5 Tips For Success When Traveling With Your Business

Published by 57 Comments

I’m in Hawaii now having come up from Fiji on my way to Canada. I’m presently typing this at a cafe on the top floor of the Ala Moana shopping center – the largest mall in Hawaii.

Yaro in Ala Moana Center
Typing on the third floor of the Ala Moana Center in Hawaii

In response to my recent blog posts written from places around the world, many people expressed a strong desire to emulate what I’m doing now – traveling and working in a functional and balanced manner (just without getting sick like I did!).

I’ve also had a couple of people email me explaining how they are also traveling the world and running their Internet business and how they believe more people could do the same, if only the knowledge of how to do so was out there.

In the spirit of helping others realize their dream of the traveling lifestyle, I’m going to present some tips to help you travel and run a successful business at the same time. I hope these ideas motivate you towards actually beginning the process of planning your trip, rather than constantly dreaming about it and putting it off until you have “more money” or “more time” or whatever belief that holds you back.

I don’t have a family traveling with me and I realize for many of you there are spouses and kids to consider too. Just remember your loved ones are variables you need to accommodate, they should not be reasons for not going, assuming the family are happy to come along.

It’s acceptable to hold off travel until children are out of school or independent, if you don’t want to disrupt their life. However the tips I’m about to present can certainly be applied to summer holidays and most of them apply just as well to any person who runs a business and wants more freedom.

Let’s get to it…

1. Realistically assess how much money you need

This is a huge one in terms of mental blockages. As Tim Ferriss pointed out in the 4-Hour Work Week, you can travel on very little money assuming you can afford the plane ticket.

SavingsIf your budget is tight then pick countries with comparatively weak currencies and low cost of living. Places like India, South America, Mexico, Eastern Europe, Thailand and Malaysia come to mind off the top of my head for people coming from Canada, the USA, Australia, New Zealand, Japan and Central Europe, where currencies are strong. There are many more options and even if you come from a country with a weak currency, if you can earn USD from the Internet, you can enjoy the power of a stronger dollar while you travel.

If you are waiting to save up a certain amount of money before you feel comfortable traveling you are probably over compensating. You can live off as little as $500 USD equivalent a month in countries that have great food, good access to technology and offer a safe environment. Earning $500 USD a month on the Internet is certainly attainable for many people – it’s not easy – but a lot easier than say waiting to earn $3,000 a month before you feel “comfortable” traveling.

For any discussion of cost of living you do need to consider your level of tolerance. For me, I’m not the kind of person who can function well sharing a room with a bunch of partying backpackers and I like to cook my own meals and not eat out all the time, so I stay in private places that offer a full kitchen. You might also have to consider your family and therefore need more space.

I’ll talk more about accommodation in a moment, but for this point I want you to seriously consider what standard of living you desire and then do some research to see how much it costs in the countries you are thinking of staying. Once you know your numbers you can begin to realistically assess your options.

2. Consider what you personally have to do each day to keep your business going, then make changes where necessary

My income has been derived from the Internet for the last eight years (at least in part). Despite always working online I wasn’t always in a position to pack up the laptop and go traveling and expect the business to function fine.

Business Systems
How important are you to your business?

For some of the Internet businesses I’ve run it’s been me in charge of EVERYTHING. This has meant that if I don’t log on each day, check the email, make sure the websites are still up and do some work, things start to fall apart. If I don’t invoice the advertisers, then no money comes through. If a site goes down, it didn’t come up until I submitted a helpdesk ticket with my web host.

If your circumstances are similar to what mine were like in previous years then it’s difficult to travel. You can’t travel comfortably if every single day you feel a strong desire to find net access because you need to make sure everything is alright and do some work. This is what I was like on many trips and trust me – it’s not something you can sustain long term, you need to be comfortable letting your business go for days at a time at least.

Obviously bringing on people to help you is the key here, but that’s not a straight forward solution. Even after I hired an assistant to effectively run my proofreading business, I still had to make sure posters were going out to advertise the business, I also had to cash the payments, deal with the web servers and do other critical tasks. I had created more time but I still had daily responsibilities that impacted my ability to travel in a relaxed manner.

