Working remotely comes with many compelling benefits, including the fact that you’re never tied to one location. Indeed, many people opt for remote work for the freedom it gives them to travel the world. If this sounds appealing, you might also wonder whether there are rules about traveling while working remotely. Find out more about how to work remotely and travel below.
Rules on traveling and working remotely
Unfortunately, traveling while working remotely isn’t as simple as packing up your laptop and catching a plane. There are also some important questions you’ll need to ask yourself before you go.
Is it legal to work from another country?
While it can be, there are certain factors to consider. For example, if you’re a US citizen traveling abroad, there may be some countries that allow you to use a tourist visa while working for your current employer. In other cases, you may be required to obtain a different visa.
Some countries also offer “digital nomad visas” to attract working tourists. Antigua and Barbuda, for instance, now offer a Digital Nomad Resident visa, which gives visitors the option of working from the islands. Many other countries have begun offering similar arrangements—check here for an updated list.
Visas can be complex, and it’s important not to rely on tourist visas alone. Should you violate the terms of the visa you’re traveling on, you could be detained or deported. Since there’s no single, universal visa rule for each country, you should always do your research ahead of time and seek professional legal advice if you have any doubts.
How do I handle taxes?
Like visas, every territory has different tax laws as well. No matter where you work from, however, one thing is certain: You’ll still be responsible for paying taxes in at least one country.
Typically, your tax responsibility will be based on where you legally reside. For instance, if you’re a UK resident but are traveling temporarily in Italy, you’ll likely still have to pay taxes to the UK. Complexities are introduced when you start earning in another country.
In some countries, you could even be liable for double taxation. You may run into this issue if you’re a resident of two countries at once, or if a country taxes you based on worldwide income. Some territories have double taxation rules in place to prevent people from having to pay taxes twice, but it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with your destination’s tax laws before traveling. If you have any questions or concerns, consult with an international tax expert.
Will my employer allow this?
Some companies have specific policies about where you can work from. For example, some may not permit you to leave your country at all, while others may impose a limit on how long you can be away from your country of residence. Be sure to run your idea by your employer well before you start making any formal plans.
Tips for traveling and working remotely
Once you’ve cinched up the details of how to work remotely while traveling, here are some additional tips that can help make your experience as seamless and enjoyable as possible.
Be mindful of time zones
Whether or not time zones matter will depend on your work arrangements. If you have frequent meetings, you likely won’t want to be on the other side of the world from your team, where you’d have to get up in the middle of the night for a video conference. On the other hand, if you’re a contractor or freelancer who works independently without needing to check in often, working in a completely different time zone may not matter much.
Set a schedule
Even though you’ll be in a different country with lots of opportunities to explore, it will be helpful to set a schedule for yourself to ensure all your work gets done. For example, you might find that setting aside a certain number of hours each morning allows you to power through your work while still providing time to go sightseeing. Or you may prefer to work full days on certain weekdays and leave others off completely for adventures.
Some regions are far more expensive to travel to than others. It’s important to make a realistic budget—and perhaps even pad it—to account for lodging, food, and travel costs. Research your destinations in detail to plan for expenses.
Seek out optimal work environments
Make sure the destination you’re considering offers WiFi, whether it’s in your lodging or nearby cafés. You can also look into coworking spaces, which are paid spaces with outlets, WiFi, and other perks for remote workers.
Join a network of remote workers
There are many online communities where you can get tips on how to work remotely and travel from like-minded professionals. Tap into these resources and get to know your fellow nomads. These professionals have insider tips that may help to make your travel experience even more hassle-free.
Communicate with your employer
Finally, but perhaps most importantly, make sure you keep your employer or clients in the loop about your travel arrangements. Give them plenty of notice of any dates when you’ll be unreachable and provide updates about any projects or deliverables.
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