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Balancing Work and Travelling

Balancing-Work-and-Travelling

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. 🙂

How do you balance your life and travelling?

xoxo, Richel V.

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72 Comments

  • Reply
    Tara
    June 27, 2016 at 4:27 PM

    I actually accumulated a lot of leave hours — over 200 hours — so if I wanted to, I could easily take off like three weeks if I wanted, but i don’t know. The most I’ve taken off is two weeks LOL I do try to schedule it around holidays, but not when everyone else is on the hols! For example, I get US holidays off, so when I had Veterans Day in November, I took leave around that day to go travelling. it was great because the Koreans weren’t on holidays, so I got to enjoy my destination without the crowds!

    These are good tips, though. Especially informing your bosses and requesting leave early!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 29, 2016 at 3:25 PM

      I wish we’ll be allowed to take two weeks off! If we want to take a loooong leave, like 1 to 6 months, we have to take a leave of absence which is not paid and is still under HR’s approval and you need to be in the company for more than 3 years.

      How many leaves are you allowed to take? 200 hours is around 25 working days, right? That’s a lot!

      • Reply
        Tara
        June 29, 2016 at 3:50 PM

        I am allowed to take at least 3-4 weeks providing it’s not a conflict with my workplace staffing. But if it’s more than 4 weeks, I think I need special permission.

        • Reply
          Richel V.
          July 1, 2016 at 10:53 AM

          Sounds so fun. If only the same principle can be applied to Manila offices! Hehe.

  • Reply
    Augustin Ra
    June 25, 2016 at 8:03 PM

    These tips are very helpful and in some way informed me what I’ll be doing when I start working in the future. Yay! 🙂

    xo, Indie Spirit

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 27, 2016 at 12:58 PM

      Maybe you’ll learn something new once you started working in the future! Let me know. Hehe.

  • Reply
    Kashmir & Silk
    June 25, 2016 at 7:42 PM

    These are such great tips ! I love to travel so no matter what my job, I’m going to make time to travel the world ! 🙂 xx

    http://kashmirandsilk.com/

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 27, 2016 at 12:57 PM

      Thank you! Definitely. If you want it bad enough, I’m sure you can do it! 🙂

  • Reply
    bollianaxo
    June 24, 2016 at 5:34 PM

    I found your blog through another blog and already enjoying it 🙂 Thanks for sharing these tips xx

    Bollianaxo | Student’s Lifestyle Blog

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 24, 2016 at 6:10 PM

      Thanks for stopping by! See you again soon. 🙂

  • Reply
    Shaira Angelique Manalo
    June 22, 2016 at 8:36 PM

    Saving is the only thing that works for me. Actually, all the expenses I use for travelling comes from my blog. Thanks for these tips! This is helpful especially for those who work full time 🙂

    xoxo,
    SHAIRA // New post

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 23, 2016 at 9:58 AM

      Wow. Happy to hear that you’re able to monetize your blog. I’m jealous, lol! Hope the tips helped! 🙂

  • Reply
    The Bambi Eyes
    June 22, 2016 at 5:24 AM

    These are all great tips! Luckily I am my own boss now, but I remember when I had working for a company I had to let them know my vacation plans a year in advance which was pretty rediculous if you ask me lol

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 22, 2016 at 9:24 AM

      A year? Totally ridiculous! I’ll have no idea what days I would be leaving if it’s in a year in advance, lol.

  • Reply
    Jamie
    June 22, 2016 at 12:00 AM

    Good read! I’m going to be applying for a job soon (resting for a month after graduation) and I’m planning to finally travel. I was not able to do that when I was still studying because 1) I didn’t have money to use and 2) I don’t think I like travelling. But somehow, a few months before graduating, I suddenly had an urge to leave the country and go wander on my own. I wish I get the courage to do that. I’m such a scaredy cat! LOL. I’ll pin this somewhere so I can look back into it once I’m employed! Hahaha, thanks!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 22, 2016 at 9:20 AM

      I rested for 3 months before getting a job and I wasn’t able to go anywhere because I’m broke, LOL. I’m cheering on you on on solo travelling! I haven’t done it myself but I’m already planning on backpacking Europe on my own. I suggest travelling to Singapore or Hong Kong first since the transportation system is just amazing, hard to get lost! Glad you liked it, Jamie! 🙂

  • Reply
    fionna
    June 21, 2016 at 11:30 PM

    really good tips – i totally agree with everything you’ve said. letting your boss know ahead of time is always good and just good etiquette.

    http://www.fionnac.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 22, 2016 at 9:12 AM

      True! You don’t need to be a pain to your boss if you keep asking for leaves just days before the trip.

