Tips for travelling freelancers

Many freelancers spend a lot of time travelling. That can be overseas, interstate or even commuting between home and client sites or co-working spaces. In order to maximise productivity, there are some things you can do to make the time you spend travelling more productive, ensure you can hit the ground running when you arrive at your destination, and make sure your departure and arrival are as smooth as possible.

Travel documents

Although we are in the 21st century, paper copies of itineraries, visa approvals, introductory letters (where they are needed for a visa) and accomodation details are worth carrying.

Most of the time you won’t need them but occasionally they can be the difference between making or missing a flight. For example, on one trip back from San Francisco, the airline system didn’t print my full name on my boarding pass. The security guard wouldn’t let me pass through security without an itinerary from a travel agent showing the booking details. Not even my passport would convince him.

In some cases, it’s also handy for airline staff when you’re checking in or if you need to make changes to your trip.

Identification

Carry copies of important identity documents and store them separately to your passport.

If your passport is lost or stolen, knowing the number, expiry and other information can expedite the issuing of a replacement and help authorities block your old one from being re-used.

It goes without saying but never leave your passport or any other identity documents with a stranger.

Be honest

If you’re travelling for work, ensure you have the correct visa type and don’t fudge documentation and lie to enter a country.

There have been some high profile people who have been put on the first plane back home because they weren’t traveling with the correct type of visa. Answer visa applications truthfully and only use a visa waiver, where it’s available, when you’re entitled to do so.

Dress comfortably and for the destination

If you’re travelling far away, check the weather forecasts for the destination and either dress for the destination or carry a change of clothes so you can be comfortable on arrival.

Carry a change of clothes

I always suggest carrying a change of clothes just in case your luggage is delayed or lost. That way, you can change out of the clothes you wore on the plane – which is a good thing after a long international flight – and freshen up. Most hotels offer a laundry service so you can have your clothes washed.

A toothbrush, toothpaste and deodorant are also good to carry but make sure you observe any regulations regarding liquids and aerosols in your carry-on baggage.

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