One travel writer shares how you can carve out more time for adventures.
"I'm not really looking forward to my vacation," said no one ever.
I mean, who doesn't love a little time off? The chance to explore or chill out without having to worry about conference calls or deadlines is a special feeling.
But here's the thing: Not a lot of Americans are doing it. In fact, in a 2014 survey by Skift, nearly 42% of respondents didn't even take a single vacation day.
How is that possible? Well, it's a combination of things. A quarter of U.S. workers don't even get paid vacation and those who do get it don't even use it that much because they get worried about leaving work.
Let's face it: Vacationing more often is no easy task. Luckily, one seasoned traveler has some tips that can help.
Ellen Burne is a 20-something travel writer who's made it her mission to set foot in every single country on Earth — all by herself. In her amazing, jealousy-inducing blog, Travelling the World Solo, Burne chronicles all the wonders of exploring the world.
"Since I started travelling, there are so many things about me that have changed. I am a better problem solver, far more independent, pretty much fearless and have a much more well rounded view of the world," Ellen Burne said. "Travel has changed me for the better and I can't imagine what my life would be like now if I had not pursued my travel dreams."
When you're ready to book your own travel plans, Expedia is happy to help — their online marketplace makes it easy to find what you're looking for, all in one place. From flights to hotels to rental cars to vacation packages to getting local expert advice, they have everything you need to help save you time and money (which can only lead to more adventures!).
Now, not all of us can travel professionally like Burne, but she has a few suggestions on how we can incorporate more travel into our lives. Here are her tips on how to make your own travel dreams a reality:
Get creative with your workload.
In addition to being a travel writer, Burne is also a registered midwife. This allows her to work some really flexible hours.
"I am a shift worker, which means that I can work lots of days in a row and get lots of days off in a row," Burne said. "I can often get 7 to 10 days off in a row without using any paid leave!"
Of course, not all of us can be midwives, but there are so many other opportunities that offer great work flexibility. If anything, just think of it like piecing together a rewarding life puzzle.
Don't be afraid to figure something out with your employer.
When in doubt, the simple act of asking can go a long way. "Negotiate with your employer to take your paid leave at half pay to get more actual days off," Burne said.
Granted, that tactic won't work for everyone, but what's important is you're creating a dialogue with your boss and finding a way to work it out together.
Well-being is key in the workplace — and time off plays a big role in that — so it's important not to take your own happiness for granted. After all, happier workers are more productive workers.
Your trips don't have to be super long.
"You don't need to plan big, long extended trips — such trips are amazing — but if limited time is a factor, try taking numerous smaller 3 to 10 day trips," suggested Burne. "Even in such small time frames, you can still have some amazing adventures."
Just remember: It helps to plan ahead. "Spontaneity is amazing," Burne added. "But if you want to see a lot in a short space of time, a little forward planning goes a long way."
Be efficient with your travel plans and budget.
If time is of the essence, Burne has some travel hacks up her sleeve to make the most of each minute: Traveling with just a carry-on, choosing one or two destinations with direct flights and flying out the same day you finish work. "It's tiring, but can equal an extra day of vacation," she said.
Burne also stresses the importance of travel insurance. "You never know when your travel plans will go awry and having insurance can save you a lot of moolah if something were to go wrong."
Use some sweet tech to your advantage.
There are loads of apps out there meant to make the entire travel experience much easier. And Burne swears by a particular one.
"Offline maps are the greatest invention ever and mean that you can navigate around a new city with ease and without racking up a huge phone bill."
So as you make your way across every corner of the globe, just remember that Expedia is right there with you each step of the way. In fact, every flight, hotel room, rental car, vacation package, and activity you book through them gets you points in their loyalty program, Expedia+, which can be redeemed for future travel. The more points you rack up, the more new wonderful places you can see.
Now, what are you waiting for? The world is out there and ready for the taking. It may seem daunting, but trust us, you have time.