Balancing work and travel? Tips from a Corporate Travel Junkie

By Two Monkeys Travel - Contributor June 13th, 2015 Posted in Inspiration and Love Stories, Travel Blog 11 Comments

Balancing work and travel? Yes, it can be done.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
Tried white water river tubing in Sarangani as part of our ‘Do Something New Every Year’ pact with my siblings

I did and so can you…because you can now travel without quitting your job.

Don’t get me wrong, I have high regards to all travelers who quit and followed their passion to travel the world. I am actually, jealous. I really do hope that I can pack my bags, pick a place and explore it. It’s my ultimate dream. But with the current living situation that I have, it is nearly impossible. And I know I am not alone with these sentiments.

See, I ran away from home when I was still a junior in college. Let’s just say, major family troubles. You might think that I have all the right reasons to go backpacking and leave but I need to work in order to survive. Hence, I have to use my earned degree to find a corporate job.

But did I get stuck and just sulked in the corner? Definitely not! Juggling between work, travel and blogging can be difficult so here are the lessons I’ve learned through the years of traveling with my job intact:

Balancing work and travel? Tips from a Corporate Travel Junkie

1. Plan your vacation leaves accordingly.

In a world where travel yuppies are just awarded with 15 VLs a year, being wise as to when you are to take your vacations comes into play. Some people laugh at me as I already know the places to visit in 2016 (read: it is only 2015) but planning in advance gives me the advantage with the seat sales.

Also, plotting your leaves in advance helps you to have an ample time to do work transitions to your backup(s). Just a piece of advice though, never use your SLs for your travels (stop calling it scheduled leaves, guys). Karma’s a b*tch and you wouldn’t want to be caught in a lie by your boss.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
Plotting your vacation leaves early means more time for travel planning.

2. Do a lot of research.

And I mean, a LOT. I prefer to do this even before I book a ticket just to have an idea on how many days needs to be consumed and to have an economic feel of the place (i.e. if it’s pricey, etc). Everything must be packed in 4 or at most 5 days. Remember, working citizens don’t have the luxury of time to explore them all. I know this and I feel you.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
Research. Research. Research.

3. Choose the people you want to travel with.

In cases that you wanted to travel with your officemates, to which the dilemma is you can’t all be gone at the same time (BPO pips can relate here), this is still feasible. My work friends and I did a 3-day trip to Siquijor (with Dumaguete sidetrip), booked the earliest flight on a Saturday as well on the next Monday. It was a bit of a challenge but it can be done.

Furthermore, do some wise elimination. Admit it, they’re your friends but not all of them are bonafide travel buddies. Be with the company of the people you like. And if you are not comfortable having your maarte ‘friend’ in your trip, then ditch him/her. Always prefer having the peace of mind over budget hatian.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
2013. Me and my work buddies pulling off a 3-day Siquijor itinerary with Dumaguete side trip

4. Factor completely.

As a working individual, you can be pressed for time hence convenient traveling is your way to go. You have to consider which factor are you going to prioritize. Are you the type who values accommodations more than transportation? Or a person who’s amused by the historical background of a place? From there, you can come up with a budget to work on. Travel smart and you’ll never have to shell out much.

I personally hire a local tour guide to help us navigate the place we’re visiting. It is one way of helping local tourism as well as saves time to avoid getting lost. Sorry, but I am not a fan of it. Well, that’s just me.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
One of our Taiwan tour guides, Andy, welcomed us with a smile when he fetched us in Taoyuan Intl Airport

5. Save up.

A bit of cliché but a must for a fool proof plan. You have a stable income from your monthly sweldo rightTry to put at least P1, 000 on your travel fund. But if you are the type that does shop when stressed (well, I was too) try getting out of this habit. Weigh your priorities.  Will it be to travel and have more memories or be temporarily satisfied by buying an impulsive item?

