Working From the Road During My 6-Week Europe Trip: What I Learned
Though I’ve been to Europe several times before, this time was different as I was traveling to various countries to research new books for my One Day in a City eGuidebook series. I visited the Dolomites mountain range in northern Italy and island hopped in Croatia. I also visited the vibrant cities of Munich, Berlin, Prague, Budapest, Vienna, Bratislava, Ljubljana, and Split. It was an incredible trip that encompassed nearly six busy weeks.
Though the trip was great for getting future material to work on, I learned it’s a lot harder than I anticipated to work on current projects while traveling full-time for a long period; I still had work to do each day for my marketing and writing clients which always had to take priority over sightseeing. Here are some things I learned about working on the road.
Spending 12 hours touring a city and then coming back to work in the hotel for another six hours means sleeping isn’t prioritized. Plus, sleep schedules may mean three hours of sleep followed by a middle of the night conference call, followed by another three hours of sleep. (Falling asleep on your laptop also may happen…multiple times.)
Expect Sudden Assignments
You’ll inevitably get a dream work assignment during the most jam-packed part of the trip. It’s completely worth it to sacrifice time sightseeing and sleeping to get it done. (You can see the fruits of this labor at SanDiego.About.com for which I now serve as the San Diego expert.)
Choose Your Travel Partner Wisely
Having a supportive travel partner if traveling with someone is key. Bringing your mom along is an excellent choice as you’ll have someone to do your laundry so you can work. (Love you, Mom!)
Get Your Phone Plan in Place
Make sure you have an international phone plan well laid out because inevitably your unlocked phone will decide to die a green-lined screen of death, you’ll lose your SIM pin, and your husband will wonder how you racked up a $600 phone bill on the phone you weren’t supposed to use while in Europe. (Not that I know this from personal experience or anything, cough cough…)
It’s All About the Connection
You’ll start choosing where to eat lunch based on Wifi connection. You will also immediately notice any sign that says wifi is available wherever you go and can’t relax until you have a wifi password in hand. (All hail free wifi!)
But Ultimately Working on the Road is Worth it…
Working late nights and missing out on some sightseeing to hang out behind a laptop is totally worth it to be able to travel to new places in the first place. I can’t wait until the next time I fall asleep on my laptop and wake up in a new destination, ready to explore new sights and sounds – while writing an article on the metro and taking a lunch break to update marketing campaigns.