10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

February 26, 2015
10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

In the United States alone, there are more than 50 million adults who earn a portion of their income from freelancing. Of these, nearly half are freelancers who work on a per-project basis. Are you one of them or thinking of becoming one?

Immediately succeeding as a freelancer and traveling the world is an unrealistic expectation but there are ways to satisfy your need for adventure while keeping your day (or whenever-you-have-time) job.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

1. Master Freelancing at Home

Before you can run, you must learn how to crawl. If freelancing is unfamiliar territory, allow yourself time to perfect the art at home by establishing a work space, setting routine hours and prospecting clients.

Determine which times of day or night work best for you and how many hours per day you’re willing to commit to freelancing. Once you perfect self-discipline and begin to gain momentum, it’s time to focus on finding well-paying, stable clients (you don’t want to be stuck in another country not knowing where your next paycheck is coming from).

2. Implement the Right Tools

Using the right technology can fuel your business, whether you’re responsible for 1 project or 100. Identify mission critical tools, like virtual meeting spaces and project delivery processes. Will you be able to deliver your product or service while away from home? If not, what would help you do so?

Cloud-based storage, easy communication tools and a task management system become essential if you plan to freelance successfully while traveling. Tools like Google Drive and Trello can make your freelancing career so much easier.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

3. Minimize Responsibilities at Home

Much of the excitement of travel comes with meeting new people, seeing new sights, and experiencing different cultures, but taking all that in requires a certain amount of disconnection from your life at home.

Consider paying some bills ahead of schedule, finding a short-term pet sitter or asking a friend to house-sit so you can enjoy your time away (even if you do need to check your email often).

4. Outsource Wisely

As a self-employed writer, you wear many hats. One minute you might be working on your current project while the next you might be negotiating pay rates with a picky client.

And yet, the whole point of traveling is having unique, fun and potentially life-changing experiences, but you can’t enjoy it if you’re glued to a computer screen the entire time.

Carefully select sub-contractors and spend time working with them to ensure they’re capable of keeping things moving while you’re traveling.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

5. Take Advantage of Unique Locations

japanese market
If you ever really want to find some crazy stuff to write about, I’d suggest going to a Japanese market. This one was in California.

Whether you’re a writer, artist or web developer, take the initiative to get creative when prospecting clients. Have you always wanted to write about ancient Roman architecture? Find a client who wants an article on the subject and send a pitch.

Is there a special, resort spa you’ve always wanted to stay at? Or are you looking for a great place to sketch and people-watch? Take advantage of unique locations, like casinos or resorts, to enjoy travel while honing your skills.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

6. Protect Your Assets

As a freelancer, you are your business assets, and it’s in your best interest to protect yourself. Set up travel insurance, notify banks and creditors, and thoroughly research your destination’s travel trends before going anywhere.

Between choosing the least expensive season, making sure you’re physically ready to travel and making arrangements in the event of an emergency, you’ll be well-prepared to embark upon a new adventure without risking your business.

7. Plan for Digital Blackouts

Not everything about travel is luxurious. Depending on your destination, you may be faced with uncomfortable flights, cramped bus rides and vast digital wastelands wherein no internet can be found.

As a freelancer hoping to travel while making money, no internet means you’re incapable of keeping your business running efficiently (and may lose customers in the interim). Have back up contact information for key individuals who are trained to keep the business running in case last-minute tasks need to be delegated.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

8. Create an Itinerary

Remember all that time you spent perfecting your routine? Here is where it gets fun, as you’re able to construct a travel itinerary based on your business needs and available resources.

Will you be without internet for a few hours in the afternoon while you tour a historic location? Schedule 2 hours in the morning to address work-related tasks and free up your leisure time by developing a daily itinerary that works for you.

9. Creatively Market Your Experience

Use your travel experiences to enhance your career as a freelancer. Publish articles, your own blog or a YouTube channel about your journey, what you accomplished and what you learned. At the very least, you’ll pique the interest of readers and, if you’re lucky, you may land new clients you would have never pursued otherwise.

10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

10. Freelancing Equals Freedom

laguna beach
Nothing quite as freeing as putting your feet in the water of a new ocean. This is me at Laguna Beach a few years ago.

When established correctly, a freelancing business is sustainable, profitable and capable of being run whether you’re traveling the world or lying on your couch. Put these strategies into practice to enjoy the freedom freelancing truly offers.

Main image by StartupStockPhotos / 10 Ways to Keep Freelancing While Traveling

About Kayla Matthews

Kayla Matthews is a writer and blogger who enjoys helping others get what they want out of life by being more creative and productive. To read more posts by Kayla, you can follow her on Google+, Twitter or at ProductivityTheory.com.

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