If you’re one of the millions of people who can do their jobs completely remotely, you have access to a once impossible perk. Instead of saving up paid time off to go on your dream vacation, you can head off anytime, and take your work with you!
While the idea of being a digital nomad is not new, the option was mostly limited to self-employed people or business owners. Now that employers are more comfortable with their workers doing their jobs from home, this lifestyle is accessible to more people than ever.
Remote work opens up the possibility for a different kind of travel experience. These types of trips combine some elements of everyday life, such as a basic routine, with the adventure of exploring a new city and culture.
If this sounds like a great idea to you, read on for how to turn your digital nomading dreams to reality.
Tips for Taking Your Remote Job Abroad
If you’ve ever planned a vacation, you know that there are a lot of details to figure out. There are even more steps to work through if you plan on taking your work with you. The first and most important step is to consult with your employer.
Your ability to travel and work will greatly depend on your industry and company policies. In some positions, you can go wherever your heart desires for as long as you want.
Other companies may need you to stay in a specific time zone, or remain in your own country. Once you know your boundaries, start thinking about destinations that would meet both your employer’s requirements and your own preferences.
Make a list of your must haves. Do you want scenic beaches or picturesque mountain views? Want to stick to a budget or splurge on a big city holiday?
Even if you are limited to your own country, you can usually still find the perfect remote work destination that checks all of your boxes.
If your desired location is abroad, look into the country’s visa rules. As of 2022, Americans can travel to 142 countries without a visa. This means all you need to enter these countries are a passport and a plane ticket.
Most visa-free nations allow Americans to stay anywhere from 15 days to six months. Since you will be working during your stay, also research any regulations about remote workers.
Many countries now offer visas specifically for visitors working remotely for foreign companies. These visas usually exempt travelers from paying local income tax, which reduces the chances of you or your employer having to follow two sets of tax rules.
So you’ve picked your destination and you’re ready to go. Start your trip off smoothly by preparing your travel plans ahead of time.
Remote workers can follow the lead of experienced business travelers. One popular tip is purchasing a membership pass for airport lounges. This gives travelers access to exclusive areas at major airports worldwide.
Unlike the rest of the terminal, lounges are designed for people who need to get work done. Many airport lounges even have soundproof booths you can use to attend meetings or make phone calls.
Likewise, skip economy seats if you want to be productive on your flight. If you purchase your ticket in advance, you can find cheap business airfare deals.
Business class offers many perks, such as a lie-flat bed and priority boarding, which both cut down on wasted time and ensure you arrive at your destination energized and refreshed.
Finding a suitable workplace in a brand new country is no easy feat. However, the rise of remote work has created a cottage industry catering to this new form of business traveler.
For example, AirBnB allows travelers to rent apartments or houses in desirable neighborhoods. Having access to a full kitchen can make it easier to establish and maintain a daily routine.
If you want to be around other remote workers, you may prefer a co-living space. Picture a cross between a hotel and a high-end office.
Guests usually have their own room and share common spaces, like the kitchen, work spaces, and rooftop lounges. Since these accommodations tend to attract other professionals and entrepreneurs, they are a great way to network while on the road.
Whether you rent a short-term apartment or sign up for coliving, you will need a comfortable office space to do your work. Always start with your company’s policy.
If your work has specific requirements, like only logging in from secure wifi connections, plan your work environment around this. You can purchase a local sim card loaded with data at most airports to ensure you always have access to the internet.
If you have a bit more flexibility in your work, devote the first day after you land to finding suitable workplaces. Look for libraries, co-working spaces, or quiet cafes near your accommodation.
Pack portable ergonomic tools, such as a laptop stand and bluetooth keyboard and mouse so that you can set up a safe workspace anywhere.