About 18% of people work remotely full-time. That's over 4.3 million people! If you're working remotely this year, consider becoming a digital nomad. Review your options.
You can start working and traveling! Use this as an opportunity to see the world and explore.
Not sure how to change by a "work and travel" way of life? Give these eight tips a try. With these tips, you can pack your bags and see all the world has to offer.
Meanwhile, you can avoid sacrificing your productivity. Instead, you can work efficiently and find the perfect balance.
Ready to become a working digital nomad? Get started with these eight simple tips today!
1. Plan for Internet
If you plan on turning the world into your office, you're going to need a plan for your Internet connection. Otherwise, you might not realize you're stuck without it until you're trying to work and travel.
First, determine where you're going. How are you getting there? Are you traveling by plane, bus, or train?
Some modes of public transportation offer Internet services for a fee. You might want to choose your mode of transport based on your WiFi needs.
Then, determine where you're going. Where will you work from each day?
You can't always find a Starbucks around the corner. Many cafes around the world follow a "one-purchase-per-hour" model. You won't always find free WiFi.
If you can't sit at a cafe and work, have a backup plan ready.
For example, you might want to purchase an Internet SIM card. Consider working and traveling with a wireless hotspot with you—otherwise, schedule time in co-working spaces worldwide.
Determine what gear you'll pack with you. First, make sure you have a computer that's durable and reliable. Choose a laptop that has a powerful battery life, too.
You might not always have access to an outlet. A laptop with a longer battery life could save you stress down the road. You can review your options and find a computer that works for your new digital nomad lifestyle.
Grab a Notebook and Pen
If you can't find a WiFi connection, have another backup plan in place. For example, you can carry a notebook and pen with you as you work and travel. Taking a notebook with you will ensure you always have a way to jot down your ideas.
If your laptop battery dies and you can't find an outlet, a notebook will ensure ideas don't slip through your fingers. It's a great way to keep track of your thoughts as you travel, too!
Know Which Adaptors You'll Need
As you learn how to work while traveling, make sure to keep your destination in mind. What type of international outlet adaptor will you need?
Plan ahead of time and order your adaptors online. Otherwise, you might have to pay for a more expensive one at the airport.
Look for a world traveler kit that comes with outlets for countries around the world. Some options allow you to switch out the plug for your charger. Instead of using a converter, you'll have a more secure source of power.
Switching out the charger will reduce the risk you'll damage your device, too.
2. Establish a Routine
To learn how to work abroad, you'll need to establish a routine. Otherwise, you could get easily distracted. Your productivity could drop as a result.
Figure out what routine works best for you. For example, some people prefer to work in two-hour bursts. You can take a half-hour break between each shot.
During your "work hours," focus only on work. Make time in your schedules for breaks.
It's easy for the days to blur together while you're working and traveling. Consider establishing a schedule for the week. Work on different projects each day.
Make sure to set the alarm. Stick to a schedule, including when you'll wake up versus when you start work.
Schedule time for traveling in your routine, too.
Establishing a routine will give your days more structure. Otherwise, distractions can impact your ability to work.
3. Have Your Headphones Ready
Invest in a pair of quality headphones. As you work and travel, you might come across crowded, noisy areas. You can't always escape the noise, especially if you're stuck to a deadline.
Earphones will help you shut out the foundation commotion. You won't have to listen to boisterous conversations in foreign languages. Instead, you can isolate yourself and remain on-task.
Create a Playlist
Before you start working, have a playlist ready to go. Otherwise, you could waste valuable time adjusting your music or repeatedly hitting shuffle. Instead, remain proactive and create a playlist ahead of time.
What music helps you focus? Try to choose songs you won't sing along to. Otherwise, you might become your distraction.
You can find ready-made playlists on Spotify, YouTube, and 8Tracks. Some of these playlists are designed with travelers in mind.
4. Consider Communicating
Are you working with other people around the world? Maybe you still job searching and planning on interviews. Either way, you need to have a plan for communicating.
First, determine which messaging platform you'll use. For example, you can download Viber, Slack, and WhatsApp onto your phone. If you need to communicate by video, consider Zoom, Skype, or Google Hangouts.
Zoom has reached 300 million meeting participants each day. Make sure the app is set up and working on your device ahead of time. Otherwise, you might come across issues while you're traveling.
Plan Ahead of Interviews and Meetings
If you're scheduling interviews or meetings throughout the week, make sure to plan ahead of time.
Where will you stay throughout the meeting? Are you taking the call in a hotel room or a cafe? Make sure there's a plain backdrop behind you.
Consider what you'll wear beforehand, too. Pack at least two interview-appropriate outfits before you start traveling.
It can help to research interview tips ahead of time as well. For example, you can try a trial run a day or two beforehand. Make sure your headset/microphone and webcam are working correctly.
You don't want to deal with last-minute technical difficulties.
Make sure the camera is eye-level. Adjust the lighting to avoid awkward shadows.
Remain Flexible and Mindful
If you plan on communicating with people around the world, it's essential to remain flexible. Remember, it's likely everyone falls within different time zones. Take that into account before you start scheduling calls or sending messages.
Try to stay flexible. You might not determine the best time of day for a meeting at first. Understand that other people are busy, too.
It can help to add a clock on your phone to remind you of the time in another time zone. That way, you can avoid messaging your boss or coworker at 2 in the morning.
Don't forget about day discrepancies. If the time difference is significant enough, your Friday afternoon may be someone else's Saturday morning.
Remain upfront about your accessibility, too. Let people know you're traveling. If you're in transit for the day, they'll need to know.
Remaining upfront will make scheduling meetings more accessible in the long run.
5. Schedule Travel Days
When do you plan on traveling? How long will it take? Will the trip impact your ability to work?
Have an arrangement set up before you begin moving? Realize where you're going and what amount of time it will require to arrive. Determine your estimated time of arrival, too.
Try to schedule your travel days around your work schedule. For some people, it's easier to travel on the weekend. However, you might find there are fewer options for travel and accommodations available.
If that's the case, plan to travel on a Wednesday. Work on Saturday to compensate for the lost day.
6. Reduce Distractions
It is easy to get distracted while working and traveling. After all, you'll likely want to explore your new environment. You can reduce distractions by making exploring part of your day's routine.
For example, you can give yourself an hour-long lunch break to explore the shops. Maybe you want to start working earlier in the day to finish before 5 pm. At that point, you can spend the remainder of the early evening time investigating.
7. Establish Boundaries
Are you learning how to work while traveling with someone else? Make sure to establish healthy boundaries. Otherwise, you could end up distracting one another.
Make sure the people around you honor your traveling lifestyle. Honor their choices, too.
8. Know When to Log Off
The average US grown-up will go through 44 years of their lives gazing at screens. That's over 6,259 hours a year. As you work and travel, take time to take a break.
For starters, plan breaks between your assignments. Make time for meals or a walk, too.
Know when it's time to log off. Try to incentive yourself. Where do you want to go after work?
Remember, making a plan will help you make the most of your digital nomad lifestyle.
Explore the World: 8 Tips for Working and Traveling Effectively
Ready to start working and traveling? Keep these eight tips in mind. With these tips, you can make the most of your new environment without it impacting your productivity.
Pack your bags and explore the world with these tips today.
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