If you’re like most people, you have dreams of traveling the world, visiting exotic destinations, and seeing famous landmarks in person. However, the honest truth is that work gets in the way. It’s difficult to truly see the world when you’re working five days per week and only have a few days of “vacation time” each year. 

The good news is that there are ways to travel without quitting your job. Millions of people do it each year and you can too. Here are a few tips that should allow you to make some progress in accomplishing your dreams. 

Start Working for Yourself

So many people are afraid to leave the stability of a 40-hour job with benefits. But if you’ve been working in your industry for years, you probably have the skills necessary to venture out on your own. You’ll more than likely have to sacrifice pay for a few years, but there’s no reason you can’t eventually enjoy a more lucrative and flexible job.

“Do you know I’ve been to nearly 100 countries? While I’ve been making this money, I know a lot of people on Wall Street who make millions but they do it from a cubicle, and they have to stay in New York City, or New Jersey, or something like that,” says Tim Sykes, successful entrepreneur and famous penny stock trader. “I’m everywhere.”

Enjoy Long Weekends

If you have limited vacation time to work with, you have to be strategic about when you take time off. Plan ahead and identify strategic points on the calendar. For example, is there a holiday that falls on a Friday? Take off Thursday and the following Monday and you suddenly get a five-day vacation by only using two vacation days. 

Extend Work Trips

Do you travel a bunch for work? Ask your employer if you can use some vacation time at the end of the trip. This saves time and money on your end. 

“I have to travel for trade shows, and whenever possible, I add in a couple of extra nights,” says Christine Amorose, marketing professional and globetrotter. “The flight costs the same for my employer, and I pay for my extra nights in a hotel or expenses once my ‘work’ is over.”

Be Strategic With Your Time

If you have the freedom to travel but simply feel like you can’t get work done while you’re away, then you need to reexamine how you approach traveling. Here are a few tips:

  • With in-flight Wi-Fi available on most flights, there’s no excuse for wasting this time. Sneak in some work, respond to emails, and organize your documents for the rest of the trip.
  • Since you obviously don’t want to be working all day when you’re in a new location, wake up a couple of hours early and get some work done. This head start will allow you to enjoy some free time later in the day.

  • One inconvenient part of traveling is standing in lines. From airport security to tourist attractions, you can spend hours in lines every day. Use this time to respond to emails and make phone calls.

As you can see, there are plenty of ways to use your time more strategically. Don’t overlook any of these opportunities. Every wasted minute you save is another minute you can use to explore. 

Never Say Never

Do you feel like it’s impossible to travel the world while also holding down a full-time job? It’s certainly not easy, but let’s go ahead and ditch the word “impossible.” When you actively look for opportunities and take advantage of the resources you have, work and travel don’t have to be mutually exclusive ideas.