That’s, perhaps, the second most frequently asked question I hear when we talk about traveling. My answer may disappoint you: I do not take many days off. But when I do, I do make sure I make good use of that time. Here’s how I travel quite extensively on only 25 days off per year (including public holidays).
My family is some 6500km away from Boston. Sure, I like visiting them once in a while. In the past, the lack of direct support forced me to be independent and to get my shit together. It also released me from frequent family visits, traditional holiday celebrations, etc. Nowadays, if there is a long weekend and I don’t feel like celebrating where I am, I travel and celebrate where I want to be.
Traveling on Long Weekends…
In the US and Canada, holiday celebrations are either before the weekend or right after. That enables traveling over the period of 3-5 days without using too many vacation days. That’s what I do. It’s a perfect period for a road-trip, a visit to a tropical island, or a trip to the opposite coast. If there are multiple days off in a row (e.g., during Thanksgiving, or Christmas, or New Year’s Eve), I absolutely don’t mind traveling for two weeks or so; 8 days off gives me 16 days of adventures.
…Or a Week After
Traveling on a long weekend may be expensive due to the high demand for flight tickets and accommodation. One way of working around that is the following. I work on the actual long weekend (i.e., during the holiday) to make up the time, and then travel one week after, when the prices are lower.
Perhaps, most of my trips happen over regular weekends. I leave Friday afternoon and come back Sunday night. No damage done. That’s enough time to experience a cool adventure and to get the gist of a foreign culture. If my flight is early afternoon/morning, I make up the time at work in advance and leave earlier to catch the flight.
That’s all folks. I’m selling no magic; I avoid time wasting activities. As explained earlier, I travel, because it is very important to me. My paid vacation days are restricted to 18 (+7 public holidays). Instead of complaining about how short it is, I prefer to make the most of that time and to explore the world. (Worst case, unpaid vacation days are an option, as well.) Chances are that you have a way more vacation days than myself. I hope now you know what to do with them.
Much love from the above,