Image by Rana Sawalha

10 Pro Tips to Maximizing Your Time Traveling 

When most people schedule travel they are often trying to pack in as many fun activities into the allocated time. Unless you can take a year off on a voyage around the world, you always should schedule trips in a way that afford you more time to actually enjoy the trip. No one wants to spend most of their vacation time on the road, except that’s the intended purpose. If you’re like most people, however, you plan and prepare for a vacation by saving money and taking days off work or off school so you can embark on some adventure or just get some much-needed relaxation. With some planning and clever tips, you’ll be able to squeeze out the most fun, whether it’s for a few days or a few weeks. Let’s examine 10 tips that can help you fully maximize your time off. 

 

  1. Remind yourself that you’re not too busy to travel. There are many reasons why people accumulate unused vacation days. Some people are quite work focused and find their fulfilment solely in the work they do. For others, it is not so simple. The means to take off for a few days are not available to them; with heavy family obligations and limited funds, vacations are almost impossible. These are all valid concerns. However, there are ways to travel or take time off for a few days, even on a limited budget. Sometimes you just need to remind yourself that the work will get done, whether you are there or not, and that your family will be fine. Besides, understand that your mental and physical well-being, not to speak of your productivity, depends on you taking some time off each year to relax. Even two or three days off work can make a difference. 

  2. Move your compensated days closer to the weekend or holidays. If you can manage it, take advantage of days which fall closer to holidays and the weekend, so you can have more time for a quick trip. If you’re planning to take a business trip, it would be smart to schedule a vacation immediately following the business trip, unless your work requires you to submit reports and strategize with your team afterward.  

  3. Travel on your last day of work. Travel very early (if you close late) or very late if you close early enough to run home and grab your bag. Better still, take your bag in the trunk of your car and drive to the airport after work, if you’ve scheduled airport parking. This works well if you are travelling by yourself, otherwise you may have to consider others’ schedules. Whatever the case, leave as soon as you possibly can. You can always catch a few winks in a plane, train or hotel, and wake up to a fresh day at your vacation spot. 

  4. Minimize stress. The last few days before a trip are usually very full and you often have only a few minutes to attend to packing as you want to complete your tasks at work or make sure arrangements for pets are made. As a result, it might help to start your packing early enough. For instance, if you’ve been able to move your travel day to a Wednesday, you should start putting things you’ll need for your trip in an open bag from the previous weekend. It not only helps to lift your spirit as you anticipate the journey, but it also reduces the possibility of leaving behind essential items you would need for the trip. The less you stress, the more enjoyable your vacation time is. 

  5. Plan. Making plans for transportation, housing options, food and outings can help make the trip feel less rushed. Even for the overly cautious planner or those who work with a comprehensive checklist, there will usually be one or more instances when you have to make decisions on the spot while on your travel. However, planning ahead—buying tickets, taking advantage of discounts and deals—can help minimize stress and also reduce costs. If you’re traveling with young children, the difference in costs and the time spent soothing cranky kids make planning ahead a better option. 

  6. Prioritize. How do you see the great pyramid of Giza, hike Mount Fiji, dine in the Burj Khalifa and marvel at the leaning tower of Pisa in Italy on one trip? Truth is, you often can’t. Although many people have a long bucket list, there is less time and money to accomplish all of that in one vacation. What you can do, though, is prepare a list of destinations you’d like to visit and then group destinations which are closer in distance. It may take a few years or a lifetime to see them all, but then you’ll always have something to tick off your list each year and an exciting trip (or trips) to look forward to in the next. 

  7. Break a long trip into several shorter trips. Instead of waiting till the end of the year to take the big vacation, you could schedule smaller trips throughout the year. Although each trip may be shorter, your frequent traveling may create a pattern or habit of packing and scheduling which makes future trips less stressful and tedious. 

  8. Need to Work? Detach. Some jobs require you to be reachable even during vacations and holidays. There are times when you will need to respond to an email or work on projects you could not complete before your trip. Or maybe you need to dedicate some vacation time to work on your personal business or side hustle. You will need to find a way to minimize distractions. Do what usually works for you, whether that involves using noise reducing headphones, or some other strategy that allows you too detach from your surroundings. The sooner you complete the work, the sooner you can party! 

  9. Take advantage of ‘Work from Home’ (WFH) days. In our world today it is not unusual to have hybrid work environments whereby employees work in-person at the organization’s office for a number of days each week, and WFH other days. Not everyone has this luxury, though, but if this is an option open to you, take it. One positive thing about WFH is that is allows for more flexibility in work time management which could help increase the amount of time spent enjoying a vacation. 

  10. Finally, take short breaks. There’s nothing as bad as finally getting vacation time and you’re too ill to take it. You may need to reevaluate your lifestyle and make proper nutrition and regular rest a priority. This can define how much time you’d be able to spend on bigger and more fun vacations.