One travel writer shares how you can carve out more time for adventures.
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"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.

All images via Ellen Burne/Travelling the World Solo, used with permission.

"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.

Have fun with some cute huskies in Oqaatsut, Greenland.

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.

Who wouldn't want a sweet escape in the Maldives?

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.

Conquer Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa.

"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.

Take in the beauty and splendor of Venice, Italy.

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.

Get lost in one of the most romantic cities in the world — Paris, France.

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.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."

Vanna White appeared on "The Price Is Right" in 1980.

Vanna White has been a household name in the United States for decades, which is kind of hilarious when you consider how she gained her fame and fortune. Since 1982, the former model and actress has made millions walking back and forth turning letters (and later simply touching them—yay technology) on the game show "Wheel of Fortune."

That's it. Walking back and forth in a pretty evening gown, flipping letters and clapping for contestants. More on that job in a minute…

As a member of Gen X, television game shows like "Wheel of Fortune" and "The Price is Right" send me straight back to my childhood. Watching this clip from 1980 of Vanna White competing on "The Price is Right" two years before she started turning letters on "Wheel of Fortune" is like stepping into a time machine. Bob Barker's voice, the theme music, the sound effects—I swear I'm home from school sick, lying on the ugly flowered couch with my mom checking my forehead and bringing me Tang.

This video has it all: the early '80s hairstyles, a fresh-faced Vanna White and Bob Barker's casual sexism that would never in a million years fly today.

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