A lot can be said of having a traditional 9-5 job. It not only makes practical sense, it makes financial sense, right? I mean, a steady paycheck is ideal. And those vacations days. Why use them when you can cash in on unused time at the end of each year. Yet, from an early age, we saw the value our family placed on travel. Family reunions and family vacations were held in the Summer. No school. No work. Our parents were genuinely happy when they traveled. No more talks about the stresses of work or school. It was time to visit some place new or see love ones. Spring breaks, Thanksgiving, and Christmas were even more excuses to travel. But what about the in between? That's when I realized that travel can be a lifestyle.
To be fair, not every job lends itself to travel. When both of us started our full-time jobs, we were hesitant to take on professional development training. So when professional development funds were offered and training could be found on not only the east coast but the west, it was an easy sell. You mean we can travel more than around the holidays and summer vacation? Yes, you can. So often times we piggyback on the other's travel by joining in. Sharee has traveled to training in Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New York, Chicago, Puerto Rico, and forthcoming, Washington, DC. Rhonda has had training in Greenville (SC), Savannah, Memphis, and Nashville. Great opportunities to network professionally, but also a great time to bring family and friends along.
Volunteering has also made a way into our travel lifestyle. We have volunteered at several film festivals and sporting events that has allowed us to travel to Sundance Film Festival (Park City, UT), SXSW Film Festival (Austin, TX), Tribecca Film Festival (NYC), Super Bowl 50 (San Francisco, CA), and the College Football National Championship (Phoenix, AZ). Because of our volunteer roles (no pay), some of the expenses we have incurred have been written off our taxes (check with your tax paperer for details). Next on our list is to travel on an international mission trip through our church organization.
Outside of planned travel, sometimes, we just want to get away. Google flights is really good at finding last minute flight deals in the coming days or weeks that doesn't require a lot of planning. In addition, airline and hotel 2-3 day sale promotions sometimes do the trick. Rhonda got a great promotional deal to DC on Southwest that was half the price of a major carrier flight. Another helpful reminder is to pad an extra day or two before or after our travels when the rates tend to be lower. Not everyone needs to be back to work on Monday or Tuesday. Wednesday is just fine.
A final way to make travel more of a lifestyle is to take a stay-cation every once and awhile. You don't have to go very far. There are plenty of activities and places to go in your own city. Again, the mental break from work does wonders, and the commute is ideal. The travel experience is rewarding as you balance life, the responsibilities of work, and play.