Traveling and Working Remotely: How to Get Started

With remote working now more accessible than ever before and coworking spaces around the world making it possible for anybody to work from anywhere, it’s no surprise that people are deciding to travel and take their work with them more often. And, why not? Traveling and seeing the world is definitely appealing to many, especially when you don’t have to worry about losing professional opportunities and money.

To that end, digital nomads (despite stumbling into specific challenges at times) tend to live a fascinating lifestyle that allows them to combine business and leisure on their own terms. So, if you’re also considering embarking on that lifestyle and working while traveling, here are some top tips to ensure that you have the best experience.

Get Paid Regardless of Location

Although freelancers and digital nomads have the freedom to travel the world and take their work with them, it’s important to ensure that you’re getting paid regularly and on time so that you can continue enjoying your trip when you’re not working. Specifically, if you depend on your paychecks to keep your traveling going, it’s crucial to make a plan beforehand to ensure that you will get paid on time and are able to access your money regardless of location.

For example, you may want to ask your clients to send money online using a handy app where you can easily pick up cash from different locations in your area. This is particularly useful if you’re working with clients from other countries. And, it’s possibly one of the easiest ways to get paid, as well as access and oversee your finances — no matter where you are around the globe.

Choose Your Accommodation Wisely

Working from your accommodation is often the easiest option and ensures that you can just get up and start your day’s work easily. However, before booking the accommodation in your next destination, it’s important to ensure that working from your hotel or hostel is going to be easy and productive. The last thing that you want is to plan to work from there only to find that you can’t get an internet connection for free or that there’s a lot going on nearby that distracts you.

To ensure that this won’t be the case, read hotel and hostel reviews and make sure that there’s good and reliable Wi-Fi in all areas, as well as quiet areas where you can work and enough space for your equipment (if needed).

Moreover, when choosing a place to stay, it’s important to consider its location and proximity to local attractions, too. After all, the “nomad” part of “digital nomad” is meant to travel, sightsee, and enjoy leisure time after work or in between tasks, so you need to make sure that everything of interest to you is easily accessible.

Find a Suitable Place to Work

While working from your accommodation can be convenient in certain cases, some people prefer to leave the space where they sleep and live in to go work someplace else in order to boost their creativity and meet other people. If that sounds like you, know that, given the rising popularity of coworking spaces across the world, it’s not as difficult as it once was to find a nice, air-conditioned and comfortable office environment.

Of course, there’s always the option of working at a local coffee shop or fast-food restaurant that offers Wi-Fi, but then you’ll have to purchase something, even if you don’t want to. Instead, before you embark on your next leisure travel, do some research into suitable workspaces near the destination that you’re planning to visit, including local coworking spaces, libraries and other settings. In particular, pay close attention to their location, prices and amenities to decide on one that best suits your work needs.

Expect (& Plan for) the Unexpected

Regardless of how much of an experienced traveler you are, the unexpected can still occur during your travels: An overbooking or an accommodation with no vacancies, or even a delayed or canceled flight can have a negative effect not only on your travel itinerary, but also on your work.

This is why it’s important to plan your deadlines in advance and also give yourself some buffer time while on the road. Namely, to avoid any misunderstanding or frustration for both you and your clients, make sure to communicate your plans and give estimates in terms of finalizing projects. So, if you know you’ll be in transit at the time a client expects their project, instead of saying you’ll deliver it on May 6, give a more flexible timeframe, such as between May 5 and  7. This way, you’ll ensure that even if something unexpected happens, your clients won’t feel deceived — and you’ll also have enough time to figure everything out.

Finally, working while traveling is all about getting the balance right. While being able to take your work with you to several different destinations is certainly amazing, the last thing that you want is to miss out on all of the exciting things to see and do because you’re working long hours. To address this, simply put together a schedule that works for you to make sure that you get to do everything you’d like to, but that also enables you to be thorough when it comes to your work.

Laura Pop-Badiu

Laura Pop-Badiu is a Senior Creative Writer at CoworkingCafe and CoworkingMag, with a degree in Journalism and a background in both hospitality and real estate. Laura is a certified bookworm with a genuine passion for the written word and a keen interest in the coworking sector. Her work has been featured in major publications like Forbes, NBC News, The Business Journals, Chicago Tribune, MSN and Yahoo! Finance, among others.
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