Ok, so this job you’ve got, they give you and every other sad sack at the operation two weeks of vacation and maybe 8-10 days a year for sick time. Hardly enough time to see the world!

So the key here is going to be planning. Yes, boys and girls good ole fashioned planning. So you probably get off the typical holidays that everyone gets:

Martin Luther King Day

Presidents Day

Good Friday

Memorial Day

July 4th

Labor Day

Thanksgiving Day

Christmas Day

New Years Day

As I list these holidays, you’re probably thinking to yourself how much extra it costs to fly or book hotels on or around holidays correct? Well, it doesn’t have to, but we will get into that and how to avoid those pricey holiday surcharges. But first, let’s go back to the limited time you have to collect sand from every beach on earth.

Did you know you can plan a vacation using sick time? So it’s not the most orthodox thing you have ever done in your life but it is an option. Let’s say for instance you live in Los Angeles but your cousin lives in, oh I don’t know, let’s say Chicago. It’s not close, her wedding is on a Saturday and it’s a regular non-holiday weekend. Plan ahead and submit for a sick day. Take that Friday before the wedding off as sick time. Tell them you have a root canal, a small outpatient thingy, a few doctors appointments, whatever, just take that day. Fly on Thursday night after work, again plan ahead and be packed so you aren’t killing yourself getting to the airport. This way you have Friday to settle in hit Lake Michigan for some paddle boarding (it’s always summer in my head), attend the wedding Saturday and hop back on a plane Sunday night. Boom 3 full days of vacation, 1 sick day down (so what you aren’t sick that many days a year anyway) and 1 happy cousin. In addition, you saved money flying on Thursday’s and Sunday’s. For additional lodging savings check AirBnB. You can really save a lot of dough and get some great locations for the money.

As far as the rest of your vacation days go, again, plan ahead. The best airline prices are purchased 45 days in advance and are the cheapest on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursdays with Sunday being the better option if you have to fly on a weekend, according to If you plan your vacation days around already existing companywide days off you get a paid vacation day while on vacation. Awesome! So let’s say you want a week in Fiji and you know Memorial Day is coming up, which is always a Monday. Take off Thursday, Friday and the following Tuesday to get close to a week off (don’t forget to book in advance). This way you can fly out over night on Wednesday and fly back at night on Tuesday. Boom you are flying on the two cheapest days you can fly, you are only using 3 vacation days to get a 6 day vacation. Amazing! Ok and I know you are going to look on AirBnB for deals too, right?! If that doesn’t work, name your own price on Priceline. Some really great deals can be found there and you can also call hotels and negotiate directly with the front desk for the absolute best price they have that weekend.

So that’s how you can maximize your vacation days, sick days and dollars! Yay! Get out of Dodge now.