Omni Traveller

Budget Backpack Travel in Europe

Concerns And Tech Tools When Working Remotely

Travelling abroad for an extended period of time successfully depends to varying degrees on freeing up a few factors- your time, your location, and your income.

Guy using a laptop by the side of a river.

Guy Using a Laptop by the Side of the River
 Photo: Wirawat Lian-Udom

Of these three qualities your time is actually the least important to free up. You don’t need to have endless free time while you travel, and most people who travel for extended stretches like to have other projects or interests they’re pursuing during their travels other than solely soaking in the vibes of foreign countries 24/7. You can work remotely full-time while travelling and still have a completely life-changing experience out on the road.

Provided you aren’t independently wealthy, you have two options at your disposal when it comes to freeing up the income necessary to travel for as long as you want. 1) You can work and save up a lump sum of as much money as you think you need to travel, or 2) you can earn money as you travel.

Even though extended world travel tends to require less of a nest-egg than the average individual believes, it’s often a better idea to make sure you have regular cash flow while you travel. With a constant stream of money pouring into your bank account you really can travel indefinitely and you’ll feel a lot more secure during your continuous adventure.

Which means freeing your location to finally facilitate extended world travel is really all about earning income no matter where you are in the world. You can split your income and your location from each other by living off passive cash sources like a thick investment portfolio, by creating a business that basically runs itself, or by continuing to work a job as you travel. The latter of which is the fastest lateral step you can take to start travelling indefinitely in a couple months instead of a couple of decades.

To sum it all up: the easiest way to travel indefinitely is to work regularly as you travel, an option that is viable solely due to the wealth of modern technology designed to help you work as remotely as you’d like.

Consider the following tech-tools must-haves if you’re looking to fund your world travels by continuing to work as you fly from exotic destination to exotic destination.

 

Your Laptop

Let’s be clear about one thing: if you’re going to work while you travel you will need a laptop. This is the big non-optional tool on the list, so if you don’t already own a laptop you need to factor the cost of a new computer into your travel budget.

There are two schools of thought when it comes to what sort of laptop you should buy for your trip. One side argues you should buy the highest quality laptop you can afford to maximize the tool’s reliability, the other side argues you should buy an inexpensive $300 laptop for your travels because a cheap notebook won’t be too painful to replace if you break it or lose it or if it gets stolen.

Both sides make good points and are worth taking into consideration. Regardless of whether you choose to go the high-end or low-end route make sure you purchase a laptop that can handle the work you need to perform and which is as small and lightweight as possible. Personally I always travel with a current-generation MacBook Air because I’d rather take a little extra care of my gear than stress about whether my laptop will turn on when I press its power button, but this really is a personal decision, and budget certainly factors into it.

 

Adapters

Different countries have different outlets with different input plugs that transmit different charges. Do a little research to see what sort of charge flows out of the outlets within every country you travel to and either make sure your computer can handle that country’s charge or get a transformer to prevent crippling cross-charge incompatibility. Plugging your computer into an outlet with a charge it can’t handle with literally destroy your computer, so it’s worth keeping a universal transformer with you at all times, no matter what.

You also need to make sure your computer can actually plug into the outlets of each country you travel to, so you’re going to need to carry around an outlet adapters as well.

Can adapters and transformers be a little bulky and annoying to drag with you when you go to a coffee shop to get some work done? Absolutely, but that doesn’t somehow make them any more unnecessary.

 

GoToMyPC

If you’re a freelancer who is able to run their entire business off their laptop, then GoToMyPC (.com) might not be that useful, but if you usually work in a traditional office and you’re setting up a remote arrangement GoToMyPC represents a crucial corner of your tech toolkit.

Basically, GoToMyPC lets you control your work or home computer from your laptop. With this piece of software you’ll be able to access files, run applications and otherwise utilize a computer located back home in the States while you sit on a beach in Bali. The software connects the two computers through an internet signal so both computers need to be wired to get it to work, and while you should expect a little choppiness, GoToMyPC overall works as you’d expect and has almost single-handedly enabled a whole generation of remote work arrangements.

 

Satellite Internet

Whether you need to sign up for a satellite internet service or whether you can rely on wireless signals to get your work done depends a LOT on where you plan on travelling.

If you’re traveling to a fully developed country then you can generally expect to have abundant access to all the free wireless internet you could ever need or want. Most hostels offer wireless to their lodgers and even if they don’t, every hostel worker will be able to point you to the nearest café. A shocking number of seemingly less developed or otherwise remote locations have more than their fair share of wireless internet, but it is always a good idea to do research before you touch down to make sure your new location can hook you up.

If you’re travelling to a country that doesn’t have a lot of wireless internet, or if you’re travelling to a country’s remote wireless-less corners, then you should sign up for a satellite internet service that provides service wherever you’re about to hike through. You’re generally going to be stuck with whatever company services the region where you’re travelling to and satellite internet is generally slow no matter where you go. But these services allow you to truly work wherever you want, whenever you want.