Looking to shift your work-life balance? We at VT have always believed that working remotely while traveling is THE work-life balance.
If you’ve always wanted to explore the beauty of the world without worrying about leaving your job for months, the best opportunity is to opt for remote work. The explosion of remote work opportunities is at its peak, and there are a lot of remote jobs and travel programs people can apply for nowadays.
If you already have a remote job, there’s nothing that can stop you from living your adventurous life. Yes, it can be tricky to organize and plan your working schedule, but these are just minor difficulties that mean nothing compared to what you can experience when working while traveling.
- Planning a remote year?
- Want to explore a new country and earn money?
- Envious of the digital nomad lifestyle?
Well, as long as you’ve got internet access, a remote work trip is easier than you might think. Read on for more info!
Table of Contents
- The dangers and freedoms of working remotely and traveling
- Top tips to help you travel AND work remotely while traveling
- 1. Reliable and safe internet connection
- 2. Pack appropriately
- 3. Focus on the work and minimize the distraction
- 4. Set the limits and know when to call it a day
- 5. Use the time to explore
- 6. Find a co-working space
- 7. Bring backup headphones
- 8. Have several backup plans
- 9. Get travel insurance
- 10. Get your finances in order
- 11. Share your experiences
- Final Thoughts
The dangers and freedoms of working remotely and traveling
For us as Viatravelers being able to work remotely and trot the globe is literally living the dream.
For most folks, earning a stable source of income means you cannot go out into the world as frequently as you would like. Therefore, the remote working model has revolutionized the way people work and travel.
However, before you jump into remote work and travel abroad for several months, there are several things to know.
For instance, cooperating with your teammates can be difficult if you are in a different time zone. Thus, establishing reasonable working hours is crucial. Facebook groups, Google video calls, and software tools like Atlas VPN should be your bread and butter.
Also, you should not forget the essential gadgets, like a pocket MiFi or a battery, when you cannot find any outlets. Of course, there are travel-friendly gadgets that you can consider. However, it is important not to overpack.
So, let’s emphasize specific tools and priorities that users should consider when working remotely while traveling.
Top tips to help you travel AND work remotely while traveling
If you’re wondering how to work remotely and travel, you’ve come to the right place! Here are some helpful tips to help you plan everything and easily balance the life-work routine.
1. Reliable and safe internet connection
Remote work is impossible without a trusted and fast internet connection so you can stay connected. Even trying to work on weekend trips and day trips is impossible without the net.
You need to be available during your working hours, and sometimes beyond that to accommodate for different time zones.
If you plan to stay at an Airbnb, you can ask the owners about the internet speeds at the property. However, speed is not the only priority to have. Many networks at hotels or other public locations can lack even the most basic security mechanisms. For instance, they might not encrypt traffic, making it possible to snoop on your activities.
The first and most important tip you need to remember is to secure your personal information before it becomes too late. Make sure you have a plan on where you can securely connect to Wi-Fi without having to worry your information will be compromised and hacked.
Research your security options and download VPN apps to keep your info safe. Coffee shop and Airbnb Wi-Fi can be fast enough for your needs but also be unsecured.
A VPN (Virtual Private Network) is an application you install on your devices. Then, you can choose from various locations and pick a suitable server. For the best internet speeds, connecting to the servers closest to you is always best.
Essentially, a VPN encrypts your internet traffic, covering the network’s potential security gaps. Therefore, snoopers and network managers should not be able to see what you do online. The security of your data is essential, so don’t take this precaution lightly. After all, you won’t only be dealing with personal data. Some exchanges of files and information will contain confidential corporate data. Please protect it from anyone attempting to eavesdrop.
2. Pack appropriately
Of course, if you’re already into remote work, there’s no need to mention that your laptop or MacBook is essential. However, we all have that hype before the trip that can result in forgetting to pack everything we need.
Make sure all your working gear is appropriately packed and secured. You don’t want to land in the Caribbean and realize you’ve left your laptop charger at home. Make a list of essentials before you start packing and use it as a checklist.
Also, remember not to overpack and consider what you might buy once you travel to your destination. For instance, some countries might offer better prices, meaning you can save some money by buying goods there.
See Related: The Ultimate Summer Trip Packing List
3. Focus on the work and minimize the distraction
The beauty of the place you’ve visited can make you forget about your obligations. We all want to enjoy our surroundings while exploring new places but remember that remote work doesn’t mean you don’t have to work. It is a privilege you should value and respect by working as hard as you would back home!
The responsibilities you have at work are essential, and you need to create a specific routine if you don’t want to stay up late working while you can enjoy the evening in some fancy oceanside restaurant.
Make sure you stay focused during your work hours and enjoy the rest of the day. Another tip is not stepping away from your usual routine. If possible, keep the same working hours or start later to give yourself more time to explore.
4. Set the limits and know when to call it a day
Remote work is great because you have flexible work hours and don’t have to organize your life around the job, but don’t get too lazy and comfortable about that. Even though you can pick the time of the day to finish your obligations, don’t get too flexible.
After all, you don’t want to waste more than the required time to sit and work. The better option is to finish the job and enjoy the beauty of the place you’re staying. Prepare a schedule and decide on work hours and stick to that plan. You can also set work goals for each day and try to achieve them.