To truly position yourself to travel and run a business comfortably, you need to carefully review what you do each week and consider what it would be like performing these activities if you were overseas, or find ways to make sure you are not the one performing the activities when you travel.

If your business model is hands-off (for example – selling information products online or affiliate marketing), then you have some advantages and in fact I’ve deliberately moved my business towards these models in recent years because of this. That doesn’t mean you can’t travel if your business is more physical, but realize the more hands on work required then the more you rely on other people.

There’s no “answer” to this problem that applies to every situation. It’s up to you to look at your working life, what holds you back and then how you can change it. Just remember there are good people out there you can rely on to help you, and thanks to skype, email, instant messenging and all kinds of other wonderful technology, you can build a team that functions very well, no matter where in the world you are.

For more on this read my previous article about Life Portability.

3. Rent apartments or negotiate hotel discounts for long term stays

Accommodation is usually the most costly part of any long trip overseas. In the past I would always stay in hotels but only for days at a time. Now I like to spend weeks and months in places, so it’s much more cost effective to rent apartments.

Cheap Accommodation
Affordable accommodation options are available

Apartments also offer privacy and features (like kitchens, full beds, reliable Internet access) that I consider mandatory if you want to run a business and live comfortably. Previously I wasn’t sure, outside of looking up Craigslist for sub-lease options, how I could find short term rentals that didn’t cost the earth like those corporate apartments.

Thanks to some extensive research, I now know about a fantastic website that lists short term accommodation directly from owners with apartments all over the world. The website is http://www.vrbo.com and it’s awesome – definitely check it out if you plan on renting for short or long term trips overseas.

Renting short term is not quite as cheap as taking a 6 or 12 month lease directly in the normal way, but it’s still cheaper than hotels and the features make it well worthwhile. I consider this the best option for trips lasting a week up to several months.

While I’ve never done it, I’ve been told it’s also possible to negotiate cheap prices with hotels if you plan on staying long term. I’d choose a full apartment over a hotel room or condo, but you can’t always find apartments. Hotels are always an option, so it’s worth knowing it’s possible to stay long term in hotels and not blow your budget by using your negotiation skills.

4. Use peer hotel reviews sites to locate the best accommodation

Another fantastic resource that came up while researching for my current trip is the website TripAdvisor.com. This site provides a place for people to leave reviews on hotel accommodation in the same manner that people leave reviews on books at Amazon.com.

Trip Advisor
TripAdvisor.com provides peer hotel reviews

What’s great about TripAdvisor is you can not only find feedback from real people, sometimes they also upload photos of the rooms and surrounding conditions that are not glamorized the way hotel shots are. You can see what the beds, bathroom and kitchen area REALLY look like.

I recommend you use this site to assess any hotel before making a booking – don’t trust just what expedia or the hotel website tell you.

5. What technology do you need to bring with you to work?

My business is 100% online and I can function almost perfectly with just a laptop and reliable net connection. I just recently purchased a desktop replacement laptop that has a much wider screen and full keyboard with numpad to use in conjunction with the tiny one I am using now to type this (this is my blogging at cafes laptop that is light for carrying around but not the most robust of machines – I can’t do video on it for example).

Make sure your technology works overseas
Electrical Plug

I also have a digital camera and my video camera and that’s about all I need to make things work. Your situation might be different, so consider what technology you need to function (do you need printing facilities? how about a paper filing system?). Also make sure your equipment can work overseas. Most modern laptops function on a range of voltages so you should be right no matter where you travel, you just need basic adapters for the wall plug.

Make sure you have a back-up procedure for your travels. I have a portable hard drive for storing important content and since they are so cheap nowadays there’s no excuse for not taking one with you.

You also need to consider a contingency plan if your laptop fails. Can you run your business from Internet cafes for a few days until you locate a replacement laptop of get it fixed? Maybe you should bring two with you just in case (laptops are not too expensive either – you can get fully functional machines for $500).

