The budget for vacations can be tiny in the first few years after college graduation. Student loans, relocation fees, rent deposits and business suits are some of the expenses requiring you to tighten your belt. Finding adventure you can afford during long weekends and holidays requires more creativity. With the help of online communities, it has never been easier to be a frugal traveller.
Your new job can serve as the launch pad for many adventures.
Piggyback holidays with work trips – Work travel to meetings and conferences provides an opportunity to take some extra time and vacation. Your flight will be taken care of by your company. You just need to wrangle a few more days of vacation. You can easily move to cheaper accommodations with some of the suggestions coming up (below).
Relocate to a foreign office for a few months – Leading companies stretch their employees. They help them grow by giving them work opportunities in different departments and regions of the world. Ask about that job opening in Beijing or the project in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Borrow a desk in a foreign office – A two-week stay over may drop your flight cost in half but you may not fancy using up all your vacation time. Arrange to work directly with your team members in the foreign office for a week or ask to use a desk. Be sure to find a mission to accomplish at the foreign office that will make your boss happy. If you add value to the team project, they will want to send you back again soon.
Telecommute – Alternatively, you may be able to work out a telecommuting arrangement for an extended period. This works well in jobs in which colleagues may already be telecommuting. Jan, a software programmer, recently spent a month in Zürich (during ski season). One week was vacation and three weeks were on a telecommuting arrangement. Half of Jan’s colleagues already telecommute so the work structure was already set up, enabling his productivity level to remain high.
Use the shared economy – Lower your expenses by using shared services. AirBNB is the most well-known shared accommodation services. Couchsurfing.com can help you meet locals, attend local social events and find a cheap stay. Consider using car sharing or your co-op car service to travel between vacation spots instead of renting a car. Uber cabs may be the cheapest alternative when taxis are needed and you will be less likely to be taken advantage of. Uber drivers are easy to keep track of. If you have a bad experience, you can leave a bad rating.
Avoid major holidays – Prices are always higher around major holidays. If it is a long weekend, try leaving early and returning late. This may involve two more vacation days so use it for destinations that you want to turn into a mini-vacation.
Take night fights – Use your sleep time productively. This way, you have all day to sightsee and enjoy your vacation spot. You may want to take a sleeping pill or some relaxing herbal tea to make sure you sleep through crying babies, snoring passengers and in-fight movies.
Provide a service – Many places need a helping hand and will provide you with free or cheap food and accommodation in exchange for labour and other services. Match the opportunity with a hobby such as organic farming or sailing. Helpx.net is a good place to start looking for work vacation opportunities. Housesitting is another good way to save on accommodations. You will need good recommendations.
Houseitworld is one of many online sites matching house and pet carers with absent homeowners. To save on plane fare, drive a car to your destination for someone who has moved and does not want to pay shipping fees.
With help from the shared economy and your work, travel does not have to be expensive. Bon voyage!Recommend0 recommendationsPublished in