Are You Travelling Enough on Your Mini-Retirement?

Make the most of every free week you've got. Add up those holidays and sick days and go backpacking.

Galapagos Island,,, crowdink, crowd ink
Galapagos Island (Image Source: -Expeditions)

Are you making the most of your mini-retirements? Here are a few stories that might motivate you and your partner to get out there and do something amazing with that holiday time:

After we had decided South America was the way to go, my partner and I traveled through Ecuador (including the Galapagos), Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Argentina, and ended our trip at Carnivale in Rio. We made it a backpacking trip that lasted 3 months.

My husband (who was my boyfriend at the time) and I went, because we wanted to explore something together. He had done Europe by himself for a year. I’d never really travelled before.

Our favorite bits of South America were the Galapagos, Patagonia, and Salar de Uyuni. Of course there were plenty of setbacks along the way including bogged buses on mountain roads, needing antibiotics, but not knowing the words to say,  and wandering into a favela inadvertently.

For all travel, but particularly through South America, our biggest piece of advice is to take less. Whatever you’ve got, halve it. If you can do carry-on only, do it.

Years later, my husband and I again found ourselves with some mini-retirement time on our hands.

So we decided North America was the way to go. We were pretty well set for it as I had worked there for six months. As a result, we based ourselves near my work in New Mexico, travelling most weekends (including a 10,000 mile trip my husband did with his folks and I flew in/out of while I was working).

At the end we did a month of travel. We wound up on a 7-day Caribbean cruise and then hit New Orleans, New York, and everything in between that we’d missed during the 6 months I was working. At the end, we went back to Australia and got married.

Our highlight of the North America trip was definitely the national parks. We love the outdoors. Cities are just cities to us. Yellowstone, Yosemite, Glacier, Kootenays etc – all fabulous. Getting to go to a Tim Ferriss conference was amazing.

There were plenty of lowlights, too. Getting lost, missing flights, needing emergency doctoring in Las Vegas were all bizarre and less-than-stellar experiences, but experiences nonetheless.

The US is so easy to travel. Don’t book anything and don’t bring anything. Stay in the cheap motels and buy the essential clothes at Walmart or Ross’.

Next we’re planning a 1-2 month holiday/mini-retirement to Italy or Spain in May/June 2017. We’ll be taking our kids (currently 3 years old and 6 months old) so we can take advantage of free flight for the youngest before he turns 2.

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Lacey Filipich is a life-long student of lifestyle design. She has travelled extensively during her regular mini-retirements with her partner. Lacey is passionate about teaching people how to become financially independent. To Lacey, financial independence means choosing when, how and with whom she works – which means more opportunities for travel! This passion for education and financial freedom led her to found Money School. Lacey plans to make her next travelling adventure a family affair when she and her husband head to Europe in 2017 with their two young children.