The following is a post from my blog friend Martin, who has just launched a new course that shows you how to figure out this whole money thing in your 20s. Enjoy!
One of the greatest benefits of making online is that you can do it from anywhere. You don’t have to remain in one location. You can move around. You can travel. You can go to all of those cool places that you thought only the rich could.
I happen to be an odd type of traveler. I just go to random places to explore, drink, meet some cool people, and maybe learn the language (fluent in Polish and English, learning Spanish). I don’t really see many landmarks nor do I care to. I just hang around and chat.
The beauty of my blogging and freelancing is that I can show up in a foreign country with no money and not stress because I have an income coming in. All I need is my credit card and I’m good to go.
Before I veer off topic, I wanted to explore one specific area.
How do you maintain your side business while you go on a trip?
Get everything done in advance.
Don’t wait until you get there to start working. Get everything done when you’re at home or somewhere peaceful. Don’t plan on being super productive on your trip. You’ll be able to get work done, but you should try to get the bulk of things done when you’re still at home.
Bring all of the right tools.
Get your tools in order. This is a really common sense and I don’t want to state the obvious. I will just throw out a few key items to bring:
- USB sticks.
- Get yourself a solid laptop case.
- Photocopy important documents.
This is all just to cover yourself. Anything can happen. You needs some memory sticks (or you can use Dropbox) so that you don’t lose any of your work. We wouldn’t want that hard work going waste because you didn’t save it. This has happened to me far too many times.
Warn your clients in advance.
From personal experience, I think it makes no sense to just take off on your clients. It’s common courtesy to tell them in advance. The main reason being that your time zone is going to be way off. When I was in Europe, I was 6 hours ahead. There are parts of the world that are way off. It just helps so that your clients know why you’re not responding or the best times to reach you.
There also might be times where you can’t access the Internet. It’s important to let folks know you’re away from home and might not connect.
On a similar note…
Plan a consistent time to get things done.
Don’t think you’re going to write on commutes or at the hostel you’re staying at in the evening. On commutes, there are so many interesting characters to meet. When I was taking a bus to Budapest, I met some dude from Romania and we chatted. Then a bunch of drunk Polish guys started singing and chanting. Then we go to the gas station and it turns out that alcohol was still for sale. Safe to say, nobody on that bus slept.
At the hostel, well, there’s always something happening. It’s not exactly going to be peaceful.
This is why I recommend finding a consistent time to get things done. For me it was first thing when I woke up at noon. I would go for a walk and find a coffee shop to start writing.
[Also, don't forget that the world is your gym. You can also squeeze in a few workouts on your trips.]
Be realistic with what you plan on doing.
What do you want to get done?
I had crazy ideas to do some podcasts and other stuff. I wanted to perform all sorts of random work. Then jet lagged kicked in.
This ties in with the previous points. It makes sense to get the bulk of your work done before you leave. You’re not going to do as much on the road.
Get ready for the worst.
There usually is strong wi-fi around, but you can’t assume that it’s always going to be there.
When I was in Budapest, Hungary, my laptop died on me. I lost all of my files. Luckily, my German friend was able to help me at least start the laptop up to grab some of the documents. I lost all of my new work.
What did I do? The only responsible thing a personal finance blogger would do. I bought a Macbook Air in a foreign country. Oops! Even financial writers get a little silly once in a while.
So please, try to prepare for the worst.
Do you guys have any other tips for getting work done on a side business while traveling? I would love to hear from you. Oh, and I’m open to suggestions for a fall travel destination. Anything is fair game.
Don’t forget to check out Studenomics!
Do you work and travel? Do you wish you could?