One of the greatest appeals to freelancing is the promise of freedom. The thought of being able to work remotely anywhere at any time is what draws many to the freelancer lifestyle.
As a freelance writer, I have gotten to live out that dream of working on the road. However, it wasn’t until recently that I was really able to lean into my love for travel and work remotely in Europe.
With a small group of friends, I packed up my laptop and headed overseas to travel across Northern Italy and Croatia and visit a friend that lived there.
This trip opened my eyes to the reality of vacationing while working remotely and still getting paid.
How to Make Money on Vacation and Work Online
While freelancing doesn’t require you to clock-in and answer to a boss, it isn’t typically a passive profession. After all, you still have to complete orders, market your services, answer clients, put out fires, etc.
As such, to effectively freelance and travel, you have to do some careful planning. This way, you can still make money online while enjoying your vacation.
And, if you do it right, your freelance business will run as though nothing has changed! Check out my top success tips for working remotely while traveling abroad.
Set Your Own Pace
Before I climbed aboard my plane in St. Louis, Missouri bound for Venice, Italy, I already had a work plan in place. In fact, I had been strategically scheduling my orders to be due in a way that was convenient.
Even before you embark on your trip, you should consider the orders you’re delivering now and what that timeframe will look like.
Try to limit the orders due up to three days before you leave and three days after you leave. This will also reduce the number of revisions you may have to do when you’re trying to get into ‘vacation mode.’
You can still keep your freelance platform profiles active and your clients happy while still limiting the orders that are due. To achieve this, extend the delivery dates of your offered services.
This will limit the orders that have to be turned in during your time abroad without completely shutting off your freelancing services.
For example, to ensure I had enough time to pack and prepare, I completed all of my orders about 2-3 days before leaving the country. I also made sure any projects due during my trip were scheduled out more than three days after arriving in Italy.
Any new projects I received during my trip were automatically set to be due within a few days of me arriving back in the States.
It’s important to remember the point of your vacation— to relax, explore, and have fun. You don’t want to have to begin working immediately within just a few hours or even days of arriving in an exciting new location.
It’s also a good idea to give yourself some time to acclimate, as jet lag can greatly impact some individuals.
Contact Your Phone Provider
Making sure your phone is set up to work overseas is crucial to your success as a digital nomad. To do this, give your phone carrier a call to see what international plans they offer.
Some carriers will want to know where you are going and for how long. Others may not necessarily need you to call, as their international plans automatically kick in when you land at your destination.
Ask your carrier what international number you should call if you have issues with your service. You shouldn’t have any issues.
However, if any problems do arise, coming prepared with that phone number handy will save you from a lot of stress.
Fill In Your Friends and Family
I’m thankful to have a friend group that is highly supportive of my freelance career. While they are aware of the extra time freedom I receive, they are also very understanding when I have to pause to answer an email or message a client.
Before you travel with friends or family, make sure they are informed of what the vacation will look like for you. Let them know you may be answering emails or checking your messages every so often.
Cracking open the computer for a few minutes on vacation may not seem like a big deal to you. However, it might be an outrageous idea to someone expecting you to unplug 24/7 during the trip.
By establishing expectations ahead of time, you’ll set yourself up to receive the grace you need to live out your digital nomad dreams.
Set Your Vacation Freelance Schedule
Once you discover the “flow” of your travels, pinpoint what times are best for work. Personally, it was most convenient for me to wake up and answer client messages first thing in the morning.
Most of the time, I was working before anyone else was awake and ready for the day.
I already knew that my friend group would settle in and watch a movie together before bed each night. That’s just our routine when we’re on trips together!
So, while we were collectively winding down, I chose to complete orders.
With a movie playing in the background, I would take 30-50 minutes here-and-there to wrap projects, deliver orders, and get paid.
This vacation freelance schedule allowed me to effectively answer clients and complete orders. Moreover, I was able to be present during the vacation and enjoy our daily adventures.
Inform Your Clients
Not everyone has to know that you're working in another country. However, depending on the circumstances, it may be a good idea to inform some clients that you will be working while traveling.
For example, time zones can make a difference in how often and when you communicate with clients. Letting them know you are 7 hours “ahead” of them can give those you work with the peace of mind they need to know you’re not ignoring them.
Personally, I had a handful of potential clients message me asking if I could complete a project for them ASAP. Instead of just saying “no,” I filled them in on why I couldn’t do expedited work at that time.
I found prospective freelance clients to be highly understanding. Even though I couldn’t complete projects right away, a few new clients were happy to patiently wait for my work.
Pack the Right Supplies
Digital Nomad Packing List:
- Laptop and case
- Laptop charger
- Portable charger
- Cell Phone charger
- 1-2 Plug-In adaptors
- Bluetooth mouse
- Bluetooth keyboard
You’re a freelancer. Therefore, you don’t need to pack a ton of stuff for work, right? I didn’t think so, either, until I had to pack a carry-on-only bag for a 2 ½ week trip!
As long as you have a minimum of your laptop and phone and chargers for both, you should be just fine. If you’re anything like me and want to come overly prepared, check out my remote work list above.
Did I feel like I needed all of these things while I was packing? Yes. Did I end up using all of these devices? Heck no.
Although I did bring a Bluetooth mouse and an extra keyboard, I used neither. On top of that, my portable charger was used one time before it was banished to the bottom of my suitcase.
Also, did you know that U.S. plug-ins aren’t universal?
To charge my phone and laptop in Italy, I brought a plug-in adaptor. I recommend making sure you have anything needed to be able to charge your devices.
Freelance on Legiit
Legiit is known for having a highly supportive team for both freelancers and business clients that come to the platform for services.
Whether you are freelancing at home or while on vacation, you can rest assured knowing that you are backed by a team that is dedicated to your success.
Legit Freelance Benefits
- Exposure to Serious Business Clients
- Reputable Review System
- Profile and Service Setup Support
- Secure System for Payments
- Close-Knit Community on Facebook
If you’re looking for a new place to advertise your services, I recommend signing up on Legiit!
The Legiit platform is highly intuitive and designed to help business clients discover the exact freelancer they need. In addition, the freelance community surrounding Legiit is unmatched when it comes to advice and support.
Appreciate Your Freelance Career
During your trip, don’t forget to step back and truly appreciate your freelance career. Soak in that sense of empowerment that comes from being a freelancer.
I was hit with quite a few waves of gratitude throughout my trip across Northern Italy and Croatia this past month. I can never get enough of that feeling of renewed appreciation for what I do.
Would you have gotten this much time freedom while working a 9-5? In a typical career, would you have been able to make money while traveling?
For more information about how to succeed as a freelancer, consider joining the Legiit Official Facebook Group. There, you will find numerous freelance professionals willing to help you get started.