How to find time to travel this year

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Travel is a popular pastime that many people plan to embrace upon retiring. However, adults need not wait for their golden years to arrive to take to the friendly skies or answer the call of the nearest highway.

Would-be travelers who feel that traveling is a luxury they can’t afford may be surprised to learn just how many people travel each year. According to the United Nations World Tourism Organization, there were 1.4 billion international tourist arrivals across the globe in 2018.

Many of those 1.4 billion people no doubt had professional and personal obligations that could have prevented them from traveling, but they still found a way to head off for parts unknown. 

A lack of time to travel is something people often cite when lamenting their inability to get out and see the world. In many instances, that perceived lack of time can be overcome, paving the way for potentially life-changing trips.

Use your vacation days to go on vacation

A recent report from researchers with the U.S. Travel Association, Oxford Economics and Ipsos found that Americans failed to use 768 million vacation days in 2018. And that’s just American workers.

A recent study from the travel site Expedia.ca found that Canadians allow tens of millions of vacation days to go unused each year.

Studies have shown that using vacation time can make employees feel better about their jobs and even contribute positively to their productivity. Unused vacation days are days that could be spent traveling, and all professionals have to do is take the days off, which many professionals have in abundance.

In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that the average American worker with five years of experience at a company was given 15 days of paid vacation per year, while those with 20 years of experience were given 20 paid vacation days. In Canada, the Expedia.ca study found that the average Canadian receives roughly 17 days off per year. 

Make better use of weekends

Professionals who work traditional Monday through Friday schedules have nearly one-third of the year off already. Weekends add up to 104 days per year, and that’s 104 days people could be traveling.

Even if you’re limited to local traveling on weekends, those 104 built-in off days provide substantial time to get out and see some sights.

Turn traditional weekends into
three-day weekends

Speaking of weekends, professionals who feel they have more vacation and personal time than they could possibly use, should consider turning more traditional weekends into three-day weekends. You likely won’t fall far behind at work by taking a few random Mondays off per year, but that extra day can provide ample time to travel.

In addition, Monday flights tend to be less expensive than Sunday flights, making travel more affordable.

Work remotely, even if it’s just for one or two weeks per year

Technology has made it easier than ever to work outside of a traditional office setting. Professionals who want to travel more should inquire about working remotely for one or two weeks per year. Doing so can afford more time to travel as professionals can simply take their work with them on the road.

However, do your homework before making such arrangements for overseas travel, as some countries may forbid foreign workers from working within their borders without first obtaining work visas, which can be difficult if not impossible to get.

Traveling takes time, but many professionals have more time on their hands than they might think. (MC)

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