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How to Prioritize Travel When You Have a Full Time Job

We've all had those moments where the monotony of life kicks our wanderlust into overdrive. If you're like most people, you've likely fantasized about dropping everything to travel the world and discover your sense of adventure. That long-held trope is a staple in books, TV and film. But the reality is that life rarely plays out like those stories. It marches on, no matter how much you want to fulfill that fantasy.

Most women are understandably too practical to take that leap of faith. With countless work and life responsibilities to manage, quitting your job and leaving your career behind to uncover the world's beauty is unrealistic. But that doesn't mean you should deprive yourself of those all-important travel experiences. Despite how your busy work schedule makes it feel, you don't have to quit your job to make travel a part of your life.

Our goal at Cherish is to help women travel with a purpose, creating unforgettable memories while forging a deeper connection with themselves and communities of women across the world. We believe in mindful travel and leaving a positive impact through authentic connections and experiences. We know that planning travels around full-time work is challenging. But in this blog, we'll share some of what we've learned helping women just like you see the world on their terms.

friends on a vacation in iceland

Explore Opportunities to Work Remotely

If possible, working remotely in some capacity can give you tons of leeway for travel plans. Make no mistake: Travel is for everyone, not just those who work remotely. You don't need to be a remote worker to enjoy the magic of travel.

But there's no denying that it certainly makes things easier! Depending on the nature of your job, you may have opportunities within your company to work remotely full- or part-time. According to CNBC, remote and hybrid roles are becoming more prevalent across all industries. The latest surveys found that, as of 2023, roughly 28.6 percent of all workers in the United States have a hybrid arrangement with their employers. Meanwhile, about 15.5 percent are fully remote. By 2025, studies say that around 36.2 million Americans will work remotely.

There's no harm in exploring those options now. But even if no opportunities exist at your company, fear not. You can still travel while working full-time.

Define What Traveling with a Full Time Job Means to You

Traveling can mean different things for everyone. Some women want to trek through untouched wilderness here in the United States, enjoying the fresh air and stars during a glamping adventure. Others want to visit tropical paradises in Panama or Costa Rica while immersing themselves in the local culture.

Understanding your travel goals will help you plan for the experiences you want to have. It'll make things easier when scheduling trips and give you more insight into how much time you need to see the world.

Consider your travel goals and check out the upcoming trips we plan to take at Cherish for inspiration!

Understand How Many Days You Have to Travel

Have you ever thought about how many days you actually have off? Most people look at a full-time work schedule and see nothing but the grind. But when you add things up, you have more time to have amazing travel experiences than you think.

If you work five days weekly, you have 104 standard days off throughout the year. Throw in the 12 federal holidays, and you're looking at least 116 days left to travel. That's nearly a third of the year before you even consider vacation days!

Instead of focusing on how little time you have to take lengthy trips, shift your perspective. Look at those days off as opportunities for making lifelong memories in places you've never been before. It can be difficult to look at a busy schedule and see room for travel. But when you fully understand how much time you have available throughout the year, it becomes much easier to visualize yourself using that time to do memorable things.

Take Full Advantage of Vacation Time and PTO

If you have vacation time and PTO, don't be afraid to use it. According to the Pew Research Center, a staggering 46 percent of Americans with paid time off don't use it all by the end of the year! You've earned that time, so why not use it? While cultural expectations might make you hesitate to use all your available time, doing so could help you go on lengthier trips.

Use a day here and there to turn a weekend into a three- or four-day vacation. Or you can use it to go to faraway international destinations and join Cherish on trips to Turkey or Iceland.

Woman jumping under a waterfall in iceland

Be Strategic About Your Travel Time

When looking at the days you have available to travel, get creative to maximize your time on the road, in the air and sailing the sea. For example, you can plan travel time around holidays that fall on Fridays or Mondays. Just like that, you have an extended weekend without using any additional PTO. If you want to get as long of a trip as possible, you can use everything you have available, including holidays, weekends and PTO, to book one life-changing vacation. The sky's the limit, but you must get creative to prioritize traveling with a full time job.

Another option is to use work trips as a means to discover new places. Consider extending those work trips by a day or two to give you more time to explore.

Get Organized

Now that you have a better idea of how many travel days are available, it's time to get organized! It doesn't matter whether you only have a handful of days or several weeks off. That extra time is your chance to do what you love. Take a methodical approach to travel planning to make the most of your time off.

Consider getting a dedicated travel calendar. Cross out the days you must work and focus on that free time. Create a list of all the places you want to see and the experiences you want to have. Then, determine how long it'll take to visit every place on your list.

From there, you can connect the dots and develop your travel plans!

Don't forget to check out our guide on how to plan your vacation. Our tips apply to vacations of any length. You can also download our Travel Cheat Sheet to learn how to travel like a pro!

Make Every Second Count

It's easy to look at a few days off and assume you don't have much time to see and do what you want. But that couldn't be farther from the truth! There's a lot you can do in a short amount of time.

To lengthen your trip, try booking later flights. You can clock out of work on a Friday, grab your bags, and be in the sky before sundown to get a full Saturday for fun. If you have a layover somewhere during your travels, leave the airport and use that time to immerse yourself in a new culture. Even a few hours can be enough to create great memories that'll have you adding another location to your must-visit list.

When traveling to another location, take lesser-used modes of transportation like trains, ferries and rental cars. They'll give you more time to appreciate the beauty of a new country or city instead of spending all your time on a plane.

Make every second count; that short vacation will be just as fulfilling as a lengthier one.

woman standing on a cliff in utah

Just Say "Yes!"

Our last tip can be one of the most difficult.

Say "Yes" to your travel plans. Don't let fear and hesitations prevent you from traveling. It doesn't matter how busy your schedule seems. There are always ways to make time. Careful planning will get you there.

Steer clear of excuses for why you can't. Instead, plan for how you can. You'd be surprised how much of the world you can see despite working full-time. Whether traveling with others or going on your first solo adventure, take the steps to live that well-traveled life. You'll find community through experiences and create memories that last you a lifetime.

While you might not have all the time in the world like those travel influencers on TikTok and Instagram, you can carve space in your busy life to leave wanderlust in the dust. Don't just wish you could see and do everything you want. Develop plans to make it happen!

Finding Time to Live in the Moment and Make Connections

You don't need months of uninterrupted vacation time to go on a personal journey and build connections with women across the globe. Working full-time can make travel feel unreachable. But careful planning allows you to prioritize what's important and unlock limitless traveling possibilities without sacrificing your job and career.

When ready for your next adventure, turn to Cherish for a fully planned experience! We're ready to discuss upcoming travel opportunities and help you take the first steps toward your next unforgettable getaway.

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