One of the greatest perks of freelancing is the flexibility to travel. You’re not bound to “two weeks” of vacation time and do not have to ask for certain days off. You can literally just do it. And hey — you could even work abroad for several months if you’d like. Everything is an option! So before we headed off to France, I knew I needed to decide if I wanted to work while away or not.
Unfortunately, working while traveling isn’t that simple and is different for everyone. The urge to explore + try new things will always knock at your door while away. Chances are, you won’t want to be stuck in your hotel room all day long getting things finished. So no matter where I’m about to travel – I always take wanderlust into account and would encourage you to do the same. Are you the type of person who can successfully carve out three hours a day to get your to-do list done? Or will you be too distracted in trying out that new cafe you heard about?
I’ve learned that I am not the kind of person who can do much work while away. I discovered this early on, during one of my first trips away after I started freelancing. This surprised me, as I’m usually very good at keeping focused. But as soon as I hit the road, it’s a completely different story.
As a result, my method of maintaining work while away is pretty simple : I prep as much as possible starting a month ( give or take ) before leaving. My clients always know ahead of time if our project will be impacted by travel, which is something that we discuss and build into the timeline. I also like to tie up loose ends and work overtime in order to finish projects that are very close to completion. A little extra work before your trip is definitely worth the time off, I promise.
Don’t get me wrong — I still work a tiny bit during trips. As a business owner, it’s really hard to simply leave work behind. Personally, I reserve about an hour every night away to catch up on emails and check in with clients. And if a project emergency comes up, I’m always more than willing to find a little extra time in my day to finish what needs to be done. But that’s pretty much it. A little pre-vacation prep work goes a long way and is a great way to truly relax and enjoy your trip.
I know that other freelancers have found their sweet spot in working mornings while away, or taking a few hours over lunch to get things done — it’s different for everyone. But that’s the point … you need to find out how YOU work best when outside your usual office routine. Try out a few methods during your next trip and you’ll find out what feels most comfortable in no time. CHEERS to travel!