For most people, vacations are weeks and weekends taken every now and again, maybe once or twice a year, when they can arrange to miss work or have the kids home from school. Others have schedules that are more flexible. For example, professors take sabbaticals, career-minded high achievers enjoy time off between jobs, or retirees decide to see the world. Those in seasonal professions, like ski pros or scuba-diving instructors, are free to travel in the off-season. However you arrange for the time off, taking a long trip is well worth the effort. A week can be magical, but months spent traveling can be transformative.
If you are planning an extended trip, you should start by saving plenty of money. While you can travel the world with only a few thousand dollars, this kind of frugal vacationing might take some of the fun out of your trip. Another way to finance an extended trip is to make money as you travel. Whatever you decide, it is crucial that you make thorough plans. Map your route, decide on some travel goals, and figure out the mode of transportation between destinations. While a typical vacation can afford some flexibility in both plans and budget, living on a fixed budget for an extended time requires a more restrictive approach.
For those less inclined to earn their way while traveling, planning for an extended vacation often requires working more before you leave. Ask for more hours, stay later, and strive for bonuses. Ideally, you will be able to stockpile some travel funds and get enough work done that your co-workers will be able to get along without you for a while. Others have had success just selling everything, house and all, and buying an RV before setting off on an adventure. Unless you are one of the lucky few with a lucrative seasonal job or a generous professorial sabbatical, an extended vacation will require some sacrifices, either at home or during the trip. However, for those who truly want to see the world, not in small chunks but in big gulps, it’s the only way to travel.