How to Take Extra Time Off (Without Using All of Your Paid Vacation Days)

It's easier than you think

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We all love to hustle and grind, but a guy’s gotta take a break once in a while! Why? Well, first of all, it’s fun. But second, and perhaps more important, taking time off from the hustle and bustle of life has been scientifically proved to boost productivity and improve creativity

Let’s be real, though, it’s hard to take a vacation when you’re trying to succeed at your day job while running your side hustle(s) successfully. After all, most Americans get around 10 to 15 paid vacation days per year. Which is not a lot, especially if you need to use some of those days to work on your own hustle. (Satisfying, yes—but not a vacation!)

So we’ve rounded up four ways that you can take extra time off without having to use all of your paid vacation days.

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1. Take Advantage of Public Holidays

A lot of U.S. national holidays are celebrated on Mondays, so you’ve got the perfect opportunity to give yourself some extra time off. For example, if you take Friday off andreturn to work on Tuesday, that’s a four-day vacation with only one day coming out of your vacation time. 

But what about public holidays that don’t fall on a Monday? You can still make the most of them. If the holiday is on a Wednesday, for example, you could take two paid vacation days but get a five-day vacation by taking off on Thursday and Friday. 

Not sure where to start with planning a vacation around public holidays? We’ve got you. Check out our list of upcoming U.S. national holidays in 2019 here:

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2. Use Flexible Working Arrangements

If you’re fortunate enough to have a job where you can work remotely, take full advantage of this opportunity! Just make sure you have access to a secure internet connection, assuming you need to log in to work.

After that, you just need to book your flights and be on your way to a vacation of sorts. Yes, you’ll be working for some of the time you’re away, but you’ll also be somewhere new and exciting that you can explore around your work hours. 

Plus, since you’re technically “on the clock,” you won’t have to use any of your paid vacation days.

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3. Add Some Vacation Days to a Business Trip

Do you have to travel for work? Make the most of it! 

Similar to working remotely, you can explore your destination around your work hours. You’ll also be able to sneak in a little vacation by taking a couple of extra days off after your business trip.

Employers often cover the cost of your return flight, even if you’re flying back a few days after the business portion of the trip. Just make sure your return flight is the same price as (or cheaper than) the flight you would have taken if you flew back right at the end of the business trip.

Hats off to you if you can take your end-of-business-trip vacation over a weekend (ideally with a public holiday on Monday). Then you can save your paid vacation days for when you’re back home and need to work on your side hustle sans all of life’s other distractions.

4. Leverage the Weekend

If you’re not leveraging at least one of the 52 weekends in the year for a mini vacay, what are you even doing with your life?! 

Taking a couple of days away from your standard routine can really help you feel

re-energized and recharged. With massive improvements over the past few years in flight routes, transportation and accommodation options, and availability of cheap airfare and places to stay, a weekend getaway is so easy to do. 

You’ll come back ready to tackle life in the fast lane, and you won’t have used any of your paid vacation days. So that’s a win-win!

Want to take things up to the next level and have a full-on holiday? Take five paid vacation days off, but have a nine-day vacation. That’s right, use the two weekends around your week off to really maximize your vacation time. Go on, you deserve it.

Related: Here Are the 6 Best Tips for Running a Family Business

Related: 7 Social Media Habits That Are Stopping You From Getting Shit Done

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