As a truck driver you work long hours. You are often on the road for weeks at a time. Being able to take a week or two off to recharge throughout the year is important. Unfortunately, it requires not only finding the money in your budget, but also the time to be off the road.
Planning when to take vacation
Many Americans have the luxury of taking time off whenever they want. They just need to have vacation days saved up. Truck drivers, on the other hand, need to be doing a lot more planning. Your vacations should revolve around freight cycles. When freight demand is high, it’s in your best interest to be running. However, when things are slow, and there isn’t as much freight to be moved, vacations are manageable.
January and February typically are the slowest months of the year for freight. If you are looking to optimize your productivity and also your income, then vacations after the New Year are your best option. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take a day off during the summer months, it just means you should be ready to run hard following your time off.
Budgeting for the time off
We often talk about budgeting, or a Profit Plan here at ATBS, and its importance. By setting up and following a budget you can be confident that you will be spending less money than you earn. If you are planning to take a vacation, then it’s important to be able to pay for it up front so that it doesn’t cause you to go into debt.
One way to plan ahead is by adding a line item in your Profit Plan a few months prior to taking the time off. Unless you have a large amount of disposable income each month, this likely means you will need to cut something out of your budget. This will help make up for the additional amount being allocated to your vacation.
Alternatively you can also choose to increase your income to pay for the vacation. Picking up a couple extra loads each month leading up to your trip could make up for the cost of being off the road.
The bottom line
Taking time off now and then is a good idea for your emotional and mental well-being. Remember that a vacation takes a good amount of planning so that you can cover the costs involved and also afford to be out of the driver's seat.
Image Source - https://www.flickr.com/photos/34022876@N06/