The travel fund aka the other savings ATM card should not be in your possession (mine’s with my bf). As much as you can, do NOT use the money unless needed for a legitimate emergency. And for the record, a Mango dress on sale is not an emergency.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
My proud collection of currencies from all the countries I’ve been to

6. Choose your battles.

For being a wanderlust, I have been the topic of my previous office’s chismisan.  What I heard is that their ideal activity on their blocked leaves is to stay at home. I couldn’t believe it myself but hey, that’s their take. What I did? I kept a straight face. Whenever they ask me where I’ve gone, I tell them my travel adventures hoping that they’ll find it interesting.  And maybe, just maybe, they’ll find the courage to go on a trip too.

Do not expect everyone to be supportive of your travel aspirations. Surprisingly, most people don’t understand the effects of the travel bug, so brace yourself. Don’t be too quick to be defensive either. Instead, give the skeptics the positive influence of traveling. After all, you are not guilty of anything. There is nothing wrong with exploring new places.

7. When in doubt, travel.

Have you been on that firm that doing overtime every single day and cancelling leaves at the last minute equates to being a hard worker? That you refuse to have a vacation just because you are afraid to be marked as tamad? If you answered yes to both of these questions, then, maybe you are not in the right workplace. And I bet, you are very much miserable right now. You have to keep in mind that vacation leaves (or even sick leaves) are mandated because everyone deserves a break. You are not a robot. You need some rest, too.

At times that your stress levels are on an all time high, take the time off. Seize the opportunity of having a well deserved vacation. You will be relaxed, refreshed and will have the much needed energy to conquer the world. A bit exaggerated? Fine, you will have that new perspective when reviewing those work piles you left behind. Lol.

By keeping your day job, you do have the advantage of financing your travels. With airline seat sales here and there, no one is stopping you to take a trip. But nobody’s pressuring you to travel the world all at once either. Deep breaths. Take one destination at a time. And never hide under the false pretenses of being hectic at work…because no one should be too busy to live a well-earned life.

Learnings from a Corporate Travel Junkie
When stressed, I always go back to my happy place — the beach!

Monkey Dividers

About the Writer

Learnings from a Corporate Travel JunkieTody Dino is not a backpacker nor claims to be an adventurous mountaineer. She’s not rich either but prefers to travel organized and stress-free. Tody just happened to love traveling and dreams of having her own travel show one day. She is currently balancing her corporate job, traveling and maintaining her own blog, The Bella Travelista, a site which focuses on convenient travels for traveling yuppies.

Follow her on the ff platforms:
FB: The Bella Travelista
IG: @wander.towdee
Twitter: @thebellablogger

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11 thoughts on “Balancing work and travel? Tips from a Corporate Travel Junkie

  1. The real tips!

    I myself too WILL BE in the same position, lol! Just starting my own little free travel blog site and about to start travelling next month (will balance my career and travel adventures).

    Been very serious with the planning thing lately. Hoping all my efforts will come to success! ;D

  2. I love everything about your blogs/articles. I soooo love travelling! Problem is its hard to schedule trips with my friends since most of them are my ofcmates. Like u said, we cannot be gone from the ofc at the same time..iv been to a lot of places in the phils and i’d love to explore inspire me. Looking forward to reading your next adventure.

  3. This is just what I needed to get motivated. Thanks for the great article Tody! 🙂 You certainly pointed te ways to juggle corporate work and following wanderlust. I find it very timely ans staright to the point. Two thumbs up for that! Hope to meet you soon in your travels. ☺

    — JL [Viajera Cebuana]

  4. Great article and tips! This really works for those who wish to travel extensively without letting go of their jobs.

  5. Great article! I was once a Corporate junkie. Got tired of the rat race. So established my own Travel agency to satisfy my wanderlust needs. Never looked back

  6. Great article! Agree on almost all points! Like you, I’ve also already planned my 2016 travels. Some of my friends laugh when they learn of it but I’m like, meh. I’m the one who scored great fares during seat sales! 😛

    Age on the travel fund too! Helps a lot in making sure that you don’t use up money intended for something else when travelling.

    Quick question though, i know you mentioned about researching- but is that also how you find local tour guides? Or were they referred by friends? I’m keen on doing the same!

