Every time you open Instagram it seems like all of your friends are jetting off on adventures around the world, and you’re always left wondering how they manage it with work responsibilities. The big secret is that many of these people have jobs that allow them to work remotely. Many millennials, a generation predicted to spend $1.4 trillion on travel every year by 2020, are working as freelancers, in contract positions, or at jobs that allow them to work remotely. This flexibility gives them the freedom to travel, but there are some key tricks to still getting the job done while having fun on the road.
- Pick the right destination
The biggest amenity you need to account for when traveling and working is internet access. Remote working is only possible through being able to communicate digitally. While something like a cruise may be enticing because the ships provide entertainment and activities for all ages while taking you to seaside destinations, you may have to fight against spotty or limited Wi-Fi. Make sure that you’ll be able to get internet access wherever you go, and consider traveling to major cities like Los Angeles or Chicago, which can guarantee that you’ll have good service.
- Find a comfortable place to stay
While hostels are a famously affordable lodging option for travelers, they aren’t the most comfortable or work-oriented. When you’re traveling and working, you’ll want to make sure that you have a set environment that is conducive to getting work done. Many people opt to find lodging through Airbnb or similar services, and others even rent or sublet apartments for longer stays. You’ll want to make sure the services and stores you like are nearby as well. With 54% of Americans over 18 years of age drinking coffee every day, convenient coffee shops are a necessity for many working travelers.
- Establish a good remote workflow
Being in a new city, or even country presents many temptations to explore to your heart’s content and leave your work behind. However, to ensure that you keep your job you’ll need to set a routine and boundaries so that you are still productive in your nomadic environment. Make a clear schedule for yourself that includes work times and exploring times and stick to it. To stay on top of everything, be sure to factor in any time zone differences between you and your colleagues back home.
- Budget for the extra and hidden costs
While you’ll still be making money because you’re working, you’ll need to be mindful of hidden expenses adding up. As previously mentioned, you’ll likely be renting or using Airbnb to stay comfortable, both of which can be more expensive than a traditional hotel or hostel. Other factors, like transportation costs, restaurant bills, and every coffee you order at the nearby shop, can add up quickly and leave you with less spending money than you anticipated.
- Give yourself ample time to prepare
Before you adventure off to a new place with your laptop in hand, be sure that everything is in order. This is especially important for those taking extended trips. You’ll have to make sure that you’ve notified any supervisors and colleagues that you will be working remotely for a few months. You will also have to think about who is going to care for your home and any plants and pets you have there while you’re away. If you’re traveling internationally, make sure you’ve notified your bank, have a new SIM card for your phone, and that all of your documents for customs are in order.
It is entirely possible to have the best of both worlds and be able to work and play at the same time. With efficient planning and open communication, you will be able to join those you previously envied and post goal-worthy travel pictures on Instagram.