If you’ve hopped on my Instagram in the past months you will have seen many pictures of me traveling Europe over a 50 day trip, some of that solo, some of that with my husband and friends. This trip was the result of a goal I set many years ago while stuck in a soul sucking cubicle job right out of college. That job led to another corporate gig… and then another. But, finally, I was able to take the leap and dive into making money on my own!
My goal of working solo quickly shifted to working solo from anywhere in the world. It took me two years to reach my goal and it quite honestly has been my #1 accomplishment in my short life.
Over the course of traveling I learned how to be extremely productive, allowing me to have more time to sightsee, meet fellow travellers and simply relax. Below I have outlined my must haves, tangible and intangible, for staying productive as a travelling VA.
Travel Must Haves for Productive Virtual Assistants:
- Internet – This might be obvious, but it is an absolute must. Before going overseas make sure that the country you are going too is known for reliable internet. Double check with your hostel, hotel or Airbnb that they offer internet and read the reviews to see what other guests have said about the internet strength and reliability. Trust me, if it is not good, you’ll find a comment on it!
- Schedule– While travelling to a new place it is only natural to want to get up, hop on the free city tour and ignore the “work” that is paying for this adventure. Having a productive work schedule while travelling is key. I usually spend the first two hours of every morning working from a cafe or in my hostel common area. Only after a productive two hours would I head out and explore. After a museum visit or a coffee on the plaza I would circle back, usually mid-afternoon, and do another few hours of productive work before dinner. Use your down time from exploring to ensure your clients are happy and your pocketbook is full!
- A Communication Plan– When you first take off overseas you need to make sure you make your clients feel like they are still your #1 priority. Notifying your client/s before you book your trip and talking through how this will work, getting their buy in and support and asking for their flexibility before you make the decision to take off is going to go a long way! They will be so happy for you and feel like they are part of making your travel dreams come true. It is easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of a new place making it even easier miss a scheduled call or crucial timeline. To avoid these mental oversights create a schedule for weekly client calls, preferably in the AM or afternoon. BUT, don’t forget the time changes. Finally, once at your destination scope out the best place for your arranged “meetings.” Be sure to pick a quiet spot with strong internet, and of course a good cup of Joe. DO NOT schedule calls on travel days!
- A laptop– This might go without saying but a reliable laptop with the correct travel adapters is key! Each country’s outlets are different, double check what is at your destination before you go. I purchased the Apple converter kit and it works very well for charging my MacBook. On my last trip it was tested in nine different countries!
- A daypack that fits your computer – You will be on the go a lot! Working from a coffee shop, restaurant, the bus, your hostel and on the train will become a common theme. Buy a good daypack that comfortably fits your computer. Look for something that is comfortable for long walks and allows easy access in and out of it. I found myself carrying my computer with me a lot. Having it with me significantly increased productivity when I could stop off in a cute little coffee shop for an hour of work.
Incorporating these five things into your ‘work from there, travel to here’ plan will add ease and a lot more joy to you travel adventures. Who know’s, maybe you’ll find it works so well, you will have your 2nd trip on the books before you are even done with your first? 😉
Questions? Comments? Let’s chat in the comments section below. I am excited to hear from you!