Recently I traveled to Edmonton to see family. As an entrepreneur, I had several client projects on the go so I continued to work while traveling. Overall the experience worked great for me so I thought I would distill what I had learned into some work and travel tips for others.
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Work and Travel Tip #1: Have a Travel Checklist
I am a checklist junkie! I have checklists for my speaking gigs, work tasks and of course for travel. My travel checklist makes sure I don’t forget important things like my passport, medication or mobile phone charger. I don’t just look at my checklist, I actually check it off. I used to print my travel checklist for each trip and tick items off with a pen, but now I just mark the checkboxes in OneNote using my smart phone.
Work and Travel Tip #2: Don’t Over Pack
I have a bad habit of throwing EVERYTHING in my luggage and carry-on in case I need it. And then I usually don’t use half of it. This is especially bad if your carry-on is too heavy because you have to lug it. Last trip, I took my laptop, tablet and smart phone and ended up not using the tablet. So, on my next trip, I will leave the tablet at home. Or maybe buy a Surface tablet and leave the laptop at home.
Remember, you can do laundry or dry cleaning done while you travel. 🙂 And part of the fun of new cities can be shopping for things you need.
Work and Travel Tip #3: Embrace the Cloud
Over the last year or so, I have been moving more and more of my files to the cloud. This really paid off while travelling because my laptop and tablet were able to access ALL the files I needed . With Office 365, , I get a terabyte of storage – more than the available space on my computer. Dropbox or Google Drive are suitable alternatives.
No more frustrations because I can’t get something I need until I am back in the office.
Work and Travel Tip #4 Get Up Early
I find when I travel, I tend to wake up earlier than my hosts. This lets me get a solid hour or two of work in without interruptions and still keep time free to visit.
Have Low Energy Plans
Sometimes you don’t have the same energy to work while you travel. One trick I have for this is to hold back some tasks that are necessary but really easy to do. Then, during my low energy time, I work on things like emails, researching or catching up on a professional development ebook I wanted to read.
It helps to be part of a team. I have a group of freelancers who do work for me. When I travel, I rely on them even more than normal, passing off a wider range of work. This keeps me free to enjoy my trip and makes sure the work gets done. So my role just becomes delegating and monitoring which is less time-consuming.
Don’t Be That “All Work” Guy
Make sure you set aside ample time to relax, see the sights, follow your hobbies, spend time with family and friends and party! Don’t spend all your travel time working. Just do the minimum you need to and relax. Your brain will thank you.