  • Reply
    Rachael
    June 21, 2016 at 3:30 AM

    Fab tips! I’m having trouble balancing work and travel. I work weekends too making it even harder! I’m trying to sort out a few places, even if it’s only 3 nights, for the summer though!

    Rachael at broomfie.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      I sometimes say no to weekend work to travel/relax. Is that allowed in your job too?

  • Reply
    Jane
    June 20, 2016 at 8:08 PM

    These are great tips. I haven’t started a full time job yet, I don’t know how I’m going to get used to so little leave!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:19 AM

      I’m still not used to it! I still miss summer and Christmas breaks. 🙁

  • Reply
    Fahda Aburkair
    June 20, 2016 at 8:04 PM

    I’m sure these are all effective tips. I’m still a student and I want to travel too while working in the future and these tips will sure come in handy. Thanks for sharing!

    Love, Fads
    InstagramTwitter

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:40 AM

      Hope it helps in any way, Fads! 🙂

  • Reply
    Monique | WritingMonique
    June 20, 2016 at 7:46 PM

    This is a very helpful read! 🙂 I am starting a new job soon, so this is really good to know! 🙂
    WritingMonique

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:49 AM

      Good luck on the new job, Monique!

  • Reply
    Sonia De Macedo
    June 20, 2016 at 4:46 PM

    Number 1 and number 7 are what I have the most trouble with. I’m a terrible saver and find I spend more money before I leave then when I’m over there. I tend to spend it on “things” I may need for my trip, like clothes or a handbag. It’s so stupid! I also hate having to give notice for travel. I’m someone who has trouble saying no so I always feel like I may get manipulated or made to feel guilty for leaving, which has happened many times to me in the past. The job I have now is much more flexible and if I say I can’t do a certain week they don’t mind, provided theres some weeks in advance.

    Sxx
    http://www.daringcoco.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 12:01 PM

      I’m not much into clothes/other things so I don’t worry about that too much. It helps that I like my mom’s items so I just borrow it for “new” clothes for the photos when I’m travelling. Hehe. #LifeHack. I have anxiety over asking for leaves. My mind go: “What if you don’t get approved?? What heppens to the booked flights???”. But other than that, I don’t mind asking my boss for leaves. It’s one of the employee perks and we should all take advantage of it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Sheena Sy Gonzales
    June 20, 2016 at 4:09 PM

    Nice post!! I totally agree with you!! It’s all about balance!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:48 AM

      Sounds easy, but it’s really hard tho! Haha!

  • Reply
    Trang Do
    June 20, 2016 at 3:57 PM

    Great tips!! Thanks for sharing!
    Hugs,
    Love from http://www.trangscorner.com {a lifestyle, fashion, beauty, and food blog}

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 20, 2016 at 5:52 PM

      Thanks! Glad you liked them. 🙂

  • Reply
    Edith Donnell
    June 20, 2016 at 3:33 PM

    Yeah, this is a cool idea, In fact, if I can, I will travel all over the world!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 20, 2016 at 5:25 PM

      If given the chance to travel the world, I would drop everything and go.

  • Reply
    Mira
    June 19, 2016 at 11:34 PM

    These tips are great! I have never had a full time job but I’ll definitely come back to your tips though – so far I usually worked for a few months and then went travelling for a few months or did work and travel abroad which works pretty well too. And you’re right, sometimes a weekend is enough. I love using apps like skyscanner to find good deals for a weekend getaway. xx

    113-things-to-say.blogspot.com

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 21, 2016 at 10:52 AM

      I would probably be doing the same if I have a powerful password! we have to apply for VISA for almost every country and we have to give a proof of job – so full-time job is the way to go right now. Running out of places to do weekend trips tho, haha!

