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Traveling Europe is a dream come true. The history, culture, and accessibility of European countries is unmatched anywhere else in the world. But let’s face it, Europe is also expensive.  If you want to have fun  and not go broke in the process, you have to work.  Traveling abroad in Europe doesn’t have to break your bank account, however,  Here are a few ideas to work when you’re abroad.

Plan in Advance to Do Projects That Travel Well

While more and more places in Europe offer free WiFi, relying on its availability is never wise. Here are a few things you need to confirm before you start work when you’re abroad.

Download files you’ll need in advance, so you’re not dependent on spotty wifi.  Additionally, try to communicate with your clients prior to traveling.  

While planning your trip, you should also research overseas phone plans, and make sure your clients can reach you. Finally, try to choose work projects that are easy to complete offline, so you’re not worried about wifi.

Use the Airport Lounge

Airport lounges can be one of the most amazingly serene places to get work done while you’re waiting for a flight. Lounge users often enjoy perks like free food and drinks. Furthermore, users can often charge their electronics devices there, too. Getting lounge access can be tricky, though. Here a few tips to get easy (and legal) airport lounge access while traveling Europe. 

Sign up for rewards points with all of the major airlines. Sooner or later, you will have enough points to get lounge access. Additionally, you can also sign up for credit cards that offer lounge access perks, too. And ff all else fails, simply make a friend who has lounge access, and tag along. 

Work When You’re Abroad with Mobile WiFi

Europe is famous for its embrace of technology. And normally, your iInternet access there is great. But sometimes the local wifi is so bad that you can’t transmit work files  until you actually fly to another country.

If you’re working on your European trip, you are going to need more reliable internet access. One option to check out is mobile WiFi.  Mobile WiFi is a portable routers that give you access to WiFi no matter where you are. Most mobile phone companies offer this service, so shop around for the best one. You’ll never lose access to the Internet if you carry it around with you. 

Start Your Work Early

When traveling abroad in Europe  get started on your work as soon as your plane arrives. Earn your money first, then focus on all of the tours and sightseeing. 

While tourism is fun, it is also exhausting. You’re less likely to do quality work if you are dead tired at the end of the day.  

Tackling your work the moment you hit the ground is easier.Furthermore, when you’re out and about and seeing the sights later, you’ll also have peace of mind.

Keep Time Zones in Check

Time zones are often the biggest work challenge you’ll face while traveling in Europe. Often, your clients are leaving the office just as your work day starts overseas.

If you plan ahead, you can defeat the time zone challenge, however. Simply schedule when you plan to work, and communicate the times to your clients.

It’s also important to consider how you’re going to stay in touch with your clients or partners back in the U.S. International phone calls can be expensive, and you may not always have a reliable internet connection. Make sure you plan everything ahead of time and realize that there will likely be a few hiccups along the way.

Immerse Yourself in the Culture

Working abroad can be lonely—even if you’re traveling for pleasure. One of the best ways to stay connected is to live like a local instead of staying cooped up in your hotel all day while you’re working.

Visit local coffee shops or restaurants where you can work and engage with the culture. This will help prevent feelings of isolation and burnout when your coworkers, partners, or clients are thousands of miles away, making you more productive at your home away from home.

It’s also beneficial to see this as an opportunity to learn about different cultures, which you can then apply to your business. Working in a public place gives you a chance to do some people-watching and maybe even pick up on a different language. If your company is international (or if you’re planning on expanding), this firsthand experience can give you valuable insights into the types of consumers you’ll be targeting that you simply can’t get from data alone.

Hire a Virtual Assistant

What’s the point of taking a vacation to Europe if you’re too busy working to enjoy it? This is where a virtual assistant can come into play to help ease your workload by taking over some of the more mundane tasks of running your business.

A virtual assistant can be tasked with responsibilities such as responding to emails, taking phone calls, scheduling social media posts, or keeping your company blog updated, among other things. While these are all relatively simple tasks that don’t take much time, they can save you a few hours each day—and that’s time you can spend sightseeing and relaxing instead.

Final Thoughts

Traveling abroad to Europe is an exciting adventure, but smart business owners want to continue earning money even during their downtime. Working abroad has a unique set of challenges that differ from working in the U.S., and it can be frustrating when you find that you don’t have an internet connection or that it’s too difficult to work across time zones.

But with a little bit of planning and patience, it is possible to work abroad and enjoy some much-needed time to relax, explore, and recharge.

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William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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