Working while traveling is many remote workers’ dream. Imagine getting paid while relaxing on a beachside lounger with your laptop and a fruity drink in hand or finishing up some reports at a chic European cafe before going off to explore a new city.
For employees working in remote positions, this newfound freedom has finally allowed their travel fantasies to become realities. According to 2022 research from Deloitte, remote workers plan to travel twice as much as those who plan to take a complete vacation from work. With the liberty to do business from anywhere, remote workers have opened the doors to new lifestyles and greater travel experiences.
However, occasionally the lines between your job and vacation begin to blur. In worst-case scenarios, you may find your work suffering while you also struggle to get the most out of your trip. To set yourself up for success while on vacation and at work, follow these three tips for truly embracing the work-travel lifestyle of your dreams.
1. Create and stick to a remote work schedule or routine.
Even though you’re on vacation, it’s still important to have a daily routine. Research suggests that sticking to a schedule while taking breaks can make it easier to complete work assignments while still allowing plenty of time to explore your new destination.
Blogger, content creator, and travel and lifestyle writer Becca Siegel notes that without social obligations, it’s easy to fall into a habit of staying up late and sleeping in. However, starting the day on time has made all the difference in maintaining success at work, even while traveling. “In my personal experience, I heightened my productivity and efficiency by sticking to a 9-to-6 workday with some breaks,” she says.
While working on vacation, you should always take time for yourself as well. Consider exploring your new locale on weekends or after business hours. This way, you will still be present and useful to your colleagues during the workday and more likely to unwind and enjoy your leisure time once you’ve logged off.
2. Take it one quarter at a time.
Although a few weeks in a new city may be enough for a conventional vacation, trying to pack your regular workload and exploration activities into 14 days may be too much to handle. Savvy digital nomads know they should plan to stay at least a month — and sometimes even longer — to get the most out of any new destination.
“In my experience, three months is the perfect amount of time to stay on a remote work vacation,” says Sasha Hoffman, a business strategist, entrepreneur, and investor. “When staying somewhere for 30 days, you feel like a tourist who never unpacks your suitcase. You’re constantly trying to see all the sights and jam every tour, shop, and restaurant into the few weekends you’re there. But with three months, you have the chance to unpack, make some friends, and take weekend trips. You’re not in a huge rush, and you have time to appreciate your new environment.”
Organized work-travel programs like Remote Year can help combat fears of traveling alone. Through this platform, groups of digital nomads stay at different locations for four to five weeks at a time, working and exploring together. By taking time to get to know a place over the span of a few months, you will walk away with a more rewarding and well-rounded experience overall.
3. Find opportunities for professional connections.
When traveling, you can always work from a cafe or a hotel lobby, but these spaces may not offer consistent Wi-Fi, quiet environments, or enough charging outlets for your devices. That’s why longtime digital nomads often seek out co-working spaces in the cities they visit. Research has found that there will be 41,975 co-working spaces worldwide by the end of 2024.
Aleksander Hougen, managing editor at Cloudwards.net, says, “When you’re traveling, chances are that most people you meet will come and go rather quickly, as most of them will be on a shorter-term trip or vacation. It’s a good idea, then, to find digital nomad hotspots, such as co-working spaces, so that you can form longer-term relationships and a sense of community with other remote workers not strapped for time.”
Even a short membership to a co-working space can help you find a community of like-minded travelers. Plus, you can share tips, professional skills, job opportunities, and companions with whom to explore your destination when work is finished.
Working and traveling at the same time seems like a dream come true, but if you’re new to the digital nomad game, balancing both can be a challenge. Sticking to these three tips can make sure both your work and play are exactly as rewarding as you imagined.