So, you’ve got your digital nomad visa ready, your company or clients have given you the go-ahead, and your backpack is packed. You’re ready to spend the next few months remote working in Europe.
Great lifestyle choice! You’re in for the most incredible few months (that may quite easily turn into years).
But how can you make the most of your time working remotely in Europe? How can you ensure you stay on top of work while enjoying the experience?
It all comes down to careful planning.
How to (successfully) go remote working in Europe
Here are our top tips for successfully working remotely in Europe.
1. Start with using the right luggage
Unless you plan to stay in one location for a few months, you will likely live out of a suitcase for a few months. So, you want that luggage that really works for you.
A good combination of luggage for digital nomads includes a large check-in suitcase (we prefer a hard suitcase over a backpack as it’s easier for long-term travel where you’re staying longer periods in each place), a cabin bag, a backpack for your laptop and other electronics and a smaller day bag.
It’s worth investing in good quality luggage to ensure it makes it through the whole journey with you.
2. Pack all your working gear
Try and duplicate your current workstation as much as possible. While travelling with a second screen may not be possible, you can still carry many of your other accessories, including:
- Your laptop (the lightest one your work can maintain)
- A laptop sleeve to protect your laptop (it’s going on an adventure, after all)
- A small wireless mouse
- Decent noise-cancelling headphones
- A laptop stand
- Slim external keyboard (if you use one)
- HDMI cables (for possible connection to hotel TVs)
- ALL of your cables and chargers
3. Get a travel SIM card as soon as you arrive
If you’re working on the go, you can’t afford to not be connected. Sure, you’ll likely be connecting to the Wi-Fi in your accommodation, but a SIM card allows you to remain connected while out and about. You’ll need it to help with map directions, call Ubers and to search for information on local things to do.
Plus, you can always use your phone as a backup internet source if the Wi-Fi fails or you need to quickly respond to a work email while roaming the streets.
Orange Travel is a great option to consider. They have two main offers, including:
- Orange Holiday Europe for €39.99 (this normally gives you 15GB, but you’ll get 30GB on their promotion up until 5 October 2022)
- Orange Holiday Zen for €19.99 (this normally gives you 8GB, but you’ll get 15GB on their promotion up until 5 October 2022)
Their SIM cards include unlimited calls and texts in Europe and can be used in over 30 European countries. The SIM is valid for 6 months and can be renewed depending on the recharge chosen.
You can also choose to get either an eSIM or a physical SIM.
4. Use a VPN on all devices
You’ll likely be connecting to many different Wi-Fi hotspots and connections while remote working in Europe, so it’s a good idea to protect your devices.
We highly recommend connecting to a VPN while online for a few reasons, including:
- Protecting your personal data from hackers
- Hiding your banking activity
- Accessing any blocked websites & unblocking streaming channels
- Finding cheaper flights
- Ensuring seamless connection to all of your work apps, software and devices previously set up with your home location
5. Plan your travel days around work
If you’re hopping between locations, plan your travel days around your work schedule. If you don’t want to take vacation days, or you’re swamped with freelance work, then schedule move days over the weekend or after hours.
Don’t make the mistake of thinking, “Oh, I’ll just continue working on the train.” Sure, you can try, but it’s not always convenient, and Wi-Fi is incredibly unreliable on trains.
6. Stick to a remote work routine
To successfully remote work in Europe, you need to actually do some work. Which can easily head to the bottom of your to-do list – after exploring, sightseeing and eating your way through each destination.
To make sure that you don’t fall behind, stick to your regular work routine. If you’re usually at your laptop at 9am every day, keep doing that. As far as possible, keep your regular working schedule from Monday to Friday. Leave the exploring for after hours and weekends. If you’re travelling in Europe in the summer, you’ll get to enjoy the extended daylight hours to squeeze in a few extra activities each day before it gets dark.
Of course, if you’re coming from the US, you’ll have to adapt to the different time zones. Make sure to figure out a workaround before you leave to let your co-workers know what times you’ll be available. One option could be to explore your new destination in the morning, as people in North & South America are still sleeping. Then you could start working in the afternoon and into the evening hours. That way you are able to see many sights and you are still in touch for clients and colleagues.
7. Join a coworking space
Remote work in Europe involves setting up your laptop in all types of places: hotel rooms, hostel common areas, apartments, cafes, restaurants and bars. And while each place can do just fine, sometimes you need a dedicated space to work from.
Most European cities feature great coworking spots that provide ideal working conditions: proper tables, comfortable chairs, decent Wi-Fi, enough plug points, coffee and just general positive work environments. You may also find a few fellow digital nomads on a similar journey.
The benefit of working remotely is that it’s not all about work
Sure, you’ll still need to dedicate a certain number of hours to work each day, it’s important to make time to switch off. Prioritise a work-life balance so that you can still enjoy your surroundings, take time for yourself and relax.
Travel slowly so that you have time to really get to know each destination without killing yourself in the process. Working and traveling full time can quickly get exhausting, you need to schedule some downtime in-between, so you don’t burnout.