Ask someone to describe an international traveller, and they’ll quite likely picture a youth pinballing between countries on a tiny budget. And it’s true, this rootless period is likely to be the easiest time to explore. But wanderlust doesn’t disappear when we take on responsibilities – indeed, the need for an occasional change of scenery may even increase when we’re deep in routine. In fact, a reported 30% of workers would accept less pay for more business trips. For some, a yearly holiday may be enough – but here are some tips for those looking to rebalance the time spent at their desk and on the road seeking adventure:
1. Closer and shorter
The rise of the city break in the last decade has provided an entirely new way to grab some time away with minimum disruption to your schedule.
Budget airlines (and advance deals) mean that flights are always available at bargain prices, which makes a short visit much more reasonable – especially if you also limit the length of the journey.
If you’re using the internet to sort your flights, there’s no reason not to do the same for your accommodation. You can even get an idea how expensive travel, food and entertainment may be, which may decide what’s possible and what’s not during your stay. Knowing how you’re going to get around, where you might eat, and what you simply must see will save an enormous amount of time and help you to get the most out of even a couple of days.
2. Maximise your time
Another way to be strategic is in when you travel. Consider booking days off adjacent to a public holiday in order to extend your time away from the office at no extra cost, for example. But note that you might have to arrange this well in advance because others are likely to have the same idea.
If you’re lucky enough to travel for business (and you have enough notice), it’s also a good tactic to ask for days off before or after the work is done to explore more of the location you go to. In this way, your travel is covered, and you can avoid the frustration of going somewhere new only to see the airport, the hotel and the meeting venue. And, if you’re looking for leverage, it’s very possible you’ll work better with a day or two to explore – rather than reporting for duty fatigued from travel.
Lastly, for those wanting to travel for a more extended period, there’s always the option of a sabbatical. While not a universal right, it’s a privilege increasingly offered by companies to workers who’ve reached a certain length of service.
3. Remote working
Meanwhile, one of the intriguing trends that could impact hugely on how we work and travel is the increasing ability for many office workers to contribute remotely.
So long as the worker has both an internet connection and self-motivation, technology means their physical presence in a central office is often a bonus rather than a necessity. Of course, files can be shared as attachments – but open online documents also allow real-time collaboration (including schedules, task-distribution and goals). And video conferencing can also personalise distant communication.
It’s quite possible the future of work may well see companies needing smaller offices, while workers work flexible hours at a time or location of their choosing. It’s a dream of freedom already coming true for many workers, and the trend is only set to increase.