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Make Every Vacation Count: How You Can Travel Around The World Without Quitting Your Job

Make Every Vacation Count: How You Can Travel Around The World Without Quitting Your Job

Fulfilling your daydreams of traveling the world may seem impossible now that you have obligations like a full-time job. Luckily, your travel daydreams can become a reality with careful planning and creative thinking. Gunnar Garfors did exactly that when he accomplished his lifelong dream of visiting all 198 countries by the time he was 37, on top of being employed full-time back in his home country of Norway.

Feel inspired by this intrepid traveler? Here are a few tips to help you get the most out of your vacation time:

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Make use of holidays and three-day weekends

In countries like the USA, we are not fortunate in having long paid vacations like those available in some European countries, like Norway. What is the next best thing?

Take advantage of three-day weekends or longer holiday breaks like those that occur during Thanksgiving or Christmas. If you live in the USA, for a three-day weekend you can easily plan a trip abroad to a nearby country like Canada or Mexico. Depending on where you live, places like Curaçao are a short plane ride away from the East Coast. It is important to think of all the possibilities available to you during these holiday breaks, because usually you’ll be surprised by how many options there are once you do some serious brainstorming.

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Tag a few extra days onto a business trip

Going abroad to discuss a new marketing strategy with clients in Japan? Add a few extra days to sightsee. Business trips are notorious for being short, and for being so busy that you barely get to see anything outside of the conference room and your hotel. Ask your boss if you can add a few extra days onto your trip to explore. A bonus is that it will help you to gain a deeper understanding of the culture of the people you are working with- and how could your boss say no to that?

Take advantage of your vacation time

You may only have 2 weeks of vacation time, but if you use it wisely you can plan a big trip abroad each year that will allow you to see the world bit by bit. Since you have limited time, focus on 1 or 2 new cities within a country and really get to know your new destination. It may be tempting to see 3 or 4 cities, or 2 countries within this short time span, but in order to have a memorable trip it is important to take it all in slowly.

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Learn to budget wisely

Traveling is not cheap. That does not mean that it is impossible to save up for, though. Instead of buying lunch out a few times a week, make your own at home instead. Instead of getting that morning latte, brew it at home instead. There are numerous ways to save- and even saving a few dollars here and there will add up in the long run. There are also numerous budgeting apps available, like Mint, that help you to put away some money towards a travel fund.

Avoid the peak travel seasons

It might seem like summer is synonymous with travel, but if you travel during off-seasons you are more likely to find cheap airfares, hotel deals and discounted local activities. Winter is a budget-friendly time to travel and you can enjoy your destination without the crowds. There are also shoulder seasons, which are time periods that fall between the high and low travel seasons associated with a particular destination. The crowds from the peak season have usually gone home by this time and the weather is ideal. Say you have had your eye on Mexico for awhile, but want to avoid the crowds and high prices. Mid-November is a great time to go, because it is long after hurricane season, but right before the madness of when the holiday crowds arrive.

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Featured photo credit: Flickr via flickr.com

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Last Updated on November 17, 2019

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

20 Creative Ways To Say Thank You

Saying, “Thank you,” can be difficult to do. Some things just demand a little something extra because of the magnitude of the favor or the depth of appreciation involved. But what can you do to say thank you in a meaningful way? Sometimes you have to get a little more creative than just firing off an email. Here are 20 creative ways to say thank you that your friends and family will remember and cherish!

1. Make a gift bag.

A unique, homemade gift bag with a custom label or a note is a simple but heartfelt way to show your appreciation for the wonderful things your friends or family have done for you.

2. Give a toast.

Many people fear public speaking more than death, giving this particular thank-you a little extra meaning. Composing a sincere, eloquent toast and delivering it is a nice way to show appreciation that truly comes from the heart.

3. Write a poem.

“Roses are red, violets are blue…” Uh, you could write that...but why not put a little extra zing in it? Find out what their favorite kind of poetry is: haiku, free verse, iambic pentameter, and so on. (Google them if you don’t know what they are.) Then write one that expresses why they deserve your thanks…and why you’re glad to give it!

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4. Create your own labels.

There are a number of websites that offer custom gift labels. Find one that fits your personality and that of your friends and create a personalized thank-you label!

