My secrets to maximising 25 leave days…

Leave a comment, share & enjoy!!

I ventured out to 14 destinations in 2016… this is not to boast or gloat on the fact that “I’ve seen the world & you haven’t” but to merely encourage you that you are not given the dream unless you have the capacity to fulfil it (words from my Business fave; Mama Winfrey!)

I’m a British millennial working “9-5” in the corporate world in London Town! We all wish to travel for 6 months twice a year but faced with this impossibility here’s a few on how I maximised my holiday days in 2016 and how I plan to further kill it in 2017 😉

  1. I let my manager know I’m a travel junkie!

If possible negotiate your working contract and hours to match your lifestyle before you take up the job offer. We all know this is difficult nowadays (especially early in ones career) so I’ll advice you to be honest with your manager – it’ll go a looong way! (plus it may help you later in your career and open up doors to international work travel – it did for me!).

  1. Remember, WEEKENDS are also DAYS OFF.

Never forget this! Lol. We all love our weekend sleep days (and ask anyone who knows me.. I LOVE sleep!) …but if travel (or whatever your passion) is one of your priorities, set REALISTIC goals.

One of my 2017 travel goals is to venture out at least once a month. This does not mean booking a flight and jet setting to another continent every weekend but simply leaving my hometown (London) and experiencing a new town/city. Whether though a weekend day hike outside of London, a road trip to visit friends in the north of England or yes jet setting to Milan for the weekend ;).

  1. The LOOONG WEEKEND.

My 2016 trips to Milan, Stockholm, Oslo and Berlin were all weekend trips. My fave is flying out on a Thursday night after a full days’ work and returning on the Monday morning right back to work! A little crazy but it works for me as I only take the Friday off work and get to enjoy 3 whole days exploring a given city.

This is of course easier to do in Europe but wherever you are in the world, I’m pretty sure that you can leave your town in a few hours to venture out to the neighbouring state/town for a looong weekend.

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Getting artsy’ in Pinacoteca di Brera gallery, Milano
  1. Utilise the bank holidays/PUBLIC HOLIDAYS.

This one is self-explanatory! Although it tends to be more expensive to travel during public holidays I tend to…

– Book in advance to reduce costs!

– Travel to cheaper airports in a given city, even if it is a slight distance away from my accommodation or the main city.

– Try and travel just before or right after the public holiday! – Flights are cheaper and you still get to tag along the public holiday.

  1. PLAN your holidays!

You can never over plan they say… go overboard if you want and print out your work calendar, doddle over it, scribble or ‘X’ out your planned days off!

Block out dates at work or reserve holidays waaay in advance (I don’t think this is the best way to make friends at work but hey, you do you boo boo lol)

I’m more of a spontaneous flight booker in order to capitalise on flight deals! This comes down to being honest with my manager who is flexible with me taking time off without 3 months’ notice! Definitely more to come on ‘how I plan my adventures’ 😉

  1. BUY HOLIDAY DAYS (if you can).

Of course, this one is not universal to all but if this is available to you try and make the most of it!

I managed to purchase 5 days holiday this year – and although a cost to my bank account I’m at the stage in my life where I would rather spend my income on experiences than things! (My mums belief is contrary to this but she’s getting there lol).

  1. THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX & be SPONTANOUS while abroad!

While in San Juan I hopped on a $5 boat to part of the island I would otherwise have missed. Make room for spontaneity on your travels and you won’t regret it!

You could hop on a train or hitch-hike (of course play safe) to another nearby destination when abroad – this way you get to see more for less.

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Spontaneous beach hike in San Juan, Puerto Rico!
  1. BE SPONTANEOUS, AGAIN!

While in San Francisco I jumped in an Uber with a bunch of random travellers and once again I ended up hanging out in a neighbourhood I would have otherwise missed. If your instinct says go then go for it…  & yes, I’ve also got a lift from a total stranger (many many times lol – don’t tell my mama!).

  1. Minimise expensive/peak travel periods!

More money spent means less money left which means less money for another vacation lol.

You want to try and avoid travelling ON an actual weekend day (Tuesday to Thursday travels are your best friend)… and of course avoid the school holidays as much as you can! I didn’t travel once during a high peak period and it served me well… and 80% of my trips were on a Thursday or Tuesday!

  1. TRAVEL SOLO!

It’s simple. You’ll have no one telling you when and where they want to travel!

