I know many people who would rather stay home than even consider the thought of working while on vacation. However, combining work while on vacation may be inevitable for many people. If you are considering your first ever working vacation, here is what you need to know and what you will need to take with you.
A Good VPN (virtual private network)
There are many reasons you need to use a virtual private network (VPN) throughout the year. Using the internet without one is akin to leaving your house unlocked. You are at risk of identity theft.
When on a working vacation, the need for a VPN is even greater. If you're a sports lover, you might want to look for the best VPN for NBA playoffs because a disadvantage of travel is that it may be tough to keep up with sports teams. But the main reason you need a VPN when traveling is because you may not have access to the content you need. There are many governments around the world who censor the internet. Finding important information that you need for work (or even just keeping up with the news) will require that you use a VPN which makes it look like you are elsewhere.
This might seem obvious, but it wasn’t obvious enough for me not to make this mistake. I thought I could leave my laptop behind and work on my iPad. I had a keyboard for it, after all.
Big mistake. Even if you can get the same stuff done on your phone or tablet, it is going to be more difficult and way more stressful. Typing on my iPad keyboard was easy enough, but it always felt like I was using a makeshift solution.
Take with whatever it is you usually need to work well (within reason), even if it does take up some extra space.
Lots of data
You can get a local SIM card at whichever airport you land in. Don’t skimp on the plan. Get a lot of data, even if you know you'll have WiFi capabilities at your hotel and coffee shops. Not all countries are equal when it comes to providing good public WiFi. I have stayed at hotels whose tech people couldn’t help me when my Macbook wouldn’t connect to their internet. I’ve had AirBNBs where the WiFi was good enough to check iMessage or WhatsApp every now and then. And I’ve gone to plenty of coffee shops where free WiFi was just something they promised.
Get a local SIM card with lots of data and use your personal hotspot when you need to. Often, your mobile data will be faster than the WiFi you have access to.
The exception, of course, is when you're going somewhere renowned for already living in the future (Singapore, I’m looking at you).
Taking a working vacation can be ideal. Just make sure you prepare in advance so that you can keep the stress to a minimum.