#WORKATION: How to travel and work at the same time?

3 minutes

If you’ve followed my social channels for a while, then you know that every now and then I like to grab my laptop and go on short “workations” across South-East Asia. But I wasn’t always this lucky. In my previous desk-based consulting job, I rarely even got to see the sun. I used to get up, commute to the office before sunrise and get back at dawn after the sun had set.

Starting online biz has allowed me to travel & explore amazing places – all this while my business runs completely online. But as my biz continues to grow, and with work running 24/7, I find it impossible to disconnect from the internet even for a few days. 

So, “why to travel if you are so busy with work” you might wonder. Well, there are a few reasons why I chose to travel every 2-3 months.

Reason # 1: New Environment Stimulates Creativity

As a copywriter & content strategist, I am always seeking new and interesting places to draw inspiration from. With creative work, the worst thing it can happen is losing creativity and falling into a repetitive loop (ouch! – I shrug as I wrote this).

View from Georgetown, Penang, Malaysia

Reason # 2: Better Focus & Productivity

Being away from home, allows me to see things from a different perspective. On my latest trip to Langkawi, Malaysia I was so effective that I planned SM content for 3 clients & finished a website copy, all in just 3 days. Normally, this would have taken me at least a week.

View from Penang Jetty, Malaysia

Reason # 3: Detach from Everything

Not only that but being away from home, even for a few days, allows me to detach completely from my house chores, business admin and daily routine. I feel more relaxed and inspired when I don’t have to think that I have left the washing machine running or knowing that I have a pile of dishes from last night’s dinner piling in my sink waiting to be washed.

Being a digital nomad for the past 10 years, I’ve also learned a few tricks that help me ensure I am staying productive when I travel.

How to Work and Travel: Tips to get work done while traveling:

1. Plan each work trip properly – Make sure you make all your travel arrangements before hopping onto the plane, boat or bus. Have your boarding pass & all bookings for travel, activities & accommodation ready to save you time & reduce stress. 

2. Pack the essentials for working on the go – Laptop, handphone, chargers, headphones, tablet, pen drives/back-ups, notepad, pen, etc. Choose the place you work in carefully, inquire about WIFI connectivity in advance, although most hotels & cafes provide that for free. Make sure you activate your roaming, so you are fully covered. 

3. Notify your clients & team of your travel schedule in advance – Let everyone know that you will be away and may not have 24/7 access to internet connectivity, specifying which is the best way to reach you in case of emergency (call? email?). Schedule your calls in advance based on what time zone you’ll be in so you don’t end up answering calls at 4 am in the morning.

4. Complete your work in advance – If you know the date of your travel you can plan your work in advance: prerecord YouTube videos, create & schedule a batch of content for your SM, try to finish ALL urgent and pending tasks BEFORE you start your holiday. 

View from Langkawi Sky Bridge, Malaysia

Ultimately, I love traveling. Travel makes me feel free, inspired and most importantly, creative. 

Let’s hear your thoughts. What other travel tips would you want to add to this list?

Want to keep up with my #Expatlifestyle? Follow me on Instagram: @alleceambur

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