Running Your Virtual Assistant Business While Traveling
Running your virtual assistant business while traveling — is it really possible? Over the last few weeks two of our AVA members, Jaime Feinberg & Lizabeth Wesley-Casella, shared their best tips for not only operating their virtual assistant businesses while traveling but caretaking and being a full-time RVer.
I get asked a lot about it — running your virtual assistant business while traveling throughout the States and particularly when I travel the world and I’m happy to share my best tips with you. While traveling the world and being able to run my virtual assistant businesses is one of the definite highlights of being completely virtual there is no substitute for doing your homework ahead of time and planning accordingly. Above all else you’ll need to pack your sense of humor!
1. Create and stick to a routine based on the location you’re visiting.
This doesn’t have to be the same routine you keep at home. In fact, it’s fun to switch it up! I keep U.S. Eastern time zone hours so this helps when I plan my travels. When I visit South America since there isn’t much of a time difference, if at all, I can keep the same routine and switch up my working locations to see different parts of the city. When I travel to Europe there is a difference of several hours and I quite like the new routine I create, especially for those cities that don’t start dinner hours until 9pm or later.
2. Make sure you are able to stay connected to the Internet and your clients.
I have experienced all kinds of setbacks when traveling the world, even while working at co-working spaces. Believe me Murphy (as in Murphy’s Law) has a way of showing up anywhere in the world!
The best way to combat setbacks is to have a backup plan. Bring extra chargers, cables, plenty of adaptors, backup battery source, and a way to connect to the internet. Not only can the cost of purchasing new items be costly, they might not be easy to find, or available to purchase when you need them the most. I travel with SkyRoam to connect to the Internet around the world should my source be disconnected. I also recommend Google Fi as a phone plan if you travel internationally frequently. An international plan can cost $10 a day or more which easily adds up. Getting a local SIM card is not always easy or convenient. I want to be connected as soon as the plane lands and Google Fi gives me that security! Your plan should never include being able to connect to Wifi. That’s just a bonus.
3. Communicate with your clients.
It’s not only important to communicate that you’ll be traveling and when you’ll be available, but advance notice of when you won’t be available is important. Sometimes that great ticket price on a flight comes during the work week. With adequate planning and communication this shouldn’t be a problem. As a reminder to clients and general email inquiries I like to add the hours I work including the time zone in my email signature. Also, sharing your backup plan with clients, although not necessary, is a great way to show them you’re thinking of them and anticipating their needs. It gives added peace of mind.
4. Know how to center yourself.
It took me many months of traveling the world to understand what’s really important to me and how to center myself if I experienced setbacks at work or even when I received unsettling news from home. Even when you’ve done your research it’s still possible to travel to locations that you’re looking forward to leaving.
Wherever I travel in the world now I know I want a balcony or at the very least a rooftop to watch the sunrise and/or sunset. I search out the best cup of coffee and find a cafe where I feel at home. I’ll map a route to go running and, whenever possible, I find the closest body of water to relax by.
One of the great experiences of traveling is meeting new people, seeing new places, and experiencing new things. I’ve found making sure that I’m completely disconnected during these times helps me get the most out of it and inspires me in life and in business.
Traveling the world while working can be an amazing experience as long as you plan. Plan to work, plan to practice self-care by knowing what centers you, and plan to disconnect.Running your virtual assistant business during the summer while traveling might become something you love so much you become a summer chaser like me! Or maybe it inspires you to just create that summer feeling year round. However, you like to enjoy the summer remember that you get to plan it now because you own your virtual assistant business!
Want to know more about traveling and share your best tips? Join the AVA now and become a part of the private Slack community!