Thanks to technology, it’s now possible to work and travel at the same time. In fact, it’s become such a popular phenomenon that some countries now even offer workation visas. But before you go searching for your next flight, there are some things you should know to be a successful worker/traveler.
First and foremost, you need to make sure that you can do whatever you do from a distance. Next, make sure that your employer or clients are OK with you working remotely and moving around a fair bit.
If that’s settled, then here’s how you can travel the world while working.
Pro tip: before you head out to a different country, make sure you have a valid passport, visa, health insurance, and international cards.
1. Pick your destination(s) wisely
First and foremost, you need to carefully pick your destination. While you may be tempted to head to a remote part in Asia or Latin America, keep in mind that you will need a reliable internet connection in order to work. Pro tip: aim for longer stays in each destination (at least a month) to have enough time to work and truly get to know a city.
2. Get the right business tools and resources
Depending on where you’re going and how often you plan on moving around and visiting other places, you should consider getting a virtual office, for two main reasons. One, they provide you and your clients with a reliable way to remain in touch (virtual offices offer VoIP phones and you can receive mail there which they then forward to wherever you’ve determined). Two, they provide you with access to basic business resources which might come in handy during your travels (a local address and number, copying, printing, faxing, A/V equipment, office space, and a reliable internet connection).
3. Become a budgeting expert
Regardless of where you’re going, you need to have a budget. Take into consideration how much money you’ll be making, how often people/companies will pay you, and how much you need to make in order for you to enjoy your travels. Though sometimes you might be heading to a place cheaper than your hometown, this might now always be the case, so make sure you get your financials in order before you head out. Pro tip: always leave some cushion money for emergencies and always read the fine print on airfare and transportation tickets.
4. Become a great communicator
Given that you’ll be working from a distance, it’s important that you clearly establish how you will remain in touch with clients and/or supervisors. You need to set clear expectations on how and when people can reach you. Research communication tools like Slack, Skype, Asana, Whatsapp, Zoom, to make communication efforts seamless and effective. Pro tip: if you have to jump on a video call or meet a client, consider renting a professional meeting room vs going to your new favorite coffee spot.
5. Last but not least, balance work with travel
It can be hard for remote workers to power off from work, but if you want to successfully travel while you work, it cannot be all work and no tourism. With this in mind, you need to be able to set some limits for yourself and now when it’s time to disconnect and start exploring a new city or town.
Additional tips for traveling and working:
Have a debit card and a backup credit card
Invest in a universal electrical adapter
Use incognito mode to search for flights and accommodation
Pick accommodation where you have access to a kitchen
Try to have a routine while you travel
Make sure your smartphone is unlocked so that you can purchase local sim cards
Have over the counter medicines handy (cold, stomach problems, allergies, etc.)
Be flexible (flights, trains, buses are sometimes delayed/cancelled)
Connect with a digital nomad community