Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.
Remote working has changed from a nice-to-have option to a competitive allure for today’s employees. Originally, people were forced to work from home due to the Covid-19 pandemic; But after more than two years, approximately 60% continue working from home all or most of the time, with 61% choosing not to go into their place of work at all, even when the option is available.
With international borders open and people virtually working from anywhere, anytime, it’s no surprise people are keeping their passports updated and ready to go. Employees are truly mixing business with pleasure by taking their work with them on the road. Whether traveling internationally or sticking closer to home, remote work is here to stay.
1. Wear comfortable but fashionable clothing
Keep an eye on weather changes up until the day before departing, as cold fronts or heat waves can ruin a trip if what’s been packed doesn’t match the climate. Also, dress for comfort for extended flights and long days of walking, while still keeping fashion at the forefront.
A few clothing essentials include black leggings, jeans, blazers, dress shirts, blouses, slacks, sneakers and comfortable flats. Women may also want to pack dresses, which can be used as a layering option and are easy to fold up in the suitcase. Opting for business casual options keeps you prepared for any last-minute videoconferencing meetings and impromptu in-person networking that may occur.
Related: 3 Tips to Navigate the Future of Work and Travel
2. Keep essentials close by
When traveling internationally or during peak travel times, the likelihood of lost luggage often increases. Pack at least one outfit in your carry-on bag if you plan to check the rest of your luggage. Additionally, keep a small toiletry kit on hand with a hairbrush, toothbrush and toothpaste for long layovers or delays. If you wear makeup, you might consider keeping that in your carry-on luggage, too.
In addition to preparing for a possible clothing emergency, keep power cords within reach as well. Secure a separate bag for your laptop and smartphone chargers for easy access during and between flights. Rather than rummaging through your luggage searching for what you need, keep them neatly organized and stowed away after every use.
3. Take advantage of credit card perks
Make use of travel credit cards and airline upgrades to ensure steady WiFi and quiet spaces to work when on the road. Use perks and points to access member lounges, free upgrades and travel insurance benefits. While not all airport lounges are the same quality, most provide food, drinks, desk areas and a steady internet connection to work with fewer interruptions than what’s available at the main terminal.
Also, check WiFi accessibility for the airline you’re using. Though most airlines are equipped with WiFi, it can be affected depending on the weather or machine malfunctioning, and some cost additional money for extended time periods. Have a backup plan in mind if you need immediate communication. Apple users can use iMessage from their Macs and smartphones when in airplane mode. Plus, Facebook Messenger is also an option to text contacts when your smartphone must be shut off during transit.
Related: 3 Tips to Help You Maintain Your Routine When Remote Working From Afar
4. Check for international internet passes
Each mobile carrier has an international rate, making it easy for you to stay connected when traveling abroad. For example, AT&T offers its International Day Pass for $10 for its customers. Meanwhile, most cell phone plans also include a mobile hotspot, which you’ll want to confirm prior to embarking on your next trip. Though internet connection is readily available in most major cities around the world, having on-the-go access can keep you better connected without costing too much. Also, Whatsapp is a good way to text when overseas.
5. Choose accommodations with adequate workspaces
Business hotels are often furnished with desks or long tables with plenty of outlets and free WiFi suitable for business travelers. However, vacation rental companies like Airbnb are often a favorable alternative, particularly for extended stays. Many are fully-equipped apartments or small homes with all the daily necessities to live and work (away) from home. If traveling in the winter, make sure your place has heat or AC in the summer, because it can be uncomfortable staying in a place for any extended period of time without this.
Read online reviews and research neighborhoods to confirm if your accommodations are within walking distance to public transportation, print and copy shops, and other businesses that may make your remote working life easier. A little planning goes a long way to ensure you have what you need.
Related: 5 Ways to Travel the World and Work Remotely From 5-Star Hotels, Luxury Resorts and Vacation Homes This Year
6. Schedule meetings during off-travel days
Working remotely involves being intentional with how you spend your time. This includes blocking hours for work as well as for playing and setting expectations with your team members or clients when it comes to availability and/or deadlines. Test videoconferencing links ahead of time and update calendars to adapt to timezone differences to keep everything running as smoothly as possible no matter where your “office” is set up.
To avoid poor virtual connections and miscommunication when changing timezones, plan meetings once you’ve arrived at your destination so you have a chance to get acclimated to your surroundings. Though airport calls aren’t uncommon, there are numerous distractions that take away from the productivity of the call.
7. Track business expenses
Track business expenses on a daily basis with a digital app to avoid lost receipts and a backlog of expenses to catch up on once you’ve returned from your trip. Apps like Expensify allow you to take pictures of your paper receipts and submit them for easy tracking. Receipt Bank, now Dext, and Shoeboxed are other options that also allow you to digitally scan and store receipts.
The travel and tourism industry is constantly adapting to what travelers need to make their trips pleasant and convenient. With the influx of remote workers, airlines and hotels are making it easier for people to pack up their laptops and jet set to a new location without missing a beat. Keeping these basic travel tips in mind makes the journey smoother with a more seamless integration of business and pleasure.
Related: Why Your Company Needs A Digital Nomad Policy