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28+ Travel Tips: Giant Checklist for Freelancers

by Laura Spencer

on May 21, 2013

in Freelancing Life

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The ability to work from almost anywhere is a wonderful freelancing perk. This perk attracts many freelancers and would-be freelancers.

Imagine being able to travel the world and earn money while you’re doing it. That’s called location independence or being a digital nomad. Or, you just may be planning to travel for a week or two for vacation or to visit a family member. If you freelance, you can do either.

No matter how travel fits into your freelancing lifestyle, it doesn’t have to mean a gap in income if you plan accordingly. In this post, I share over 28 travel tips for freelancers. If you liked this post, you may also like What You Can Really Expect As a Freelancer When You Travel and Work.

A Freelancer’s Travel Checklist

Are you ready to start traveling?

Here is a handy checklist for freelance travelers:

  1. Stop the mail and newspapers if you are going to be gone for more than just a day or two. You don’t want an overflowing mailbox or stack of newspaper on your doorstep to broadcast the fact that you aren’t at home.
  2. Make sure your destination has working high speed Internet. I’ve found that many places that advertise free Internet don’t actually have it up. It’s a good idea to call to make sure.
  3. Know the locations of free Wi-Fi hot spots along your travel route. Wi-Fi hotspots are handy for checking messages while you travel or as a backup if the Internet where you are staying goes down.
  4. Bring the right equipment for work (usually a laptop). Most freelancers will need something more than their mobile phone to work from.
  5. Make sure your anti-virus software is up to date. Remember that you will likely be using many different Internet services, so you might even want to invest in a firewall.
  6. Update all of your software before you go. You don’t want to be wasting time doing this when you could be enjoying your trip.
  7. Get an extended use battery for your laptop. Many laptop batteries only last a few hours. If you think you will be relying on yours for a longer period of time, you will need the extended battery.
  8. Don’t forget your mobile phone. A smart mobile phone will get you on the Internet in a pinch, although I don’t recommend trying to work from one.
  9. Download the latest mobile apps for your specialty before you go. There are many tools available that can save you time.
  10. Know the passwords for all the sites you will use. It’s no use having the right equipment if you can’t log into the sites that you need to access.
  11. Bring comfortable clothes that are appropriate for your destination. Remember, the climate may be different than where you came from.
  12. Pay attention to your shoes. There’s nothing worse than blisters when you are traveling.
  13. Take advantage of online backup services and use them often. You never know what might happen to your equipment. It could get damaged or stolen.
  14. Bring a list of your clients/prospects and their contact information. If you are going to be gone for any length of time, you will need to stay in touch.
  15. Decide whether you will meet with any contacts on this trip. Traveling can be a great opportunity to meet with people you wouldn’t normally see.
  16. Pack one nicer outfit in case you do decide to meet a client. Even if you don’t plan to meet anyone, you may change your mind.
  17. Tell your host and/or travel partner how many hours you will work each day. A little communication can make the whole trip a lot smoother.
  18. Be prepared to be distracted. You never know exactly how your surrounding will impact your work. You may have to work from a noisy coffee shop or it may be the gorgeous view that’s distracting you.
  19. Whenever possible, make reservations to avoid waiting in lines. You’ll probably want to take advantage of some of the local attractions when you travel, but waiting in line can be a huge time drain. Here’s one way around it.
  20. If you are going overseas, have the right documents. Depending on where you are from and where you are going, the documents may differ. Know what you need and make sure you have it.
  21. Overseas travelers should also get the appropriate immunizations. You don’t want a trip to the hospital because you caught some nasty local bug to spoil your trip.
  22. Freelancers who are traveling abroad should also keep currency differences in mind. Find a currency conversion website and study it before you go.
  23. Don’t over commit yourself. This is always good advice for freelancers, but it’s doubly important when you are traveling.
  24. Use an online payment tool. No snail mail checks for you if you’re on the road.
  25. Set a budget and stick to it. Finances can really get of hand if you don’t.
  26. Remember to consider time zone differences when planning for deadlines. 5:00 p.m. may not mean be the same time that it used to be if you are now in a different place.
  27. Cultivate an online support group. This is especially important for long-term digital nomads. Online support groups and forums are good resources.
  28. Don’t bring too much stuff. If you bring it, you have to keep track of it (and probably carry it too).
  29. Bonus tip: Get enough rest. Don’t let the excitement of travel keep you from getting enough rest.

Your Turn

Are you a freelancing digital nomad or a location independent freelance professional?

What freelance travel tips did I miss?

Image by °Florian

Learn how to earn $125 or more per hour as a freelancer - Free Test Drive

About Laura Spencer

Laura Spencer is a freelance writer from North Central Texas with over 20 years of professional business writing experience. If you liked this post, then you may also enjoy Lauraâ??s blog about her freelance writing experiences, WritingThoughts. Laura is also on Google+.