Working remotely when traveling is a great opportunity for any workers who utilize technology for their daily tasks.
However, there are many considerations for balancing travel and work in order to be successful at both. Balancing the two can be a challenge, but if you understand the pros and cons, then you can be better prepared to enjoy the benefits of both traveling and earning an income.
Working remotely can be done in more and more industries as technology continues to improve and evolve. These opportunities enable workers to choose where they want to live and even when they want to work, which can maximize productivity while minimizing stress related to commuting or a high cost of living in congested areas.
Options for Working While Traveling
Working while traveling can be done in more industries now than ever before. Due to technological improvements, many jobs can be done virtually. Because of that, working while traveling is a viable option for many workers today. The options for working while traveling include being employed full-time by a specific company or being self-employed or a freelancer. These two are very different options, so you must consider the pros and cons of both.
Working Full-Time Remotely
If your job allows you to work remotely full-time, then you can choose where you want to live and work. This can be highly beneficial for many workers, allowing them to avoid having to commute or having to live in higher cost of living cities. However, taking a full-time job on the road while traveling can also bring many challenges. Consider changing time zones, unreliable WiFi and long travel days causing exhaustion before you consider traveling and working full-time.
Remote Work as a Freelancer
If you are self-employed or a freelancer, then your schedule can vary much more widely to accommodate your work and travel combination. If you are not required to be online for specific hours in a day, then you can opt to sleep in after a busy travel day. You could also work long days in a row to get ahead on work before traveling and exploring a new place. However, you need to be highly self-motivated and practice solid self-discipline in order to balance these two effectively.
Using Technology for Remote Work and Travel
Using technology for remote work is essential, since the very nature of this work requires an understanding of the digital world. If you are traveling and working at the same time, then it is even more important to have a grasp of various technology to maximize your productivity while enjoying your new environment.
Being able to connect and get work done from anywhere in the world requires several basic tools, but you can also consider a few extra options to enable a better work set-up. Consider getting the following to facilitate your work and travel lifestyle:
- A light laptop that is travel-friendly
- A wireless mouse
- A large external hard drive to backup your work
- A cloud account with extra storage space to serve as another backup option
- A laptop stand
- A bluetooth keyboard
- An unlocked cell phone so you can use international SIM cards as needed
- An external battery pack for your phone
- A wireless extender
- A universal power adaptor and surge protector
- Noise canceling headphones
- A multi-USB power plug with universal adaptors
- A credit card with no international transaction fees
Working while traveling can open up the entire world to you, but you still need to remember the importance of getting your work done while enjoying yourself. Using technology effectively can help you to make the most of this opportunity.
Balancing Remote Work and Travel
Creating a schedule for yourself is the best way to balance your work and travel opportunities. Try to look ahead at your upcoming travel days and make sure you either get ahead on work before those days or use those long journeys for work. Be prepared for a lack of outlets for charging your electronics as well as poor or nonexistent WiFi while en route.
Having set working hours while you are in a place for a week or more will help you to be productive while ensuring you can explore your new surroundings. If you work best early in the morning, then do not go out late at night. Just because you are traveling does not mean you can ignore your work responsibilities. Likewise, if you are most productive at night and intend to work during those hours, then you cannot forego your work to socialize instead. Choose your work schedule and stick to it in order to be professional and a successful remote worker.
Something to consider when planning your travel is visiting places that are known as digital nomad hubs. These places will cater to remote workers like you, offering coworking spaces, reliable Internet and a solid support system with plenty of other digital nomads around. Working while traveling means that you are neither a tourist nor a local, so finding others who are in a similar position can be very helpful. You can help each other with resources and also empathize with and encourage each other’s balance of work and travel.
Finding Remote Work Opportunities While Traveling
While traveling, you can find even more opportunities for remote work. Especially if you visit popular digital nomad hubs, you will be able to network and connect with others in the same type of industry in which you work. These contacts can help you to expand your professional network, potentially finding new clients or work opportunities as you travel.
It is generally not a great idea to begin traveling full-time without some reliable work already on hand. If you are just starting out as a freelancer or contractor, then you should aim to keep your expenses as low as possible while you build your portfolio and client base.
The benefit of traveling while working is that you can stay in lower cost of living locales while you work, but you will still have to pay for travel costs. Once you have a few regular clients or longer-term contracts, you could consider traveling full time as well.