Self-employed? Taking vacations is essential, and easy to pull off if you plan ahead, communicate, and stand your ground.
Your office becomes a whole lot bigger when all you need is an internet connection to do business. In fact, mostly all the world will open up as a potential HQ when wherever you go, there you work. The more rustic the locale, the trickier it can be to to stay online, reachable, and billable.
When you’re far away from home, having that constant connection and the right tools are the difference between being on vacation and being on call. Stock up on these digital nomad essentials before you set off on your next remote work adventure so you can meet all your deadlines while seeing the world.
If knowledge is power, then having access to any and all amperage is for the truly wise. Visiting multiple countries? Carry a converter that caters to the various outlet situations you’ll encounter. The BESTEK Portable International Travel Voltage Converter features adapters for worldwide usage, plus USB ports to keep multiple devices good and charged. The BONAZZA Universal World Travel Adapter Kit has fewer inputs but features much of the same functionality in a more portable package. Really making the rounds? The 12-Piece Ceptics International Travel Worldwide Grounded Universal Plug Adapter Set comes complete with every configuration you’ll need to keep you plugged in from Australia to Africa and everywhere in between.
A backup battery pack ensures you have the juice to get through your work even when you’re away from your homebase for longer than expected—or if unpredictable elements bring outages. After all, New York won’t wait for a Honduran power outage to pass. Plus, those stormy days are exactly when the seasoned remote worker knocks out as much of his or her to-do list as possible. The MAXOAK 36000mAh USB-C Type C Power Bank is ideal for Mac users; while the MAXOAK 50000mAh 6 Port Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank is optimized for the PC crowd. Having a backup power supply for your smartphone also comes in handy when connectivity is key but finding an outlet, out of the question. A solid choice? The Jackery Bar Premium 6000 mAh External Battery Charger, which works with both iPhone and Android.
Now that you’re fully charged, having constant access to the internet is what keeps you linked to your clients while abroad. Most major domestic mobile carriers like AT&T and Verizon offer international plans to keep roaming costs at bay while you’re away. These plans typically carry a monthly premium and give you access to reduced rates for international calling and texting, as well as a limited amount of data. While useful in a pinch, relying on international mobile data to get you through a multi-week sojourn is sure to rack up stifling fees.
Pay-as-you-go mobile hotspots like SkyRoam let you connect your phone, tablet or laptop to local networks wherever there’s cell service for just $8 per day. You can rent or purchase the Skyroam router, which is lightweight enough to carry around and use to connect your phone (handy for mapping a new locale). Be wary of the eight-hour battery life. Bring along that mobile backup charger to keep the connection powered up.
Phone it in
You’re in Bali. Your coworkers are in Philly. There’s a conference call scheduled with the client in Dublin. Keeping track of what happens when is not the domain of mere mortals. That’s where Miranda, TimeBuddy and Klok come in. These time-savvy apps assimilate the hours for you so you don’t have to count backwards, forwards and sideways and still miss the meeting by an hour. Staying punctual is key in keeping your office-bound peers from resenting that jet-setting lifestyle of yours.
Having a separate checking and credit account for your time abroad is a good way to keep track of expenses, and will make things easier come tax time. The Capital One Venture card has no foreign transaction fees and earns points toward travel expenses. The interest rate is rather high, but as long as you pay it off in full, the savings in fees make it worthwhile. Capital One checking accounts also carry no fee for international ATM withdrawals. Keep tabs on your spending with the help of exchange rate apps like XE Currency.
Another way to stay solvent? Avoid excessive luggage fees. Those super cheap flights typically don’t account for the tariffs assessed at the check in desk. The numbers on the Etekcity Luggage Scale don’t lie, and at under $10, will easily pay for itself.
Traveling the world while working is a unique privilege, but that doesn’t mean that you’ll never get homesick for your cozy bed back home. Make yourself comfortable even while airborne so you’re refreshed and well-rested enough to stay productive. Bose Noise Cancelling Headphones layered over foam earplugs effectively block out the deafening white noise on airplanes. Magnesium and melatonin make a dynamic duo if you abstain from Rx sleep aids. A sumptuous light blocker like the Slip Silk Eye Mask goes a long way in helping to reset those circadian rhythms.
Pack right, stay in touch with your people and enjoy the freedom that technology allows us remote workers. The world is your oyster. Viva la workcation!