Combine Traveling and Web Design Career

In this article I’d like to share how I traveled the world and worked as a freelance web designer while building Despreneur. I want to inspire an idea that you as a web designer can easily combine these two activities and completely redesign your lifestyle. Collect moments, not things they say. As a web designer you’re able to produce your work without physically being in the place so it gives you the freedom to move anywhere in the world as long as you have an internet connection. Read also our previous article about How to Work as A Freelance Designer and Travel.

Plan Thoroughly

Not a surprise but you need to plan your itinerary, future destinations and getting paid for very simple reasons: to save time, money and stress while you’re on the road.

Some of the things you need to think of are:

  • Where will you get web design clients?
  • How are you going to get paid?
  • What happens if you’re not able to work for a month or two?
  • Where are you going to live?
  • What about health insurance and taxes?

Before leaving make a rough plan of where you want to go, let your relatives, friends and family know that you are leaving.

It’s very important to contact your bank and other institutions and inform them about your leaving. Make sure they activate online payments in your cards, enable a risk of your card being used in third world countries, also make sure to get medical check ups. Get a credit card (if you can) that covers travel insurance.

From the professional perspective, ensure that you have a fully working laptop, charger with adaptors for different countries, get a Skype or other VoIP service credit for cheaper international calls.

Ideally, have a list of clients queuing up for your work, healthy work pipeline will give you a lot of confidence and peace of mind. If you don’t have enough clients yet, hold on, save some money and work on booking some clients for the future.

AngelList Remote Jobs

AngelList is the largest platform for startups to find investors, hire new people and get press. They just recently launched remote jobs platform where you can find a well-paid startup position to work remotely.

Meeting Other Designers

Traveling and missing out on meeting new people is a complete failure of traveling in general. Meet as much people as you can, that way you will learn about their culture, you will get new ideas and make new friends that will make you feel like home anywhere in the world.

While I was traveling with my buddy we were attending different design, business, and tech meetups and events to meet like-minded people. WordCamp Europe, Startup Weekend, Couch Surfing meetup, Dribbble Meetup as well as different events at co-working spaces. These events provide great atmosphere for people to connect and discuss about their hobbies, life and even potential collaborations.

Startuptravels

Startuptravels is a great website that allows you to browse your destination directory and propose a meetup with local entrepreneurs, while most of them are not designers, they can be very cool people to talk to and potentially will need a web designer services, meaning that in the long term you may get another client.

Dribbble Meetups

Check Dribbble Meetups page of official meetups listed there to book your calendar of an upcoming meetup near you. It’s great for networking with fellow designers, learning from them and generally having a good time

Eventbrite is generally for event tickets but there are many different events for free too, just browse it in your selected area and you will see how much is going on.

Hubud

Co-working spaces is another great place to meet other like-minded people. One of my favorite co-working space is Hubud, a hub in Ubud, located in a paradise island in Bali, Indonesia. They have fast wifi, nice coffee and great community with dozens of events.

Utilise Your Social Network

I was surprised how many followers I have in different countries located in Southeast Asia, where I was traveling for the last 6 months. Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia, Philippines, and many other countries and I had someone I knew online, simply check your current connections and ask to meetup for a coffee or so, if they can’t make it ask for an introduction to someone they think you will have a good time with.

Best Tools To Get Things Done

While working remotely you will need tools to save you time and solve specific problems like scheduling a meeting in a different time zone or sharing a huge PSD file with your client. There are numerous tools to get the job done, and every web designer has their own workflow. I’ll list some tools I’ve been using so you can check them too or look for alternatives.

Toggl

Online time tracking tool featuring 1-click time tracking and helps you see where your time goes. Free and paid versions are available.

iDoneThis

iDoneThis is an incredible management tool which has provided me with unprecedented visibility into our productivity and the areas where we need to improve.

TweetDeck

The most powerful Twitter tool for real-time tracking, organizing, and engagement. Very easy to manage multiple accounts, schedule updates and filter feeds.

Dropbox is a service that keeps your files safe, synced, and easy to share. Bring your photos, docs, and videos anywhere and never lose a file again.

Headspace is a digital health platform, providing guided meditation sessions and mindfulness training for a better work/life balance.

Skype

Free calls with your team, clients as well as your friends and family.

Wave Apps Accounting

Accounting is extremely important and shouldn’t be ignored while traveling. Wave’s accounting tools are 100% free, secure, and accountant-approved.

Travel Hacks

Traveling can get very expensive if you don’t know how to book flights or accommodation for your next destination. In this section I’d like to introduce you to some cool apps and services that will help you find cheaper flights as well as nice places to stay and work from.

Nomad List

Nomad List is definitely your go-to place for researching destinations, value for money, connecting with other nomads and obviously finding some more handy information.

Momondo

Find cheap flights with Momondo. Find and compare fares from 700+ travel sites, find out best dates to travel to your desired destination.

Google Flights

I use Google Flight Search to get the big picture of the biggest hubs to fly from like London in Europe and Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur in Southeast Asia.

JetRradar

JetRadar is a flights search engine. Similar to Momondo it shows you the best deals from hundreds of airline companies.

Skypicker

Especially good for using in the US. Save a lot of money and get smart suggestions to save some dollars on flights.

Co-working Spaces

How do you find a place to work from? You will certainly need a very fast internet connection and comfortable environment. While I personally can work anywhere from cafe to restaurant to hotel room, you may want to try co-working spaces first. You don’t just get a comfy place with fast internet and coffee supply but amazing like-minded people around you.

ShareDesk

ShareDesk marketplace provides a platform for mobile professionals to discover and book work and meeting spaces on the go–by the hour, day, or month.

Desk Surfing

Desk Surfing gives you the freedom to work where you want. And who you want to work with. Desksurfing is co-working at any given place.

Airbnb

Find nice rooms, usually better for shorter term stay, however, hotels and homestays are cheaper but after living in hotels you really start feeling that authentic homes are probably better, even if they cost slightly more.

Agoda

Booking.com and Agoda are great services for nice deals on hotels, providing especially good value for money in Southeast Asia.