We all love to travel, but in this day in age sometimes you can’t get away from work and need to take it with you. In my case, blogging requires working around the clock. While I’m away, I have to be connected to the computer or internet for some part of the day. Prior to blogging, I took on roles that required business travel, and that often meant having to do work on the go. I didn’t always have the best method when it came to juggling work and taking advantage of what each destination had to offer.
Business travel wasn’t much fun. I didn’t get any time in the city and I’d often be flying in and out within a day or two. I used to find business travel so exhausting and sometimes stressful, because let’s be honest – travelling and thinking about work can feel like a major interruption into what you hope could turn out to provide some kind of relaxation during your time away. I feel really blessed to be have been able to travel for work and be in the position where I blog while I’m on the move, so with time, have gotten much better at it.
Taking work along with you doesn’t feel like a chore when you find the right balance, and with more practice, I have found that it works well for me. Today I want to share some of these tips with you, so that when you have that opportunity to work remotely or to go away, you take full advantage of it. Whether you are on a road trip, a short weekend getaway or indulging in an extended vacation somewhere exotic around the world, being able to travel and work is much to be grateful for. Here are my top 5 tips on how to make the most of your travels while having to work.
Top 5 Tips on Making the Most of Your Travels While Juggling Work
Take Advantage of Layovers and In-Flight Time
Who doesn’t want to make the most of seeing as much as possible when visiting a new destination. The best way to get as much done as possible, is to complete tasks in transit. If you do not have WiFi or do not want to purchase WiFi on flights, but need to have the content available from websites, my secret tip is to visit as many of the pages and sites that you need as resources prior to trip and save the pages as PDF on your computer, so they are fully accessible when you are in flight. This will prevent you from the excuse of not having WiFi. That way when you’re on the ground, you can take care of e-mails and any social networking you require. Plus, you won’t need to waste ink, paper and add extra weight to your carry-on doing this. When you’re in flight, you can draft your emails or read documents you saved.
Taking in the Best Views
When I have to do work, I love to select hotels with an upper floor cafe, bar or a restaurant with a beautiful view where I can enjoy a drink and do work before the night crowd rolls in. If you’re not staying in one of these hotels, you can still choose to enjoy a drink there. When I was in Shanghai, I went into a hotel, had a great latte and one of the best tiramisu I’d eaten in a long time. Snap a photo, take your time eating, look up from work and take in the incredible view and occasionally work away. Often, hotels have WiFi, or you can purchase it for the day. Either way, enjoy that wine at one of the top 10 rooftop or skyline bars in the city, have an appetizer if you’re hungry and work away. It’ll be the nicest office you’ll have for the day.
Discover the Best Cafes, Bars & Pastries the City Has to Offer
I will be the first to admit that I love hunting down really cute cafes while I’m visiting a city. One of the perks of finding a great spot is often enjoying the great coffee, decor, music and atmosphere. While I was in Italy, I’d find these great little piazzas where I could enjoy a cafe macciato, fresh pastry and work. In between, I’d look up and people watch. Sometimes this gives you inspiration, or even a really nice break from work. If you get tired, tuck your work back into your bag and enjoy the experience, and then find another cute spot later on to continue working. If you really cannot afford to be disturbed because you have deadlines I highly recommend taking headphones along with you. Even if you are not planning on listening to music, people are less inclined to have really long conversations with you if you have headphones on your head. When you want to chat, take them off and enjoy the company of the locals. When you have to work, put them back on.
Time, Divide and Conquer while Making Work Fit Naturally Into Your Trip
Not everyone likes to plan out an entire trip, but usually there’s a good understanding of what your day might look like. Do all your writing in flight, take calls when you’re a passenger in transit or when you’re catching an amazing view somewhere quiet, or read when you’re just wanting to lay down. During my first year of University, I booked a trip to Cuba for Spring Break. I had one exam to complete after my trip, so I’d read while laying down in the sun from 3 to 6PM and write when I was avoiding sun during peek hours indoors with a margarita in hand. Always put aside work for times where you plan on sitting and relaxing. Don’t cut your time too short during your breaks so you’re not stressed out on catching up with your work, but make it so that it feels like a natural part of the trip.
Have a Good Data Plan or Research Which Spots Have Wifi Before Departure
You’ll pretty much find WiFi in any city you go these days, but it will still depend on the destination. When I was in Sicily, I knew there wouldn’t be many cafes that offered WiFi or outlets. Even on a trip back to Cuba 4 years ago they’d charge $3 every 10 minutes at the computer. WiFi wasn’t included with most hotels. Before you depart, check with your network to see if it covers roaming in the destinations you plan to travel. The next option is usually local WiFi, but if you want flexibility to move and work, there are also also roaming hotspot devices you can rent. These charge a fee usually around $5-10 per day for the device, often ships anywhere. They catch the network within a certain distance allowing you to use these networks for work, so you don’t have to use your own roaming. I’ve used Boingo Hotspot and did not like the service. It just didn’t login or work for me when it was supposed to and luckily I had free roaming as back up.
If you prefer working in an office environment, Desk Pass is an option. Rates and locations are available on their site.
These are how I make working while travelling work for me. I feel incredibly lucky and blessed to be able to travel even if I have deadlines to work through. Not everyone has that opportunity. If you have travelled and worked, what are your own tips? I’d love to hear! Let me know if you enjoyed this article in the comments below.
Photo credit to my one and only, Rise Again BJJ.