Working remotely and traveling is the dream of many. Now more and more people choose flexible hours, leave their usual way of life and go to explore countries around the world.
Remote work really gives you freedom of movement. Of course, you can sit within the four walls of an apartment or a cafe, but it’s much more interesting to see the world since you don’t need to go to the office. Despite its immense appeal, this lifestyle can also carry its own set of stresses and challenges.
We’re here to help navigate those challenges with tips and tools to successfully combine remote work and travel.
7 Ways to Combine Remote Work and Traveling
If you already work remotely but want to become nomadic and travel more these guidelines will help you better adapt to work while traveling, stress less and adapt faster.
1. Explore the Concept of “Slow Travel”
Remote work while discovering new destinations can be a big challenge, not only for beginners but also for already experienced freelancers. For a comfortable life, while exploring a new country, we advise you to choose the “slow travel” philosophy.
It is the idea of slow, measured travel and exploration of a destination for months rather than days or weeks. This philosophy has several advantages: you can create a routine, get to know the place at a calm pace, get used to a new work environment, save on housing costs and get to know the locals. These are just a few of the benefits. Without rushing, you will enjoy the travel format much more.
2. Choose Destinations Suitable for Comfortable Remote Work
For traveling freelancers, accessibility, a community for communication and safety are crucial concerns. This is especially true if you’re traveling solo. Also, if you’d rather not work at “home” you’ll want to find a comfortable public place to work. Tripadvisor is suitable for finding cafes and the Get Croissant app is good for finding co-working spaces.
But remember that it can get quite noisy in these public workspaces. In case you have to record some online conference or team call, just remove background noise from video online to have the most high-quality recording and not let the important things that were said at the meeting missing.
The main surprise that may await in a new country is poor Wi-Fi. As an example, countries like Portugal and Thailand tend to have decent WiFi whereas Cuba and Venezuela have very poor internet.
Before making a decision, be sure to check destinations for freelancers using the Nomad List website. All cities in the world are presented there in the form of a special rating for digital nomads.
3. Research Your Destination and Accommodation
Whether you will be staying in a hotel or an apartment rental you will want to ensure you have a good workspace. Often, hotels don’t have desks, or the power outlets are too far from the table and you have to work in an uncomfortable position. Inquire about the room or apartment layout to make certain you can work comfortably.
Ask Google in advance for opening times for shops, restaurants, museums, or fitness clubs to maintain a balanced and healthy lifestyle. For example, in some countries shops are closed on Sundays or public transit may shut down early. Also, check if public holidays fall on the days of your arrival and/or departure as this may affect your schedule and ability to move around.
4. Balance Work and Play
One of the biggest challenges to a nomadic work/travel lifestyle is finding a balance between quality relaxation and productive work. It helps to plan a work schedule with ample breaks and make sure to divide your time for rest, play and exploring. The better you plan your day, the less stress and more productivity you’ll have.
Use task managers like Trello, Asana and time trackers like Timely or Toggl. These tools allow you to be aware of how many tasks you have to do and how long they will take you.
Also, plan some time for physical activity as sitting at a computer all day is not a healthy thing. Find a local gym, dance class or a park to exercise in or even just find a nice walking route. The main thing is to balance your sedentary work time with some active time.
5. Always Check Time Zones
Check time zones with clients and customers regularly. Many countries switch to winter/summer time. Also, notify clients in advance when your time and schedule change dramatically. Designate a new mode, make a special memo to make both you and the customer comfortable to work. After all, there is nothing worse than missing an important deadline or a video call with a client.
6. Think About Security
Take care of the safety of yourself, your equipment and also your finances. Consider your budget in advance; it is advisable to have a financial cushion for emergencies. Save passwords and data using special software such as Keeper or Nordpass.
Order spare bank cards. Make backup copies of all important documents. Believe us, while traveling, it is much more difficult to recover lost cards and passwords; the same applies to equipment and files. All of these can jeopardize your work.
Living in a “travel + work” rhythm can create an incredible burst of energy and generate tons of cool ideas that will positively affect your work. When immersing yourself in a different culture, it is important not to lose your work focus: plan tasks in advance and set deadlines.
Also, remember that the nomadic lifestyle has three main concerns: money, the Internet, and health. If you have these three factors permanently in order, then everything will be fine.
Born in England, Sarah developed her wanderlust at a young age as she traveled around Europe with her parents. As a young adult she spent every penny she could on experiences as opposed to possessions. Eventually she found a way to earn a living doing what she loved: traveling, writing and capturing images of the wondrous world we live in. When not on the go Sarah enjoys time in her “sometimes home” of Vancouver.