So much to come on SOLO travel from my experience – it’s literally the best thing I’ve done but it can also be the hardest and most EXPENSIVE! More to come… more to come 😉

  1. TRAVEL WHILE ON WORK TRAVELS.

I was fortunate to have been given the opportunity to travel internationally so early in my career. I travelled to our Headquarters in rural Pennsylvania for some technical training and it was only right to explore Philadelphia during the weekend and I tagged on a trip to NYC after! I managed to save so much on this trip as the sole purpose was to work and only the NYC train ticket came out of my own pocket – happy days! 🙂

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Downtown Philly!
  1. TRY & WORK BANK HOLIDAYS (or other Public Holidays) TO ACCUMULATE EXTRA TIME OFF DAYS.

I was not the biggest bank holiday traveller last year for the sole reason of my ability to work a bank holiday and accumulate an extra days’ time off (or even 2!).

This is definitely a niche one but working for a US company means that I have the choice to work during UK Bank holidays (as the US market is still open… don’t let me bore you with Investment lingo lol) – But the benefit of working on a UK holidays is getting another day or 2 back as time off!

If you do not mind missing out on some bank holiday fun ask your manager if this is available to you.

  1. DON’T TAKE A DAY OFF JUST TO SLEEP, TO GO TO THE DENTIST OR JUST TO VISIT YOUR GRANDMA (ok maybe not the latter lol) but that’s what weekends are for! – Remember you are getting paid during your time off days so do what you would do while at work. Be productive & try to enjoy it!

I really hope you enjoyed this post & took some tips from my experience! Please do comment below, let me know your honest thoughts on the post, share some tips on how you have maximised your leave days and ask away!

For those of you who read this post to the end… here’s a 2017 holiday tip for you!! (UK/Ireland readers) – If you are planning a BIG trip this year you want to snatch the Easter & May bank holiday period… taking 3 weeks off materialises to less than 2 working weeks – thank me later! 😉

Don’t forget to COMMENT & SHARE. Doyin 🙂

  • Jessica

    Love this Doyin !! Keep it coming x

  • I love this post! It’s so great how you show people how they can incorporate travel around work!

  • Teni

    Super informative! (Trips from strangers, I’m tellingggggg lol!) Thanks for sharing Doyin!

    • Teni

      *Rides I mean lol

    • Haha please don’t tell! Glad you enjoyed the read Teni ☺

  • Patience

    Thanks for this, some great tips and advice!☺👍🏾

    • Thanks for reading Patience! Glad you took some tips too! More to come for sure 😉

  • Selina

    That was really good advice, I like to travel as well and this year I planing to go on more trips so this was useful.

    • Glad you took some tips from it Selina! When planning your trips give me a shout if you want any advice/have any questions (I’ll try my best to answer them of course) 😉

  • Tolu

    As a fellow travel junkie I love the fact you maximised the moment and went to Philly and NYC when you were in the states. I sometimes take a sustained amount of holiday to do a multi city trip if I’m flying out far and want to maximise the time. Ie visiting Australia and New Zealand in one trip, or Thailand Cambodia Vietnam because they’re so close to each other!

    Can’t wait to see more!!

  • Going to nearby locations from your actually destination is always a definate! ..even if it’s not on your bucket list!

    Thanks for the read & more to come for sure!😉

  • Margaret

    Great stuff Doyin and I thank you now rather than later. Love the travel junkie will swap for travel addict!. I love travelling and any long haul destination would always include some stops to explore other areas. Transparency definitely works. If anyone plans to go to Singapore, you can try travelling to Malaysia by bus. It’s extremely cheap. I have found January ticket sales beneficial too. If you travel to China try travelling overnight to other cities to maximise your time and save hotel bill but will not suggest standing tickets.

    I look forward to reading more from you Doyin.

    • Hey Margaret! Thanks for the tips above 😉 ..feel free to share some more also! I’ll definately take note of the Malaysian by bus tip!

      Thanks for the read 🙂

  • Great post! I knew I wasn’t the only one of this idea. I’ll be taking advantage of the Easter and May back holiday to head to Japan for 23 calendar days in exchange for 14 annual leave days. 🙂

    • Great minds!😉 ..looking forward to reading about your Japan trip! ..& thanks for the read!

  • This is a great post! I have three young children so flying round the world isn’t much of an option for us right now. We’ve committed to exploring the UK using days off, long weekends, bank holidays, etc.
    Stepping out of our comfort zone a little, downsizing and saving money ready for venturing en masse around Europe next year!

    • Hey Bernice, thanks so much! Seems like you’re doing the right thing given your circumstance.. i’m sure your children will thank you for this in the future! ..if you land in London do give me a shout 🙂

  • I enjoyed this post, my biggest dilemma is not enough annual leave to match my grand travel plans! Also I’m guilty of wasting days just to sleep lol

    • Ah i’m sure most of us face this dilemma Megan! ..the key is trying our best to manage our days off & not sleeping in too much haha. Thanks for the read! 😉

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