The beauty of remote working is that you can travel with your children whenever you want to! The downside is that you’ll have to work whilst travelling and looking after your children…
Is it worth it? Absolutely! If you were to offer me the opportunity to work with location freedom or in an office where I have to request time off, well, it’s a no-brainer. Since having my daughter and starting a freelance writing business, I’ve gained a lot of experience in travelling, parenting, and working simultaneously.
By sharing what I’ve learned along the way, I hope to make your experience of travelling with children and remote working just that little bit easier.
What does it take to travel with children, and work remotely?
Honestly, in an ideal world, we would have 8 arms and 2 heads – then we wouldn’t need to worry about perfecting the balance because we would be able to do it all at once. But that’s probably not going to happen.
The great news is that it is doable and can actually be incredibly straightforward!
What you need is the ability to:
- Set boundaries
- Manage your time
- Be present
- Find a balance
I’ll be giving you some tips for each of these throughout the article!
My experience of travelling with children and remote working
I began my freelance writing business whilst travelling in Thailand with my partner and 10-month-old baby. We needed some extra cash, I had a little time to spare during naps, and, to be honest, I felt a burning urge to create something that would help me to feel as though I had a purpose – other than raising a member of the next generation, of course. Working remotely was the perfect solution! I could start a part-time business (that would eventually take off and earn me a full-time income) and I didn’t have to spend every day away from my daughter.
My tips for travelling with children and remote working
Working, travelling, and parenting hasn’t all been sunshine and rainbows. It can be really difficult to separate the two and avoid checking your phone for emails 200 times a day. But once you’re able to find a balance and set some boundaries, working remotely whilst travelling with your family is one of the most freeing things you’ll ever do.
Here are my best tips for success!
Find your routine
Crafting your perfect routine will take a little bit of trial and error – and even when you think you’ve got it down, you’ll probably need to make changes to it time and time again. What you don’t want to start doing is searching for spare moments throughout the day so that you can get a little bit of work done. That is a very quick way to feel overwhelmed and will result in you giving less than your best both at work and with your kids.
When working on the road, it can be really easy to slip into unhelpful habits and spend all day lounging when you probably should have spent at least an hour or two on work. Find a period of time that suits you and your family, and commit to working for the duration of it every day. Whilst travelling, this time slot may have to change to fit in with your travel schedule, and that’s ok! Just remember to let everybody know when you’ll be working so that you can get stuck in and reduce any interruptions.
Fill your children’s cups
Children need a certain amount of mummy-focused time every day to feel loved and important. We can tell them until we’re blue in the fact that we love them, but they need us to show it. Whether you’re filling your children’s cups with mummy time before you get started with work or for the rest of the day once you’ve finished, just be sure that you’re carving out time for them (and only them! No phones, laptops, or sneaky emails allowed…).
Don’t miss out
Don’t let your job keep you from the most exciting things about travelling! You know, like actually visiting the area and indulging in local cuisines and activities. After all, that’s the whole point of being able to work remotely, right?! If you need to work less one day and more on another day so that you can head to the beach hangout with your family, do that.
It’s all about preparing in advance. Have an idea of the things that you want to do, when you want to do them, and how you’re going to fit work around that.
Have clear boundaries
Having clear boundaries means being clear with your clients or the people that you work with about what they can and can’t expect from you whilst you’re travelling. And actually, boundaries are a good thing to exercise no matter where you’re working from.
Set up an auto-response to let people know about your working hours as well as any days that you might be spending away from your laptop. Having boundaries will stop you from getting frustrated with the people you work with as well as from getting sucked into your job at all hours of the day.
Focus on the positives
If things start to feel overwhelming, take a step back and appreciate what remote working is offering you. Time and location freedom are two of the most sought after elements of any job, and you’re lucky enough to have both!
Once you’re back into a positive mindset, finish up your to-do list for the day and head out for an adventure with your family.
Staying productive is hard enough when we’re working at a desk, let alone when we’re gazing out at the ocean desperately wishing that we could throw on a bikini and take a dip! But guess what? You’ll never get to take that dip if you don’t finish your work…
The Pomodoro Technique is an unbelievable tool for productivity. Here’s how to do it in three easy steps:
- Set a timer for 25 minutes of work
- Set a timer for 5-10 minutes of rest
I wish someone had given me this technique at the beginning of my journey as a freelancer…oh, the things I could have accomplished! But I know it now, and so do you, and together we’ll smash that daily to-do list.
Remote work means that we can live a life of freedom with our children by our sides, and what a beautiful way to do it!
When you’re travelling with children and remote working, remember the reason why you started working remotely and make sure that you assign a little time to work and a lot of time to exploring.
For more information about freelance writing and how I use it to make the most of mum life, you can connect with me on Instagram @mumstheword.uk