How I make travel despite having a busy schedule is no simple task. Everyone is busy. In the world we live in, life is busy. We have activities and we have work. We try to balance one with the other and then we add kids into the fold and we add their lives into that already hectic schedule. I have friends who I must book their diaries 6 months out. With more than one school in a family there are a lot of events and requests for parent’s time. In addition, weekend sports ask for more time and voluntary contributions. We need time out.
Why do you travel? I travel to grow myself and my family. As individuals and with each other. Each relationship in that unit grows when we travel. It unites us with shared memories and topics to discuss and talk about. We have personalities that are inflexible and through travel I have been able to shape those personalities into slightly more flexible thinking. Being adaptive in this world is a key trait for later success in life.
Why is it that you travel? With hectic lives, it may be the only opportunity to spend uninterrupted time together. My husband travels for work and is often away on weekends. I haven’t caught up with on Tuesday from things that happened last Thursday never lone through the weekend. Our house is not as hectic as some.
For some families who have married and chosen to reside in another country, travel is the only way to see family, unless they are lucky enough to have them visit all the time.
Next year we had planned to go to Italy but now we have decided to redo the kitchen. I really hope I can find a way to do both, but all is not lost. Travel is not cancelled, it is just a greatly different holiday or trip to Italy. Like camping perhaps!
With changes to behavioral patterns, time out, uninterrupted time together there does not need to be much more said to make travel a priority to your life.
Leave without pay
I work as a consultant. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. My husband and I budget off 42 weeks a year of my salary rather than a traditional 52 weeks. I don’t ever take 10 weeks off a year but it gives us some buffer.
My husband is adverse about taking leave without pay. I don’t get what the big deal is. We just adjust other spending accordingly. The reality is 6 weeks a leave is more than ample for two people that have careers. I would love to take more leave but I need to make my job a priority at certain times. Truth is without it we can’t travel. Not only could we not afford it but I need to work. It’s who I am.
An alternative could be to buy some leave. Some firms have the opportunity for you to buy an extra two weeks leave by reducing your annual salary pro rata. This way you still get holiday leave.
Living in Australia I find we are averse to the thought of flying to Singapore (as an example) for a long weekend. We are so used to flying and staying for longer periods of time that we don’t consider New Zealand for a weekend. Airline prices have never been more affordable and now is the time to consider making some smaller shorter trips for those who are time poor.
As a family unit, shorter trips get pricey. I flew to Brisbane to see my Mum and Dad and paying for 4 x flights certainly makes that $150 return airfare quickly add up. Sign up for sales on airfares and specials. Consider flying budget airlines for shorter flights.
Long haul flights for 10 days
Whilst we are averse to flying to Singapore for the weekend, we have a trend that shows Australians are not interested in long haul flights for short periods of time. My husband and I just flew to New York for a 10-day trip without the kids. More time than that would have stressed me out without them and less time would have been perfectly adequate but it was the right amount of time. The key here is we were not trying to do Dallas and Los Angeles in the same trip.
If you want to go to Europe but you are time poor. I would suggest picking just two locations per week. It takes 3-4 days to see a city. That doesn’t mean see everything, that is just see the highlights and enjoy the atmosphere. My kids are not yet old enough for me to take them on a plane for 24/36 hours each way for 10 days. They bounce right and will as soon as sleep on the ground in a park if they are tired. It’s me that couldn’t cope with being at their beck and call for the entire flight and then hit the road running.
I am getting more confident for a 2-week trip. Italy for 2 weeks sounds better than no Italy at all.
Official trips ie. Work trips
My husband travels to Malta and London for work. Last time he travelled he tapped on a weekend in Rome, where his friend who is currently living in Basel, Switzerland met him and they saw the sights. Next time he goes, I might come and visit!
I used to travel to Perth as I sat on a board over there. I went to Rottnest one weekend and then to the Margaret River another weekend. Consider weekend travel nearby your work commitments. Obviously, the family joining you is only possible if you bring a minder for them whilst you are at meetings. Your spouse or perhaps a grandparent.
I often ramble on about travel giving you perspective. Through seeing how other people live you can not only appreciate your own life more but perhaps it is now a catalyst for achieving something more in life. You are appreciative of what you have or do not have and want to strive for bigger and better things.
For me, I have no desire for more in my life. I don’t have a huge house. I don’t want one. I want to be able to lock the door and go. Go exploring with any or all my boys. I am not the richest nor the flashiest. Ambition is certainly not something I chase.
The one thing that drives me forward is being a great parent. There is only one chance at this and you better bring you’re A game. To bring my A game I need inspiration, and recuperation. Time to develop relationships through challenges that are put before us.
Travel is my answer to biding us together and ensuring we are rock solid. It’s my answer to developing a connection and ensuring we are on the same page. Something to look forward to and plan together. A goal that has been worth it each and every time and will no doubt continue to do so.
In summary, the best way to make time is to recognize the rewards that travel brings you. What do you get form it? Besides souvenirs and a few extra kilos, there is growth. You have the opportunity to see and learn something different from your everyday life. Don’t underestimate the power of that. Gaining knowledge is always a good thing. Go travel. See the world, it’s a beautiful thing.