Ah, vacation time. That pesky lack of it can make it difficult for a classy career girl! While you want to focus on your career, in your downtime you want to jet set around the world and explore other cultures. I know how limiting a small amount of vacation can seem, so here are some tips I have on ways to make the most of it.
5 Ways to Make The Most of Limited Vacation Time
1. Take The Red-Eye and Save Yourself a Day of Traveling
This past year, although unplanned, it seemed all of my trips landed me on a red-eye flight. While it seems daunting at first, the great part about a red eye is that you save yourself a precious vacation day that doesn’t need to be spent traveling. Instead, you get on a plane, you sleep, and when you wake up, you’re there!
Red eyes are great especially if you’re going anywhere with a significant time change. Let’s face it, you’re going to be tired either way when you arrive, but at least this way you’re tired when you get on the plane so you can sleep a bit before you wake up in a completely different time zone. I like to power nap if at all possible once I get in so I’m not completely dead on my feet, and then off I go!
2. Deal With The Jetlag and Long Flight Times and Just Go For It
Last year I flew to Vietnam and took a total of six work days off. I was only gone for eight days (including travel), but while I was there I packed in as much culture as I could. I did a street food tour, explored Hanoi’s Old Quarter, spent a night on Halong Bay, did a homestay in a small rural village, and even took a couple rides on the infamous cyclos. Yes, it was busy, and at times tiring, but it was still an amazing experience.
So often I hear people say they “can’t” go about because they can’t get the time off work. The truth is, if you want to see or do something, sometimes you have to make the most of the time you have. Of course, it would be ideal if you could spend months exploring different areas of the world, but sometimes that isn’t the reality. If all you get is two or three weeks vacation a year, and you don’t want to use it all on one trip, take a week and make the most of it!
3. Plan Trips Around a Long Weekend and Book Early
It goes without saying that long weekend travel can be more expensive, but if you book early enough, you can still get some decent deals. Also, keep in mind that a long weekend trip can be more than just an extra day on the weekend – you can also tack on that day at the beginning/end of a week off to save a vacation day.
4. Research Your Trip to Ensure You are Seeing Everything You Want in a Short Timeframe
This one may have mixed reactions. I’m definitely a planner, so I like to have an idea of things to do when I’m traveling so I don’t have to waste time figuring that out once I’m there. Now, I know there’s a lot of people who prefer to go where the wind blows, but with limited time, it’s good to have an idea of key things you want to see so you don’t miss out! For myself, I like to have a general idea and then some room for “spontaneity,” but the planning for me is half the fun!
5. Use Both Weekends
If you’re planning to take a week off, try to arrange your flight to leave Friday night or early Saturday morning, and return on the next Sunday. Depending on flight times, this will give you at least one extra day, and sometimes nearly two.
When she’s not working, Gillian can be found travelling the globe, reading one of several books she has on the go, or camping or hiking around the Rocky Mountains.