Make the Most of Your Vacation Days

I love full-time travel bloggers and I so admire what they do – giving up the security of their day jobs, moving away from their friends and family, traveling the world, making it work. It’s just not for me; at least not right now. I worked really hard to get where I am in my career and I’m not ready to give that up to travel the world just yet. And that’s okay. I have a way that I can still see the world and they’re called vacation days!

Some people may look down on “vacations” and say that it’s not the same thing as “traveling.” But I like to think that if done correctly a somewhat short vacation can be an enriching experience. With only twelve days to see Thailand I still believe I got a true sense of the country and the people. We saw the islands, the city and the country. We participated in the beautiful, spiritual Loy Krathong festival of lights. We met travelers and locals. We tried amazing food. We visited temples. We partied. We made memories that will last a lifetime.

With twelve days in Hawai’i we hiked to black sand beaches only frequented by Hawaiian’s, snorkeled with gorgeous tropical fish, hiked to the magical Waipio Valley, chased waterfalls, fed wild horses, saw lava flowing at Volcano National Park, swam with sea turtles, shared meals, got engaged… I could go on and on.

I like the stability my job provides. I like working towards (a hopefully early) retirement.. that will be filled with travel! I still have a fulfilling life spending more days at home than I do on the road. I come home to my fiance and my cat everyday and I love it. I love planning my next vacation and making sure I get the most out of it.  I admire all the full-time travelers out there and it’s amazing that they’re living their dream. It’s just not realistic for everyone. 

For me I’m lucky enough to get three weeks of paid vacation every year and I’ve learned that I can do A LOT with that. The only catch is that I can’t be gone for more than nine business days at a time because I have to approve plans of care within ten business days. And honestly that’s easier on my designated travel fund. I’m planning on continuing to do at least one big vacation a year combined with lots of long weekend trips.

Since I started my job in March of 2015 here’s a recap of what I’ve done with my vacation days:

November 18 – November 29, 2015: Thailand Friendsgiving

Visited: Bangkok, Krabi, Phi Phi, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Thailand; and Singapore

Vacation Days Used: 6

Weekend Days: 4

Holidays: 2

Total Travel Days: 12


March 18 – 21, 2016: Girl’s Weekend

Visited: Baltimore, Maryland

Vacation Days Used: 2

Weekend Days: 2

Total Travel Days: 4


May 13 – 16, 2016: My Fiance’s Nephew’s Baptism

Visited: Munedelin and Chicago, Ilinois

Vacation Days Used: 5.74 Hours

Weekend Days: 2

Total Travel Days: 4


July 2 – 13, 2016: Visiting my Fiance’s Best Friend – and getting engaged!

Visited: The Big Island, Hawai’i

Vacation Days Used: 7

Weekend Days: 4

Holidays: 1

Total Travel Days: 12


August 5 – 7, 2016: Visiting my Sister

Visited: Oklahoma City, Oklahoma

Vacation Days Used: 0*

Weekend Days: 2

Total Travel Days: 3

*Would have been one but, my boss gave us the day off because of the Great Flood of 2016.

August 31 – September 5, 2016: Girl’s Beach Trip 

Visited: Hollywood Beach, Road Tripped through the Keys, Key West, FL; New Orleans, Louisiana

Vacation Days Used: 2

Weekend Days: 2

Holidays: 1

Total Travel Days: 6


October 7 – 10, 2016: Sodi’s 30th Birthday

Visited: Baltimore, Maryland

Vacation Days Used: 2

Weekend Days: 2

Total Travel Days: 4


November 11 – 14, 2016: Friend’s Family Emergency 

Visited: Shreveport and Lafayette, Louisiana

Vacation Days Used: 1

Weekend Days: 2

Total Travel Days: 3

So in one year I:

Visited 2 Countries:

Thailand & Singapore

Visited 6 States:

Maryland, Illinois, Hawai’i, Oklahoma, Florida, Louisiana

Total Vacation Days Used to Date: 21

Total Weekend Days Maximized: 20

Total Holidays Maximized: 4

Total Travel Days to Date: 48 

[Note: I receive 4.62 hours of vacation every 2 weeks and any unused hours rollover to the next year. Oftentimes I take the last flight out at night so I can work through the day which lets me “save” a vacation day but I still get an extra night in the city I’m visiting; that’s why the total travel days doesn’t match the total vacation/weekend/holidays.]

In one year I traveled 48 out of 365 days which doesn’t seem like that many to me but I guess it’s all about perspective. Sometimes I get flack for traveling “too much” and asked how I can afford it. My answer: a) there’s no such thing as traveling too much, and b) I save and I maximize my credit card points. Follow my blog to see how I do it and with jam packed, budget conscious itineraries you can make the most out of your vacation days, weekends and holidays too!

Kim Live Signature

Taking Off to Next:

June 13 – 25, 2017: Our Honeymoon – A Road Trip along Coastal California from L.A. to San Fran + Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks


3 thoughts on “Make the Most of Your Vacation Days

  1. I fully understand your travel style, it’s somewhat similar to mine. I guess some of us love more than one thing (which is travel) and finding a way to do all of it is also an admirable feat, no?

    I write for a living and I like spending what I earn on travel. It’s like doing one thing I love in order to do another thing I love.

    Full power to you for finding a way to travel. I believe as long as you love it, there’s no real “way” to travel. Great post. Happy travels to you!


    1. I totally agree. To each their own. I definitely think it’s empowering to be able to have the best of both worlds. Congratulations on finding a career you love and working hard to allow yourself the means to travel! Thanks so much for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Thanks for providing this perspective. I find all too often there is no alternative to the “quit your job and work from a beach” ethos and that is unfortunate because traveling and exploring seems unattainable to so many that don’t have the privilege to be able to do that.


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