  • Reply
    Jasmin Charlotte (@jasxcharlotte)
    June 19, 2016 at 11:25 PM

    Definitely the best thing to get in there early! I usually plan out my big hols at the beginning of the year (if I want 2 weeks off) then pepper in the weekend trips throughout!

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 20, 2016 at 5:37 PM

      I’m not sure if I’ll be allowed two weeks off! However, if I work for 3 consecutive years in my current company, they can allow me 1-6 months of leave with no pay. which I am totally gonna take advance of when I finally got enough savings for a Eurotrip!

  • Reply
    Gil Zetbase
    June 19, 2016 at 5:44 PM

    So interesting post!
    Have a nice week-end!
    Gil Zetbase
    http://gilzetbase.com/

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 20, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      Thanks, Gil!

  • Reply
    Janine Ella
    June 19, 2016 at 1:19 PM

    How I wish I could save the same amount for a year like you did but it’s so difficult lang with all my priorities and responsibilities! Haha. And we’re the same we only have 15 paid vacation leaves and 5 of them are convertible to cash at the end of the year. During the last two years, I really spent all my 15 VLs but now I decided to just spend 10 of them and leave the other 5 so I can have more cash. HAHAHA.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 20, 2016 at 2:40 PM

      Hi Janine! We work in the same company. Hahaha! Last year, I was able to save up 5 VLs, but I think I’ll use them all up for this year. lol.

  • Reply
    sileas
    June 19, 2016 at 2:40 AM

    I’m totally with you! Work and travel needs a bit of planning but it’s so worth it! Luckily I have 25 days per year but I guess it always could be more 😉

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 19, 2016 at 10:30 AM

      Really hard to plan around it if you work full-time, like most people. I could use more vacation leaves in my work! But sadly, that’s for the managerial level. Hahaha.

  • Reply
    Nicole Marie
    June 18, 2016 at 11:26 AM

    Those are great tips! I worked in my current job (actually quitting next week) for 2 and a half years and barely took a “vacation” last month to attend a funeral. It was so hard for me to get away because I was the only one dealing with billing, and no me = no money for them. Not being able to travel and actually see family is the main reason I’m leaving. I would love to work full time and be able to travel! Now….to get some travel buddies >_<

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 19, 2016 at 10:29 AM

      I don’t think I can survive half a year with no vacation! That’s crazy. Maybe there are people into travelling into your new job! 😉

  • Reply
    Keri
    June 18, 2016 at 4:24 AM

    These are awesome tips, especially because I have some traveling to do next month!

    Enclothed Cognition

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:22 AM

      Glad you liked them! Hope you have great travels for next month! Where are you headed to? 🙂

  • Reply
    Rea
    June 18, 2016 at 3:17 AM

    I agree, we don’t have to go far to travel! There are lots of beautiful places in this country and even just in the neighborhood. I used to work as a lead trainer in a BPO company and my manager would plan our new hire classes months in advance. It’s helpful for us so that we’d know which months we can go on leave. I’m a time-off addict! I love work-life balance! So great tips you have there! 😉

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 9:01 AM

      We also have these “season” in our projects so we know which months we can take a longer leave and we all take advantage of it! Haha. I’m definitely for work-life balance. 🙂

  • Reply
    Kandice
    June 17, 2016 at 10:35 PM

    I will surely need these tips when I start working. I plan to travel while working so my life won’t be as adult as possible. Thank you!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:19 AM

      Truth! Some days, all I can think about in work is that I’ll be able to travel on the weekends! Hahaha. You’re welcome, Dice! 🙂

  • Reply
    Clare
    June 17, 2016 at 8:02 PM

    Although I dont travel that much i do found ways on how to maximise my day offs from work. Like you i plan my day off on thursday – friday or monday – tuesday so that I get to include the weekends for my trip. Good for you for the 15 days leave i only get 12 in my job lol! Thanks for sharing these tips 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 9:03 AM

      There are days I don’t have travel plans but I still go on vcation leaves during Friday/Monday. I love unwinding, even if just at home. Haha. France has 30+ paid vacation leaves! I’m jealous, lol.

  • Reply
    Karen
    June 17, 2016 at 6:10 PM

    I always travel on a whim! And to avoid using my leaves, I just do a weekend getaway. Though it’s so tempting to file a leave on Mondays just so I could get rest from my trip. Hahaha. Good read, btw!

