For most of us, traveling for a living is only a dream. But for Angely Dub, the #girlboss behind Access Travel and Tours Inc., the jetset life is her version of reality. At 19, she took a gamble by starting her own business that revolves around her passion for traveling—and now, at 26, she's already been to 59 countries in total. However, Angely's ultimate life goal is not to see the world; rather, it's to make it possible for others to be able to do so.
In an interview with Preview, we talk to this young entrepreneur about how she grew her travel business, her favorite destinations, and what it's really like to have "the ultimate dream job." (Spoiler alert: It's not as easy as you think!)
Hi Angely! Please take us back to how you started Access Travel.
“I made Access Travel whatever it is today without a single marketing plan, actually. Everything was just inside my brain. I was a risk-taker, and I took a real risk in this business. My story is kinda different because I started from the top, lost everything, and then I had to start all over again. I got duped by my first business partner, and it ruined everything. Using my last money, I contact Laureen Uy, then I sent them to Malaysia with all expenses paid, which was actually my experiment.”
So how does Access Travel work exactly? Does it function like a typical travel agency?
“We’re a travel company, but my style of business is different—everything’s digital and online. I use visuals to sell a destination. I want to bring every unknown destination closer to the Philippines.
“For example, four years ago, people didn’t know where Iceland is. But just recently, I even led a tour of 25 people to Iceland. I showed them how beautiful the Northern Lights are and ako mismo ‘yung tour guide nila. I’ve been to Iceland seven times, making sure to study everything about the destination—that’s how different Access Travel is; we won’t sell a destination we don’t completely know about.”
Why the name Access Travel?
“It means accessible. Access the world, access a destination. It’s a perfect name. Also, if you look closely at our logo, it’s actually the Eiffel Tower.”
What were the challenges you had to face when you were still starting out with your business? How did you overcome them?
“There’s a lot. People never really believed in me because I was young. I was 19 when I started this business. There’s just so much negativity in the world and it will eat you alive if you let it. I went through so much in my younger days, like when my dad passed away, but I knew there’s always hope. When I got [swindled by my first business partner], I told myself that one way or another I’ll find a way out of this darkness. My challenge was basically that I didn’t have money. It was so hard to start a travel business online with all the competition, and people always think celebrity trips are sponsored—I don’t have money to sponsor them.
“Traveling has always been my passion. So this was never about money; this business is who I am. So I will keep doing everything in my power to stay on top of this business.”
What’s the best business advice you’ve heard?
“It’s not a business advice but a life lesson. My mom always says, ‘Treat people nicely. Being kind goes a long way.’ She also reminds me all the time to never give up and that I can always make it.”
How about the best advice you’ve given?
“Be your own light in your life and you’ll always find the way. Don’t find it in someone else. You’ll need help—no man is an island, after all. But you need to start with yourself. Invest in yourself.”
To be able to travel for a living is a job most people can only dream of! What would you say is the best part about it?
“I want to make people travel. There’s this joy I get whenever I see families go somewhere with Access Travel—that’s the best part of my job. Seeing people travel to places beyond Paris, Rome, etc; it’s like my vision is turning into a reality, which is bringing unknown destinations closer to the Philippines. There’s just so much to see!”
We're super curious, BTW—who takes your Instagram photos? They're amazing!
“A lot of people! But recently, I’ve been traveling with a friend. She’s not a photographer, just super patient and supportive of my job. I know how to operate my camera—ISO, shutter speed, everything—so I just tell her, ‘Stand here. I found a perfect place for my photo. Just click on the camera.’ You don’t need a photographer with you; you just need to know your gear.”
Have you always loved traveling as a kid?
“Yes, I even wanted to be a pilot. My brother is taking up aviation, so it runs in the family. My first Instagram photo was an airplane!”
Speaking of which, do you still remember the very first country you've visited? Please tell us about it.
“Yes, of course! I visited Paris, France as a part of a school trip. That’s the moment when I thought, I can’t see myself doing anything else but traveling.”
If you had to choose the top five among ALL the countries you've been to, where would those be and why?
“Number one is Greenland—it always amazes me. It’s such a huge country, and when I visited just this year, oh my gosh, I don’t think any other country in the world has given me that much happiness. We went to East Greenland and there were just like 400 people. I didn’t even have internet for 10 days but that was the best trip of my life.
“Also, Iceland. I’m obsessed with this country and how peaceful it is there. I can live in Iceland. Another one is Tibet. I had a hard time getting a permit from China—since Tibet is now under China—but I still went. I wanted to meet Dalai Lama because I think he’s the kindest person in the world and I look up to him so much. I will never forget the night I slept with a family of locals. They all slept in one room but they were happy. They even thought I was a Bollywood star and that was so funny because they were taking pictures with me. These are the trips that shaped me into what I am now.
“After Tibet, I think Bhutan. They have the happiest people in the world. They talk to everyone, they speak English. I spent like 10 days in Bhutan. The last one would have to be Nepal. I had the most amazing time in Nepal. I went hiking, ate with the locals, stayed at a zero-star hotel—one of the best times of my life.”
Do you still have a dream destination? A place you have yet to tick off your travel bucket list?
“The thing about me is that I don’t have a bucket list. I just book; it depends on my mood where I want to go. I also need to align my trips with Access Travel. But a place I’ve been wanting to go to right now, for my birthday hopefully, is Antarctica. And maybe Alaska. Those are the places I want to travel to soon.”
Everything considered, would you say that what you have is "the ultimate dream job?"
“This is my life. This is my identity. Some people think I’m always on vacation but I’m not. Some people have no idea how hard I work. Having a business is a commitment; it’s a lot like marriage. I don’t want to sugarcoat it—my photos look nice because I’m selling happiness and vacation. But it’s not for everyone. You have to be willing to sacrifice a lot of things in order to be successful.”
For Access Travel PH inquiries, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (632) 534-0116 / 532-4686 +63 917 679 5338. You may also check their website travelwithaccess.com for more information.