  7. Hi Tody,
    I am also a corporate worker hustling in between my work and travel (blogging). And I know it’s not easy but there is a way…to be able to prioritize travel right? 🙂
    An officemate of mine, asked me where the hell did I get the money to travel almost every weekend last May. I told him that traveling is not really expensive (which is true!). I also told him it’s just about priorities. If others will buy new clothes or shoes if they have extra money, mine is a different case, I’d rather go travel, go to the beach or climb a mountain.
    Lastly, what truly resonates with me si about choosing your battle. No matter how hard we work, it is still a fact that workplace is most likely a place of intrigues, politics and sometimes negativity. And as a traveler, and knowing that your life does not entirely revolve around your corporate life, that you actually hava a life outside, it is much easier for you to just shrug off any negativity at the office. It is easy to just tell yourself, i don’t have time for intrigues and all. I will just work hard and go somewhere on weekends 🙂

  8. Top Ten Jobs If You Love To Travel

    (10) Flight attendant

    It may be the most obvious travel-related job, but it’s also one of the most accessible: You don’t need a specialized degree to become a flight attendant, and most major airlines only require prior customer service experience and a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The hours are frequently erratic, and the work isn’t always easy, but you’ll get a glimpse of hundreds of cities across the globe during your career. A bonus perk? Free or discounted flights for you and your family.

    (9) International aid worker

    If you want to travel for a living while making a real difference in people’s lives, consider working for an international aid organization like USAID. With this job, you can visit struggling countries and help its residents recover from dire situations such as natural disasters and famine. You’ll need a background in a field like health, agriculture or education and a strong interest in social work, according to How Stuff Works.

    (8)Exploration geologist

    Exploration geologists help resource extraction companies identify the most profitable places from which to extract natural resources. Since extraction tends to happen in places that aren’t very well-populated, exploration geologists get to travel to some of the most remote regions of the world, and can be away from home for months at a time.

    (7)Cruise line worker

    Working on a cruise ship is a travel lover’s dream gig: You quite literally make a living traveling the world, all while receiving free food and accommodations. Whether you’re a restaurant server, a shop clerk or a performer in the cruise’s entertainment lineup, there are opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to work on one of these “floating resorts.” Websites like Cruise Line Jobs list employment openings with some of the top-rated cruise lines.

    (6)Travel tour guide

    Imagine spending your days guiding fellow travel lovers through a bustling European metropolis, or perhaps a small local village is more your speed. Wherever you want to go, popular travel destinations are always in need of friendly, knowledgeable guides to lead tourists through city sights and cultural excursions. Study up on the history and culture of your city of choice, and don’t forget to brush up on the local language!


    Archaeologists travel the world to recover and preserve artifacts from past human cultures. Careers in archaeology require frequent travel, often to remote regions of the earth.

    A benefit of speaking one of the world’s most popular languages is that there are people all over the world who want to learn it. Teaching English in a foreign country is one of the easiest ways to get out and see the world. Many teaching positions in foreign countries do require a certification, but you can easily get one in about a month’s time.

    (3)Executive assistant

    It may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but playing a behind-the-scenes role in the life of a corporate executive or other high-powered professional means you’ll be right alongside your boss on his or her business trips. Since individuals in these positions travel quite frequently for important client meetings, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see new places while you work.

    (2) Oceanographer
    If you love traveling by sea and have a passion for learning more about it, then there is probably no better career for you than that of an oceanographer. Oceanographers often split their time between laboratories and research ships, where they can spend months away from home visiting remote regions of the ocean.

    (1) International Marriage Broker Tour Leader.

    If you love to travel and are single this is absolutely the best job you can imagine. International Marriage Brokers travels the world holding single events in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Each week companies like A Foreign Affair travel to exotic locations in Eastern Europe, Asian and Latin America. Business men and professionals travel in groups where they will attend single events that A Foreign Affair call socials, at these social events the men will meet 500 to 1000 beautiful single women and models. The tours consists of social, dating and site seeing, all while interacting with dozens of men and women falling in love.

  9. Love this line – “no one should be too busy to live a well-earned life”. I couldn’t agree more on that. As a former full time employee, I know how tough it is to schedule travel during days off. What I realized on those days is that it’s really just a matter of prioritization and the willingness to work hard to make things happen. If there’s a will, then there’s certainly A LOT of ways. 😀 Love this post!

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