One of the great perks of freelancing is that you can work from anywhere. This week (lucky me!!), one of my clients brought me to sunny LA for a workshop! (I'll share some gorgeous LA pics next week!)
As I was packing, I thought it might be helpful to share some helpful tips for traveling as a freelancer:
First, before you leave, make sure you back up all your work on an external hard drive and Google Drive (or any cloud). If you're flying, save files to your desktop to make working on the plane a lot easier. The less "getting in your bag/pulling out cords/plugging in drives" you have to do, the better. (Also, don't forget your flash drives!!)
Minimize. Minimize. Minimize. Channel your inner minimalist so that no matter how long your trip, you can fit all you need into 1 carry-on bag. This will streamline your travel process (no checked bags, fees or baggage claims!) and make the whole trip feel less stressful. Plus, none of us REALLY need everything we pack; challenge yourself to condense. If you're good at fashion, you can make a lot out of little. (Tip: bring clothes that you can use more than once without it being obvious, like 1 pair of black pants or neutral booties that look good with everything.)
To tell your clients or not to tell. If I plan to stay connected to my work while traveling, I don’t always alert my clients because, frankly, their experience isn’t going to change. I reply to emails as usual, do my work and jump on conference calls when needed. If it's mainly a vacation or I'll be in all-day workshops, I'll tell them about a week ahead of time where I’ll be, my available hours (and that I may not get back to them ASAP!), and I set an OOO automatic reply in my email.
Scope out wifi access. You'll most likely need wifi access during your trip. Make sure your Airbnb has good wifi (just ask what their internet upload/download speed is), and make sure you have some walkable nearby restaurants and coffee shops that have free wifi that you can use if things get ugly. I also use my mobile phone as a hotspot ALL THE TIME. I wouldn’t be able to travel without it.
Make sure you bring all the cords and chargers you will need for your computer, phone, camera, etc. I also bring a pre-charged portable charger for my phone (like this one).
DO. NOT. FORGET. to bring your business cards. You never know who you’ll meet or when you’ll need to share your contact info with someone. Put them in your wallet, your backpack, your laptop bag...everywhere for easy access. Even if it’s a vacation, bring them!
Gather some great listening material.Whether I'm flying or driving, I always load my phone/iPad with podcasts (my faves are This American Life and Radiolab), audiobooks from Audible and my fave Spotify playlists (lmk if you need some music ideas!).
Keep track of all your expenses (you could use Expensify) because you can likely write them off on your taxes. I just use my business credit card for everything, but everyone has their own way of keeping track. That’s just easiest for me.
Once you arrive at your destination, def use Uber and/or Lyft to get around if you’re in a commuter city and take some time to learn the public transportation system if it’s a good one (Boston’s MBTA is THE most organized I've seen!).
Do you have any tips for traveling while working? Or traveling in general? I'm planning a future post with more general traveling tips, like how important it is to wear layers of clothing on a plane, and would love to hear what you do to make your traveling easier!