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How to Work Remotely While Traveling

woman sitting in airplane seat working on laptop

Making money while globetrotting is an attractive proposition. But, working while traveling isn’t easy, so let’s look at a few tips on how to get started and how to stay productive

How to Get Started With Remote Work

The first question most of us have is what kind of jobs let people work remotely when traveling. It’s a good question. Not all jobs offer this kind of perk, so it might be the kind of thing where you have to break out on your own.

Ask For Flexibility

Remote work has become much more commonplace in the last few years—even at established companies. One reason for this is increased productivity—remote workers tend to put more time and effort into getting their job done. It’s also a good way for companies to save money.

You might be able to convince your boss to let you work remotely. Start by asking for a week or two to get the job done from home and prove that it works. Once they notice how efficient you can be, the chances are they won’t care much where you do the work, so long as it gets done.

Get Into Freelancing

Freelancing has its ups and downs. It can be hard to break into a new business, work tends to follow boom and bust cycles, and it’s sometimes difficult to keep yourself motivated.

However, one of the biggest advantages of freelancing is flexibility. If you can do your work from a computer and you don’t have to be in a specific location to meet with clients, then you can do your work from anywhere.

Getting started isn’t necessarily easy, and it might take time to make a stable income. You first have to build a good portfolio (if you don’t already have one) and gain a trustworthy profile to acquire regular and long-term clients, and then you’ll have to spend a lot of time networking to further your reach. Consistency is key.

Find Your Niche Skill

Every day there are new freelancers on the market seeking new opportunities, and some of them are even willing to work for free to gain experience. An excellent way to avoid going down that path is to find your niche, a skill unique to you that can make clients choose you over everyone else who might have a similar background. A specific skill set can be of great value when applying for remote jobs, so emphasize your specialization and highlight your points of strength, and increase your appeal to clients all over the world. 

How to Take Your Work With You Around the World

man working on his laptop on the beach during sunset

Once you’ve figured out that you can take your work with you anywhere you want to go, the next question is how to do it effectively.

Get Informed About the Internet Connection 

If you depend on the internet to get your work done, you’ll need to figure out ahead of time how to stay connected.

It’s not uncommon for remote workers to encounter issues with W-Fi speeds being too slow to get on a conference call or to upload files to submit to clients. For that reason, it’s always wise to do your research before you get to your next destination.

Learn about the local internet standards, available speeds, and all the available connection options you have. You might want to carry gear such as a spare USB Wi-Fi adapter or even a travel router with you. This way you won’t be caught off guard when you’re faced with a last-minute deadline while on a hiking getaway. 

Figure Out Your Routine

Working from outside the office isn’t an excuse to be lazy and leave everything until the last minute. The point of working remotely is to be more efficient on your terms.

Find out when you’re most productive and set up a routine around those times. You might also want to look for a place that will make you feel more focused, which could be a desk in your room or a cute cafe where they make top-notch cappuccinos.

Traveling can make things a bit trickier than if you were to be at home, but it’s not impossible to accomplish your tasks and explore new places. It’s all about finding a routine that works best for you. 

Buy the Necessary Gear

Having the right electronics to work with is at the core of remote working. Whether you’re trying to get some work done at a cafe or on an airplane, chances are you’ll want to put some headphones on to focus on your job adequately.

That’s why you should invest in a good set of noise-canceling headphones or earbuds that can fit in your bag and provide you with excellent sound while masking outside noise.

Visiting new countries involves adapting to their ways, and that includes dealing with different power outlets and voltages when plugging in your devices. Hence, owning a universal adapter is a must.

Finally, it’s a good idea to bring backups for your USB cables, chargers, and anything you might deem essential to work. You wouldn’t want your laptop charger to break during your week-long island vacation.

Join a Co-Working Space

people in a co working space
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

Some people find it very difficult to work from the comfort of their (temporary) home. Between the bed and the kitchen, they find there are too many distractions keeping them from being their diligent selves.

That’s where co-working spaces come into play. They provide an excellent environment for people who need a quiet and well-equipped space to work, topped with the opportunity to network with other professionals and entrepreneurs living the same experience. Nowadays there are co-working spaces everywhere you go, and they always offer different options for working areas, such as a desk or an office, as well as several membership options.

Set Up Communication Channels 

Organization and planning are crucial when you’re traveling, especially if your job entails regular conference calls or video interviews. Before you leave on your adventure, you should set up a schedule and decide on the best communication channels that will allow you to keep in touch with all your clients and business partners. 

You should keep in mind that some apps or social media pages don’t work in certain countries and might require a VPN to use them. In other cases, the channel is only available for phone or desktop only, which could be a disadvantage if that one device you were carrying with you were to stop working or if you had to be continually checking just that one device for notifications. Apps like Slack, Viber, and WhatsApp are available both for desktop and phone, so moving all your communications onto such apps can be beneficial when you’re on the road. 

Be Mindful of Time Differences 

Nobody likes to be disturbed after hours, let alone be asked to join a Skype meeting before bed. Take note of the time difference between you and the people you’ll be working with and try to arrange for the most suitable time to chat for everyone. Be honest about your accessibility and state when you will be available to communicate. Sometimes it’s also good to leave some room for uncertainty in case things don’t go as planned.

Know When to Stop and Smell the Roses 

Finally, you shouldn’t forget why you’re doing all of this. Though you might be passionate about your job, remember where you are and the reasons that brought you there. You’re no longer stuck in a confined space, and you can explore the world and learn something new every day.

While it’s good to do your best to make a living, it’s also good to enjoy the little things in life and appreciate the fact that you’re living a life many people dream of. Having a routine can allow you to find balance and do both. 

As you can see, working and traveling can go hand in hand if you know how to do it right. Find your specialty, get the clients, organize and plan your work schedule on the road, and set off on your new journey. Just don’t get stuck on your work duties and let the world surprise you once in a while. 

Carla Cometto Carla Cometto
Carla has been writing professionally for five years and blogging for many more. She's worked as a journalist, photographer, and translator. She's also an avid traveler who hopes to inspire a sense of curiosity and adventure in others through her writing. Read Full Bio »
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