunday. Sometimes you pick your destination based on what is most convenient to travel to. And sometimes those turn out to be the best trips! Being flexible in the destination you choose can also be one of the best ways to score cheap flight deals.

And these are all the things I do to travel more while working my 9-5. Do you have any other tips?

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How to travel more while working 9-to-5
Travel more while working

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