You could think that the good thing about running an online business is that you don’t need anything else, but your laptop, a good Wi-Fi connection, and that would be all! And that means that you can work & travel as you please. Who will notice whether you’re working from a boring office in your hometown or if you’re sipping a mojito while checking your emails in front of a gorgeous beach, right? Well… the truth is that you may encounter a big fat problem when you arrive at paradise ready to get working.
And no, the biggest problem I’m referring to isn’t a slow Internet connection or the wrong power plug. It’s your willpower! And you know why? Well, you’re in a brand new place, you stopped thinking about customers the moment you stepped out of the plane, and now you have 2 options: Sit and work… or go out, get to know the city, or head to the beach. And if you’re traveling on your own, you may want to get to know other people, meet them, have fun…Tempting, ain’t it?? So the best thing you can do is set up a strategy in advance for you not to forget about your work and, at the same time, enjoy your travel experience!
So, what do you need to take care of for you to work while you’re visiting new places?
First, plan your trip carefully
- Use low workload times to travel. Try and make the best out of client fluctuations. In this way, you won’t be too stressed out, which will let you enjoy the travel part. Besides, if you travel in low season months, your trip will be much more affordable. Check out this post about how to benefit from low workload periods.
- Check a place with a good WiFi connection – Either your apartment, hotel, nearby coffee shops, or any place you’re planning to work from.
- If you’re flexible with your travel destinations, try NomadList and discover the best places to work as a digital nomad!
- Research any coworking space with after-work parties or other networking activities. Get to know freelancers and solopreneurs. People like you who not only want to drink a couple of beers with you but also get back to work the next day. People who love talking about their projects and who could end up collaborating with you. Who knows?
- Ever heard about co-living? It’s the combination of work + living! Check out Outsite, a platform similar to AirBnB, but for remote workers and freelancers!
- If you don’t want to work from a coworking space or anything similar, why don’t you attend a meetup with people with similar interests? Sign up at meetup.com and start networking right away, even before you get on the plane! Mark your favorite meetup events on your calendar and make sure you attend them!
- Plan what exactly you want to get done. Focus on the most important tasks, that is, anything customer-related or anything which can let you grow your business. Let admin tasks and other boring stuff for later. If you know that you have to deliver any documentation at a specific date, get it done BEFORE you start your travel. Do it and forget about it. You’ll thank me later 😉
Second, get as much done at home as possible
- Try to start your work & travel experience with no open projects. Once you’ve reached your destination, you can take care of any new jobs you may get, but avoid any unfinished work.
- Are there any customers you wouldn’t like to work for while you’re away? Then you’d better let them know that you’re going on vacation! You don’t want to ruin your work & travel experience, do you?
- Plan how many hours a week you’ll work. If possible, don’t plan the whole day. Consider 20 hours per week. It isn’t too much, I know, but if you work focused, you’ll achieve more than any other full-time workday back at home. A trick to work more focused: Don’t check your email or chats constantly. Instead, set aside some time to respond to your emails.
- If you need to keep regular communication with your customers or vendors on a daily basis, let them know the best time to reach you (squeeze it into 30-60 minutes per day). Your goal is to work as focused as possible because you also want to go out and enjoy the new place, remember?
And then, enjoy your work & travel experience!
Now, to the part where you want to enjoy your travel experience:
- Try and take the first couple of days off. Take some time to get used to the new environment, charge up your energy and get acquainted with all practicalities: How do you get where? What’s public transportation like? Where’s the next grocery store? Where can you get a SIM card for your cell phone? Just make sure you feel comfortable in your new home before you turn back to your laptop!
- Once your energy levels are on top, you can start working. Remember you planned the number of hours you wanted to work? Well, now you have to decide how you want to distribute them over the week. You’ve got used to the place, and you probably know when locals eat, drink and have fun. So plan your week around the things you want to do in your free time: Would you like to work 4 hours every morning non-stop? Are you a night owl and prefer to work when the sun has come down? Or would you rather work 2-3 days full-time and take 4-5 days completely free every week? It’s up to you. Just make sure you stick to the plan!
Great organization and planning skills are always a must to run a successful freelancing business, but you’ll need them even more if you plan to combine travel and work! Why? Because you want your business to keep on running AND your customers not to notice that you’re traveling around, right? Then hop on to your favorite online travel agency, book your trip and start planning your new adventure! Where is it going to be?