Here are some tips from an expert on how to make more time to travel while you are still working
The demands of work and/or caregiving (either for children, elderly parents, or both at once) can be so consuming that they allow little if any time to travel. After all, time is finite and no one can do it all. Whether you are male or female, there are always tradeoffs when it comes to work-life balance. But you may be feeling like you are at a place in your career when you want to adjust the amount of time and level of effort you allocate to work—to have more personal time for travel or other leisure pursuits.
Often quoted in newspapers and magazines, Pat Katepoo produces a blog called WorkOptions.com, where she advises readers on how to negotiate more flexible work arrangements with their employers. Her most recent post caught my eye: Enjoy Time Off for Travel Without Quitting Your Job.
Here are some of Pat’s tips:
1) Plan more 3 or 4-day getaways
A long weekend is generally too short and costly for an overseas trip but a 3 or 4-day jaunt, by air or car, can provide a real break in the everyday grind. You might plan to take a 4-day cruise that departs from a port close to home. Plans like this are easily achievable by taking a day off (Monday or Friday) attached to the weekend or by adding another vacation day to a three-day holiday weekend. If you do this frequently, and don’t have sufficient paid leave, this might reduce your income up to 10%. Would it be feasible and worthwhile to take the cut to have more time to travel?
2) Permanently reduce your schedule to a 3 or 4-day work week
You probably need to think long and hard about this one for two reasons: 1) It would likely result in a substantial loss in pay, and 2) workloads aren’t always reduced proportionately when a full-time employee cuts back to 3/5 or 4/5 time. But would it work to stay at your job and cut back your hours to allow for more frequent trips?
3) Request/negotiate an extra week off per year
Katepoo says this strategy generally works better for workers over age 45 rather than younger ones but you might be able to sell your boss on the idea of an additional vacation week per year. She notes that the average vacation for American workers is between 10-14 days a year although it is likely to be longer than that for baby boomers who have been working with the same employer for many years. She suggests asking for up to two weeks more of vacation, not clumped together with your existing leave, providing a good rationale for why it wouldn’t comprise productivity. Katepoo estimates that might reduce your income by four percent.
4) Go for Broke: Negotiate a six-week sabbatical
If you have been at your job for some time and are highly valued, a six-week sabbatical could enable you to take an extended vacation. Depending on the kind of work you do, many employers see value in work-related immersion vacations, voluntourism, or adventures abroad, for example.
Katepoo’s website and publications provide helpful strategies and even wording you can use to obtain more time off—and more time to travel.
Other articles on this website that suggest ways to find more time to travel: