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…and still maintain your full-time job.

No, I didn’t take my job with me when traveling in those months but I filed for vacation leaves in between. From October of last year to January of this year, I visited four countries within four months; all of which happened in different times. It was no easy feat considering that I have a day job in a BPO industry. I was apprehensive too, if all my plans would push through considering the number of vacation leaves that I had.

Hong Kong, Macau (Ok, Macau is not a country but just a region of China along with HK, but my passport was still stamped), Malaysia, Cambodia, Thailand. I visited these five places which makes me wonder if what I did was a rare opportunity to achieve or if everybody can do it as well.

Friends would ask me if I’m still working in my current company due to my constant travelling. I tell them I’m just lucky to also have a boss that understands my needs to get away from the office environment once in a while. Sure, you may not be able to choose your manager but there are other circumstances that you can control.

kuala lumpur monorail
KL Monorail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Here are four basic tips that you can take note of so you can travel while keeping your job.

  • Book Ahead – Check out budget airline websites for dirt-cheap promotions which they hold regularly. You’ll be able to save a ton of money because of booking in advance at ridiculously low prices.

My trip to Hong Kong cost me 1200 Php and those are round trip tickets already. (Cebu to Hongkong)
My trip to Kuala Lumpur , Malaysia cost me 850 Php; and that’s riding four planes! (Cebu to Clark to Kuala Lumpur and back)
My trip to Bangkok cost me 6000 Php; actually it’s 5200 bucks more because of a huge mistake of being late at the airport but you understand the point of booking during promo fares.

Suggested websites are CebuPacificAirlines.com and AirAsia.com once in a while to what they’re offering. Better yet, subscribe to their feeds to notify you on their next big airline ticket sales.

venetian hotel macau
Venetian Hotel, Macau

  • File for Vacation Leave – Since you’ve already booked in advance, you can start filing your leave months before your scheduled vacation. This gives you an advantage because you get to have first priority considering you’ve already informed your immediate supervisor about your plans — provided that there won’t be any sudden concerns that may affect your workload on those dates. It also depends on the number of leaves that you’re company allots.

9 days – Hong Kong and Macau (September 1-9, 2010)
5 days – Malaysia (October 16-20, 2010)
8 days – Bangkok and Cambodia (January 18-25, 2011)

elephant terrace
Elephant Terrace, Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Plan your Itinerary – Once you’ve successfully booked a destination, the next thing you may want to do is research and plan your itinerary. What are you going to do? Bungy Jump From the World’s Highest Platform? Shop till you drop? Visit famous tourist spots? Or just lounge around to experience the culture? Whatever you choose, it’s wise to know what you’re going to do so you won’t end up lost. This includes going through Travel Blogs of people who’ve already been there or simply checking out Google for Tips and Things to know.

Check out some of my blog posts (I still have yet to create a series for the other countries)
Hong Kong – Tips and Things to Know about Hong Kong
Macau – Thoughts and Tips on My Trip to Macau

hong kong
East Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

  • Save Money – Money is always the biggest factor when it comes to trips. The degree of comfort and luxury depends on the money you’ve raised and how much you’re willing to spend. Since it took me about a year to prepare for the trips, I had the chance to allot an amount every time pay day arrives. Believe me, it wasn’t easy as I still had a lot of payables every month. But when you have focus, you tend to limit overspending and prioritize your goals.

siam paragon
Siam Paragon in Bangkok, Thailand
photo credits: Doi

So that’s it. These are simple steps that you can take but they require a great deal of PATIENCE. I’m also lucky since I have companions who are willing to go that extra mile on research and hostel reservations. You can just start small and gradually work your way to booking flights to farther destinations. I’m not sure if I can do the same thing again in the future, but I’m happy to have done it while keeping my job at the same time.

Do you have a similar story to share? Any tips you’d like to add?

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soloflightEd.com is a travel blog by Edcel Suyo. He enjoys performing headstands and crazy stunts during his trips in the Philippines, Southeast Asia, and the Middle East. Now based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates and working to earn a living, he takes time to enjoy the city and travel during weekends.
For updates, Like his page on Facebook or Follow him on Twitter.
For questions, advertising, and other concerns, shoot an email to ed@soloflighted.com.


16 comments… add one
  • It's such a great feeling pag naachieve mo ung goal mo.. and with this kind of experience, it's really worth all the patience.. matinding ipunan cguro to ed no?.. hehe Pag gusto talaga may paraan.. 😀 Thanks for the tips!

  • useful and comprehensive tips Ed! And yeah after a while to be able to do the four tips, the key is Patience talaga especially in booking tickets, saving money and researching 🙂

  • lucky us. mababait boss natin. US based ka ba? if yes, they’ll understand. mas matagal sila magleave! 1 month silang wala every 3 months.
    and i used my VL+SL+EL to support all my travels! haha kulang na kulang kasi ang 15VLs per year!

  • Oh yes, Patience talaga malaking factor d'yan hehe. Grabe, parang kelan lang nagtatanong ka sa akin about Macau. Ngayon mas marami ka nang napuntahan na Asian destination! 😀
    I am lucky because my former boss was quite understanding. I think discipline in saving up for future trips will be the biggest challenge for every traveler, pero fulfilling din kapag nakita mo na yung places and once you start taking pictures. I can't wait to go back to traveling again… errrr… vacation mode din pala ako ngayon hehe 😛

  • Edcel

    @JeffZ: it's really such a great feeling! This is only part of the goals. Actually, I also travelled to other local destinations in between these months. But I plan to go on a hiatus just to write more articles about these places first.

    @lakwatsera de primera: thanks claire! patience — good thing I have friends who did these things for me. 😀

    @chyng: haha, we have the same number of VLs but I'm very lucky to have a little flexibility with my shift :D.

    @mica: good one, DISCIPLINE too is a must! haha, sana next time Europe na naman. hehe. enjoy your vacation there Mica! so many places worth checking out!

  • I guess I'm able to do something like that with all of the Carribbean countries near me-cruise ships will take you to 4 countries in 4 days! LOL

  • astig talaga pag suportado ng boss mo ang bisyo mo.

  • uggh pinakamahirap mag save hehehe… goodluck and more trips this 2011

  • Edcel

    @jessica: haha, lucky you. it takes a lot of savings for us to go out and explore other countries because of unwanted expenses. 😀

    @dongho: haha, indeed. i think i'm abusing it already.

    @flip: amen to that!  thanks!

  • Naiinggit ako. Hmph. Wahahaha.
    Ikaw na ang explorer!  Sana makagawa rin ako ng ganito someday.
    So….. how much ang total damage? Hahaha.

  • sharing this ed! i agree with book ahead, that's the start of everything 🙂

    • Edcel

      @james: Thanks James! I’ll have another post like this some time in March when I finish all the travels I’ve booked last year. hehe 😀

      @mich: no problem! just check those sites once in a while, you’ll get lucky! 😀 I haven’t finished all my VLs. I get lucky everytime because I get to swap my leaves and holidays so long as we meet the goal.

  • thank you for sharing this ed. galing-galing naman maghanap ng seat sales. chineck ko kagad yung websites na sinabi mo. sana ako din maka-explore galore ng ganyan! :))
     
    @chyng, BPO employee here. haha oo nga, kulang na kulang and mga VL's. naubos ko din yung akin. hehehe

  • i usually work my leaves around holidays. mas maigi nga during the time of GMA, daming long weekends at nade declare na way ahead ung mga holidays kaya you can book your flights early to avail of the promo fares.

  • @batangala: haha. I agree. That's what I miss about the previous administration, yung holiday economics. hehe

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