How to work and travel

With the rise of remote work and flexible working, you may be asking yourself “how can I travel and work?”. The good news is that the opportunities to blend work with travel are increasing, and it’s a reality for millions.

There are three main ways to work and travel:

How to travel and work at the same time

Remote Working Contract

You can travel and work at the same time if you have a remote role that allows you to work outside of your home country.

There are many benefits of working remotely while you travel, including:

  • You have a steady, reliable income and will retain benefits like pension payments or paid annual leave
  • Your days will be structured and give you a sense of routine
  • Work calls can stave off loneliness and prevent you feeling isolated

Travelling while you work also forces you to move slowly, as you can’t travel during working hours. Also known as slomadism, this approach has many benefits:

  • You can really get to know a destination
  • Being in one place for longer means you can make more connections
  • Travelling slowly is more affordable
  • You can maintain balance and stay healthy
  • You’re less likely to burnout from rapid travel

However, there are some downsides to travelling with a remote job:

  • You have less freedom if you need to work set hours
  • You may need to take a lot of equipment with you
  • It can be stressful to find decent WiFi
  • You may face extra costs if you want to try coworking or work from coffee shops, etc
  • It’s tiring to juggle travel and the demands of a full time role

I was fortunate and managed to persuade my boss to give me a remote contract that would allow me to travel and work – but with a catch. I had to remain tax-resident in the UK and work UK hours.,

How did I manage to turn my role remote? I’ll explain that in a guide, coming very soon.

If you’re a more cautious person, you might be more comfortable with the idea of finding a remote job first and then planning your adventure when you have your income secured.

I’ll be publishing a guide to finding a remote job soon – please subscribe for updates to be alerted when I publish new content.

Freelancing While Travelling

If you’re less concerned about having a steady, reliable income and want to follow a riskier path, you might do really well as a freelancer.

There are many benefits of freelancing while you travel:

  • You get total freedom to work when you want
  • You can earn more than you would as an employee, if you work full time
  • You may be able to expense costs like co-working spaces, lunches and coffee
  • You aren’t limited to reamining in a certain timezone

Freelancing seems like an ideal solution, but it isn’t an easy thing to do while travelling. Some of the challenges I’ve faced freelancing while travelling were:

  • I found it hard to motivate myself to work, when adventures were more tempting
  • It was hard to focus
  • I didn’t get holiday pay, so no work = no money
  • I struggled with a lack of structure, which shattered my productivity

After two failed attempts to freelance while in Australia and Bali, I decided this wasn’t the right path for me. However, there are plenty of successful freelancers who manage this balance perfectly.

Want to know how to find remote work? I’ll be writing a guide about this soon, focused on digital marketing and copywriting roles.

Digital Nomadism

When you think of travelling and working at the same time, you probably think of the Four Hour Work Week and the digital nomad movement. It’s a deamy concept: start a business, build passive income and sit back on your hammock and watch the sun set as the dollars roll in.

The reality, for many, involves working extremely hard for a modest sum and living in low-cost destinations to reduce your cost of living and turn a profit. According to research by fiverr, half of digital nomads earn under $49k – that’s roughly £37,000 and only a few thousand more than the average UK salary.

However, the benefits of digital nomadism are many:

  • 90% of digital nomads have a high level of work satisfaction
  • 70% of nomads are satisfied with their income
  • Geoarbitrage means they can get more for their money if they’re paid in dollars, pounds or euros

Wondering how to become a digital nomad? I’ll be publishing a guide to this very soon.