It’s Easier Than You Think But Planning Is Required

There’s more to traveling with your business than I have covered here, but the most important things are your living conditions, your cost of living, your ability to work while mobile, how independent your business is from you and what technology you need to keep things running. Beyond this, your typical travel advice applies, which there is plenty of online already.

It’s time for me to get back out to Hawaii. I hope you found these tips helpful and if this article just nudges you even a little closer to finally beginning that traveling business lifestyle, then my work is done :-) .

I’ll see you on the planet somewhere.

Yaro Starak
Mahalo

About Yaro Starak

Yaro Starak is the author of the Blog Profits Blueprint, a report you can download instantly to learn how to make $10,000 a month, from only blogging 2 hours per day. You can find Yaro on Facebook, Twitter and .

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57 Comments

  • Great post.

    It sounds like you really are living the ‘freedom’ dream.

    I’ve just started on my internet business and plan to one day join you, and others, as I start to build my online fitness business.

    Alex
    http://www.alexpoole.tv

  • Hey Yaro, thanks for the tips. I enjoy traveling with the kids however it’s always fun to take a trip on my own, and I love staying in hotels with fancy cheese plates.

  • Hi Yaro,

    Congratutlations on getting to the stage where you have the freedom to travel and still earn a good living. That’s quite an achievement.

    As you’ve mentioned elsewhere, it’s so easy to create a self-employed job for yourself rather than a business that can grow and prosper without your hand on the tiller all the time.

    Graham Cox
    http://www.Graham-Cox.com

  • I just used Trip Advisor to find the most awesome hotel in Cabo San Lucas. You have some great tips here! Thanks, Suzanne

  • Yaro – I like the way you always focus your readers on actually doing something to move toward the goal. This was a light bulb for me when you said something like that in Blog Profit Blueprint. That was my hangup at first, always dreaming about doing something online, but never actually taking the right steps to make it happen.

    I was recently talking with a friend who is fighting to get his book published, then I found out the money he would make for his nearly 1 year of hard work is less than I’ll should make passively online in the next 12 months! Crazy.

    This is a really great post, I suspect it will make the rounds. It seems like people get into blogging because the lifestyle available is so different than any other entrepreneurial object.

  • Isn’t that site vrbo.com? (Vacation Rentals By Owner) I used it a few years back to spend an entirely agreeable week staying on the North Shore of Oahu, for about the price of one night’s accomodation in a Waikiki hotel. Throw in the rental cost of a bike and a surfboard, and you’ve got the makings of the best holiday imaginable.

    • I think you have it right Bruce, but thankfully they have the domain vbro.com too pointing to the same place!

      • Yaro, sorry for my one more comment, but do you know any sites of this kind? I mean about apartments and renting. Thanx.

  • I expect to join you very shortly. Thanks for the inspiration, Yaro!

  • Howdy Yaro,

    Even though i have a wife of 17 years and have 2 young children aged 13 and 11 you’ve probably described in this article the perfect sort of lifestyle i would like to lead, which is travelling the world without having to worry about the “Normal” 9-5 day job that ties most people down and restricts what they are able to do in life…

    I’m sure you appreciate that the lifestyle that your currently living is for the majority of people, only possible once people retire from the “normal” workplace at the age of 65 (In the UK)

    If i can achieve the sort of freedom you are presently experiencing within the next 5-10 years (i’m 41 at present) i will be eternally grateful for what i’ve learnt from your blog…

    Wish me luck!

    John Metcalfe

  • Yay, it’s so fun following along with your Entrepreneurial journey!! I’ll just add that I have found surprisingly wonderful and inexpensive sublets in Paris on craigslist — Paris craigslist! Even with my sad little U.S. dollar, it is affordable, and especially if you stay for a month. I also come across Parisian bloggers and others with similar interests online and I email them, start a conversation, and have several invites for my next visit. And along those lines, if you come down to the San Francisco area, put me on your contact list. I’ll show you some of the hidden corners of this amazing spot on planet Earth.
    Cheerios,
    Suzanna

  • OMG Yaro!!! I can’t believe what great timing your post is! I am leaving the UK on a RTW trip in June taking my trusted laptop and (not so trusted lol) daughter.

