You work hard on your home business. But everyone needs a vacation, right? With a little prep and the right equipment you can still run your home business while traveling without it encroaching on your vacation time.
Before You Leave
Most of us spend some time each day on social media websites chatting or reading news items that aren’t necessary to running our business. Before you leave, take some time to think about the things you do each day that are critical to your business. Maybe you only need to check your email, your business Facebook page and your blog for comments. Those three things will likely generate a small amount of work for you but if you feel like the important things have been taken care of you’ll enjoy your vacation more. If you’re a blogger, write a few posts ahead of time and schedule them to publish while you’re traveling. Also, take the time to research the location of a few wi-fi hotspots for back-up in case your hotel doesn’t offer wi-fi or it isn’t working.
Traveling with a laptop is common these days but if you have a smaller tablet device like an iPad or smart phone you could lighten your load by using the smaller device on your vacation. Make sure you have your bookmarks and other frequently visited sites on the alternate device.
International travel can bring new travel challenges to running your business. Not all electricity is created equal. Check the voltage and outlet requirements of the country you’re visiting before you go and buy the appropriate adaptor and plug-ins. In countries where the voltage is different, your computer battery may not fully charge or your battery life maybe be different than it is at home.
Governments in some countries block websites. If you need to do research in your business, websites like Wikipedia and Google maps are sometimes blocked. The fix for this is to download a VPN or virtual private network. The VPN creates an IP address that is from your home country thereby allowing you access to your regular websites. There are free and low cost VPN options you can use depending on how often you travel and the level of customer service you desire.
If you use your smart phone a lot for business check with your service provider to see if they can switch you to an international plan for the time period you will be gone. In most cases, you’ll only have to pay the international plan rate for the days you are gone and it will be much cheaper than roaming on your regular service. If you’re leaving your smart phone at home consider using Skype or other VOIP providers to check your cell phone messages and conduct necessary business calls.
Having multiple back-ups for critical files is always important whether you’re traveling or not. In addition to removable storage devices, try using Dropbox to back up as well. Dropbox maintains all of your files in the cloud and they are accessible from any computer with a wi-fi connection. If you become a victim of tourist theft and your computer gets stolen your files will still be in Dropbox. Often computers and external drives are stolen at the same time since they are commonly found together. In these cases having critical files in the cloud can be a lifesaver.
Connie Brentford is an author, freelance writer and devoted wife and mom. Her bestselling work-from-home book series is available on Kindle. Her latest book is Make Money Online- 67 Real Companies That Pay You To Work In Your Pajamas.
Location independent since 2008, she spends part of her year in London, UK and the rest of the year happily dragging a suitcase to exciting corners of the world. You can reach her online at www.TheMoonlightersGuide.com.