How to travel 107 days a year with a full-time office job


One of the blogs I had most fun writing back in 2014, was the one about how I managed to travel more than 100 days a year while I still have a full-time office job. It became one of the most read articles on we12travel over the past year (most readers come from the USA, maybe because they have way less vacation-time than us Europeans) and even though I felt like I traveled way less than in 2014, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was…
 
A couple of weeks ago I made my year list in a spreadsheet. I knew I traveled less than in 2014 (113 days) but didn’t expect to still hit the counter at 107 days in 2015. Before I continue explaining how I made that work, I’ll give you some statistics:
 
– 19 trips, of which 1 vacation of a week and 1 vacation of 3 weeks
– 10 trips were made by plane, the rest by car
– only 3 trips were within The Netherlands, 14 in Europe and 2 outside of Europe
– in total I made 26 flights
– I flew with Norwegian, Transavia, Ryanair, KLM, Icelandair, Turkish Airlines and Ravn Alaska
– I made 5 press trips, traveled for work 2 times and the other trips were 100% fun
– 10 out of 19 trips we did together, the other trips I made with friends, family or just by myself
– I visited 10 countries, of which 2 new ones (Portugal and Nepal) and made stops in Turkey and India
– in addition to my own trips, Martijn also made 4 trips without me
– because of my bruised ankle and my bronchitis, I had to cancel 2 trips
 

everest base camp trek dzongla lobuche

Everest Base Camp Trek

Traveling 107 days, this is how I did it

Just like last year, I’m pretty amazed that I’m still alive and kicking by the end of the year. 107 Days on the road, that’s almost one third of the year. It felt like a lot less though, as there were periods of time I traveled somewhere different each weekend but there were also times I had to take it easy. In September and October I traveled just once and in June I traveled four times. Here are my tips and tricks on how to make the best of your time off and travel more:
 
– Like any average Dutch person, I have 24 days of paid vacation, or actually it’s 22 because I work 36 hours a week. I also work weekends about ten times a year (either Saturday or Sunday) and those days I usually compensate when I travel, although over the past period I also just took some days off to blog or just relax. At the company I work for, we have the policy we can’t save up our overtime however sometimes it happens that it’s not very convenient I take compensation day. So it happens I work six days one week and four the next. I don’t mind the irregular hours because I’m used to it after 9 years.
 
– I officially work 36 hours, which is 3 hours less than the regular 39 hours in my industry. I am off every other Friday and try to plan my weekend getaways during those weekends. For the first three trip of the year (Stockholm, Naples and Lisbon) I only had to take one day off, the rest was just smart scheduling, in total it was 10 days of travel.
 
– I should probably tell you (in case you didn’t know yet) I work in tourism. Two of the trips I made were for business and that was 18 days in total. In Alaska I traveled around for 11 days and worked in the office for 5 days. However, I planned my office time that I by starting to work at 06.00 am so I could still connect with the office back home and in the afternoon I was free to do all kinds of things. Also I scheduled some business meetings out of the office so it happened that during the day I would take a bike ride in the Anchorage city park. Or I’d be taking a glacier cruise with my Alaskan colleague. Most of the time, I would still work in the evening though to make sure all my work got done.
 
– I booked many of my flights for departure after working hours. So during the day I’d still be working, then I’d catch the train to Schiphol airport and took off. Or I stayed overnight at the airport and departed really early. Sleeping in Schiphol is actually a lot of fun, especially when you haven’t seen your travel buddy in a while so it’s a great way to start a trip.
 
– I don’t do time off after a trip. Or at least, I don’t take a day off after coming home. Generally, the idea of a trip is to come back home rested and if not, I rest at night. Usually I’m still pretty tired after traveling so during the first week after, I don’t do much other than work, gym, eat and sleep. My social life is put on hold, but luckily my friends know about this and I make it up to them after.
 
– I travel a lot during public holidays because I don’t care about them. This year, we went hiking in Sauerland during Easter, then we traveled around Holland during Liberation Day and during Christmas, we’ll be hiking in Sauerland again. My family is used to the fact we’re usually not around.
 

Knik Glacier Alaska

Knik Glacier, Alaska


These are my most important tips to travel as much as possible. It’s not exactly rocket science but it’s all about just doing it. Don’t think, just do! It can be quite exhausting to sometimes run from one place to the next, while also keeping a blog running, appear in the office with a fresh face even though you just came home from an overseas trip less than 12 hours ago and also keeping up with the household. Speaking of which, the best decision we made over the past year, was hiring a lady to clean our house. She comes to our place once every other week and each time she has cleaned, my mind is at ease again. It’s an investment well worth the money I’ll gladly pay her rather than taking another trip.
 
At the beginning of 2015 I had no idea what my year would look like. The plan was Tasmania, but it ended up being Nepal. That I’d travel to Iceland twice was beyond my dreams, let alone flying to Alaska and catching up with Martijn there, where he was working. We only spent a couple of hours together but they were very special. I truly enjoyed experiencing the midnight sun in Sweden as well as hiking in Nepal. All of them are things I hoped I’d be doing one day and they made 2015 one of my top travel years so far.
 
What 2016 has on hold for us? At least a one month trip to Tasmania. After that? No idea! Once we get back home we’ll see what our options are. And fill up our bank accounts. Cheers to the new year!
 
Blacstone Glacier Alaska
 
Do you count the number of days you’ve traveled? If yes, what’s your number for 2015?
 
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