Balancing Act

A full-time job means I get to travel less, but to travel at all means I need a full-time job.

Let’s face it, travelling is expensive. Airfares, accommodation and food take up a huge chunk of the budget. Add on activities, museum entrances and souvenirs – your wallet could take a substantial hit.

22 days annual leave isn’t a lot, how do I do it?



In 2017, I got to visit my home country the Philippines twice, Italy twice, Germany twice and Portugal. With a little drive to Scotland (technically a different country), 2017 was an eventful year.

The trick is to use weekends and public holidays. There is a trade-off however as these days are premium airfare price. As of today (1 March 2018), I visited Spain, the Netherlands and Morocco. I am flying to Poland tomorrow, and I am heading to France at the end of the month. 5 countries in 3 months; I work 9-5, Monday to Friday. I still have 18 days annual leave left.

So work have rewarded its employees with a free day off on your birthday (or the day before or after if it’s a weekend). Happy days. Technically, its 23 days annual leave and 8 days public holidays. Now it’s looking promising.

You also need to be realistic. If you are like me, I suffer with Wanderlust a lot. I space out in the middle of typing a really important email to a client’s CEO, I think about how I really need a Gelato in the middle of an Italian square. But it is important to be realistic. 1 trip a month is more than enough, plan ahead; sometimes you get great last-minute deals which is good for the budget, but leaves – not so much. There is usually a specific time scale on booking annual leave – our company has a policy of at least 1 week in advance for small amount of days.

Connect annual leaves with the weekend to maximise your time out. You will be exhausted when you return to the office though, but it’s all worth it. A 3 day trip at a 1 day expense. Book flight times that work to your advantage, (I will post in a different page on how to do this) – and you have a trip worthwhile. This applies to public holidays, usually on a Monday. Book a flight outbound on a Friday, and you have a 4 day weekend abroad in exchange for 1 day annual leave. You get the gist, I can’t stress it enough. USE THE WEEKENDS


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