8 ways to make the most of your paid vacation days

It seems like my bucket list of places to visit grows as my paid time off dwindles. But, if you’re strategic about your vacation days, you might be able to take another trip or two during the year.

Here are my 8 tips for getting the most out of paid vacation days:

  1. Flex work: Schedule your flight/drive time after work on Thursday, and work remotely from your vacation spot on Friday. Once 5 p.m. hits, you’re already at your destination!
  2. Build in time for jet lag: After a long trip, arrange for your flight home to arrive on Friday evening so you can recover and run errands during the weekend without wasting more vacation days.
  3. Prioritize your destinations: I generally aim for one “big” trip each year and plan other vacations around it. Knowing I’ll be gone for “x” number of days on the big trip gives me a better picture of how I can sneak in long weekends throughout the year to salvage my sanity.
  4. Bring your laptop on the plane: Connect to wifi and get to work on the plane. Whether it’s a quick 2 hours or a cross-country flight, those are hours you don’t have to log as paid time off. Added bonus: no distractions.
  5. Turn a work trip into a vacation: I used to travel nearly 50% of the time for my job. Once work was done, I’d explore the city — no matter how big or small. You can find hidden gems everywhere! If your work trip is near the weekend, consider having a long weekend in the city. After all, your flight is paid for.
  6. Schedule early flights: Leaving early means I arrive to my destination sooner and have more time to explore. Plus, early flights are more likely to be on-time and less crowded.
  7. Take advantage of company holidays: This may seem like a no-brainer, but schedule your vacations around company holidays like Memorial Day or Labor Day. Make sure to book your travel and accommodations in advance, since these are usually more popular times to travel.
  8. Work during major holidays: It can be tempting to take time off during Thanksgiving or Christmas like your co-workers, but if you’re staying local, keep working! Offices slow down during the holiday season, making it a great opportunity to catch up on outstanding projects.

Question: How do you squeeze in vacations when you have a limited amount of paid time off? Tell me in the comments!

2 thoughts on “8 ways to make the most of your paid vacation days

  1. This is great! Thank you for sharing. We have a big trip next month and going to a few different countries in Europe. Will use some of your tips!


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About Stephanie @ Seeking Stephanie Travel Blog

Travel gives me an extra skip in my step to push through the workweek. Exploring new places through outdoor spaces, food, animals and music are just a few of my favorite things.