Published on April 7th, 2013 | by Daniel3
Managing your Business when Travelling
How to manage a location independent business while you are travelling all over the place? As you may know, this needs a bit of planning and organization. You are not at home to fix everything easily when something goes amiss. When I started out to go location independent, initially all went smooth, but then 3 months in a foreign ATM ate my credit card and my laptop broke down at same time, causing some travel mayhem. Basically these were little problems, but when you are constantly travelling, these can be quite annoying and even disruptive to your work flow.
Fortunately there are travel hacks with makes life on the road so much easier and comfortable. In this post I hope to give valuable tips about financial, security and logistical issues to come in handy for when you are on the road.
One of the most important things is to be able to manage your finances wherever you are in the world, and to do so in a safe way. For instance:
> Notify your bank that you will be travelling. This is easy to do and can save you a lot of trouble. When your bank is not aware of your exotic trips, often they will block your debit/credit card when your try to get money from ATM’s in suspicious countries known for skimming.
> Automate the payment for all your bills. And if this is not possible, ask the company to email you the bills. For most of them this will not be an issue.
> Get an online banking account. I find Skrill (used to be Moneybookers) very convenient, as they are convenient and reliable, and they issue their own credit cards These work more like debit cards, limiting your risk while you can access your spending from anywhere. The credit card works just like a normal Mastercard, so you can use it everywhere.
Keep it Safe
Security is another issue when you are on the road. When you lose important documents or your wallet gets stolen, it is much more disruptive than in case you are at home. Some tips:
> Put your important documents in a safe whenever you can, or at a hidden place when a safe is not available.
> Make copies of your passport and put these copies in different places. Keep one copy in your wallet.
> Email to yourself scans of all important documents and a list of important phone numbers ( this is an “old school” method I like to use) or get an online drop box for this. If anything happens you can access all you important documents online.
> Keep your credit cards separated. I.e. one in your wallet, another one in a hidden place at your casa. So in the unfortunate case your wallet gets missing or stolen, you still have a way to get money via your other credit card.
Online security is especially important when you working online and/or have a business online. Some things I make sure are:
> Use VPN. The reason to use a VPN is that although most internet connections over the world are quite secure these days, once you hit a rotten apple you are in big trouble. It easy for hackers to get your financial details through an open WiFi connection. With VPN you connect with a safe computer first, and use this computer to use the internet. So it is extremely safe, while you can use internet everywhere.
Another benefit of VPN is that you can bypass firewalls in certain countries. I.e. some countries limit the accessibility of YouTube or Facebook When you connect via VPN to a safe computer that is located in say, the US, you can access the internet as if you are located in the US.
I use StrongVPN, which I find to be very reliable and cost-efficient. They also have a good choice of locations. Other VPN networks which I used and found working very well are HideMyAss and VPNworld.
Setting up a VPN is quite easy, so do not bail on VPN because of this, as you will experience that it has a lot of benefits.
> Get a good laptop. And try not to use public computers and internet cafes for conduction business or financial transactions.
Logistics & Internet
> Choose places that have a good internet connection. One of my pet peeves is the speed of an internet connection. If it is lagging, the speed with you are working with online slows down considerably. In fact this is almost the only reason that constrains my travel choices out from a business perspective (of course, personal security is also one).
> After you arrived, scout for cafes/coffee shops that have a good internet connection and a good working atmosphere (i.e. good table with chairs). Going out of the house, changing environment, and working in coffee shops will give you inspiration.