Have you ever done something part-time? Part-time work – sure. Studying part-time – nothing unheard of. But what about part-time travel? There’s been a bit of buzz in the travel writer bubble about this "new" form of traveling. The truth is, you might just have done it yourself already.
Part-time travel is a broad phrase that grasps pretty much any form of travel done by people who usually (read: when they are not enjoying their much-deserved vacation) follow more or less regular jobs. It goes something like this: You work, save up money (and your precious vacation days), and finally hop on a plane to enjoy some refreshing time abroad.
Within the travel blogging sphere, I would go a step further. Think of part-time travelers as a small subculture of dedicated wanderers who manage to squeeze in trips around the world in between their regular 9-to-5s AND actively encourage fellow full-time workers to follow their travel dreams. In fact, it was this desire that actually triggered me to start this blog.
Ups & Downs of Part-Time Travel
Part of the "problem" already lies in the phrase itself – travel is not my sole occupation. I have a tremendous amount of respect for people who lead a nomadic travel lifestyle. But in my opinion, you shouldn’t have to choose between an (unarguably) exciting life on the road and a stable home base. Exploring this planet in doses can be equally rewarding.
But let’s be honest, finding the time to plan a trip between office hours, pending projects, and private life can be a challenge. And I haven’t even started on the post-trip coverage yet. But the excitement I get out of exploring a country and properly sharing my experiences afterwards is simply too rewarding not to try.
We all know it and we (yes, I’m looking at you) all feel it. Traveling is addictive. However, I believe that part-time travel really gives you the best of both worlds. After all, you don’t have to give up advancing your career. Plus, that fix salary might allow you to spoil yourself just a little bit more while abroad.
My Personal Way of Traveling Part-Time
My personal game-changing experience was a student exchange in the States during high school. I had never been so far and so long away from home – and I suddenly realized, there’s so much more out there.
Ever since, I have used that experience as a handy excuse to travel the world. As a German full-time worker residing in Berlin, I understand, I’m in a privileged position. There’s never such thing as enough vacation days. But with 30 days (20 need to be granted minimum by federal law) – it might be hard to complain.
For example, in 2019, efficiently using my numbered vacation days has brought me to Sri Lanka, Italy, Japan, France, and Mauritius. How, you ask? Smart route planning, extensive research, and concise itineraries. A 12-day tour of Sri Lanka can, in fact, be very rewarding. 9 days in Japan is a great intro to the country in the Far East. New York in 5 days? Done! And whether you prefer a Mediterranean enclave or a tropical isle, even a road trip across Mauritius or Sardinia shouldn’t use up your precious leave days.
Throw in a few additional weekend getaways here and there and suddenly full-time work life doesn’t sound so dull anymore. Yes, you might need to get a little bit creative (working extra hours, anybody?!) with your limited time off work. But by prioritizing travel and being ready to seize any travel opportunity that comes up, you will be repaid with lasting experiences from around the globe. Trust me, it’s worth it.
Inspire and Get Inspired to Travel Part-Time
I talked about a subculture of part-time travelers earlier. And there are a few fellow part-time travelers out there whose travel stories, tips, and content I highly recommend:
For instance, there’s Vlad, a fellow part-time traveler from Romania, who launched Eff It I’m On Holiday back in 2013 with the aim to inspire people to sneak in more trips in between their everyday (work) lives. The humorous undertone in many of his posts is an added bonus.
Across the big pond, there’s Jess from A Passion and a Passport. Honestly, I don’t know how she does it. Her blog is loaded with incredibly helpful (and up-to-date!) trip planning content for destinations around the world, all the while she still finds the time for her full-time job as a speech pathologist.
Maria, a marketing specialist from Bulgaria, grew tired of telling the same story again and again when she returned home form yet another trip – so she grabbed the problem at the root and launched Travelling Buzz in 2013. Her blog aims to inspire you to travel more and provides helpful tips for planning that next getaway.
Then there’s Jules, a full-time charity professional based in Bristol in the UK, who brings you an abundance of detailed travel inspiration and resources on her blog Part-Time Passport. We not only share a fondness for the term “part-time” but also the assumption that extensive travel can be squeezed into limited vacation time.
Last but not least, there’s John the Go, run by (surprise!) John, a British expat currently living in Cologne, Germany. Yet another living testimony that work and (a lot of) travel can go hand in hand, he wants to shed some light on destinations off the beaten track and offer advice on successful trip planning.
So, there you have it. What was initially designed as a post to explain the term part-time travel (and hence, to justify the name of this blog), hopefully turned into one big source of even more travel inspiration. Don’t let anyone tell you that you need to quit your job to travel the world – traveling in between work might be even more refreshing.