    It’s great to hear how you have organised your trips to give myself some ideas of how to incorporate running my blogs while travelling.

    I don’t intend to travel fast or stay in backpacker dives, also because it’s not my style and also I’ll have a seven year old with me it’s just not feasible.

    One tip though for bloggers who want to balance work and travel is to look into couchsurfing.com, often hosts have computers and net connections they’ll let you use so you can keep up with your business in comfort. Better still it costs nothing more than a present for your host and they are often willing to show you around their home towns too!! Bargain! Often though you can’t stay for more than a couple of days, a week max. But it’s an idea!

  • Great post. It’s so cool to be building a business that can be run from anywhere in the world with a laptop and an Internet connection.

    When are you going to be in Canada?

    • I’ll be in Vancouver early May then Toronto a week or so later. I want to do a meet-up in Vancouver too so I’ll post about that next week.

      • Maybe you have any wish to visit MoscoW?
        It could be interesting to listen to you on some marketing conference. I don’t know where it will be, because I’m a journalist in realty sphere, but I think it’s a pretty popular theme even in our country…I mean Internet Business.

  • Nice post Yaro !
    While most of the issues here are simple common knowledge, I still found a couple very interesting points for myself.
    As always you still manage to surprise me :)

  • Here is my apartment I rented for the Olympics: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lWhaAj-SYz4

    $500 a month, including internet. I think it is cheap for a big city like Beijing. You can also find places much cheaper, if you don’t mind something a little older.

  • Great information Yaro. Every time I read a post the teaches me more about traveling with our business I get really excited. We are getting so close to doing just that.

    We travel now but because my wife still holds a job we have to return after just a few weeks away. That will all change in the next year or two when she retires. That’s when we hit the road.

    Our first trip is going to be right here in Canada, coast to coast. Then we will tackle the U.S. Hawaii is likely at the end of the North America tour as we will do our traveling using a camper trailer to keep expenses down.

    thanks for the helpful tips.

  • Great jon defusing all my objections to traveling … :-)

  • [...] Yaro Starak talks about Success when Traveling with [...]

  • Dayo

    Great Job Yaro! It’s interesting to read and learn about the endless possibilities of having an online business, and also being able to travel the world. I’m currently at work, but as you can see, I spend a lot of time online researching and reading. Currently reading T4HWW, and your articles. I hope I can launch out soon, and start teaching others what they only dream about. I think the society conditions a lot of people, thereby getting stuck in the race.

  • Yaro, interesting! I think,everything you wrote is worth reading now and then even when the buisness works.
    I also want to say good luck to John Metcalfe, and I agree, why wait to do nice things if it is possible now?
    So, thanks to Yaro and good luck to John
    from Elinor

  • I’m reading the 4 hr workweek right now. Love it.

  • Thanks for the post Yaro. You are definitely living the life I would like to lead in the near future. I’m finding your posts to be very inspiring. Have fun in Hawaii!

    - Dave

  • Wow, this is definitely something that I should try. I am currently based in Malaysia, I guess it’s going to be an eye-opener to travel and do business as usual in another country.

  • [...] Yaro Starak is a professional blogger and internet entrepreneur who is definitely living the dream internet lifestyle. Today he offers advice on how you can travel to dream destinations and still get work done. Very inspiring. http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/904/5-tips-for-success-when-traveling-with-your-business/ [...]

  • Very interesting article. I was a big fan of 4HWW also. Might want to check out this video I found of Ferris giving a talk – http://tinyurl.com/2tcnbl

  • Yaro, your insights and information are an inspiration.
    I have dabbled around this area for some time and it is
    Now or Never.

    Thank you for putting it out on the line.
    Welcome Across the Pond! Enjoy your stay.

    We, too, just used vrbo for a family trip.
    Awesome Lake House with all the fixings.

    Warmly, Sue

  • This is challenging. It is a proof that you don’t just say things, you practice what you say, and teach what you do. I look forward to such lifestyle in the nearest future.
    I have started rearranging my lifestyle and re-programing my mind so that I can build a business that can run with a system without me being tied down like a slave to it.
    Thanks for sharing this. Cheers :-)

  • Yaro,

    Thank you for not only inspiring us, but giving us clear cut tips and advice. Thanks especially for the info on long-term housing.

