Working remotely is more common today than ever before. Entrepreneurship is on the rise, freelance jobs are abundant and even today’s most old-fashioned employers are allowing their employees to work remotely. Whether you have one of those employers that lets you work off-site, or you’re a self-employed hustler, a ‘working vacation’ is a thing. Your source of income that allows you to work remotely could be from freelance web design, content writing, ghostwriting, graphic design, social media management – the list goes on. The one commonality is that you can work while you travel, and to keep from going broke during a trip, you certainly should be setting aside time to work during your travels. Whether you’re being told that you have to get something done while you’re away (from an employer) or you simply want to get work done while you travel (because you’re self-employed and you need to earn money) here are 5 tips for actually getting work done while you travel:
1. Begin each day with coffee, breakfast and a mini work session
If you want to get work done while you’re away, it’s crucial to start the day with your work rather than save the work for later. Don’t assume that you’ll have time later, or that you’ll do that work before you go to bed that night. Saving your work for later is silly, because what if you get caught up in something fun, or you have a few drinks, or you run into a friend who commandeers your time for the whole day? Similarly, assuming you’ll have time to get that work done right before bed is risky, because even though ‘bed time’ is often associated with ‘down time’ and therefore a good time to get work done, it’s actually not. You’re not exactly on your A game when you’re exhausted from a full day of exploring abroad or a full day of events. When your brain is tired, you’ll find that the quality of your work won’t be that great, or you’ll find that you pass out before you finish.
My best tip to accomplish this goal is to order room service, and have breakfast and coffee alone while you get work done. If you’re with a team of people, and they have breakfast together every morning, the smartest thing you could do is skip that group breakfast and instead treat breakfast time like work time. If you start your day with a couple hours of work, you’ll ensure that you get some work done each day. This way, you’ll have the rest of your day to explore and you’ll have more fun knowing that you didn’t procrastinate.
2. A room with a view helps tremendously
When you retreat to your hotel room to get work done, skip a group event to work, or skip that group breakfast and order in so that you can work – you know what helps? A room with a view. Having something pretty to look out at while you’re working makes you feel happy in your surroundings instead of aching to close the laptop and leave the hotel room. The Marquis Resort in Los Cabos, Mexico happens to promise that every room has an ocean view. It’s a guarantee. Plus, they have fast WiFi. A room with a view decreases the FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) that you have when you’re working instead of playing, because it still feels like you’re on vacation and not just in a regular, boring room. With a room as nice as the ones at the Marquis, you’ll have a case of JOMO (Joy of Missing Out) when you have to stay in.
3. Get work-cation tools that will help you be more efficient while you travel
Anyone who wants to work while they’re travelling needs to set themselves up with the right tools. For example, this task manager is a great way to stay on top of things while you’re away, and it will help you prioritize the tasks that need to be done while you’re away because they’re in fact due while you’re away. A mobile hotspot will help you out if you need WiFi to work and you’re always on the go with limited access to spots with WiFi. Apple makes these great phone-charging phone cases that allow your phone to last all day because even if it dies, the case itself will charge it back up. Essentially, they’re an extra battery for your phone, which is perfect for travellers.
4. Take the train instead of the plane whenever possible
If you’ve ever got the option to take a train instead of a plane, do it. You’re much more likely to get work done one a train ride rather than on an airplane. Trains, such as the EuroStar, tend to have much better WiFi than airplanes, and more room to spread out. More room contributes to your willingness to work because the more cramped you are, the more likely you are to get frustrated. Imagine being on an airplane, trying to balance your laptop and your notebook without bumping the person next to you – and what do you do when you also need space for your complimentary drinks and in-flight snacks? It’s just too crowded and not conducive for a work session.
5. Embrace your newfound surge of energy
Travelling refuels your brain with a newfound surge of energy and sudden waves of creativity. Take advantage of the moment if you’re feeling inspired, feeling creative or feeling driven while you’re away. If you feel those surges of energy, retreat to your ocean view terrace in your hotel room and crack open the laptop or notebook. Being in new surroundings invigorates your brain, and that’s why being abroad actually helps you find the energy to get work done.
Erica Gordon is the author of Aren’t You Glad You Read This? The Complete How-To Guide for Singles with a History of Failed Relationships Who Want their Next Relationship to Succeed, available here.