The number of Digital Nomads; that is those lucky people who get to work and travel the world, is on the rise. With blossoming industries such as digital marketing, and freelance writing offering alluring remote working, coupled with millennials being priced out of the property ladder, it’s no wonder so many of us are deciding to get out there and see the world. Travelling the world and getting to work at the same time to fund it, is a dream scenario for many, however it’s not without sacrifice and discipline. Get it right, and you’re golden. Get it wrong and you could find yourself in deep water without a paddle. Read on for some practical tips on balancing work and travel.
How To Tips: Balancing Work and Travel
1. Plan your itinerary in advance
Know what your must sees and must do’s are before you arrive, book them in advance and plan time for work. How much time you need to set aside depends on your commitments. For me, I usually reserve a full day every 4 days, and spend 1-2 hours everyday replying to emails, and keeping on top of projects. I’m an early riser so tend to do this first thing, before I shower and have breakfast. I’ll often bookend the day with work, spending an hour first thing when I wake up, and an hour before I get ready for bed to catch my colleagues in the UK before they finish for the day. For full working days, I choose a non-travelling day, and a day where I haven’t had a late night, or have to check out etc.
2. Wifi is your lifeline
Choose hostels with free wifi and good communal areas. Check the reviews to see if the wifi is reliable, as there’s nothing worse than arriving somewhere ready to work to find the wifi is snail slow. In this case, it’s helpful to always have a back-up plan by researching cafes with wifi nearby. McDonalds and Starbucks are ideal because there is usually one or the other everywhere you go in the world. Best of all it’s free, always reliable, and you can get cheap drinks at each. Big cities tend to have public libraries with wifi that you can use, and quiet comfortable rooms too.
If you do find yourself battling with the wifi, don’t waste time fighting it. Just pack up and find somewhere with a faster, stronger connection. It only winds you up and wastes your time to keep trying to work through a poor connection.
Many Digital Nomads are now seeking out coworking spaces, which can make getting your work done on time much easier!
Write down a priority task for every day which needs to be done, no matter what, and make sure to tackle that as soon as you can. It does sometimes mean getting up extra early so that you can still do that day trip you had planned, but that’s a small sacrifice to make. You’ll be in the best mood knowing you’ve done your main bit of work already and have the rest of the day to enjoy your surroundings.
4. Use dead time wisely
Stuck in an airport, on a long bus/train/boat journey? Use that dead time to work. If you can’t get online, draft some emails, use the time to think, write to do lists, make notes and get organised.
Do what you can, when you can, which may be little and often. Don’t procrastinate, just get your priority tasks done, every day and then shut the laptop and explore!
Make sure to give your colleagues notice if you’re about to be out of touch for a long time. It gives them a chance to ask you any vital questions that can’t wait, and they’ll appreciate knowing when you are/aren’t available.
5. Be secure
Make sure your laptop is backed up, and in full working order, with plenty of memory. External hard drives are a good idea, as is getting into a routine of backing up weekly.
Get a good laptop case and skin so that it is protected, and choose a rucksack that has a separate compartment for your laptop.
Gadget insurance is always worth it! It’s your lifeline when you’re travelling and if the worst happens, you need to be covered.