Working from the road is increasingly becoming a way of life. More and more people are ditching their homes and 9-to-5 jobs in order to enjoy the freedom of exploring the world. However, many people are either not ready to retire yet or would like to fund their adventures by continuing to get a regular paycheck.
But finding the perfect work/life balance while constantly on the move can prove to be challenging. So here are a few tips to make working from the road not only a reality but also enjoyable.
The first thing you need to know is that this type of lifestyle is not for everyone. It takes a certain personality type to make this way of life a reality. The first quality a person must have is the ability to be self-motivated. When you work from the road you won’t have your boss or clients leaning over your shoulder, prodding you along to meet deadlines. When you live this type of lifestyle your employer or clients are going to expect you to do what needs to be done, however it needs to be done, in order to get it done on time.
Regardless of where you work, your clients and employers are not going to want to hear any excuses as to why the job didn’t get done. So make sure you have the mettle to push through to get the job done on time no matter what you need to do to make that happen.
Now, yes, just like when you’re working at regular job, things do happen from time to time that can’t be helped but remember your clients and employers are going to see your working from the road as a perk. So they might be less likely to except excuses on a regular basis. You need to show them you don’t take this lifestyle for granted and you consider it a privilege to be able to have the opportunity to work this way.
There are some things you need to have sorted out before hitting the road. Getting together a quality laptop, a cellphone with great service, a VPN service, and figuring out how you are going to get internet service are of top priority. These are staples when working on the road and heading out before sorting these details can mean the difference between getting a paycheck or not.
Objects like a good working laptop with everything updated and a cellphone with great service are pretty standard these days however, they are vital when working from the road. In the event you are having a hard time finding internet service, your cellphone can provide you with a hotspot in order for you to access email and the internet. There are several options when seeking an internet solution and it’s best to be ready to implement any of those options at any time should you need to.
There are satellite options, internet card subscriptions that you can get from your cellphone carrier, as well as internet provided by the campsite or RV park you’re staying in. It is also a good idea to research the places you are heading to and find all the coffee shops, cafes, and bookstores that have wi-fi available too. Because no matter how well you plan sometimes the service you need to use might not be available and a B or C plan will have to be activated in order to get your job done.
The subject of getting internet from a cafe or other public wi-fi spot brings us to the topic of getting a VPN service. VPN stands for Virtual Private Network and it is essential for anyone who regularly uses public wi-fi or any wi-fi that is not secure. VPN’s protect you and your private data from being stolen over internet by encrypting your data to and from your computer. This way even if your data is stolen no one can use it without having the encryption code. VPN services are very inexpensive (around $60-$100 a year) and are an absolute necessity. Using a VPN service consists of downloading software to your computer. Then every time you are about to access the internet over any public wi-fi, you start up the VPN service and access the internet through the VPN’s server. It’s really easy and can potentially save you loads of trouble. For a list of top VPN services click here.
One of the things that working from the road requires from you is the ability to balance your time, especially when fun calls or when life is unstructured. Working in an office 9 to 5 with structured times of when you work, have lunch, and go home is easy. However, when you’re traveling to different places and experiencing so many exciting things it can be hard to focus on work. You need to be able to structure your work life with your travel life. To some that may seem impossible but it is actually not hard to do.
Travel does allow you to be somewhat unstructured with when and where you do things but sometimes deadlines need to be met and you have to make that happen. Careful planning can make being on the road while having a job easy to accomplish. It just takes a little initial effort to set up. The key here is knowing what jobs you have and when each are due. Breaking those jobs down into smaller steps helps to make sure everything gets done by that due date and allows you to know when you have time to go explore your new surroundings and have fun.
For example, if you are a transcriptionist and you have an audio file that is an hour long and due in a week, you can easily plan how much you need to get done each day in order to turn it in on time. Now you also know how much free time you have to do other fun stuff plus you can work at any time of the day or night you want. Some other types of jobs may require you to work during certain hours and won’t be that flexible but you still have the power to move to another time zone if you want to schedule work during other hours.
Now once you’ve figured out what kind of work you’re going to do, the equipment you need, and the work schedule you’re going to follow, you need to figure out how you’re going to get paid. If you’re working for a company as a regular remote employee then more than likely you can have your checks direct deposited with no issues. However, if you’re a freelance or independent contractor you usually will not have that choice because most companies only extend the direct deposit option to their full-time employees.
So how are you going to get paid? There are many options out there that you can set up. Although some companies will still cut a paper check, that will more than likely cause issues on your end due to your constant moving locations. One solution for this option is having the check sent to someone you trust and asking them to deposit it. However, that can be an inconvenience to your loved ones and you may find that even your loved ones aren’t as dependable as you would hope they would be.
The better solution is to set up a PayPal account. This will allow you to invoice your clients and to receive payments from anyone using only your email address. Then once payment is received you can access your funds through your PayPal account debit card or transfer the money to your bank account. This is the route that many who travel and work follow.
There are also other options that allow you to take credit card payments on your phone, computer, or tablet. Some of those are Square reader, PayPal Here, and several others like them. These usually require you obtaining a free or low-cost credit card swiper that you plug into your phone when taking payments and creating an account that is connected to your bank account. This way every time you take a payment on your phone the money is deposited directly into your bank account. This option is a very good one especially for those you sell services or products to customers but it works equally well with anyone that wishes to pay you via credit card. For more information about card readers click here.
Although most people who find out that you work while traveling will think that you live a fairy tale existence, reality is not always in alignment with that belief. Yes, most of the time you will feel that it is a fair assessment. You’re traveling, seeing new and exciting things, and still making a living. However, the truth is that you won’t always be able to do what you want to do when you want to do it because you have work that needs to be done. Some times it may be a absolutely beautiful day to go hiking but that deadline is looming and you have to take a rain check on that fun.
Overall traveling while working is a unique and wonderful privilege. It gives you the freedom that most people only dream of doing. You’re seeing the world, experiencing new things, getting a fresh perspective and view on a regular basis all while funding your lifestyle on the road. This is an option that so many people want to experience but for whatever reason they can’t do and you are doing it and doing it well. Feel proud of yourself and get out there and enjoy life!!