Tips for Working Remote While Traveling in an RV
I get asked often about working remote while we travel full time in our RV. A lot of people wonder about what type of jobs they can work while RVing. Many people have questions about logistically how to make it work. Others I think are just looking for a boost in confidence that it’s a legitimate option because traveling to the best and most scenic areas of the country while you’re able to work seems a little too good to be true.
But it is real! We’ve been working remote for over 5 years while traveling full time in our RV. Our entire team are also remote RVers; so we have a lot of experience on this topic and we’d like to share a little bit in hopes to help and inspire others to take the leap into working while traveling.
Find or Create a Remote Job
The first step might be a little bit obvious but you’re going to want to create a business, take a job or pitch your current employer to allow you to work remote. There has never been a better time to work remote then now. Technology is incredible and allows you to connect with anybody at any time all across the world.
Also the technology and designs of RVs are making it more comfortable and convenient to work remote. Many come with built in work stations, some even come equipped with built in wifi!
We’ve met countless of different types of remote workers while RVing. Here’s a few examples: accountants, entrepreneurs, construction, oil fields, nurses, marketing, sales, data entry, and so much more!
For us, we had to create it. I was working as an executive in Orange County and when we started Full Time RVing I had to come up with a business that would generate significant income within 6 months. As with any business it wasn’t easy and we put in countless hours, but we made it happen and have now been able to live and travel full time for over 5 years with our business.
Quit Watching TV
If we’re honest with ourselves, we waste a lot of time with unproductive activities. The average American watches WAY too much TV or spends way too much time glued to their phone.
The ladder to success is an uphill battle, but worth the climb. If you’re currently working you have the time to be successful. If you work 8-6, come home and spend some quality time with your family and get on that grind until midnight. You gotta put in the time!
Get the Job Done First
It’s going to be extremely tempting for you to start exploring and doing your outside fun stuff before you get your work done. I highly recommend you get up early, in fact many entrepreneurs like myself have joined the 5 AM club.
Let’s be honest most people don’t work very efficiently, they have a lot of distractions and they don’t work too hard but if you can work hard stay focused and illuminate distractions by getting up early and getting right to it; by noon you’ll usually have more actual work done then most people will in a full days work. That means the rest of the day you can go out and explore. If you start to do your fun stuff first or sleep in, it’s going to be really tough to sit down and focus on your work.
Bring Your Own Wi-Fi
Campground Wi-Fi is not to be trusted. Normally it’s a super weak signal if you get signal at all. And if you do get signal it usually takes one or two people to start streaming at the campground and all of a sudden you don’t have any Wi-Fi anymore.
Most major cell phone providers will have Wi-Fi jet packs and often you can tether from your cell phone. We use AT&T, Sprint and Verizon because not all carriers will cover everywhere. When one doesn’t cover a location we will use another and out of the three we have not run into issues with having Wi-Fi to work. Our Sprint and Verizon are unlimited but the Verizon throttles back our speed after 20 gigs a month.
Stay Motivated at a High Level
If you’ve never been a business owner let me give you some reality… There’s a common misconception that business owners are “living the life” and are kicking back where their team does the work. This is overwhelmingly statistically not true. You have to be willing to do what others aren’t willing to do, to have what others aren’t willing to have…
This is incredibly difficult to do if you don’t have goals and a long term vision that you look at daily. Nobody’s going to motivate you, that’s on you. In fact others are going to try to bring you down. As a business owner the government wants to tax or regulate you out of business, the competition wants to take you out of business, you’re family and friends want to discourage you from starting a business… You need to be self motivated on a daily basis to push through the barriers holding you back from success.
Use a Signal Booster
Cell/wifi boosters like the Weboost are excellent ways to raise the bar (literally) on your service. If you’re in an area with weak service that’s slowing you down, it can raise it from 1 bar to 3 bars! Giving you the connection you need to get things done.
We’ve been blown away at the overall coverage area in the United States. I even had full bars deep down in the Hoodoos of Bryce Canyon. There are sometimes where you’re just outside of range of having strong enough signal to get the job done. Maybe you have good enough service to do most of your tasks but you need to upload a video for an important project… That’s where we’ve seen incredible benefits from Boosters.
We’ve had a few over the years and the Weboost has performed the best for us and we highly recommend it. It’s been a complete game changer in helping us be productive so we could earn money in remote areas.
Coffee Shops and Restaurants are Your Friend
Are you in an area that is Wi-Fi challenged where you just don’t get good cell phone service. Go to the local coffee shop, McDonald’s or local restaurant that has good Wi-Fi. You’ll find wifi service is pretty much everywhere now and they usually have really strong signal.
I utilize coffee shops sometimes to change up my routine, people watch while I work or if I am in an area with weaker wifi and need to do an upload. It’s also fun to see the different types and decor of the coffee shops while you travel.
Have a Designated Workspace but Be Flexible
I have a designated workspace up in the bedroom of my camper but you might not always want to work in the same place. It’s fun to mix things up once in a while. So I will mix it up I have a portable desk where I can put the laptop on top of it I can work from the kitchen, I can work from the picnic table outside, work under the awning, or even go down to the dock and work with boats passing by.
Sometimes the best workspaces are the most creative. If the campground you’re at has seating somewhere, consider making it your office for the day. I travel with a portable desk and chair that folds up and takes up very little space. This is perfect for setting up my workspace on docks while I’m fishing, in the woods, or wherever I want!
I’ll even pull my table and chair with the kids bike trailer so I can head out wherever I can bike conveniently to use as my office. My laptop has a lot of battery life and that seems to be the limit for me on how long I can be out off the grid working.
When we started RVing we traveled and moved often. This meant a lot of packing up the RV, travel time unpacking and exploring new areas that we were really anxious to check out.
Well with all of that going on it’s going to cut in to your productivity. What we found is it’s more conducive to getting work done to stay from 1 to 2 months in an area and then pack up and move to the area the next area. It gives us a chance to get into routine so we can relax and get in the zone.
Don’t Get Distracted
A new study showed that Americans spend over 2 hours a day on social media. We’re checking it constantly, that’s just one of the many distractions that pull us away from personal and professional success.
I had this image in my head that I’d be sitting by a lake, stream, ocean or mountain while working totally focused on my work. The reality is when I sit by a lake the fish jump and distract me, the stream attracts wildlife such as deer and bear that distract me, the ocean has surfers and dolphins that distract me, and the mountain calls to me to climb it which is incredibly distracting.
Highly effective people discipline themselves to avoid distractions while they’re in productive mode. I still will go work in scenic settings, but I’ve managed to figure out a system that allows me to stay focused on my work.
Part of not getting distracted while you’re working is making sure you take time for yourself when you’re outside of work. Take time to seek out the outdoor adventure that draws you to RVing. Go explore the towns and the cafe’s that make you yearn for traveling. Do these things so that when you’re plugged in to productive time, you don’t start dreaming of being somewhere else.
Plus, isn’t that the reason you started RVing? To see, smell and experience the wonders of this amazing country? If you have any tips on this topic that you’d like to add feel free to put them in the comments.
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