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4 Travel Hacks for the Mobile Entrepreneur

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4 Travel Hacks for the Mobile Entrepreneur

Today my business headquarters is a café in Shanghai, China. An international conference invitation brought me to this amazing country and it’s a long way from my native Melbourne, Australia. As a result, today I have a whole day to be doing something at the very top of my ‘Reasons Why I Love Being An Entrepreneur’ list:

Working mobile.

It is definitely by design that I can run most elements of my business projects from my laptop, and my worldwide pursuit of the perfect café/hotel/park headquarters has led me to develop my ‘Essential Working Mobile Toolkit’. These are the must haves for staying productive on the road, whether your mobile workplace is just around the corner or all the way across the globe:

1. Second set of all cords

Put together a full duplicate set of your essential cords and keep them in your travel laptop bag. Get cord organising solutions to keep it neat and organised (your brain will follow suit). It should include:

  1. Earphones,
  2. phone charger usb cord,
  3. laptop powercord – yes, invest in a second one
  4. a spare USB stick
  5. mobile phone back up battery

When you are at home, never raid this kit for daily/home use.

2. International adaptor with USB holes and plug hole

If you regularly travel internationally, fork out the bucks for an international adaptor – a single unit that lets you push out various pins to fit any powerpoint worldwide. Make sure it has a USB port or two to charge your phone and/or iPad, and a plug socket to fit your laptop charger. Flight stopover delays will now never leave you unpowered.

Need more power sockets? Pack a basic 4 hole power-board from home so that you only need that single international adaptor.

3. Get a Chatsim

Avoid international roaming fees and avoid being out of touch when you are away from hotel wifi and exploring a foreign land. Head to chatsim.com and purchase a sim card that will allow you to have full ongoing access to chat apps on your smartphone. All the time. Everywhere. For $20 a year.

I know, I know – awesome right?

4. Ethernet cable socket adaptor

If you, like me, have a travel friendly Macbook air, you will have discovered that there is no Ethernet port.

Many hotels have crappy wifi but most have a readily available Ethernet cable. Get a USB to Ethernet socket adaptor, and your Macbook Air can connect to the Internet quicker than you can say “Thank God – I can breathe again”.

A little added extra tip for travellers to China:

In China, Google, YouTube, Facebook and a number of other common websites are blocked, even with the best wifi money can buy. In order to access these services you will need to set yourself up with a VPN on your phone and laptop before you go.

The other tip for China is to download the WeChat App to your smartphone before you leave, and set up an account. Due to the lack of other mainstream social media channels, the App is the main way that colleagues, friends and businesses connect in China. (And your Chatsim works with WeChat too.)

Working mobile is liberating, exciting and fulfilling, and it is certainly made easier with the right tools. If you have any favourite #entrepreneurialtravelhacks please share them below – I’m always collecting!

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Showing 8 comments
  • Andrew Griffiths
    Reply

    Hey Karen, great article, In the past 8 months I’ve had to buy 8 new laptop cables – because I keep forgetting them when I leave home. It’s driving me insane. I’m normally so organised. No real point here, more of a confession really. Keep the awesome articles coming Kaz – Andrew

    • Karen Finnin
      Reply

      Haha Andrew yes power cables and wifi are my drugs of choice so i have to plan ahead to ensure I’ll be able to access my next hit! Thanks for the confession…

  • Tyson Franklin
    Reply

    Another awesome article…and a few handy tips I had not thought of when travelling.

    • Karen Finnin
      Reply

      Thanks so much Tyson, it makes being on the road fun and productive hey?!

  • Kelly Whittle
    Reply

    Hey Karen, thanks for the hacks…they are sure to keep me productive. Would love to get additional insights on how-to establish VPN for international travel. Securing data and keeping my technology free from viruses is an on-going concern.

    • Karen Finnin
      Reply

      Hi Kelly,
      I used ‘PandaPow’ and found it very easy to set up on my laptop and phone. I just joined, followed the prompts and it wirked well.

  • Gerald Buzzo
    Reply

    When you need to change flights, bring a power strip. At airports, everybody is always in a desperate need for power supply for their iPhones, laptops and electric blankets. With a power strip in your hand luggage, you will meet new people for sure. We promise. Call your credit card provider before you leave and tell them about your plans. This is especially important on long distance travels. A lot of banks simply de-activate credit cards when they are used from an unusual location.

    • Karen Finnin
      Reply

      Thanks for the great tips Gerald – being a human airport power source sounds like a great way to network! Also that is a really important one about they credit cards – they really do cut them off if you don’t let them know about your travels! Thanks again

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