6 Tips to Help Make Travelling and Freelancing Easier

September 27, 2018

 Tip number 7 is that you should always pack an Akubra


Trying to do it all and still turn a profit whilst finding the time to score some waves is the number one reason why my hair is thinning.


That's because juggling all of these at once as a remote worker can be damn stressful.


To ensure your locks stay as lush and abundant as a shag rug though, here are 6 tips to help make travelling and freelancing just that little bit easier.


1. Invest in a decent international outlet adapter


I'm a bit stingy when it comes to spending money on new things, but I'm willing to dish out a few shekels for a decent outlet adapter. Without one you run the risk of not being able to charge your phone or laptop.


A good quality outlet adapter doesn't have to be perfect, but it should at least get you through the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, Southeast Asia, Europe and the Americas.


If you're like me and are prone to being a little bit careless, you'll also want one that's durable. I've purchased cheap adapters before and they do not age well. In the end, you'll probably have to Frankenstein the hell out of your subpar adapter with tape just to keep it from crumbling in your hands.


I currently own a Skross World Adapter MUV USB.


2. Use an exchange rate cheat sheet


I like to disconnect a little bit when I'm travelling, which means not taking my phone with me everytime I leave the house. This poses a problem though when I'm shopping in a new country and am a little unsure of the exchange rate. 


I solve this little conundrum by writing up an exchange rate cheat sheet. This involves breaking down my own currency in intervals of 5, starting at $1 then continuing onto $5, then $10 and so forth with the local equivalent scribbled next to each amount. 


Sure, it's primitive and ghetto but it works for me. All the better if you don't have international roaming enabled and are without access to a live exchange rate app.


3. Pack a backup laptop charger


A recent jaunt down into Central America reminded me of how much I take even the smallest conveniences back home for granted. 


After 3 months of travelling my already haggard looking Macbook charger had taken a proper beating. Exposed cables and ripped conduit were a disaster waiting to happen. 


While in Costa Rica my charger finally threw in the towel and carked it late on a Monday night. My disappointment at not being able to find a replacement on Tuesday was replaced by growing panic on Wednesday, which then culminated in all out desperation come Thursday with deadlines looming and no way to repair, replace, rent or borrow a new charger. 


By the grace of the freelancer gods, I was saved Friday morning, but not before learning a vital lesson, that is, a backup charger is worth its weight in gold. 


The benefits of bringing a backup charger on your trip is twofold. Benefit number one is that you'll always be able to use your spare in case your primary McMurphy's. Benefit number two is that you could end up being the hero of someone else's story when they approach you in a cold sweat with a wild look of despair in their eyes asking if you're packing a second charger. 


Of course, a backup probably isn't necessary in places like Europe, the States or Australia, but when you're in the sticks it pays to plan ahead.


4. Visit a local co-working space


Co-working spaces are a place to get work done, network with like minded individuals and perhaps even pick up a new client or two.


They can also be a goldmine for finding out where the best surf spots are, how to get there and other helpful local tips. 


There are plenty of fantastic co-working spaces that offer accomodation too. This can be super convenient if you're only going on a short holiday and still want to maintain any momentum you've built up with your business.


5. Use Boomerang to schedule emails


As an Australian I can testify that boomerangs are actually fucking dangerous. 


When I was younger my brother had his head split open by a boomerang, courtesy of an uncle's wayward throw. 


Boomerang for Gmail, however, is incredibly awesome. It comes with a number of features, such as the ability to make emails return to your inbox in a few days, which is great for when you have a task that needs to be completed on a certain day. 


Perhaps even more relevant to freelancers though is the fact you can write and then schedule an email to send at a later time and date. This is perfect for ensuring your email hits the receiver’s inbox when they’re at their desk, improving your chances of getting a prompt reply.


The best thing about Boomerang though is that I can schedule emails for when I know I'll be surfing. It's smug and satisfying but my lord does it feel good knowing I'm getting at it even when I'm in the water.


6. Try to keep a little bit of a routine


I genuinely enjoy my morning routine and while the quality of my work may not improve dramatically with it, I'm definitely more focused once I've exercised, meditated and stretched in the AM. 


After four years of freelancing though I've learned that I'm reluctant to maintain the same regime when I'm travelling. My advice is to accept you're probably not gonna keep up the intensity and try to adapt to your surroundings.


Shorten your run but add a few stairs, stretch for longer and meditate a little less or just try to take an early morning walk to kick your brain into gear. 


Flexibility and discipline aren't mutually exclusive. Be prepared to roll with the punches when you're on the road and remember a little bit of routine is better than none at all if you still want to maintain a high standard of productivity. 


This list isn't definitive and if you've got some other tips I'd love to hear them. The more specific the better!

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