How To Survive the 9-5 When You Just Want To Travel
It’s no secret that I’m working on a master plan to be a full-time explorer. Well maybe it is to some…but now you know! Until then I work a 9-5 like the average person, but my dreams go wayyyy bigger than that, and I have no plans of just stopping there. BUT, until my dreams of being a full-time explorer come into fruition, I’m always on the hunt for my next adventure, big or small. I'm all about just going! I started a new job a few months ago, so we corporate people know how that goes. Have to build up that coveted vacation time so I haven't been able to do some grander scaled traveling over the past few months. But that will be changing soon. So in the meanwhile, I'm trying to survive the 9-5 when all I want to do is travel! Here's how:
Stay in planning mode
When I'm not traveling, I'm constantly planning options. No matter the scale, I’m always on the hunt for stateside adventures and international journeys, and everything in between. Glamping, road trips, semi-staycations, I enjoy coming up with all types of options and keeping them in my backpocket and whipping out when necessary. I utilize various resources for travel, such as Travelzoo, Living Social, Viator, and Groupon, to find activities and deals, and frequently visit Google Flights utilizing the “Explore” feature. I also use Instagram to get a lot of my inspiration and ideas. As I mentioned in my previous post "How to be a tourist in your city", social media, specifically Instagram is one of my favorite tips to find hidden treasures and inspiration for traveling outside the box.
Now that you have put in all the hours and days of constant research and itinerary planning, be ready to execute when the time is right. If you stay ready, you don’t have to get ready! Have your destinations and a general idea of activities lined up. A list of several options of destinations for me is key for budget purposes. I may have Montego Bay, Jamaica on my list, for example, but that flight to Costa Rica is $200 cheaper. Same timeframe and decent to pretty good flight options. Of course you should take in the lodging budget into account as well. But remember to consider other options other than hotels such as hostels and airbnbs, to reduce costs. It may not be worth it financially to choose the other options, but at least consider it and do your research on it. Now while I may have both places on my wish list, Costa Rica may be the better option, budget wise. It's not a lose lose situation. That flight deal to Jamaica will come thru one day. And following the 'stay in planning mode, be ready, and execute' game plan I will be able to hop on it without question.
The execution phase won’t come on its own. The work you put in previously will still be necessary. While you have mapped out a plan of attack, have your list of potential destinations lined up, now you have to...you guessed it...execute. Take action. Otherwise all you have is a plan. Now since you are working a 9-5, in this execution phase, go to your boss and get your requested days off. Got the approval? Good! Now book your ticket! In the 'be ready' phase, I decided on the Costa Rica trip over Jamaica. I've done the research on the flight options, have the prices lined up, and I know which airlines will get me there. The Hopper app is telling me to book now because they predict prices will soon rise. I follow their professional advice and I am all set to go!
Once you complete a trip, follow these same steps and keep the momentum going. Don't let the spark die out, otherwise you may get stuck back in a rut. Keep researching, generating ideas, and finding unique things to do. Cross places off your wish list. Stay in planning mode, be ready, and then execute!
I gave you the game plan that I use several times a week when planning potential travel with a 9-5. While several times a week may seem like a lot to some people, planning for me is more than looking up flights and lodging. I'm researching as much as I can on the country, city, and down to the areas I want to visit. Places to eat, (free) things to do, tourist hotspots, local must-sees, and hidden gems. I want to know why I'm choosing this particular place to visit. Once I've made a decision on why then I start to get my plan in place. While I am a carefree, go where the wind blows me kinda traveler, I do like to have a general sense of what I want to do and see. I am not one to stick with an itinerary during solo travel. So until I become a full-time explorer, here are my strategies on surviving the 9-5 in between packing up and seeing this beautiful world!