Working while traveling. Everyone thinks it’s the dream.  And it can be, if you’re prepared.

If you’re serious about getting real work done and not missing a beat in your job responsibilities while on the road, there can be some real challenges, do some prep work in advance to make things go smoothly!

Here are my top tips for productive work while traveling:

  1. Cell coverage- I’m a TMobile user and super fan.  I love that everywhere I go, my phone just works when I turn it off airplane mode.  TMobile offers the best international coverage map because of the way it’s networked with carriers worldwide.  They also offer free unlimited text and data in most countries. And if you’re crazy like me, you can add-on the international upgrade for any length of time at $25/mo.  This gives you unlimited cell phone calling at 15 cents a minute in most countries (Free in Mexico and Canada). I always hit up my local TMobile store before traveling just to check the coverage map and see what I’m getting myself in to.
     

  2. WiFi connectivity- do your research!  Make sure that wherever you’re staying has solid wifi, ask about it, don’t just assume it’s solid if it says they have wifi.  Also have a back up plan, ask your hotel or host where the best coffee shop wifi is nearby so you have a quick exit strategy if you have a webinar breathing down your neck and the hotel wifi cuts out.  Grab you go bag and run!

    3. Time Zones- determine what time zone you will be in at your destination, look ahead at your work calendar and reschedule any meetings necessary to work well within the time zone.  It’s easy to forget about a meeting when it’s at a very odd hour when you’re traveling. Also, I use the ‘world clock’ feature on my Iphone almost every day. What time zone am I in, what time zone are my staff in, etc.  I try to always schedule meetings in the other person’s local time. Then I can adjust based on wherever I am. I suggest using google calendar, which will update your calendar view based on the time zone wherever you are located.  And I highly recommend setting the notifications in google calendar to go off at 1 hour and 10 minutes, and make sure those are synched up to your phone as well. That way you get a 1 hour notice to get back to your desk if you maybe got carried away with your morning beach adventure :)

    4. Having What You Need-

  • Go completely paperless, all the time.  If you’re used to working 100% paperless, it’s less jarring to go on the road and be paperless.  You’ll have everything you need, everything you’re used to having if you go this route.

  • Keep an awesome packing list and check it off every single time you travel.  If you forget your computer cord, you are out of business. There are some essentials that you MUST not forget in order to not ruin your trip and your work.  Cell phone, cell charger, extra battery pack, headphones, computer, computer cord, any electrical adapters. And just as a creature comfort I like to travel with my mouse too.

I’ve been working remote, full-time since 2005.  And it took me quite a few years to feel comfortable enough to take my work on the road with me.  But for at least the past 8 years I’ve been maintaining full time job duties while traveling around the world for at least 12 weeks a year.  You find all the ways, you hit a groove, eventually it’s just as normal as working from home.