5. Give a gift card.

Sometimes choosing what to give a friend can be tough. A gift card is a good way to get around this problem. As always, be sure to include a personalized note or card thanking the recipient for their friendship and help.

6. Send a letter.

Snail-mail is a largely lost art form. Don’t worry about how long the letter is, though. What really matters here is that you took the time to put pen to paper and express your feelings sincerely and honestly!

7. Use social media to send a special message.

If someone’s done something you think the whole world should know about, why not put out a social media blast? Use your blog, your Facebook, your Google+ account, and your Twitter to spread the word about why this person’s someone your friends will want to know too!

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8. Make your own digital greeting card.

While an email isn’t always the best way to go when saying thank you, a digital greeting card that you put time and effort into creating can really brighten someone’s day! Make the card reflect the recipient’s personality and compose a short message of thanks for their generosity.

9. Make a YouTube video.

Sometimes, actually hearing someone say, “Thank you,” can make all the difference. Why not take it a step further and create a special video of thanks for your friends, family, and those special people who helped make your day so important…or who helped you through that rough time?

10. Deliver cookies or candies.

Making something yourself is a fun and delightful way to say thank you to someone. Create a sampling of baked goods or homemade candies and decorate them with a simple message, or make them so they form letters! (Think Valentine’s candies, only situationally appropriate.) Attach a thank-you note or label and surprise those special people with the gift of your time and creativity.

11. Make surprise gifts for guests.

There’s no need to wait until “later” to send a thank-you message. Why not do it at the time? Create little gift packets or bags for your guests with surprises inside. This is a great way to say thanks to the people who attended your event, and make sure they won’t want to miss the next one!

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12. Put together a flower basket.

Whether you prefer fresh or artificial flowers, assembling a flower basket with a thank-you note is an excellent way to brighten someone’s day and show you appreciate them.

13. Take a picture.

Sometimes capturing the moment is the best way to put a smile on someone’s face. Have someone take a picture of you receiving that special gift or opening that surprise package and send the giver a copy with a quick but sincere note to say thanks!

14. Repay their generosity by paying it forward.

The best gifts come from the heart, and the best way to repay a gift is to pay it forward. If your friend has a special cause they care about or something they believe in passionately, why not make a donation in their name or volunteer some of your time to the cause? This will mean more than any number of cookies, candies, or thank-you notes because you’re taking your friend’s love and spreading it around to others.

15. Do something special for them.

Take them out to dinner. (See “make a toast.”) Give them that movie they’ve been wanting forever. Cook them dinner and give them a present when they arrive. Any of these are good options for showing someone you really appreciate them and how grateful you are to have them in your life.

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16. Reciprocate their help.

Everyone needs help sometime. Whether it’s holding their hand through a particularly traumatic incident or helping them replace the alternator in their car, being there when they need it shows you remember what they did for you and how much it meant. It also shows that you’re willing to be just as good a friend to them as they were to you!

17. Be there for them.

Not every thank-you gesture has to be a grand public spectacle. Sometimes just giving them a place to come hang out when they’re lonely or showing up to offer them a sympathetic shoulder means the world to a person.

18. Listen to them.

Listening is almost as lost an art as the handwritten letter. When your friend or family member needs to talk, listen to them. Ask questions when appropriate, but just letting them know you’re there and paying attention to them to the exclusion of all else for a little while is a great way to say thank you for the times they listened to you.

19. Say it in another language…or two…

A simple thank you is great…but why not spice it up a little? Instead of just saying, “Thank you,” write or make a video of you telling them thank you in different languages. Some examples might be, “Gracias! Merci! Danke schoen! Spasibo! Mahalo!” and any other ways or languages you can think of. (The ones listed above are Spanish, French, German, Russian, and Hawaiian, in case you were wondering.) If you want to really get tricky about it, say a short phrase in each language that conveys why you’re thanking them!

20. Show them some love.

A simple touch, a hug, or helping out when they need it without being asked may be the most powerful gratitude message you can send. Offer to take the dogs for a walk, sit for the kids for a few hours, or run to the grocery store so they don’t have to. The little things are often the most important and meaningful. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still send a note, but sometimes your simple presence and willingness to help is all that really matters.

Featured photo credit: Hanny Naibaho via unsplash.com

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