The age-old debate on how best to balance work and travel is a frustration to any working adult with a bit of wanderlust. How can you possibly work full time and also be able to travel, disconnect, find time to relax ? This issue can best be assessed from 3 angles:
– People who travel for work
– People who work and travel
– People who travel without working
You could take on the persona of any or all three of these types of travelers throughout your work year, if you just plan accordingly. There is no reason why you shouldn’t be able to do a little exploring, even with the most demanding schedules. So let’s take a look at these traveler profiles.
People who travel for work
If you travel for work once a year or once a month, there are ways to find time to enjoy the trip, and have it not only be about work. Often all you need to do is, like mentioned before, plan by doing the following:
- Rely on modern technology – to help you stay connected to family and friends at home, and also to explore the city you are visiting. Find a new monument to visit after work hours, or a traditional, cultural meal at a local restaurant
- Bring someone with you – traveling with a buddy or partner, wife, friend, boyfriend, coworker – whomever it may be, allows for a more diverse trip. You get to share your experience with another person, which often just alone improves any trip.
- Schedule time to relax – Even the busiest workdays have breaks. If you are spending 4 days in Tokyo for a conference, seek out the best sushi or dance club in town for a late night adventure. If you are in Paris for the weekend to present a new project, take your lunch break at a local garden or monument. There is always a way to schedule time for yourself.
People who work and travel
This group of cavalier travelers take their regular daily life on the road with them. Sometimes the call to travel is too strong, and one must get out of their city. However these kinds of travelers take everything with them. Leaning heavily on the previously mentioned suggestion « Rely on modern technology » they stay connected and responsible even while sipping water from a coconut in Tahiti (to stay connected anywhere, check out our great travel tech gifts).
Admittedly this is not the most ideal way to travel, as it often feels like you can’t clear your mind of work and other responsibilities. However, using the aforementioned suggestions and a couple other tactics, this mode of travel is very doable. Relying on technology, trying to bring a friend, and scheduling time to relax are also met with Scheduling time for personal matters.
Scheduling time for personal matters is about knowing when you should focus on your responsibilities, while also allowing yourself to make time for relaxing and experiencing wherever you are. Use your hotel’s internet and your phone to stay connected to the office in the morning, but don’t forget that your beachside massage starts at 12:30.
People who travel without working
This is the most ideal way to travel. We all aspire to be able to drop everything, hop on a plane and fly to distant foreign lands. And if you are smart about your sick days and vacation days, this can be a reality at least a couple times a year. There is nothing better than being able to tune out of your daily life to experience something new in a different city, you just have to be willing to plan for it, and know when you should trade your laptop for some sandals and take a walk on the beach.
Finding the balance
Finding the perfect balance of work and travel takes some effort, realizing when you can take your work on the road, knowing how to take advantage of a business trip, and knowing when you can actually disconnect and just go – but it is so possible! Just imagine where you could go, take a look at your agenda, and grab the next ticket out of town. For tips on how to pack for short trips, see our post about the art of the « Pack and Board« .
Bon Voyage Travelers ! !