How to Balance Work and Travel as a Digital Nomad?

How to Balance Work and Travel as a Digital Nomad

In the past, we should be located in a specific location to earn our living. The dream of traveling while working abroad seems to be impossible.

But today's technology allowed a new breed that scours the world for new experiences whilst working online. The rise of digital nomads. The individuals that adapt to technology while embracing the world and all its possibilities.

Watch this video if you don't have any idea what I'm talking about:



For the digital nomads out there, when you decided to be a digital nomad, did life become easier? I doubt it. People think that you're in an unlimited vacation spree not knowing that you actually work jobs while being location-independent.


Tourist Mode vs Work Mode

Balancing the temptation to go all-out tourist mode and your livelihood is a daunting task. Should I visit all the tourist spots in my vicinity or should I work so that I can actually afford to be here in the first place? It's a tough balancing act to make.

Luckily, we can help you with your predicament. Here are tips to balance work while traveling as a digital nomad.


Check if You Can Afford It

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Check if You Can Afford It

The first step is to check if you can actually afford to live this lifestyle.  You don't want to join the unprepared nomads who have grave financial dangers as this will heavily affect your work and travel conditions. If you can’t afford a certain destination, you might want to consider a cheaper alternative.

Better save up some extra dough first and establish a travel fund for you to tap in. If you can, try to build multiple sources of income also. By diversifying your income streams, you are not on the mercy of any single client. Just in case they opt to cease your business relationship, you can still continue your travel lifestyle.

With this, you can actually have the peace of mind as you traverse the world while working.


Plan Before You Go

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Plan Before You Go

After checking your finances, you should plan before you go. Review your upcoming deadlines, urgent emails and skype calls, and other important things you might miss.

You should incorporate this into your schedule if you don't want to lose your clients. If possible, finish most of these tasks before you go and travel to give you more time.

You can't fully predict your workload (hooray for emergencies!) but having these tasks listed down will you give a rough idea of how much time you should put in working and playing.


Slow Travel is the Best Option

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Slow Travel is the Best Option

And speaking of time, as a digital nomad, I highly suggest traveling slowly. Unlike tourists, we have jobs to fulfill. Tourist can marathon the whole destination (I suggest you don't though) like they are in the Amazing Race.

But as remote workers, this is too tiring and quite impossible amidst our project deadlines. If you can, try to stay in a certain place as long as possible. Take one to two weeks in every city. Immerse in its food, people, and culture. You will find that it's more fulfilling experience-wise.


Stick to a Strict Schedule- Know Your Balance

Image Credit: Pacific Palms Resort

Stick to a Strict Schedule: Know Your Balance

Now to the nitty-gritty. We are fortunate to have this option to travel while working for as long as we want. But as Spiderman says it, with great power comes great responsibility.

As cliché as it may sound, the only way you can make it work is if you're responsible enough to work when you work and play when you play. Therefore, a STRICT schedule is important for your daily routine.

Know yourself. When are your most productive hours? Are you an early bird or a night owl? Make sure to work around your strength hours to get things done.

Additionally, you might want to practice "Deep Work". It's the ability to do professional work with a distraction-free concentration that pushes your cognitive abilities to their limits.


Check Your Timezone

Also, don't forget the change in time zones when you go abroad. It may be commonsensical, but you should adjust your online meetings and updates accordingly. You don't want to lose your client just because you "forgot".

Channeling these essential factors will make your time scheduled and segmented. The worst thing that can happen is you thinking about the deadline while perusing the islands.

With that, you should have a strict schedule. Work when you work. Play when you play.


Communicate With Your Clients

If your clients don't know yet, better tell them that you will be traveling while working as a digital nomad. If they are iffy about it, pitch to them the advantages of working on the go to avoid these common misconceptions.

This open communication is important especially for the days you will be out of reach. This will give you the leeway when they don't hear back from your right away. Make sure that you can manage their expectations as to when you can get back to them.

If you have a teammate or contact person for urgent matters, better give them his/her contact details as well.


Get a Local Sim Card for Cheap Connectivity

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Get a Local Sim Card for Cheap Connectivity

You may not need it in most cases, but getting connected is essential for our routine to work. There are times when we can't find reliable internet sources or cafes nearby. So why not invest in a Local Sim Card?

It will surely be cheaper than you roaming data, and in case of that "where-can-find-reliable-wifi" dilemma, you can hotspot one just by using your phone.


Back You Data Up

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Back Your Data Up

Packing that bag for your great adventure is great. Your laptop is your lifeline in this situation. It allows you the flexibility to work just about anywhere with a good Internet connection. But what will you do if it suddenly stops working?

Better back-up all your data. Store necessary files in a hard drive, a cloud service (free Google Drive or Dropbox might be more than enough), or a flash drive. Creating these redundancies protects you from that unexpected turn of events.

If you have your files, you can just use a hotel pc or rent a computer while yours get fixed. Worst case, you can buy a new dedicated machine with all your important files still intact.


What's Left Now is to Document Your Travels Memories

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What's Left Now is to Document Your Travel Memories

With these tips, why not document your travels? You can start your personal blog to log your experiences while traveling. The best case is you can be an influencer and the website might be able to fund your travels further.

Or worst, at least you have a travel diary you can go back to. So if you’re ready, pack your bags now and enjoy traveling digital nomad style.


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Edmar Hipulan

March 11, 2019

I am interested p


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