“How much vacation do you have?”

I was speaking with a friend this week about my upcoming travel plans and I was asked this question once again so here are a few tips on how I maximize my vacation days when traveling despite how many or few they might be.

This one is obvious but travel during holiday weekends. It may cost a little extra but it’s a simple way to extend your trip without using vacation days.

Take the earliest departure flight that you can physically handle to maximize the first day in your destination and take the latest departure flight to maximize the last day. Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before to avoid cutting your first day short due to exhaustion because that would defeat the purpose.

To further maximize time spent in your destination depart directly from work and return directly to work to give yourself two extra nights in your destination. Warning: you will probably be really tired as you will be officially “doing the most”.

If you work for a global company with an office in your destination, work a few days midweek from the local office to minimize the number of vacation days used and extend your trip longer to take advantage of more 3-4 day weekends. The professional bonus is that your physical presence in the office can also help you build better relationships with your colleagues in other locations. Another option if available is to work remotely in destinations that don’t have an office.

Last but not least, take a weekend trip. Many places can be well explored in a weekend with an organized agenda.

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