How can you travel often with a steady job?

You see and hear about them more and more…digital nomads. People who freelance in IT, graphic design or online marketing. With those hubs in Chiang Mai or Ubud where they then all work in a different time zone. For customers located in the Netherlands or in Europe . Secretly that is also my ultimate dream of course, but for now I have a job. A permanent job. Such one with a permanent contract and conditions of employment. Which states that I’m stuck with a number of vacation days, for example. Fortunately, I can pinch myself, because it is a nice organization with fine colleagues.
But yes….that urge to travel huh? Even after my blog about my 2016 annual review , I got the question: how do you do it anyway, travel with a steady job?

Well I’ll explain it to you, hope it helps you. Or at least that you get inspired! There are some elements that are important when you want to travel often with a steady job.



Tip #1: Choose your employer carefully

What to watch for:

1. Choose a good organization

  • vacation days (are worth more than salary in my opinion)
  • general flexibility (are you allowed to work from home)
  • Are there options for unpaid leave or buying extra vacation days?
  • negotiate your days off or an ov-free travel card
  • Go to work 36 or 32 hours. This way, for example, you can work 40 hours for 2 weeks (at 32 hours) saving 2 days off. Then you leave on your Friday off (in my case). You don’t have to work Monday and Tuesday then, because you already worked those 2 weeks before. On Wednesdays, you come back. That week you do work on your official day off – the Friday. Which also made you take back Wednesday. So you see how easy it is to just go away for 6 days without taking a day off!

Of course, you can only do this if your employer supports it. Therefore, it is important to build a good working relationship. You can only do this when they know what they have on you. Always working hard and delivering results is important in this regard. And: don’t go away every month.


2. Don’t leave your employer after 1-2 years

  • This is how you build credits with your employer
  • work hard and do your best (duh)
  • Invest in your colleagues (duh)

3. Industries with excellent number of vacations

  • government
  • education
  • some travel companies are flexible with unpaid leave
  • not-for profit (not to be confused with nonprofit)
  • some large companies


Expenditure pattern

That is the source of income: work, but you can also work on your expenses. When your spending habits are low, you can work less! And thus more travel! For example: make sure you don’t have an expensive house. Many people are blinded by bigger houses and ditto big mortgages. How about the housing market that is now exploding again. Ridiculous that people are now overbidding again for a house that is not worth it. I hear you say, “yes but we can’t do otherwise,” or “we really have to do that for our children.” But do you necessarily have to choose that house? On that street? Or that neighborhood? Think carefully about what you really need combined with what really makes you happy. And maybe you’ll find out that a big house in that one location is more important to you after all. Or not :).

Also, think about whether you really need that car? When you only take the car once a week, it is not profitable to have a car. Then it’s better to grab a Snapcar once in a while. Or an NS discount card. I bought my first car in 2010 because I wanted to be free. Unfortunately, a car did not necessarily make me feel free. Because gasoline, maintenance and taxes made it an expensive joke. When I moved to downtown Utrecht in 2012 and had to park my car on a 10 min bike ride, I sold it. That adds up to another 80 euros a month! You can almost get a round-trip KLM ticket during World Deal Weeks to a city in Spain these days.

Inspiring people

A good friend of mine chose to live in a room for several years while she was already 30. Just because she wanted to travel a lot and was a freelancer. She now has a house to buy that she rents out while living abroad with a child! Great inspiration for me! So I also consciously choose to live cheaply. Of course it’s easier when you live together, but even when I didn’t, I was also watching my spending. Because for me travel is so important, for that I let other things go. Clothes I almost never buy (and no I don’t walk around looking like a slob ;-)) and when I buy it it’s on sale.


So….want to travel often with a steady job?

Then first go over what is most important to you. And then see what expenses you can cut to work less, and then find a job in an industry with quite a few vacation days. And travel between jobs!

Are you completely comfortable in your current job? And do you want to change jobs at all? If you have been doing a good job for years, discuss a period of unpaid leave with your manager. Might as well! If you also have any tips, leave them below. I’m curious!

Good luck!