My distant cousins, who has also been hit with the travel bug and is still in college, often asked me how I managed to travel so much alongside my corporate job. It’s not easy. There are times I just want to go on an indefinite leave and travel (or just sleep). But if I do that, I’ll be fired. So I’ll tell you guys how to travel while working a corporate job without getting fired. Wink.
Inform your lead/boss about your plans of travel.
There are some people who don’t use their vacation leaves because they prefer working all the time. However, I am not one of those people and I like taking a day or two off from work to unwind or travel. Letting my boss/team know about this passion of mine means that they won’t get too surprised if I ask for consecutive leaves – the longest I got approved yet was a week straight. They also get more considerate especially if I said I already have the flight booked and are more than willing to renegotiate dates if able.
Don’t waste your vacation leaves away.
I don’t know about you but I only get fifteen vacation leaves per year and I don’t plan on wasting them. If I have a planned trip within the fiscal year, I make sure I have enough vacation leaves to cover it. I plan my vacation leaves to rest on Thursday-Friday or Monday-Tuesday so I get a four day trip that includes my weekend.
Ask for vacation leaves’ approval as early as possible.
This is very important especially if you work in an industry that is hustling 24/7. My work got me on call 24/7 sometimes and I have to be on support during some weekends, as well. As soon as I got the dates for my travel, I make sure to ask my lead for vacation leave approval as soon as able. Not like six months in advance – that’s way too much, but one-two months in advanced is good enough and it might also mean that no one else in our team have taken a VL on that day so it’s almost always guaranteed to be approved.
Plan around the holidays.
Planning around the holidays might also mean that you don’t have to use as many vacation leaves as when you go on regular days. For example, December 24, 25, 30 and 31 last year and January 1 this year are all regular holidays. Which only leaves December 28 and 29 as the working days. I set them all to vacation leaves which means I got 11 free days and I was able to go to Ilocos for the expense of only two vacation leaves!
Make the most of the weekends.
One of the best thing in living in Metro Manila, Philippines is that we are literally just a few hours away from hundreds of beautiful beaches and other attractions. In just one day, you can take a swim at one of the beaches in Batangas. In a weekend, you can do an overnight stay at the summer capital of the PH, Baguio. You don’t always have to go far to travel. Sometimes, weekends are good enough.
Have travel buddies in the same profession.
This is optional but I prefer having travel buddies that are in the same work that I am. Same company, even. It’s easier to work around our shifts, schedules, holiday schedules, and pay-out dates. You also know what each one is going through so you work around all the work-conflicts and schedules.
Save, save, save money.
One of the most important one. To put it simply, how are you going to travel if you don’t have money? You can assign a certain percentage of your salary straight to your travel fund. 10% is a good start. You can read here how I was able to save up to 100K in my entry-level job for less than a year.
I swear I didn’t mean for this list to get 7 items, but you guys probably already noticed that it’s my favorite number. So, yeah… this is pretty much how I managed to travel while still working an 8 – 6 job and the occasional weekend work. It all comes down to one thing though: planning. 🙂