When I meet people, they often ask me, why I like to travel so much, but also how I can afford travel so much. Especially whilst working full time, and fitting in a lot of other commitments.
This has many answers to it, but often my response is – how can you not afford to travel when you work full time?
Before you ask, I am not made of money. I do not get countless sponsored trips or free flights. I work an average paying job, but have just learnt to be a little savvy with where I travel, and where my money goes!
My timeline on Facebook is constantly being flooded with travel blogs, shouting at you to ‘quit your job and travel the world’ (and I did do that briefly, with no plans for what was next) and sure it was fun at the time, but I am now at the stage in my life, where I like to be grounded somewhere.
Similarly, there is a bit of trend in those who are travelling, whilst in full time work – the ‘9-5 travellers’ I like to call them, who are showing us all that it is possible to travel on a full time job.
Last year I travelled overseas six times – that is six holidays in one year, and so far this year, I have plans set in place to go to 3 new countries, and we aren’t even halfway through January yet!
If you’re in full time work, here are some ways you may be able to afford to travel
1. Planning makes it perfect!
Ok, so I have a bit of a history for not really planning. Normally, I book a flight and some place to stay and then try and “figure the rest out”. However, this has often landed me into trouble (mainly getting lost), or taking silly overpriced tours, when I could have done it myself.
The moral of the story is, actually plan and save yourself some money
- Check out reviews of your accommodation prior to going – a good place to stay, always makes for a better trip
- Check how easy/cheap it is to get from the airport to the city centre, and the price of travelling around
- If it is a short trip – create a plan, with key places you want to visit
- Look online and see if anywhere has discounts, or if there are free events happening
2. Make use of annual leave and bank (public) holidays
If you are working full time in the UK, you are entitled to 28 days of holiday per year, your employer may choose to give you bank holdays as part of this entitlement. However, as I work in the public sector. I get 27 days, plus bank holidays – that is a staggering 35 days of leave per year, in comparrison to our neighbours in Canada, which is a minimum of 9 days, plus public holidays.
So if you are in the UK, you have no excuse! It doesn’t take a genuis to work out that you can take off a Friday and a Tuesday (with a public holiday being a Monday), and have a super long weekend somewhere in Europe (I’d avoid staying in the UK, the weather is notoriously crap)
At times my life is pretty hectic, and I do travel a lot, but I truely do enjoy it, and I still get to come back to a base, a home that I am settled in, and have friends to share my stories with.
3. Think about what you spend
If you take a look in my wardrobe, you’ll see I don’t have many clothes. I can fit all of what I own in a small car, and could easily pack up my life fairly quickly. I am not attached to having stuff, and I think carefully about buying things. I buy what I need to sustain me, and for my enjoyment, and am not sucked in to buying clothes, shoes and unnecessary things.
Ways to save money to travel
- Have meal plans and only buy what you need in the supermarket for that week
- Take your own lunches to work each day (you’ll save on average £5 per day – that is £100 per month – a return flight to Europe!)
4. Use a flight comparison site
Skyscanner is my best friend – I use it almost daily. I live 10 minutes from an international airport, and so love the function of selecting ‘everywhere’ in the search, and seeing where the cheapest place to travel is. If you are flexible enough, you can easily get a cheap enough flight, for the price of what you would pay on a night out anywhere.
5. Work overseas
If you still want to travel and work a full-time job, then you may want to consider working overseas. I lived and worked (full time) in New Zealand for over two years, and loved it. In that time, I travelled the whole of the country, at my own pace, and really got into the culture there, rather than whizzing through it on a three-week break.
I also got to travel to Fiji, South Korea and Australia during my time there, which I wouldn’t have done if I was still living in the UK.
If you’re considering this, then check out my post on how to get a working holiday visa for New Zealand.
Do you work full time, but still travel? I’d love to hear how you do it too!