Eight Ways to Maximize your PTO to Travel More

The average American only has two to three weeks of vacation or PTO per year. Which is absolutely absurd!!! If travel is important to you, below are eight tips to teach you how to maximize your PTO to travel more and see this beautiful world.

At the end of this article, I have also included my most popular “quicker” trip destinations with detailed itineraries. So take a look and start planning!

1. Pick a Destination Close By

The goal is to have as much time as possible at your destination, therefore pick an area that you are able to reach in a reasonable time frame.

2. Spread your Vacation Time Across Several Trips

Plan at least one domestic or local trip a month! This will make you feel as if you are taking a lot more vacation time even if they are only weekend trips. You will be surprised how much there is to do and see by where you live.

If your time off permits, plan one international trip a year. Try to go for at least two weeks. If you are limited to only one week, go to an international destination that is easy for you to travel to. For example: If you live on the west coast it is a lot quicker for you to travel to Mexico or Central America versus Europe. 

3. Utilize Weekends & Holidays

Schedule your trips around weekends and holidays. This will allow you to have a longer vacation time without using as much paid time off PTO. 

4. Focus on One City or Area

I am guilty of jam-packing my trips, which is never relaxing and you tend to come back home even more tired!

Focus on one city or area and explore only that specific spot. Not only will you have a relaxing time, but you can also then fully immerse yourself in one location.

5. Fly Direct or Book a Redeye Flight

Each stop is more time you waste traveling instead of exploring your final destination.

If you are able to sleep on a plane or can power through less sleep, then book a redeye! This gives you an entire extra day on your trip.

6. Plan your Trip According to Busy Season

Always try to visit a location during its shoulder season or low season. This will not only save you money but will allow you to have more time touring rather than waiting in crowds or long lines.

Not sure when the low season is? Google “best time to visit *destination* without crowds.”

7. Book your Accommodation in a Central Location

Make sure your hotel is located in a very central area to everything you want to see. Being within walking distance to all the spots you want to see not only saves you travel time, but it also saves you money on transportation.

Nothing is better than waking up and being able to walk or bike to all the hot tourist spots.

8. Work Remotely

A lot of companies have moved either fully or partially remote. Use that to your advantage! Book a month-long trip in a city or town you have been wanting to visit. Yes, you may work during the week but during the afternoons or weekends, you can fully immerse yourself in the area.

If you are only able to work partially remote, book a weeklong trip or leave on an evening mid-week. This gives you more time in a region so the trip won’t feel rushed. And you won’t be using any PTO. 


I hope you enjoyed reading and learned some crucial ways to maximize your PTO to travel more. If you have any tips that have helped you, please share them in the comment section below! I love to learn from other travelers who are also full-time workers.

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If you are looking for quick travel guides and itineraries check out my easy-to-follow travel blogs! All of my travel itineraries are designed to be easy reads and guides for people who work full time.

Meet Mel

I started Mel’s Scene to showcase my trips and offer my personalized itineraries to other global wanderers. I have never cared for material things, I care more so for the experiences and memories that each travel destination has given me.


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