Working While You Travel

Summer travel means summer vacation, at least to most people. But, for some, it can mean a combination of vacation and work.

Back in the 90s and early 2000s, with broad expansion of the Internet, mobile phones, and laptop computers, more and more of the deskbound workforce were given the green light to work from home. People opened up small businesses from home, or satisfied their employers’ requirements working from home. Single parents who couldn’t afford, or just didn’t want, five-days a week babysitting for their children, found they could multi-task successfully working from home, while keeping an eye on the family.

Now, I feel we can apply that same concept to our summer travels. Being on vacation should mean that one gets a change of scenery from our everyday lives. That’s what summer travel is about. It means taking the family, or just someone significant, to a new place one has never been, or wants to visit again. They want “R and R” to recharge the batteries.

Nowadays, as long as there is access to the Internet and mobile phone service, there is no reason that workaholics can’t combine work, travel, and pleasure in today’s fast paced digital world.

Here’s an example of how this works. In fact, it’s exactly what I’ve got planned for myself this summer. In my case, being a widower, I’m traveling alone. I have arranged, through the alumni association of the college I attended, to take a 2-week cruise on the rivers of Europe that goes from Budapest, Hungary, to Amsterdam, Holland. I’m adding a week in Paris before the cruise, and a week in the south of England after the cruise. I’ll be traveling for a month.

I’m of retirement age, but still active in business with family. I don’t want to ignore for a month the work I love to do. I’m an author, working on my next book, and I’m chief investment officer of our mutual fund company. I need to make stock market decisions on a regular basis.

I have made sure that the riverboat and all the hotels where I’m staying have good Internet access. My new Surface tablet with a keyboard, and my iPhone with facetime, will keep me connected to all the same instant research needs and communication that I have in my office back home. The only difference is that I’ll be budgeting my time between doing my work for a few hours each day, and seeing the sights of the exciting places I’ll be visiting. I guess I’ll have to coordinate time zone differences as well. What fun!

Maybe working while traveling is not for everyone. But, for me, it removes all the guilt of getting away, because I’m not leaving my obligations behind. I can even keep up with paying bills while abroad, now that there are online bill paying services. I can keep up with what I need to do, while getting the change of pace that vacation travel has to offer.

If you haven’t thought about working while traveling, why not give it a try?