If you’ve been lucky enough to work on the road while freelancing or perhaps just enjoying an extended business trip, you’ll know how refreshing it can be to get a change of scenery. However, there always seems to be one major downfall; lack of local knowledge means we end up working in the hotel room. However, this doesn’t have to be the case and we have some advice so you can enjoy your new surroundings and work at the same time!
Local Cafés - First and foremost, this is a classic solution but one that seems to work every time. No matter where you are in the world, most cities tend to have cafés offering WiFi. If you’re staying in the location for a number of days or weeks, you’ll soon learn the best locations and you can even enjoy the local cuisine at the same time.
NOTE: If you’re going to enjoy this tip, make sure you purchase something every so often so they won’t mind your company rather than taking up a table and not having the courtesy to at least buy a coffee!
Coworking Spaces - As more people have moved away from the traditional (and static) nine-to-five role in one office, more coworking spaces have opened. Essentially, this is an office full of people from different companies. With everyone in the same boat as yourself, it acts as a professional workspace for anyone who requires it.
Coworking Visa - Although there are some independent spaces that require a membership, there are others a part of the visa program. If you haven't heard of this before, it’s a membership that’ll grant you access to over 450 coworking spaces around the world. In addition to dozens of spaces across the US, the visa will also work in some locations in Cambodia, Australia, the UK, Hungary, Ecuador, Mexico, France, Germany, and many others.
Travel Routers - As crazy as it sounds, the market now offers what we call ‘travel routers’ and these little devices, running on batteries, will allow you to connect to the internet on a secure platform. Unfortunately, this solution can be expensive over an extended period of time but is perfect for a short business trip.
Personal Hotspot - If your contract allows, your mobile device can be used as a personal hotspot. Effectively, this means your device will redirect the internet connection and open itself up as a portable router; this allows your laptop to connect as it would any other router. Otherwise known as ‘tethering’, you will need to talk with your provider before you travel. Although it seems like a great idea on the road, the last thing you need upon returning home is a hefty phone bill for going over the limit.
Extra Advice - Before you pack your bags and set off happy with these solutions in mind, we have a couple more tips to keep you secure. Firstly, look into getting a VPN (virtual private network). After paying a small fee, this will provide you with a secure network to surf, check your emails, and send/receive important documents. Rather than relying on the security of an unknown café, a VPN will go the extra mile to keep you protected because you’ll be the only one connected.
Secondly, you also need to protect against physical hacking or people simply looking at your screen in public locations. Luckily, afor your screen will do the trick here as it blacks out the screen from all other angles but straight ahead. With this installed, you can go about your business knowing people can’t see what you’re doing!