A little bit over one year ago, I started working fulltime after graduating university. A new phase in my life, a new lifestyle to adapt to. I was used to being empowered to travel whenever I wanted, or whenever my study schedule allowed me to. In an office job, this proves to be more difficult. You need to request days off, you only have a limited amount of days (25 days at my job if you work fulltime), and don’t even get me started on how difficult it will be once you have children.
Regardless, I still managed to visit 9 countries last year, of which 2 on other continents. From the Netherlands, I travelled to Prague, Nicaragua, Milan, Barcelona, Dublin, Madrid, Lisbon, Berlin and Morocco. Want to know how to travel more too? Let me tell you how I used my time off to travel as much as possible.
How to travel more: Start by count your days off
To begin with, it is important to know how many holiday days you have in total. At my company, if you work 40 hours a week, you get 25 holiday days. I decided to get a 36-hour contract, which means I get 22,5 holiday days, but I also have a day off every other week. Therefore, I get 26 more days off a year. If you need to pick a certain day to always be off, you can easily use these to be off on a Friday or Monday and do a city trip on a weekend. In my case, I could plan them very flexibly and therefore use several of those days off to go on a longer trip.
In addition to your days off, of course there are certain bank holidays that everybody gets off in the Netherlands and most Western countries, such as Easter and Christmas. We have 6 national holidays that give us an extra day off in 2019 in the Netherlands. In 2018, we had 7 days off. Thus, in 2018 I had 22,5+26+7= 55,5 days off.
Use Your Holidays Efficiently: Plan your days off around bank holidays
Especially in spring and in December, we celebrate quite a few national holidays. Doing a city trip during this time is probably not the best idea. Flights and hotels are more expensive, restaurants are overrun and the roads will be very busy. Instead, take a few days off and go on a longer holiday, to Nicaragua for instance! It’s the perfect opportunity to get an extra day off “for free”.
How I managed to go on 9 trips during my first year at work
The calendars below show how I planned my holidays in 2018.
As you can see in the images above, I managed to go on quite a few trips last year. And the best thing is, I still had holiday days and days off left! I used these when my sister, who lives in Australia, came over to the Netherlands, but also to relax or do things with friends. Because even though travelling is a lot of fun, it also takes its toll. It is important to enjoy your time with your friends and family, and take some time for yourself from time to time.
If you would like to know how you can plan your holidays as effectively as possible, comment below! I might be able to help you out 🙂 In the mean time, you can find inspiration for your next trip here.
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