Work and travel tips

Work and travel: tips for making both work on the go

Considering a lifestyle that incorporates both work and travel? In this article, I share my experiences and top tips for making remote work a reality, allowing you to see the world while you work on your career at the same time.

As you’ll know, one of my absolute favourite things to do in the world is travel. Wherever I go, whether exploring in the UK (where I’m from) or travelling abroad, I love finding new things to see and do – whether that’s through experiences, trying new food, seeing new sites or exploring new landscapes. In an increasingly interconnected world, the ability to work remotely while exploring new destinations has become a reality for many. And why wouldn’t you work and travel at the same time, given the opportunity?

I’ve been incredibly lucky over the past couple of years, and have been able to experience both work and travel at the same time – quite literally working from tropical paradises like Fiji and Bora Bora while earning the money to enable me to enjoy all the best bits of travelling. Imagine working at a seaside resort in Fiji and then taking a dip in the crystal clear waters to swim with turtles on your lunch break – sounds dreamy, right? So how do you work and travel at the same time? And how do you balance productivity with exploration? In this guide, I share my top tips for making both work.

Ensure you have a good internet connection 

The number one rule of work and travel? Always check your internet connection! When checking, ensure it’s a stable, reliable connection that doesn’t cut out. The last thing you want is to be in the middle of a work call for it to drop out and not be able to reconnect. I learnt this the hard way in rural Australia when I couldn’t maintain a stable connection on a client call. In today’s world, most places will offer a good internet connection, however, this is not guaranteed, with some countries like Venezuela and Algeria known for having the worst WiFi. When connecting to different internet connections, it’s useful to know how to change your IP address on a Mac. By changing your IP, you can overcome certain internet limitations. I recommend researching accommodation that offers high-speed internet. Mobile hotspots or local SIM cards can be a good backup for regions with inconsistent connectivity.

Dedicate set working hours 

As you can imagine, visiting new places and seeing new things is very exciting, however, this can be a distraction as well. A trap some people fall into when combining work and travel is to do more travelling and less working – this can get you into trouble and negatively affect your income. It’s all too easy to arrive at a new destination and want to explore instead of work – trust me, I’ve been there! To reduce the chances of this happening, try to set dedicated work hours that you stick to each day. By having set hours, you know you can explore before and after this period, helping you keep to a routine and balance the work and travel dilemma. I also try to make the most of the time zones – this can mean working early in the morning before having the afternoon and evening spare for exploring.

Work and travel tips

Factor in time zones 

Time zones can be easy to forget about, but they are extremely important – especially when working whilst travelling. Depending on the type of work you do, your client’s operating hours could be based on a variety of time zones. This means you might need to be awake and working to the time zone that they are on. If you travel to Australia and have UK-based clients, they are 10 hours behind, meaning when their work day starts at 9 am, Australian time will be 7 pm. This means you’ll need to be working and online based on their working day. I also make sure to use downtime effectively. Long flights with WiFi or train rides can be great opportunities for catching up on tasks like emails, planning, or brainstorming.

research your destination as much as possible 

As with anything in life, research is very important, especially when combining work and travel. When on the go, try to research the places you’re going to as far in advance as possible, including the infrastructure and time zone differences. Take note of any workspaces you might be able to use as well as hotel check-in times (you may need an early check-in so that you can take a work call). Factor in the time it takes you to get to places as well as alternative travel methods should a flight be cancelled or your train delayed. If mishaps do happen when you’re away, try to keep an open mind and be flexible. Remember, there are always alternative methods should a plan not go exactly how you would have liked it. Always manage your client expectations, too – it’s better to underpromise and overachieve, instead of overpromise and underachieve. 

Bring backups with you

There’s nothing worse than having a tech issue while you’re away, particularly if you’re in a remote location. For this reason, I always take a few backups with me. Make sure you have a reliable laptop, and pack extra chargers and portable power banks so you have a few options in case you lose a charger. I’d also really recommend taking some noise-cancelling headphones so that you’re well equipped to take calls in noisy places if needed.

Combining work and travel is one of the best things that you can do, so if you can, I highly recommend doing it. It may require a lot of planning, but once started, you’ll get on top of things and won’t want to stop. I’d suggest trying it for a month or two initially to make sure it works for you, seeing how you get on, and then booking a longer trip away. I’ve spent a large portion of the past two years working remotely, and I’ve never looked back.

That’s my guide to making work and travel work for you. Are you a remote worker too? Let me know your top tips and recommendations in the comments below.

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