I am fortunate enough to travel a lot, both for work and for fun, over the years I have developed an internal checklist of things I do pre and during any travel you embark on so here’s my top 10 travel tips:
01. Make sure you cancel the paper!
I nearly always forget this one but I do try to remember as otherwise it sits on our doorstep and anyone going past knows you are away, or it goes through the letterbox and fills up the porch.
02. Check for wifi zones before you depart
Does your hotel / resort have wifi? Is it fast? Or are there any Starbucks nearby that you can camp out in to check email and fire off files to your clients? These are factors that need to be considered when going away.
03. Set expectations before you depart
Have you told your clients that you are away on holiday? Or that you are working from distance for a period of time? Be honest with them and inform them if you are not contactable at certain times or if you will be on reduced hours etc. so they know not to throw insane deadlines at you whilst you’re at the pool bar.
04. Pack the right equipment
Do you need your laptop or whilst you’re away are you able to get away with working from your iPad or iPhone? I run about 70% of my business from my iPhone and iPad, only needing the laptop for prolonged work and longer written pieces or presentations. Also think about future projects here, does some of your USP or project work need pictures of products or communication in store? Get some snaps, you can invoice for the time and images later.
05. Latest and greatest
Ensure all software for your iPhone, iPad, MacBookPro or indeed any other device is up to date whilst you have swift connections, you never know how good the internet will be wherever you are going. Sometimes apps need the latest updates to work so doing this before you leave will save you a world of pain whilst away.
06. Obvious really but pack appropriate clothing
Just a reminder to consider seasonal weather specific to your location… I was on tour a couple of weeks ago and turned up in a polo shirt and shorts… it hammered it down with rain. Schoolboy error. That goes for shoes too.
07. Ensure you have access to all the files you need
For me this means my DropBox account where all my company files are stored and automatically backed up instantly when home, whilst away this auto-backup will no doubt one day save my ass if my laptop is ever stolen or lost or damaged (hopefully not in the aforementioned pool bar).
08. Your contacts
No not contact lenses, unless you need them, in which case make sure you pack them! What I’m more concerned about though is your clients’ contact details, whether in your phone or on your laptop or whatever, make sure you have the means to contact them and be contacted by them.
09. Client attire
You never know when you are going to meet the person who you will land your next contract with, make sure that if you meet interesting people whilst away, try to get a planned business meeting in, even for a few minutes, before you leave. For this, have a nice shirt, client shoes and appropriate trouser wear.
10. Your watch
Make sure you know what timezone you are in, what timezone your clients are in and what timezone it is at home as at one point or another these may all be different and you need to make sure you’re not calling their cell phone at 4 in the morning, similarly deadlines can be won and lost on the back of a daylight saving adjustment.
How do you prepare to go away? What are your top 10 travel tips for freelancers?
Greg Dillon is a freelance brand strategist working with brands and agencies all round the world, he is also the author of Strat-Talking.com, a website aimed at giving advice and insight to new, existing and veteran freelancers as well as commenting on all things strategic. Feel free to email him at: [email protected] or follow on Twitter @StratTalking
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