Are you a working professional looking for ways to travel more? You don’t have to be independently wealthy or take extended time off from work to see the world. With some strategic planning and research, there are plenty of ways that you can make your travel dreams come true. Read on to learn how to become a well-traveled working professional without breaking the bank.

Try flexible remote work

With the advent of digital technology, many companies are now offering remote work options. If your job allows it, take advantage of the opportunity to work from home or abroad. Even if your job doesn’t support remote work, you can find countless roles that let you work from a virtual office on job boards online. 

Try a travel-based job

If working remotely isn’t an option for you, consider taking a job that includes travel. Flight attendants, crewmembers on cruise ships, tour guides, or international business consultants are just some careers you can look into to get paid while you explore the world. If travel is at the top of your to-do list, but you don’t want to derail your career goals, consider combining the two with a job that allows you to travel.

Plan weekend adventures

Maximizing your vacation time doesn’t have to mean taking an extended leave from work. You can still experience the world without breaking the bank by planning weekend getaways and local adventures. Pack a bag and explore the nearest city or book a flight for a quick trip somewhere for your dose of travel.

Maximize your PTO

When you’re ready for an extended getaway, take advantage of your employee benefits and negotiate for additional paid time off. Whether through a formal process or just asking for an extra day here and there, every bit of extra vacation time can add up and help you plan the trip of a lifetime. 

When you do plan your trips, take advantage of your hard-earned vacation time by planning when to take your trips. For example, take off five days after Veterans Day and take the week of Thanksgiving off for a total of 17 consecutive days.

Or, if you’re currently switching jobs and looking for ways to prioritize travel, aim to negotiate your PTO instead of negotiating your salary. Employers are often more likely to bend to requests that aren’t monetary.

Lean into spontaneity

For those who prefer not to make long-term plans, spontaneity may be the perfect way to get away and explore. Some of the best trips (and travel deals) are spur-of-the-moment. Sign up for travel alerts to be notified when there’s a great deal on flights or accommodations in your desired destination.

If you can be ready to go at any moment, you open yourself up to the possibility of many more trips.

Extend work trips

If you have an upcoming business trip, consider staying an extra day or two to explore the area. While the time will be on your dime, your airfare is likely still paid for, leaving you only to cover food and lodging. You can often find good deals on flights and accommodation if you plan, so don’t hesitate to book an extra night or two.

Be a tourist at home

You don’t need to travel overseas to experience something new. Taking a staycation can be just as fulfilling and much more cost-effective than a traditional vacation. Research your city and surrounding area to learn about all the attractions, landmarks, and outdoor activities you can explore right in your backyard.

Visit far-off friends

If you have friends or family scattered around the world, why not take the opportunity to visit them? You’ll be able to catch up with your loved ones and avoid expensive flights and lodging in your destination by taking advantage of their local knowledge. The more you save each time you travel, the more you’ll be able to have for future travels.

Grow your travel fund with a side hustle

No matter what your interests are, there are plenty of opportunities to make some extra cash in the gig economy. With a little bit of planning and effort, you can create a steady stream of income that can go directly into your travel fund. 

Whether you’re a dog walker or a creative freelancer, growing your savings with a side hustle is the perfect way to make your travel dreams come true.

Open a travel credit card

If you’re looking for ways to build up savings for travel quickly, consider opening a travel rewards credit card that will put money back in your pocket for things like flights, hotels, rental cars, or even dining. Do some research on the best travel credit cards to find the card best suited to what you’re looking for.

Don’t be afraid to travel alone

There’s no need to wait for a companion if all you want is an escape. Traveling alone can be a liberating and exhilarating experience, so don’t let the fear of being alone stop you from exploring new places. With careful planning, it’s easy enough to find friends and contacts in your destination who can show you around and help you make memories that will last a lifetime.

Another option is finding a tour group you can travel with, so you’re not alone and can safely get around while making new friends along the way.

Before you go

Traveling doesn’t have to be a distant dream. With careful planning and some creativity, you can make it work for your lifestyle without giving up your career. Whether that means taking advantage of travel deals or extending business trips, there are plenty of ways to maximize your vacation time without breaking the bank. Additionally, don’t forget about negotiating and maximizing PTO at work or leveraging side hustles to build up your travel fund.

Most importantly, remember not to be afraid of traveling alone. Making friends along the way is one of the best parts. 

So get creative and start exploring. Happy travels.