In the US we aren’t usually given that many vacation days from work. I get asked all the time how we find the time to travel. Ryan and I both have full time jobs and are both given a certain amount of vacation days. If you’re like us it can be difficult to find a week or two to leave for an adventure. Here’s how we do it.
1. Plan out your vacation days. I start planning out my vacation days very early. Look over the next year do you have family reunions, weddings, anything that might need a vacation day? Know how long of a vacation you want to take and make that amount of your vacation days untouchable. Make sure you always know how many you have left and that you’ve saved enough for that two week get away.
2. Can flex your time? Ryan doesn’t have as many vacation days as I do, but his work lets him flex his time. For instance if he knows he needs a couple days off in a few weeks to go on an adventure with me then he can start working long days and log his hours to then use those extra hours for time off. This is a great way to take the time off without having unpaid days off.
3. Travel over paid holidays. We like to set our vacations up over holidays so we don’t use as many vacation days. You have to be careful with this one though. It can cost an arm and a leg to fly during holidays so you have to be going somewhere where the holiday won’t affect the cost of the flight. For instance this past year we went to Vietnam for two weeks and one of those weeks was Thanksgiving. Flights over Thanksgiving get pricey as people go to visit their families or take a family vaca to the Caribbean. Since we were going to Vietnam though it didn’t affect us. Not many people head to Southeast Asia for Thanksgiving. Instead of using 10 vacation days we ended up only using 7 thanks to the couple days off for Thanksgiving. The year before that we spent a week in Iceland over memorial day weekend so instead of 5 days we only used 4.
4. Work from home when you’re sick. If your vacation days and sick days are the same(like mine) see if you can work from home when sick. When I come down with something I really don’t want to use my vacation days so I snuggle up on the couch and get my laptop out and work without going in and infecting everyone in the office. You can’t plan for sickness, but if you can still work from home you can save losing precious vacation days.