Digital nomad, location independence, Remote work

How To Work And Travel On A Road Trip

The beauty of this new remote era is the ability to work and travel simultaneously.

If you’re anything like me, the idea of sitting in an office day in and day out for the next 40 years makes your skin crawl. And if the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that we don’t have to do this in order to be productive, efficient workers.

A few months ago, I set off on an epic road trip through Colorado and Utah with nothing but myself, my laptop, and my Jeep Wrangler. I drove thousands of miles, explored countless beautiful destinations, and camped out of my car – all while earning a remote income through freelance work.

If you’re someone who wants to work and travel at the same time, you’ve come to the right place. Here is how to work remotely on a road trip!

Summary

  • Strategies to balance work and travel
  • Finding reliable Internet on the road
  • Tips on staying organized and dependable with work
  • Essential work and travel tools

work and travel

How To Balance Work and Travel

Working from home and working on the road are two very different things. At home, it’s easy to wake up, make a cup of coffee, and knock out 2-3 hours of work before lunch. On the road, you will rarely have that kind of consistency.

[ RELATED POST: HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE FOR REMOTE WORKERS ]

 

My top tip for balancing work and travel is to batch your work. If you’ve never heard of batch work, it basically means that rather than working on many small tasks each day, you commit to a few large projects several days each week and finish them fully. This eliminates busywork and ensures that you get important tasks completed in one sitting.

work and travel work and travel

I would recommend designating specific days as “workdays” and “travel days.” This way, you can plan ahead with your team or manager (if you have one) and make sure you have reliable WiFi on those days.

On my road trip, I designated Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays to work and work only. I always made sure I had WiFi all day – whether it was with a hotspot or at a coffee shop – and I would spend the entire day answering emails and calls, completing projects, and scheduling content for the week ahead.

Be strategic with the days you choose. If you have more calls and deadlines on a particular day, set that day as a designated workday. If another day is more open, consider making it a travel day.

work and travel

This method is incredibly helpful for the work-and-travel lifestyle. Realistically, you won’t always have reliable cell service – especially if you’re driving or camping – so telling your team/ clients the days and hours you will be on the clock is super important.

[ RELATED POST: 10 BEST LEARNING SITES FOR REMOTE WORKERS ]

*Note: Not everyone has this type of freedom in their work. I am a freelancer and can choose my hours, but if you work a remote 9-5, this method might not work as well for you.

How To Get Reliable Internet On The Road

This was one thing that I was very concerned about before venturing out on the open road.

What if I don’t have service for an important call? How will I get everything done if my Internet is too slow? 

Here are a few tips to alleviate those concerns.

  • Research, research, research. Don’t show up to a campground or town without knowing where you can get reliable service. If you need service at night, try and find a campsite with decent cell service (most reviews will touch on this). Otherwise, make sure you know where the closest town is and where it has WiFi – whether it’s a cafe or another area.
    work and travel
  • Consider investing in an external hotspot and/or signal booster. This will help you get online in an area with unreliable service (ie. when you’re driving or at camp). When I’m not using my phone as a hotspot, I often use my Verizon MiFi for service. However, this only works when there’s existing cell service in the area.
    • If you’re going to be in remote areas a lot, I highly recommend investing in a WeBoost. This tool amplifies the signal from the closest cellphone tower, allowing you to connect to the Internet when it would normally say “No Service” on your phone. If you’re driving with multiple people, I highly recommend getting the Drive X or the Drive Reach.

How To Stay Organized With Work and Travel

Deadlines, calls, projects, and pitches don’t just go away when you travel. It’s important to establish a system early on to ensure that you complete everything with the same level of quality and care as you do at home. This is critical to maintaining trust and credibility as a remote worker.

[ RELATED POST: 12 WAYS TO BE MORE PRODUCTIVE WORKING FROM HOME ]

My biggest tip when it comes to work and travel is planning ahead. The worst is realizing you forgot about a deadline or conference call when you’re in the middle of nowhere with no cell service. Or even worse, you miss a call because you forgot to account for time changes – this is HUGE when traveling!

work and travel

Write down your deadlines and calls weeks in advance (accounting for the time difference) so you can plan where and when you’re going to work.

Additionally, take advantage of the times when you do have reliable service. There were a few occasions on my road trip when I stayed at a friend’s house for several days, and I always spend that time getting ahead on larger projects and checking in with my team. Who knows when you’ll have that luxury again!

Work and Travel Tools

Get portable chargers for everything – your phone, your laptop, your camera, etc. Prepare to be off the grid for multiple days just in case you don’t have access to any outlets unexpectedly.

I highly recommend this bad boy because it charges everything – phone, laptop, and car. It’s a worthy investment that will save your life on the road!

Here are a few other work and travel gear to make sure you get before hitting the road:

Don’t forget about getting a WeBoost! This will alleviate lots of stress when it comes to work and travel, especially if you’re off the grid.

work and travel

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For more tools and gadgets for remote workers, check out my gift guide with tons of awesome items!

holiday gift guide

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