For most people, getting to the airport and hopping on a plane probably means that they’re taking a vacation somewhere or they’re flying over to visit some family or friends. Of course, there are business travelers too and the types of things on their list of travel priorities will be different than the types of things that a family heading to Disneyland might have on their list.
But if you’re living the dot com lifestyle, you might find yourself fitting somewhere between these two groups. You see, one of the biggest advantages to making money online is the location freedom it can provide you. For people like John, this oftentimes means mixing business with pleasure. That way, a vacation can be a legitimate business expense and write-off!
In order to maximize the pleasure of your globetrotting adventures while minimizing the headaches, I’ve compiled top of the best tips for better dot com business travel.
1. Fly like a boss
It’s true that not all of us can afford to fly Business Class Elite from Los Angeles to London on a regular basis. If you can legitimately afford to fly business class or first class, it may be worth the extra expense. You get more legroom, better service, and plenty of amenities. Even if you don’t go all the way, the little upgrades can be worthwhile, like being able to board the plane ahead of all the other passengers. Even when you book an economy class seat with the rest of us, always remember to ask if there are any discounted upgrades available. It never hurts to ask.
2. Take advantage of airport lounges
Most people assume that the fancy airport lounges are reserved only for people who have paid for business class or first class tickets. They might assume that you have to have achieved a certain level of status with the airline. And that’s not true. Look into a service called LoungeBuddy where you can pay for lounge access on an as-needed basis. It’s a great way to be more comfortable (and get work done) while waiting for your flight, whether it’s before the first leg or the last leg of your trip.
3. Be mindful of your electronics needs
When traveling around the world, you may encounter different power outlets and voltage levels. Do a little bit of research ahead of time so that you pack the corresponding adapters or converters. Most of the chargers you have for your laptop, smartphones and other portable electronics should support multi-voltage input, but do make sure unless you want to cause irreversible damage. Pack light, but pack efficiently.
4. Compartmentalize your belongings
Most people end up throwing everything into the main compartment of their suitcase and then they end up digging through everything in order to find a pair of socks or a phone charger. Don’t be most people. Packing cells can be incredibly useful for this purpose and even if you don’t use them, organize your belongings so they’re easy to find and access .
5. Fold your shirts onto themselves
The conventional way to pack involves folding each of your shirts individually and gently placing them inside your luggage. The problem is that everything inevitably shifts and you end up with a bunch of wrinkled shirts anyway. What I do is lay my shirts flat in a single pile, alternating directions top and bottom. I fold them together as one bundle, usually using jeans or something similar as a center core. Prioritize the shirts you’d like to be the least wrinkled on the outermost layer with t-shirts more toward the center.
6. Keep a spare credit card
One of the worst things that can happen when you travel is that you lose your credit card or it otherwise gets blocked and is rendered unusable. Suddenly, you don’t have a penny to your name and you’re trapped in some foreign country. Keep a secondary credit card separate from your main wallet, probably somewhere safe in your hotel room. This way, if things really turn south, at least you’ve still got money to save you.
7. Pack a travel router
How many times have you checked into a hotel, only to learn that your room has terrible Wi-Fi reception? Or what about those hotels that charge Wi-Fi access on a per-device basis? You can overcome both of these problems by bringing along a small travel router. Plug that into the cabled connection, set up your own private Wi-Fi network, and you’re ready to get some work done.
8. Live locally and in the cloud
You may not always have Internet access, so it pays to save a local copy of your most important files and documents on your laptop. At the same time, you don’t want the local copy to be your only copy in case anything goes wrong with your laptop. With so many cloud-based storage solutions out there, you have no excuse not to maintain constant backups of everything you need.
9. Research your visa requirements way ahead of time
When you book your flight and hotel through any number of online services, they may not make any specific mention of the travel requirements you may need to satisfy. Depending on your citizenship, where you live, and where you’re going, you may have different visa requirements. Many visas can be supplied on the spot when you arrive at customs, but others require you to apply for them ahead of time (like China) and these can take time.
10. Remember to have fun!
If you’re not having fun, you’re doing it wrong. The dot com lifestyle affords you plenty of freedoms, including the freedom to travel for work that’s also travel for pleasure. Pack lightly and smartly, roll with the punches, and remember to indulge in some great food too.