[Editor’s Note: Katie Milne is an Australia-based travel blogger, though her advice is applicable to readers globally.]
Earlier this month I wrote a post about the highs and lows of sponsorship in Australia, which gave me the inspiration to write about how I still manage to travel whilst having a full-time job. This is something I get asked about quite a lot, so I wanted to show that it’s still possible to travel AND work full time in Australia.
Max Out Your Annual Leave Allowance
The most important thing in life for an ex-backpacker that has settled in Australia is your annual leave allowance. The great thing about most Aussie companies is that you will receive four weeks annual leave a year. Make sure you make the most of this. Either accrue, save and take an extended trip or use every last hour to allow yourself those precious holidays we crave so badly.
Travel Over Public Holidays
You’re spoilt for public holidays in Australia! This makes weekend breaks much more accessible. Try and plan in advance and book the Monday or Friday off around Labor Day, Grand Final or Easter to lock in a long weekend—I did that this year to go skydiving in Newcastle! Your other option is to plan your holiday around public holidays so that you take less days off out of your annual leave allowance, just like I am doing for my upcoming trip to Sri Lanka.
Take Unpaid Leave
It’s not the best option but it certainly allows for more flexibility. Using the odd day as unpaid leave can allow you to save up your actual annual leave for a bigger trip. I recommend doing it this way rather than taking unpaid leave in bulk as it can leave you a bit short of money for the month.
Fly After Work Hours
Annual leave days are like gold so using these days to travel seems like a bit of a waste. I try and book flights that depart after work hours from 5 PM onwards so that I can still work the full day then go straight to the airport from the office. If you have a sound boss you can probably blag an early finish too.
Make the Most of Domestic Flight Deals
Who said you have to leave the country to travel? Australia is a massive country with exotic climates and beautiful beaches. Make the most of exploring Oz by keeping your eyes open for cheap internal flights. Tiger Air and Jetstar always have deals on, you can even bag flights as cheap as $110 return to Perth—see my post on our long weekend in Perth.
Negotiate More Annual Leave
If you’re about to start a new job, I’ve heard that it’s actually possible to negotiate extra annual leave in your employment contract. This might not be possible for everyone, but those in smaller companies or in more senior roles might find it easier. If you don’t ask, you don’t get it after all!
If you have any tips on how to work and travel please let me know!