How to freelance while short-term travelling?

By Anna Krol

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Since I was a kid, I knew for my entire life that I want to constantly travel. Thanks to my parents I could travel across the Ocean and see things that I couldn’t imagine back in my country. Now, one of the reasons why I wanted to be a location-independent freelancer was the freedom to be anywhere and anytime I want. I have a home-base in the southern part of Spain but I travel each month to visit friends or to explore new places. That sounds awesome, right? Well, it does now for because at the beginning of my freelance career I didn’t really plan well my trips work-wise and because of that I was in trouble a couple of times.

Picture that.

I got my first clients, two or three at that time. I wanted to go somewhere for a week or two but really I didn’t want to tell them that I would be travelling. I thought that maybe they would get somebody else and I would lose my contract. I thought that I would perfectly manage to work and travel at the same time. Wrong thinking. The worse nightmare for a freelancer is… lack of the Internet. Of course, one of the most frustrating problems with work and travel are Wi-Fi issues. My Airbnb host had a terrible Internet connection and I couldn’t really find any nice cafe with fast Internet. Therefore, I couldn’t deliver what I planned for these weeks ending up telling one of my clients that I didn’t feel well. I didn’t earn anything at that time. Another problem is when you go on a short trip, and your wifi works but… you suddenly receive a travel opportunity that you can’t refuse. Like somebody offers you a two day trip into the rainforest, or to see the waterfalls or some other amazing place but it would take two or three days out of your planned schedule to see it. Or another one, some external event happens like a storm or being stuck in a small village as you missed your last bus.

Of course, you can’t predict everything but here are some practical tips before going for short-to-medium long trips while working online:

  • One option is to be honest and tell your clients that you are going for your holidays and you will do your best to deliver as much as you can before and after your trip.
  • You check three times with your hostel or Airbnb host or a friend that they have a fast Internet. Before booking a place, I would actually make them run a speed test on their Internet.
  • You plan your trip wisely and check on Tripadvisor or other websites if there are any nice cafes or coworking spaces around your accommodation.
  • Check the time zones for you and your clients to not to miss your weekly calls.
  • You stick to your plans no matter what!

Would love to hear your experiences with short travels while working!

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