    Being able to run your business while travelling is absolutely delicious.

  • Yaro,

    How wonderful for you. Your article is very inspiring and..if I didn’t have a family I’d love to do the same. However…I’ll settle for living in Europe part of the year :)

    Bon voyage!

    Ilka ;o)
    http://www.Ilka-Flood.com

  • Hi Yaro, I am not sure where to drop this comment. Seems like your theme is not looking fine on FF3b5 .. The side bar first loads below the content and when the whole site is loaded it shifts to the right.

  • Aloha Yaro,

    If you are still in town tomorrow night feel free to drop by Restaurant Epic. It will be first friday’s in downtown Honolulu. Art galleries, wine tasting, and partying.

    Twitter me using my name from above.

    Mahalos,
    techustle

  • 1. I’m making a project of an Inform Agency. It’s difficult to start really…but I hope to get 4000$ every month before I will be able to relax…How to do that? I don’t know. I must work hard to realize my idea. The main thing is that I know what I want and how much I must get. I have got my aim.

    3. I agree that there are lot of people that prefer their own apartments (rent) against hotel rooms. Their own kitchens and so on – it means a lot. And here in Moscow, for example, we have got one of the highest prices for hotels. Demand is 5 times more than supply, thats why our hotels make crazy prices. Moscow is called the most expensive city (or capital) for tourists, that why finding a cheap apartments (not only in my city) – the chance to economy more than a half of the hotel price!!!

  • Yaro, I just read your download “How To Start An Internet Business,” and really enjoyed it.
    I built my first e-commerce site and sold it last year, and am currently starting my second major site, which is a sign and banner company. We (my wife and kids) just moved to the Big Island from Indiana. I noticed you are (or were) in Hawaii. Are you coming to the Big Island?

    I’ve started 12 different companies, but want to really master the online part. The E-myth made a bigger impact on my business philosophy than anything else. Through systems, we managed to get through the 12 companies, and I believe 10 of them are still running today.

    If you have a chance to visit the Big Island, let me know! We can grab a tea or coffee in Kona (Kona coffee, the best in the world!)
    Aloha and safe travels,
    Chris

  • Congrats Yaro,

    That is super exciting.
    If your ever in Colorado, lets have lunch.

    Brandon

  • [...] 5 Tips for success when traveling with your business is a post on Entrepreneurs-Journey you need to take a look at. More and more of us are traveling and working at the same time. This post has some good tips to follow. [...]

  • It is my dream to travel while blogging.I can blog anywhere in the world with my laptop,how great it is !!

  • What an inspiring article! I “climb the mountain” at the moment on my way to being able to travel, do the things I love and working on my business somewhere on the planet :)

  • I took the plunge a couple of months ago, when I got a deal to leave my job. My aim now is to never work for a slave master again; from now on I plan on being in charge of my own destiny and making my own money. I’m off to the Caribbean to start up a real world business and pursue online opportunities in about 7 weeks time.

    Live feels good now the shackles are off, I know I will succeed, nothing can stop me now!

  • [...] around the world. If you want to achieve the same level of freedom, you’ll want to read his 5 tips for success when traveling with your business. This includes mobile [...]

  • Why go to Canada when you were just in Fiji? Turn around QUICK!

  • Hawaii!!

    Thats where my moms is from and her side of the family, I have been there many times!

    Hope you have a real good time and hope that one day I am able to that too.

    Aloha,

    Toki

  • [...] 5 Tips For Success When Traveling With Your Business [...]

  • Great tips! I’d just like to add another one – arrange a home exchange. This both saves money (no accommodation costs) and, provided you find out beforehand, most home exchangers will be able to provide access to high speed internet and a computer, often more equipment, for your use while in their homes.

    Swapping homes enables you to make trips to countries or cities you may otherwise think are too expensive, my adopted city of London for instance.

