One big shift that came out of 2020 was a lot of people’s realization that they can work without physically being in a building. We discovered that many jobs that required people to show up in person didn’t actually need them there in person after all.
And thus, a lot of people not only began working from home but began working from other places as well. After all, if I can work from my desk at my home office, why couldn’t I work from anywhere else with a reliable WiFi connection?
How to prepare for an RV flexcation
As many people move to working from the road, or even roadschooling their kids while they travel, the idea of getting away on a trip without taking time off is more attainable. However, there are a few things you’ll want to do as you plan your trip to make sure you’re ready.
1.) Tell your boss
It’s up to you to judge your boss and your work environment, but as a general rule, honesty is the best policy. Be clear that you’ll be working from other locations and traveling. Communicate with your boss, co-workers, or anyone else you’re dealing with and make sure you have a solid plan outlined for when you will work and to ensure your duties and responsibilities are covered. In most cases, it’s going to be a much better idea to tell everyone before your trip than to worry about getting caught out while you’re on your travels.
If you’re going to be traveling far, keep in mind that time zones will change. Do you have a flexible job that allows you to work different hours as long as you get your work done? Or will you be starting work an hour or two earlier or later so you stay on the same time zone as your co-workers? Take into account the time adjustment when you plan!
2.) Don’t travel on workdays
Give yourself a day to travel, get set up, and solve any problems that could arise. For one thing, traveling in your RV requires your full attention while you pack, drive, and set up and you don’t want to be distracted by the worry of getting to work on time. There could also be unpredictable setbacks like traffic. Finally, you want to have plenty of time to set up your workspace and get online.
Which brings us to the next tip…
3.) Have a backup
…and maybe even a backup for your backup. Check with the campground when you book to be sure they have reliable WiFi. The good news is that a lot of campgrounds took notice of the number of people moving to working and schooling while camping. Many of them spent 2020 putting effort and money into upgrading their services. Be sure to double-check that the campground where you plan to stay has reliable WiFi and that it will suit your needs. Consider whether you will need a WiFi extending antenna or repeater to boost the signal.
Also, you may want to use your mobile hot spot as a backup. Be sure you know your phone plan and that you know how to use your hot spot if needed.
Finally, you may want to see if there are any coffee shops, libraries, or other places that offer free WiFi, and where you can flee if all else fails. Keep in mind that COVID restrictions may mean some of these places aren’t open but do some checking just in case.
For more tips to stay connected online while you travel, check out our guide here.
4.) Have a workspace
If you’ve been working from home for a while now, you already know that one of the keys to being productive is to have a workspace that isn’t your bed, or the couch where you enjoy napping. Signal your brain that it’s time to work by having a dedicated spot to sit and get down to business. Plan out where you will use and store your computer and any other equipment you may need. If you keep in touch with people via video calls, figure out where you will sit for those. Consider your backdrop, and whether you have a spot that’s free of noise and interruptions.
You may also find it helpful – and perhaps you do this at home as well – to have a defining event to start your workday. Maybe you can get up, shower, then go for a walk before settling in. After all, you’re traveling to see new things. Start your day with a look at your surroundings before heading to work!
5.) Don’t forget your work packing list
Do you need anything special for your job? Most likely, you’ll need a computer, and possibly a WiFi extender. Don’t forget other items you use at home as well – do you take notes and need a notepad and pens? Do you need headphones and a microphone for video calls? Do you need any files, books, or other reference materials? Pack all of your work items together so you always know where to find them when it’s time to log on.
The last year has been tough for so many reasons, but one silver lining is this ability to reimagine our lives of work and play. If you’re communicating with your employer and doing some planning ahead of time, you may find that you can travel and still keep up with your job at the same time. Good luck and safe travels!