See Related: Free Printable Travel Planner
5. Use the time to explore
As we already mentioned, remote work is about having enough time to create a life-work harmony. Use your free time to spend quality moments and explore the world while you’re away from home.
Go outside during lunch, walk away from the laptop, and use your breaks to forget about the job truly. Don’t waste even a minute of your travel!
Thus, you might consider the location of your hotel or Airbnb. For instance, if you have a 1-hour lunch break, you can only travel to nearby sightseeing locations. So, you might pick accommodations closer to the city or particular objects you wish to explore.
6. Find a co-working space
Remote work can affect your focus and distract you, especially if you’re away from home. Your surroundings might scream “relax” instead of “work.” Therefore, you can try going to co-working spaces. They have become popular over the years, and with more people choosing remote work, their presence will only increase.
You can always look for a co-working environment no matter how far away you’ve traveled. There are specially organized spaces and communities of people that gather up during the day to work together.
Find out if the place you’re visiting has such an option. Coffee shops are cozy and comfortable, but there’s always a chance you won’t be able to be productive and concentrate in a coffee shop during your work hours.
So, co-working spaces might help you feel more professional, increase productivity, and help you meet new people. Such locations are also great for making business connections.
See Related: Best Car Seat Travel Bags to Buy Today
7. Bring backup headphones
If you need a quiet environment to work on your computer, you’ll probably need to pack headphones for your trip. However, ensure you always have backup headphones if you forget to pick them up after a relaxing day on the beach.
Noise-canceling headphones are fabulous for remote working since you’ll probably have to travel from place to place and work from different locations and environments. Make sure you always have your headphones if you are working remotely while traveling.
Y’know while we’re on the subject of backups…
8. Have several backup plans
You might have everything for a smooth trip and work. However, what if your laptop breaks, and all data is lost? You need to prepare for such accidents beforehand. Find out whether it would be possible to receive a new computer abroad. You should also pack your personal device (phone, tablet, etc) as a backup.
Additionally, have a few ways to contact your colleagues. Slack or Microsoft Teams should not be the only way to reach out to them. Get the number of your manager to inform them of any incidents. For instance, you might not have a Wi-Fi connection for several hours. Your manager should be informed of such inconveniences.
See Related: Can You Use Data on a Plane?
9. Get travel insurance
When organizing a remote work trip to different cities or a different country, it’s easy to get caught up in all the excitement. When you’re in that heady state, it’s also easy to forget to consider your safety, well-being, or any other wrench that could be thrown into your plans to live as a digital nomad.
Travel is a wonderful experience. However, it is fraught with potential issues. Travel insurance can get you out of a bind, from canceled flights and mislaid luggage to covering unexpected hospital bills. It’s an upfront cost, but it could help you save money in the long run.
Who knows, that international health insurance policy might even save you from bankruptcy!
Ideal companies for remote workers to keep in mind are World Nomads and Insured Nomads – as like-minded digital nomads, we use them all the time.
10. Get your finances in order
Working remotely while traveling to a new city or foreign country is expensive. It’s wise to make sure you’ve got a good financial fallback in case anything goes wrong (or if you feel like traveling for longer).
But there’s still more you can do. A travel credit card that can help ease some of the financial burdens of transportation and accommodation is essential for digital nomads and other remote workers around the world.
For example, the American Express Platinum card allows you to build up points from purchases that can be used on flights, car rental,s and hotel bookings (I won’t lie, it’s my personal favorite). Chase Sapphire Preferred is another great option for digital nomads.
Nest egg? Check. Travel credit card? Check Anything else?
Are you legally allowed to work remotely while traveling around your chosen destination? What about the tax implications there, as well as the tax implications in your home country?
Do your research! Working abroad in one location may be completely different in the next new location.
See Related: What to Bring on a Camping Trip with Friends
Don’t think of it as bragging, but as a means to demonstrate to your boss and co-workers that working remotely as a digital nomad was the right direction for you and your employer!
Send photos from your adventures around the world. Send a weekly journal of your experiences living abroad. Demonstrate how you successfully worked remotely without taking advantage of the company, but still got to take in new sights and make new friends.
If you keep your co-workers and your boss up to date with all your cool escapades and maintain your standard of work during your remote work trip, it’s more likely that you’ll be granted another opportunity to work remotely as a digital nomad.
Who knows? You may even inspire more like-minded people at your job to try their own remote working adventure.
If you’ve been worried about how to work remotely and travel, it’s time to stop fussing and plan the journey right away!
Take advantage of your situation and spend time doing something beautiful for yourself! Seriously, it’s been a tough few years, the grind doesn’t have to be the same forever, you can break out, no, you DESERVE to break out of the grind and try working remotely in your dream destinations. Use the tips we’ve listed above, get out there, and enjoy your trip!
Of course, remote work means that you carry many responsibilities. You should not slack off or take advantage of the situation too much – otherwise, that remote year becomes a one-off experience.
Of course, once you get there it might take a few days to adjust to your new surroundings. However, as soon as you are settled, remember to stay true to your job and be as productive as possible. If you are struggling or feeling homesick, be open with your boss and let them know about the situation.