    If you’d like to know more about home swapping, do visit my home exchange blog and also check out the many exchange offers at Home Base Holidays, my own internet based business that I manage to run when away from home ( including trips back to my small home town of Wiarton, Ontario where the only public internet access is at the local library (and the dragon lady librarian doesn’t allow me to use a computer for longer than an hour even if there’s no one waiting to use them!)

    Cheers!

  • Wow. I was totally in Hawaii at the same time as you. Family vacation. :-)
    Too bad it was all overcast that day, eh? Ah well.

    Have fun there! It was definitely gorgeous the day we left, May 1st, when the sun finally decided to come out. :-)

  • Hello yaro,
    i love your tips, and i hope i can be like you too. Going to travel around the world.

  • Hi Yaro,
    fun to read about your journeys. I travelled through Asia and s. pacific back in 1987-1988 and didn’t have the freedom of laptops and the internet. I think it is great you are inspiring would be travellers to just do it – the perception you need a lot of money is quite strong – $500/month is definitely comfortable living when in the third world. In regards to online businesses that allow this type of freedom, readers should consider creating websites that focus on specific niches that they can write about, optimize and passively monetize with Google adsense code to share in the pay per click revenues. In addition, affiliate programs that relate to the content can convert very well and they can pay handsomely as well. Finally, banner advertisements via azoogle, tribal fusion etc are another passive revenue source. Essentially, you earn 24/7 without having to reply to emails, ship products, purchase product, warehouse , etc. I work with many website entrepreneurs who make thousands every month for years like clockwork – passively – giving them total freedom to travel and live their life freer. You will need to write content and do your own SEO work which is not really rocket science to keep the site up in the search engine ranks to build traffic. This tyoo can be outsourced though as well through SEO link builders – textlinkbrokers.com etc or SEO specialists. You can also hire freelance writers to write unique content for you while you are on the road..So what are you waiting for?

    David Fairley
    Internet Businesses For Sale

  • gwyn

    good tips and advice.it’s good to have your trips to give others some ideas of how to incorporate running a business while traveling.

  • gwyn

    great tips.its good to have your trips organized and you gave others tips on how to incorporate business while traveling.

  • Lan

    Hi Yaro – I hope to meet you soon. I emailed you last year about the World Internet Summit and lately, I’ve seen you doing some stuff with Anik whom I met at the AFF Summit West last Feb.

    It would be great to meet you because this site is the FIRST one that I really visited regularly when I was starting my writing business. Today, I do all of the things you mentioned in this post :)

    I travel a lot and the first thing I verify is the easy presence of an internet connection in the area! After that, everything else is easy.

    Lan

  • Great post! I just had my first trip and used most of your tips above to successfully keep the business running and enjoy my vacation!

    -Christopher

  • Greart article, and the funny thing is, I have worked/travel at the exact same spot, doing the exact same thing you’re doing. I love the outside courtyard, where one side is a tea place, and the other side a coffee place! My business boomed years ago, so I’ve been traveling and working every day from abroad. It was a little tricky in parts of Eastern (central) Europe… I’ll have to consult you again before doing more travel!

    I wrote a few articles about the move to Gmail, and how that transformed my online business (and all the google apps).

    Great post -
    Evan
    MarketingCrazy.com

  • Hey Yaro,

    I just wanted to add for you (and other folks) that house swaps can be an awesome way to score some free lodgings when you travel. There are several sites out there that can connect you with other folks looking to trade their house in such-and-such place for your house in your-home-town. Craigslist is a place to start (and is free). In most cases you need to be a homeowner, but I’ve heard of people with lenient landlords swapping their apartments and house rentals for a week too.

    Have fun on your further adventures!

  • [...] 5)5 Tips for Success when Traveling with Your Business – This was a post from popular blogger Yaro Starak. It gives practical advice about getting things done while on the road (I will be utilizing some of these tips this weekend). [...]

  • Great article but my question (as a man from the Midwest surrounded by corn fields) why are you not outside in your photo? Hawaii – I would be doing all my thinking from the beach!

  • Bob

    Great article Yaro! It is not too hard for people to earn at least $500 a month these days on the Internet doing something. I love Hawaii and your post was very informative to say the least!

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