Getting things done while on the go locally can be a struggle. Add airport checks, carry-on baggage and tight travel schedules to the mix and it get’s even harder.
For the past few months, I’ve had the chance to travel often for work and play. I love taking trips and seeing new cities, but very rarely am I able to completely stop working during a trip. I usually need to check in on the blog, get content up or do some editing, even between dinners and conference sessions.
Planning ahead is definitely a key component of getting things done while you’re traveling. Half the battle is anticipating what you could need or what could go wrong and filling those gaps in advance.
Whether you’re taking a big trip for work or just headed out of town for a fun weekend with friends, these tips will ensure you’re still getting things done and meeting deadlines while having fun and actually enjoying being away from home!
Chargers, external hard drives, my laptop and camera are always in my personal carry-on. When you’re flying, you never know when there will be a sudden change in plans. Luggage can get lost, plans diverted and delays aren’t uncommon, as I’ve learned a lot during my recent travels. Having all of your work needs on hand means you can use extra time to get things done and never have to worry about being separated from your tech.
I have a separate small bag, the size of a large pencil case, that can hold my external hard drive, phone charger, laptop charger and headphones. It keeps my bag tidy and helps me to be able to easily reach for my gear when I’m ready to work.
Communicate that You’re Traveling
Especially if you have clients or work on projects that expect you to be reachable during business hours. Set an away message on your email that notes you’ll have limited access to your inbox due to traveling. If you know ahead of time that you’ll be able to check email at certain times, add that to your message. Also note if you’re in a different time zone, so expectations can be managed! Not having to write a bunch of “sorry for the delay” messages will save you so much time and help you get more done.
Prep Your Files
I’ve been luckily to always have decent wi-fi in airports and hotels, but I’m always prepared to have zero signal. And if you’re on a longer or international flight, the wi-fi available is often not the best. I always prep all of my files and folders on my hard drive so I don’t have to bank on being able to download something from the web. I also add everything to Google Drive or Drop Box so that it’s available on my phone in emergencies.
Know the Plan
Even the most spontaneous vacation needs a bit of scheduling to run smoothly. When I visited Vegas with my friends last month, I knew we’d have late nights but also late starts to the day. I tend to be an early riser, even when I go to bed later. So I knew that I could use mornings to edit photos, check in on social and review vlog footage.
I purposefully didn’t take a laptop on that trip and scheduled all of my content in advance, which was a huge help.
I get some of my best bursts of inspiration while traveling. I keep a notebook in my bag to write down any ideas I get while on the go, and use my phone when it’s more convenient. And if it’s a scene or a moment that’s really inspiring me, I take a photo on my phone, and then add that photo to the notes app where I can write a bit about what inspired me in that moment. Refreshing your creativity and taking time to brainstorm and be inspired is so important, even while traveling.
If you prep well enough, working while traveling is completely manageable. I have a few other trips I’m hoping to take this year, and I know I’ll be working on those as well. The point of planning ahead is so that while you’re on the trip, you can focus on what you came to do, knowing everything else will be taken care of!