One of the biggest social developments of this millennium is the rise of the digital nomads. We all read about them, we all met a couple of them and we all had that thought popped up of being one.
There is no single profession that has a monopoly on who gets to be a digital nomad and who doesn’t.
The one shared factor is the “digital” part. As long as you have an internet connection you can work from anywhere. So, if you get to travel on business trips, go to conferences or just cannot travel without a laptop on your vacation, you have experienced a small portion of the digital nomad’s lifestyle, and that is working on the road.
As a frequent traveler for work, I face a lot of issues while trying to stay on top of my tasks. From bad internet connection, terrible WIFI Hotspots to over-expensive mobile data plans and more.
To make sure I have the best time while I travel, I had to take a few steps in advance. So no matter what happens I will be better equipped and keep everything going swell.
Here are some tips I do while working and traveling that can you find them useful:
- First, I make sure the WIFI is strong and reliable in the place I am accommodated. Well, obviously I can never be absolutely certain. But I can take some precautionary steps to ensure I mitigate any risks when it comes to finding strong and reliable WIFI. If your work is dependent on the high-speed internet, I recommend you to run a speed test as soon as possible. You can even ask the owner/staff to run a speed test and share the results with you.
- Another great way is bringing my own hotspot. In some situations, I have bought a local SIM card, popped it up in the hot spot and took my own internet wherever I was. Mobile phones can be used the same way, but bear in mind, when traveling internationally, using data on roaming can really impact your phone bill, depending on where you travel.
- When I am planning for my next location, I make sure I do my research on nearby cybercafés or cafés such as Starbucks, free wifi hotspots like public parks and libraries, and of course nice co-working spaces. Or I make a list and keep it in hand, one never knows when it may be needed. Sometimes I even ask my friends who have been on that location to share me some locations links and I store them in my Google Trips app.
- What has been proven as a safe and good strategy for me is keeping offline copies of all my files\materials I might need to access. Gmail offers Offline access, but note that if you have multiple accounts you will be able to access your accounts you were most recently logged into. Using a desktop mail program will store your emails onto your computer as well as in the cloud. So, whenever you find yourself without internet access, you can always go through all of your emails you didn’t get to answer, save replies as drafts and send them out when the internet is back on.
- It is also extremely useful to have an online backup of your files. This way you can access them from any computer, wherever you can find an internet connection. A lot of free services can be found online, like Dropbox, SugarSync, Carbonite etc.
- Managing expectations of clients, partners, colleagues, and even family can be very helpful in these situations. If your internet is not reliable, just warn them about it. This can spare you a lot of stress and anxiety when you are on a deadline.
Going offline will often give you the focus on getting chunks of your work accomplished. You will be able to eliminate distraction such as social media and focus increasing your productivity.
Being a digital nomad or just a person who likes to travel and get things done, work-wise while traveling, can be so much fun if you stay organized. If you are still new in this field and you want to read a bit more you can look up digital nomads like – Robert Reid > @reidontravel, which I really like. I follow him because he investigates the experience worldwide for National Geographic. Or on the other hand, you can check out the Reddit community: https://www.reddit.com/r/digitalnomad.
Have you had experience as a digital nomad? Feel free to share your thoughts and comments. And I would love to hear your stories while overcoming those or some other obstacles as a digital nomad.