In Need of Affordable (Yet Awesome) Travel Ideas

One of the great perks about my job is that we get an incredible amount of vacation days. I have more time off now, in my first year here, than I had acquired after 7 years at my last job. And, even better, we recently were told we get the week between Christmas and New Year’s off, too, so that’s a whole bonus week of time off.

The good news: I still have 9 vacation days to use between now and Christmas Eve! The bad news: they don’t roll over, so if you don’t use ’em, you lose ’em.

Now, I’ve been pretty blessed this year to have been able to take lots of little trips, and I’ve covered quite a bit of ground. But most of my trips have been running related, and I really have been having some European withdrawals.

At this point, I would give just about anything to leave the country, or to spend some time at a nice beach resort.

So, now, here I am, swamped at work and a little strapped for cash, but with almost three weeks off between now and the end of the year. The world is calling me, and I’m afraid I may not be able to resist the call.

The possibilities are endless, provided I can financially and logistically make them work, and my brain is going wild with all the options. Here’s what I have so far:

  • Several 3- or 4-day weekend trips to visit friends in Lawrence, KS; Milwaukee, Boston, Galena, Arizona, and other places with free places to stay.
  • Travel to Europe over Thanksgiving. (I once spent a Thanksgiving in London, and it was both cheap and an awesome getaway).
  • Spend Thanksgiving week with my sister in MN, because I already miss my nephew and don’t want to wait ’til Christmas to see him.
  • Go someplace crazy for New Year’s.
  • Pack my bags, head to the airport, and surprise myself with where I go. (This is a Life’s List thing.)
  • Find a random TravelZoo deal and book it.
  • Cross off a new country from my list.
  • Cross off a new state (possibly Kansas, as mentioned above, or some other random state I haven’t been to).
  • Just take lots of days off to be a tourist in my own city, and have Cary Time. (I like this idea, but I don’t want to use up 9 vacation days for it.)

What would you do with extra time off you weren’t counting on? Help me use it wisely!

3 thoughts on “In Need of Affordable (Yet Awesome) Travel Ideas

  1. I get a lot of PTO at my company too, but luckily it does roll over, but you can “max out” and stop accumulating your PTO bank. One thing my company still offers (which a lot of companies have cut or never offered) is the opportunity to “cash out” a certain number of PTO hours. It comes with a big tax penalty (25% on top of your usual amount), but in mind, since I’m not going to use all of that time anyway (I can’t afford to go anywhere, and I already work from home 2 days/week), it’s more valuable to me to cash it out.

    BUT, if I were you, I would book a last-minute TravelZoo thing.

  2. I get a lot of PTO too, and mine rolls over but I still find myself hoarding it for that “special” trip (whatever that may be…). I say do a spur of the moment thing through TravelZoo – you can end up somewhere completely new and exciting! Maybe spend some time at home as well.

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