One of the best parts of being a lifestyle entrepreneur is not being chained to cubical.
As long as I have a laptop and a decent internet connection, I can work from anywhere.
…come to think of it, I don’t always even need a laptop. I can do quite a bit of work from my iPhone or iPad.
…and I don’t always need internet connection either. I can outline posts using a humble pen and paper or create video and photographic content with my phone or camera.
The point is that I am location independent, meaning I can travel and work at the same time.
However, staying productive whilst travelling is a whole other thing entirely.
Having a mobile workspace can present some challenges for the entrepreneur or business owner, but making sure you have the right equipment before heading off on your adventures certainly helps.
So, in the guide, I’m going to share with you 13 essentials that you’ll need before taking your work on the road.
1. Backup Power
This is an absolute MUST!
Without power, there’s not a lot you can do.
The equipment that you need here will depend greatly on how you like to travel and where you plan on going.
For example, if you’re staying in a hotel or a hostel, you’ll have access to electrical sockets and be able to keep everything charged easily. In this scenario, a small power bank for when you’re out all day will usually suffice.
However, if you’re like me and you go completely off-grid for several days at a time, then you’re going to need a larger power source.
I go camping and frequently work from my tent. I have zero access to electricity, sometimes for several weeks, and I need to run my iPhone, my Canon camera, and my MacBook Pro.
For those reasons, I have a large power station with solar panels.
2. Extra camera batteries
If you’re a keen photographer and use a separate camera from your mobile phone, then I suggest investing in at least one additional battery for your camera.
Not only does this mean that you’ll always have one battery fully charged and ready to go, but it will come in handy incase you accidentally lose one of them.
3. Extra memory cards
Again, if you use a camera rather than your phone, get yourself some extra memory cards!
That way, if your existing card gets full (or if you lose it!), you can replace it right away so that you don’t miss any photo or video opportunities.
Memory cards are small and are very easy to lose or misplace. This is devastating if the memory card in question was full of great photos, so here’s a little tip to help prevent that from happening.
TIP: Keep your memory card in your camera. If you do have to take your memory card out of your camera it should go straight into your laptop and the files should be copied onto your hard drive and uploaded into your cloud storage (see below). DO NOT TAKE THE MEMORY CARD OUT OF YOUR CAMERA UNLESS IT’S GOING INTO YOUR LAPTOP.
4. Cloud storage
You cannot work and travel without cloud storage. (Unless you’re absolutely bonkers!)
Accidents do happen when you’re traveling, and phones and laptops can be easily damaged, lost, or even stolen. For that reason, it’s advisable to set up some form of cloud storage so that you can backup all your files remotely.
Cloud storage also makes it easier for you to access all of your files from multiple devices.
It’s an inexpensive service that you’ll be glad you invested in should the worst happen.
5. Spare USB charging cables
You can have access to all the power in the world, but without the correct cable to connect to your device, it’s all but useless.
Charging cables can break, be misplaced, and sometimes be accidentally stolen by that person who borrowed it so they could charge their phone.
If you have to buy a cable in an emergency at a store or airport, you will be charged an unreasonable high price for one. (Seriously, the cashier should wear a mask when they take your money.)
So, make sure you’re prepared and buy a few spares online which will work out much cheaper.
If you’re working in a cafe, on a train, on a bus, or at 42,000ft in the air, concentrating can be difficult as there are so many distractions all around you. A set of noise-canceling headphones are a great way of shutting out the background noise so that you can focus on getting some work done while you travel.
They’re also an absolute must if you have to edit videos and podcasts, or if you like to stream a few movies in your downtime.
7. Anti-glare film
If you’re heading off on your travels during the summertime, you might want to consider applying an anti-glare film to your laptop screen if it doesn’t already have anti-glare glass.
That way, you can catch a few rays or sit outside in the shade while you work and still view your screen clearly.
9. Travel plug adaptors
If you’re traveling internationally then you’re going to need at least one travel plug adapter, however, I recommend taking a couple, especially if you have a lot of tech to keep charged.
Again, buy your adapters online BEFORE you take your trip. Buying last minute at the airport or in shops will result in you having to pay inflated prices.
10. Portable Wi-Fi
This point probably should have been higher up the list, as you’re going to need some form of uninterruptable internet connection.
Even if a hotel or campsite advertises free wi-fi, I would still highly recommend that you have your own as a back-up. Sometimes, the free services are painfully slow, or access is only free for a certain amount of time, or the wi-fi is completely down for the duration of your stay.
If you have an unlimited roaming package via your mobile phone provider, you can simply tether via your personal hotspot. This is what I do, and unless I’m really out in the middle of nowhere, it works just fine. (NOTE: If travelling internationally double-check any additional roaming charges.)
Alternatively, you can explore the possibility of purchasing your own portable wi-fi device.
11. Travel Insurance
It goes without saying that if you plan on travelling internationally, insurance is an absolute MUST to cover any unforeseen costs with regards to healthcare, travel delays, and lost/stolen/damaged luggage and equipment.
However, even if you’re traveling locally, I’d still recommend that you have some form of insurance that protects your property, especially if you’re carting around expensive equipment.
Travel insurance doesn’t cost an arm and a leg, especially if you shop around via one of the many comparison websites to find the best deal, but it’s well worth having, even if it’s just for the peace of mind.
12. International phone calls
If you know that you’re going to have to make a lot of international calls to customers, employees, and/or team members, then it makes sense to find the most cost-effective way to do so.
Nowadays, international calls doesn’t have to mean astronomical prices. There are many services, apps, and packages that allow you to call overseas for a very little cost, sometimes free! (e.g. VoIP)
The solution will vary based on your individual needs, but make sure to do your research before you leave your house!
I admit, I almost forgot about this one.
Although earplugs seem trivial, I would argue that they are indeed essential – you are not going to be productive if you struggle to sleep peacefully.
Staying in hostels, hotels, and even camping in a field can all provide you with a restless night. It could be from your roommate’s 4am alarm clock, a drunken guest stumbling down the hallway trying to find their keycard, or a night of constant rain on the top of your tent.
Whatever it is, you’ll be glad to have a pair of earplugs.
If you’re an entrepreneur or if you run your own business, being there for your customers and keeping on top of work is crucial, but that doesn’t mean you have to be chained to your desk.
You are now all set to remove your shackles and live the laptop lifestyle.
P.S. If there are any other other essentials that you think need to be on this list, pop them in the comments for everyone to see 😉
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