So you’re graduating and you’ve got that dream job all lined up—now what? Working a 9-5 doesn’t have to cramp your traveling style! Just because you don’t have the whole summer off anymore doesn’t mean that your travels have to be condensed to weekends and visiting your parents house for Thanksgiving. There’s plenty of ways to keep planning awesome post-grad trips on a budget even after you’ve started working.
Are the dates you want to travel just out of reach, or is that cheap flight you’re eyeing right after work? Work from home so you can make the flights you want! It’s pretty common now for employers to offer some time to work remotely, so if you need it, simply ask. Just make sure to travel with your work laptop.
Spread out your trips.
One of the best things about graduating college is that you’re free to travel year-round, not just around your student schedule. Now that you’re not limited to those peak travel times, you’ll have way more options and dates to choose from. Even though you may be tempted to take that entire two weeks of PTO at once for an epic summer trip, spreading out your days off to use weekends and holidays will help you maximize your time off and squeeze in more post-grad trips in the long run! Plus, traveling during off-peak seasons (i.e. February and September-October, for example) can save you a TON of money.
Stay with friends.
The best way to plan post-grad trips, explore new cities and save some money is by visiting friends who live in other cities! Not to mention, you’ll have a built-in expert tour guide. Whether you’re flying solo to go see your favorite people or heading out with some friends, crashing on a friend’s couch instead of booking a hotel can save you literally hundreds of dollars.
Get discounts on your flights and hotels.
Head’s up: you can still buy flights from StudentUniverse even after you graduate! While some of our discounts are just for students, the majority of our discounts are still good for anyone under 26. And you can always use a promo code (no matter your age) to save even more. Wanna see what discounts you’re eligible for? Just sort by youth fares using the sidebar to see our best deals.
Be flexible with dates.
A great perk you didn’t have in school is flexibility. You could potentially save $100 or more just by flying on a Tuesday instead of Monday, or a Thursday instead of Friday. Another way to be flexible and still save is by taking a late-night or red-eye flight on your post-grad trips. You won’t lose time off of work and then you’ll have the whole next day for vacay!
Pro-tip: turn on the flexible search feature while you’re searching. It’ll show you the cheapest prices you’re eligible for around the dates that you would like to travel.
Understand your PTO.
Every company has a different PTO, or paid time off, policy. Your PTO will likely be comprised by a variety of different kind of days — usually a set annual number of vacation days, paid holidays, sick days and personal days. The amount and policies for each vary by company. Sometimes you can roll over unused days to the next year or there may be limits on how much time off you can take during certain periods. Some companies even have unlimited leave, which means you have no cap on the personal/sick/vacation days you use (as long as you don’t abuse the perk!) Understanding the policies your company has for PTO will help you maximize your time off.
Capitalize on holidays.
Speaking of maximizing your PTO, planning your vacations around holidays can help you out. Wanna go away without using up too many vacation days? Take advantage of 3-day holiday weekends. You can fly out a day or two before the weekend starts and come home a day or two after it ends to squeeze in a five or six day vacation while only using one or two vacation days. Score! Plus, you’ll save some money (and time) by not traveling on the same days as all the crowds. Also be sure to take the time to learn about holidays that are specific to your company or city—like Patriot’s Day in Boston.
Keep these tips in mind when planning your next getaway in the US or international trip and you’ll be slaying the post-grad trip game.