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:16 AM

      Weekends are great for a quick takeaway and well, there’s Sick (Scheduled) Leaves for a reason. Hahahaha! If my company ever reads this, I’m kidding. Had to plan my leaves way in advance if travelling abroad. I even tell them as soon as I’m booked sometimes, then remind them again when it’s near the date of travel. 😀

  • Reply
    Broken Biyahera
    June 17, 2016 at 4:21 PM

    Agree on all, Richel! I’m actually feeling a bit guilty because it’s my nature to tell my boss that I’m going to take a leave when I’m already booked (so there’s no backing out anymore). Hahaha. But to whoever reading this, don’t resort to such silliness. 😛 When planning to travel, it’s important to be very, very particular on the date/s to make sure that your absence won’t cause any burden to the company’s operations. And yes, you’re right—make the most of the weekends and holidays! Ayos lang na walang pahinga, basta nakagala! 😀

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:21 AM

      I think that’s okay as long as you ask permission at least a week before the trip! Getting out VLs approved in my company is easy, we just have to make sure no one else is on leave on that day. So I ask permission as early as possible! Hahaha! True. And if napagod ka talaga, may sick leave naman, lol.

  • Reply
    Seyra
    June 17, 2016 at 2:00 PM

    It’s rather difficult to save up, especially since I’m a fresh grad! 🙁

    – Seyra x
    http://www.pavementsarerunways.com/

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:17 AM

      It’ll be a lot easier when you get that first job! Maybe it’ll take you a few months to settle in saving, but it’ll be good afterwards. Trust me. 🙂

  • Reply
    Gayla Cecilia
    June 17, 2016 at 12:18 PM

    I think, I will start with number 7 first (coz that’s the most challenging) and then work my way up!haha

    Thank you for these Rich.

    xx, Gayla

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 18, 2016 at 6:20 AM

      #7 is definitely the hardest! Haha. Hope it works out for you and glad you liked these! 😀

  • Reply
    Glamour ZONE
    June 17, 2016 at 2:49 AM

    Great tips ,i love the idea of saving and saving some more

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 17, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      Glad you liked it! 🙂

  • Reply
    Pia Bona
    June 16, 2016 at 11:17 PM

    I consider the last one the most important and most challenging. Lol. Very smart planning. Goes to show that if you find ways, you can always live your passion.

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 17, 2016 at 10:09 AM

      The find ways line reminds of the BDO slogan. Haha! It’s definitely the hardest. If worst comes to worst, you can take an unpaid and unapproved leave but if you have no money, then you’re not actually gonna be able to go anywhere. At all, lol.

  • Reply
    shireenplatt
    June 16, 2016 at 9:58 PM

    I used to get the same amount of annual leave too and I too save them up and yes to applying your vacation far in advance! I don’t understand why some people apply last minute and then gets frustrated when it’s rejected. It’s all about planning ahead.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 17, 2016 at 10:21 AM

      I asked for approval of my week-long vacation four months in advanced! Haha! It’s way better to ask for it in advance than a few days before – especially if it’s critical time in the business. I’m just glad that my managers are lax with the vacation leaves. I’ve heard of employees being denied even if it’s weeks away. But they really shouldn’t get their hopes up if they applied in the last minute!

  • Reply
    Aneth
    June 16, 2016 at 9:23 PM

    Good read, bb! Very helpful 🙂

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 17, 2016 at 10:02 AM

      Thank you, Aneth!! >:D

  • Reply
    Danica Rama
    June 16, 2016 at 9:19 PM

    You’re so lucky to have a boss and a team that understands your passion <3 As much as I'd love to make the most out of my weekends and spend it in a beautiful place with the fam, it sounds so impossible atm because they all have different commitments. But yaaaaas, still looking forward to more travel adventures 🙂 Love this post Richel <3

    • Reply
      Richel V.
      June 17, 2016 at 10:02 AM

      It helps that they also like to travel! 😀 My brothers are still at school so I can bring them along to adventures, the problem being the money. Haha! I aim to travel at least once every month, it doesn’t have to be far. 🙂 Wishing you more travels, Dan! 😀

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