About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

Quitting your 9-5 job to work and travel the world will be one of the biggest decisions you’ll make in your life. It is not a decision that you should make overnight.

There are aspects of this lifestyle that you must prepare for or risk losing everything you’ve worked hard to try and achieve. In this guide, we answer the question, what are the risks of working remotely while traveling abroad?

Risks of Remote Working While Traveling Abroad
Technology issues

Technology plays a critical part in remote working.

Many issues occur, but one example could be that you’re working on a time-sensitive project, the internet goes down, and you cannot make the deadline.

You lose the trust you’ve built with the client and lose out financially because they could stop hiring you.

The solution is not to rely on anyone for access to the internet – it’s your livelihood, your responsibility, so make sure you have at least one backup – purchase a MiFi device that is unlocked to all networks and buy a local sim card with a sufficient amount of data for you to work.

Burn out

Travel can be exhausting with the issues thrown at you as you move from one place to the next. Combine that with working 8, 9, or 10 hours a day, and you could be burnt out within a few months of working remotely. You’re working in isolation, so looking after your mental health is essential.

This will mean you’re physically and mentally exhausted and unable to perform to the best of your abilities. It could lead to time off work due to ill health, which as a self-employed freelancer, will result in no income.

When you start being a remote worker, you will want to visit everywhere and travel every few days or weeks.

You’ll find out quickly that this is not sustainable. Instead, the best solution is to spend two to four weeks in a place and have days to unwind and participate in activities you’re passionate about.

Health and wellbeing

When working remotely in countries abroad, you stand a higher chance of contracting Dengue fever, Malaria, and other diseases. Then, there’s an increased risk of food poisoning and other illnesses you can get as you consume food and travel from one place to the next.

The last thing you want is to spend time in a hospital in a foreign country where they do not speak English, and while you are recovering, the treatment cost is increasing hour by hour.

As a foreigner, you do not have the luxury of NHS treatment when traveling abroad. The cost of hospital treatment can spiral out of control, and your savings in your bank can quickly disappear.

As you’re unwell, no money will be incoming, and what was a dream lifestyle can become a nightmare.

It’s essential to have all the appropriate travel vaccinations and plan to consider what countries you will spend time in. Purchase travel and medical insurance so that you’re financially covered. Have regular medical checkups when you’re back in your home country or traveling in English-speaking countries.

Lack of work and income

As a freelancer/contractor, there will be a time when work will dry up, and you need to be prepared for this because if you don’t, there’s a chance that you will lose everything that you’ve built while working remotely.

While working for clients, looking for the next project, you can work on is vital.

Don’t focus on one client; make sure you plan in time to network and secure the next project so that you can jump from one to the next.

Never rely on one source of income because if that client takes their custom elsewhere, you are returning home on the next plane.

You must have a savings account with at least six months of income to live comfortably and give yourself time to find a new project without stress.

Unexpected circumstances

Planning for unexpected circumstances sounds over the top, but things happen without warning. Rainstorms could flood your accommodation, ruining your laptop and hard-drive full of work projects.

A fire could break out in your apartment and leave you without your passport, bank cards, and no access to your money. Flights could be canceled – power in your apartment could be cut, and many issues could spring up from nowhere.

Make sure you have accommodation with an emergency generator for electricity and keep all essential travel documents, your passport, and bank cards in a bag, which you can grab in an emergency.

Check the local news for extreme weather, protests, and crime.

Make sure your mobile phone is fully charged when traveling so you can change plans, like rebooking flights or booking last-minute accommodation.

Not planning for these unexpected circumstances can affect you emotionally, physically, and financially. Hopefully, this guide has helped you understand how to reduce the risks of remote working while traveling.

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