5 Ways to Balance Career and Travel


It’s a tough transition from bohemian-gypsy traveler to busy career women.

Since I took the leap, I love having money in my bank account, new job responsibilities, and stability in my life. At the same time, it’s frightening. The bohemian in me sometimes wants to rebel and pack up for a week to explore… say, Montreal or Boston. While I’m grateful for the new adult luxuries in my in life, I don’t want to become too settled.

As of right now, my goal is to make it to New York in March for the Go! Girl Guides Women’s Travel Festival. March is just around the corner and if I spend even two more months deliberating, my window of opportunity may disappear. Now, travel has an added challenge I haven’t had to contemplate before…

Q: Am I putting my career at risk by taking time to travel?

A: No way!

But, there are savvier ways to schedule travel into my work-life to keep my boss and me happy.

1)   Schedule the ‘Plan of Attack’.
I’m cutting it a bit close with only 5 months to plan and save until the conference. Usually, I would suggest planning at least 6 months in advance to nail down your itinerary and budget.

Ask: How much time do I want to spend at desired destination? How much time can I take off work realistically?

2)   Monitor your finances and stick to your goal.
Once I have money in my account it’s pretty easy to just ‘buy this one dress’ or visit the hairdresser ‘to go wild and dye my hair purple’. However, all this fun stuff costs money that takes away from trip saving. Try using a mobile app to keep your saving on track.

Ask:  How much money will I save? Do I have enough time to save that amount?

3)   Speak to your boss.
Believe me, they want you to be happy and not become burnt out. Have an honest conversation with your boss about your travel goals and you will be sure to create some understanding.

Ask: What is your expectation of reasonable vacation time in regards to my position? Could I use my overtime/lieu hours to put towards my vacation? Use this option only if it is financially wise for you. This is common practice at my work but other places pay overtime, which is better for finances.

4)   Do some extra work.
I’m planning to draw up a work plan to share with my boss to make sure that I will be ahead of schedule by the time my vacation comes up. This way I will have a bit of breathing space when I return and my boss will have little to no anxiety about my departure.

Ask: What are my main work priorities in the next 6 months? How can I get them done before my vacation? Then, make your work plan.

5)   Be clear on your plans.
I’ll book my vacation time well in advance to my trip in order to avoid any time schedule conflicts with my co-workers.

Ask: Are there any co-workers of mine that need to know of my plans? Will my vacation affect anyone’s workload? How can I help them be prepared?

After I’ve made all these arrangement, the trip falls entirely on me and it’s my job to keep the plan on course. It takes some commitment but a trip is always worth it!

Do you have any tips on how to maintain an ass-kicking career with time to travel?


About Author

Meredith was bit by travel bug in 2009 and has been on the move since then. Her adventures started in Finland where she visited a Sami reindeer farm in Lapland, dogsled and ran in the forests of Finland, and then backpacked around western Europe. Later, she moved to Kenya for a Communications internship. She took advantage of her good fortune and went on safari in the Maasai Mara as well as explored beach paradise on a motorcycle. No matter where she goes, she never forgets about her home in Canada and greatly enjoys road trips across the Rocky Mountains and along coast of British Columbia. She is currently living in Canada working as a freelance writer and a communications specialist. You can follow her adventures and discoveries on curiousmeredith or get your tweet on with her @MeredithBratlan


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