Fortunately, we live in a time when technology makes it possible to work almost anywhere in the world without missing a beat. Gone are the days when traveling and working couldn’t seamlessly coexist. If you plan ahead and travel with a bit of preparation, there’s no reason you can’t be working efficiently while seeing a different part of the world.
Here are our tips for working remotely while traveling:
Have a plan for internet
Do your research ahead of time, and don’t wait until you arrive to see about the WIFI situation. Review your international plan ahead of time, too. Does your provider offer a day pass like Verizon? Or if you will be in a country for an extended period, consider getting a local SIM card. At the least, find out if your accommodations will have WIFI, if you’re in a more remote place where it’s not standard, of course. “Sorry, there’s no WIFI here,” may not be the response you want to send your clients or co-workers.
Pack your on-the-go-office
Working while you’re traveling requires thinking ahead when it comes to packing as well. Make sure you bring your laptop charger, phone charger, mouse and portable keyboard—any essentials to make sure you can work remotely as you would normally. Don’t forget your headphones as they will be a godsend when trying to work on a plane, airport, or a crowded café.
Set up all your mobile apps
Setting up essential mobile apps before you leave will ensure you’re ready to hit the ground running. Many mobile apps, such as messaging or banking ones, require authentication via text. If you’re not turning on your data roaming while you’re out of the country, this might be a problem. So make sure you have all the latest messaging apps downloaded before you leave. WhatsApp, Slack, Skype, and of course, Uber, Venmo, Paypal, and other essential apps you may need while traveling.
Be mindful of time differences
Before you take off, calculate any time differences you’ll have with your team. Give them a heads-up what time zone you’ll be in and consider adding an autoreply to your email that lets people know you might not be responding immediately. This particularly useful if you’re across the world working a day ahead or behind. If you don’t want to alert clients or team members you’re across the world, you can always schedule your emails to send at certain times in Gmail. Also, bookmark a Time Zone converter so you can quickly see what time it is all over the world. You can plug in numerous time zones on this converter which is helpful when trying to decide a meeting time that will work for a group in different locations.
Find a time and place where you’ll be most productive
Perhaps you’re adding a few days of travel onto a work trip, or maybe you always work remotely and you’re taking your home-office on the road for a few weeks. Whatever your situation is, find a place that you will be free of distractions, so you work just as if you were at home or in the office. This might mean your hotel room, or a hotel lobby, or a café. Or maybe you’re traveling to a city that has co-working spaces that offer day passes or week passes. Roam, Behere, and Unsettled are some of our favorite options to coordinate co-working or co-living experiences to seamlessly work while traveling abroad. Wherever you decide to work, make sure to research ahead of time what the options are so you have a backup plan if your WIFI is slow or the spaces are too crowded.
Also, block off times you’ll be working. Maybe it’s the same time zone so it’s normal 9-5 hours, or perhaps you’ll have your days free, but need to be online in the evenings with your team. Think ahead and try to plan your days so you’ll have blocks of time to focus on work.
And it goes without saying, be extra communicative while you’re traveling – even if you’re working the same hours. Out-of-sight can sometimes mean out-of-mind and sending a few “what I’m working on” emails can go a long way when you’re on a different time zone.
We’d love to know how you work remotely when you travel. Share your thoughts below!