"Work hard, play hard".
This age old adage is cited all too often to string just a little more work out of an already taxed workforce. But what if you could really live a life where work and play is indistinguishable from each other?
Enter the world of expert telecommuter, Audrey Lo, Senior Community Manager at leading travel start-up Gogobot. She is the MacGyver of entrepreneurs, dominating deadlines on bullet trains and managing a team of adventurers around the world. Audrey has not spent more than three months at home for the past couple of years, so it's a real treat that I have been able to catch up with her to get some of her travel hacks.
After traveling the world and back, Audrey Lo came up with these 8 pro work-travel tips to maximize your workcation experience:
1. Get internet, anywhere.
Back in 2013, Audrey traveled to Paris. One of her fondest mobile offices was working on her iPad underneath the Eiffel Tower. As her schedule had to be adjusted to work on California time, she had deadlines to meet and business calls to address . Because of this, she realized that business never ends and internet is not always offered at airports and hotels.
Audrey recommends bringing a mobile hot-spot that will allow you to connect several devices at once. You can get this by bringing an unlocked phone and getting a local SIM card or by renting hot-spots in another country.
2. Use virtual guides.
Dump those heavy travel books and try out travel apps like Gogobot for iPhone, Android, or on the web. Audrey has used Gogobot to create, organize, and share her itineraries with friends and even locals that would become friends. You have one less thing to worry about on your travels as the content that you see is customized based on the type of traveler you are.
3. Be a local.
Audrey uses platforms such as Homeaway and Couchsurfing. She has couchsurfed (on real beds!) in St. Petersburg with a family of musicians, in Zurich with an American professor living abroad and Saigon with a reformed stressaholic investment banker. She's made lifelong friends all over the world that have gifted her with experiences she will never forget.
4. Bring backup electronics.
When overseas, you will probably be out all day — cafe hopping, typing away in front of the bustling streets full of bikers in Saigon or shooting off emails on a beach in Bali. Not every place you travel to will have easily accessible outlets to charge your gadgets. Extra battery packs for your phone and replacement earphones will save you in your darkest hours.
5. Book and travel during off times.
No one likes having a thousand tourists as extras in their shot of the Louvre. The great thing about being an entrepreneur with a mobile office is that you have the ability to travel any time of the year. Audrey recommends traveling between September to November and January to March to save on flights, hotels and experiences.
6. Stop waiting in lines at the airport.
For under $100 and a trip to the airport, you can get a TSA Pre-check/Global Entry card. American Express Platinum card holders can even get reimbursed for this expense.
7. Consider moving.
No, seriously. Nomad List is a great place to start as the site helps you find the best places to work and live remotely. Nomad List can help you find co-working spaces around the world, figure out the cost of living wherever you travel to and even give you safety ratings of the city and quality of life. This is especially important to Audrey, as she is a female that normally travels alone.
8. Take a vacation.
Moving around can be exhausting, so sometimes you need a vacation on your vacation. Audrey hasn't worked a traditional job nor has she worked out of an office in over 5 years. This also means she's forgotten the luxuries to what a 40 hour work week feels like as she generally has to work on California time. On a typical trip to Asia, you will find Audrey on conference calls past 2:00AM. The work never stops, so she has to schedule in "Me" time away from work to make sure she is also enjoying her time abroad.
What additional tips were you able to utilize when you went on your last vacation? Comment below.