A professional soccer player has goals, trains hard and spends all their money on the best gear.
I have a travel bucket list, spend my spare time researching, planning and booking travel and choose to spend my pay check on travel instead of material things. Oh and things you can’t avoid, like rent.
I guess that makes me a professional traveller! Why? Because travel really is my passion.
In just over 12 months, my partner and I who both work full-time, have managed to travel to 17 destinations across 11 different countries:
- Morocco – May 2015
- South of France – June 2015
- Amsterdam – August 2015
- Turkey – September 2015
- Cornwall – October 2015
- Worcester – October 2015
- Dublin – November 2015
- Russia – December 2015
- Portugal (Faro) – January 2016
- Liverpool – January 2016
- Wales – March 2016
- Gothenburg – April 2016
- Egypt – May 2016
- Cardiff – June 2016
- Berlin – June 2016
- South of France (again) – July 2016
- Portugal (Porto, Lisbon & Sintra) – July 2016
So how do we get so many holidays?
Well first of all, we get 137 days to do whatever we like per year. How? Let’s crunch the numbers…
- 25 days annual holiday entitlement (which must be used by 31 December)
- 8 bank holidays in the UK each year
- 104 days’ worth of Saturdays and Sundays
We plan ahead to save money but also to book holidays at times that require less time off work. For example:
- Wales – 0 days off work for a 4 day trip because of Easter break
- Egypt – 4 days off work for a 9 day trip because of two weekends and a public holiday
- Australia in August 2016 – 8 days off work for a 13 day trip because of two weekends and a public holiday
We also often book flights departing Friday night, returning Sunday so again, we don’t need time off work. Don’t get me wrong it’s exhausting, but if you’re as passionate about travel as we are, it can be done. Chances are, if you stayed in London for a weekend with friends you would end up being just as exhausted and spending just as much anyway!
- Know your travel priorities and plan them early over the year ahead
- Book time off work as early as possible, you can always change it slightly later on
- Once a trip is booked, put it into your diary at work (even over the weekend) so your team know you are unavailable
- Look into your benefits at work which for me includes the option to buy or sell 3 days holiday (which would increase my annual non-working days to 140!)
And remember, to travel as often as we do means sacrificing spending money on the nice-to-haves and time on other passions, particularly while working a full-time job. As soon as we settle down we’re getting a dog and I’m going to pick up the guitar more than once in 6 months!
If you want to know more about how we actually afford the travel, here’s a little something I prepared earlier http://www.hofftoexplore.com/uk/how-i-afford-to-travel-live-overseas-and-own-a-home/
Feel free to message me on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/hofftoexplore/ for any more tips or questions on how to make your holiday plans a reality!