Jobs tied to a physical location don't always work well with travel plans, but remote employment makes frequent travel very feasible. When your job can be done anywhere, it’s a lot more easy and enticing to head off to a new location when the urge strikes. I mean, who wouldn’t want to skip some of the winter chill and work from an oceanview balcony while sipping something cool and refreshing from a coconut?
If you’re one of those people who are able to travel while working, it’s helpful to have a list when packing your bags so you’re sure to grab the must-have items. The following are some of the remote work must-haves you should include for your next trip.
1Your smartphone. Seems obvious, right? But According to Asurion, a device insurance company, more than 29 million phones are lost or stolen. Every. Single. Year. Losing your phone could not only ruin your trip — it could land you in hot water at work. So make sure you don’t stick your phone in the seatback pocket of your Uber and forget about it — I mean, try to imagine where you’d be without it! You use email, text, calling, and apps on your phone to stay connected with coworkers and clients. You wouldn’t leave home without it on a regular day, and that puts it at the top of our list of must-have items for travel. Be sure to grab your phone before heading out the door — and be sure to keep an eye on it!
2Charging cables and portable charger. Your phone is simply dead weight without battery life, so keep it alert and active by remembering your charging cables. Bring a portable charger as well to help your phone get over that afternoon slump, charging your phone back up and giving you the battery you need to stop in at the local restaurant that another traveler told you is a must-see.
3Travel surge protector. When you’re in the airport, it’s a good idea to charge all of your devices using any available outlets. Then you won’t have to worry about your phone dying when you need it the most, and you won’t have to pay to use one of the costly charging kiosks. Airports are gradually getting better at providing more complimentary outlets and ways to charge, and a lot of larger airports now include them under or next to the seats in all the waiting areas. However, you should be prepared for the outlets to be overworked — remember hundreds upon hundreds of people go through there each day and a lot of them are charging, too. Airport outlets and charging stations take a beating, so make sure to protect your devices with a travel surge protector. Surge protectors limit the amount of voltage supplied to your device by blocking or shorting the current to reduce the voltage to a safe amount. That way you don’t have to risk your device getting fried while away from your home office.
4RFID blocking bag or backpack. When visiting large cities, tourist destinations and many different travel spots, your chances of becoming a victim of identity theft from card skimming increase. Thieves use portable electronic devices to skim personal information from credit cards embedded with Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) chips. When it happens, you have no knowledge of the breach and unfortunately won’t ever know what caused the issues that later show up, such as fraudulent charges on your accounts. A RFID blocking bag or backpack can prevent your card information from being skimmed — and a lot of the bags are pretty stylish, too!
5Your VPN. You don’t pack this one in your bag, but it’s a must-have if you will be connecting to any public WiFi. Your business data is an incredibly important asset, and you need to protect it by encrypting your traffic when on these networks. If you’re going to use hotel or airport WiFi, make sure that you connect to your VPN shortly after connecting to their WiFi. PrivateTunnel has a great MONTHLY OPTION that you can sign up for quickly and pause for the months you aren’t traveling.
6Flash drive. If you’re going to be working away from your usual location, bring one of these little guys with you just in case: in case you need to print in the hotel business center; in case you need to backup a presentation; in case you want to share larger files with someone; in case things happen. The last thing you want to deal with is having to explain to your boss: “Well...I don’t have any way to get that file to you...but I can bring you back a Mickey Mouse souvenir instead!”
7Noise Cancelling Headphones. These are really nice to have on hand when you are working remotely. At home you can usually ensure that the noise levels are something you can comfortably work through — but when you’re in an airport lounge, on a plane, or in a hotel lobby there is no way to guarantee the peace and quiet you need to focus and get the job done. A good pair of noise cancelling headphones can cut out a lot of background noise, and make it so the ridiculously loud guy in seat 11D doesn’t distract you from your work.
Before you head out of your home office to get a change of scenery, make sure you are equipped with all of the remote working tools. Remote work is a great benefit, but make sure you are protecting yourself — and your employer — whenever you hit the road. Be aware of your privacy and security (and breathe!), and ensure your business and personal data are safe and secure with all the remote work essentials. Have a safe trip, and enjoy wherever your journey takes you!