Tips

While many people quake at the idea, travelling with toddlers can be an adventure in itself. If you’re a digital nomad (or nomads, if you’re a couple travelling with toddlers), your schedule is going to be a constant juggling of work and your child’s schedule. But it doesn’t need to be as daunting as it sounds. With a little preparation, you can make sure your child enjoys travelling as much as you do.

Flights
Control your child’s food intake before flying: Sure, your kid needs snacks and feeding them small amounts can seem like an easy fix to keep them occupied but the last thing you need is for our child to want to go to the bathroom just as your flight is taking off. Also, control how much sugar they consume before flying. A hyper child is going to be everyone’s problem.

Add plenty of games to your phone or tablet:
Sometimes screen time can be necessary for you child. A long flight demands plenty of distractions and your child can only watch so many movies. Keep games and picture books handy on your tablet or phone so they do not get bored.

Travel by night: Picking overnight flights will save you a lot of trouble — your child will sleep, you can sleep peacefully too, and your fellow passengers won’t have a thing to complain about. Also, your child’s sleeping patterns won’t be disturbed, and he’ll be well rested for when you reach your destination.

Pick the aisle seat: The window seat may keep your toddler entertained but it won’t work for long stretches. Instead, pick the aisle seat for easy access to the bathroom, which is a far more important requisite on long flights.

Working

Scheduling around your child:
Your toddler is always going to be your first priority on the road. However, it is not impossible to work while travelling with your child. Nap time will always give you a stretch of uninterrupted time to work. Early bedtime for children means you can squeeze in an hour or two of work before you head to sleep yourself.

Making use of small pockets of time: A lot of time during the day goes in supervising your toddler. Early mornings before your child wakes up or long meal times when your toddler is taking his or her time to finish eating can be useful hours that you can get work done in.

Kids clubs or babysitters: Many places offer kids’ clubs, where your toddler can make new friends while you work and supervise at the same time. If you are living at a homestay, you can ask your host to babysit for a couple of hours or ask if anyone will be willing to do so and that you can pay them for their services, while you catch up with your work.

Living

Book ahead:
Planning ahead and booking hotels will make life easier for you and your child. After a long flight, you will mostly need to avail some services as soon as possible and booking a place to stay will save you valuable time that you will otherwise waste while looking for a place to stay.

Family deals: Many hotels have family deals as well, so always look for those while booking a place to stay. Similarly, look for hotels, restaurants, and local attractions that are child-friendly, as these come with services like kids clubs or babysitters.

Living in homes instead of hotels:
Luxury isn’t always a good thing while travelling with your toddler. You may not be able to take them to fancy restaurants or to the bar if you want a drink. An alternative to hotels are homestays, bed and breakfasts, or house swaps. They are in a position to personalise your stay for you and if they have small children as well, your child will have company while you work.

Spending Time

Travel slow: Travelling slow becomes a necessity when travelling with children. A couple of days will be spent in getting your child adjusted to the destination, and balancing your work with exploring a place will take several more. You can take your time to thoroughly go around though, and long stays at any place can get you higher discounts at hotels.

Short outings: Find local attractions that do not require you to spend the whole day out. It may get too taxing for your toddler and will require you to carry too many supplies “just in case”. Instead, schedule short outings so you can still make it back for important breaks like nap time. You can always revisit their favourite spots again in the duration of your stay.

Take turns with your partner: If you’re travelling as a family, things just become easier. You can take turns with your partner working and taking the children out, and head out together on some days. Your child stays occupied and you can get more work done as well.

Check the menus: Your toddler is not going to take to local food at once so always check restaurant menus for your standard fast food options. Sometimes a plate of french fries is the only thing that will keep them happy.

Emergencies

Hygiene: In small places, hand sanitisers can be your best friend. If you can’t find a place to wash your hands or if water cuts are a problem at your destination, wet wipes and hand sanitisers can go a long way to protecting your child’s health.

Vaccinations: Children are very susceptible to infections and illnesses while travelling. Always check with your doctor before taking any trip with your children. Make sure all their vaccinations are up to date and if you’re travelling internationally, get the medical equivalents of emergency medicines in your destination country.

Hope those tips will make it easier for you. Happy Traveling 🙂

Demonetisation has made travellers all over the world really think about how to spend money sensibly while on the road. Whether you are backpacking in a relatively small town or staying at a swanky hotel in a big city, you can always find a way to make sure you have a way to pay. Here are a few tips on how to make sure you spend money optimally.

Multiple modes of payment: Always keep your payment options open. Along with local cash, make sure you have a working debit or credit card, and travellers’ checks are always a safe way to pay. Cash is no doubt the best and cheapest way to pay anywhere but you obviously cannot carry a large amount of it with you throughout your trip. If you are carrying cash though, always use a money belt.

Debit cards: Using cards for transactions has its own pros and cons. Debit cards are convenient, however, the fee for every transaction can be quite high. Your bank will charge you for every ATM transaction and the bank you withdraw from will charge you a fee as well. You can ask the bank for a breakdown of international transactions before you travel so it shows up in your next statement or simply ask them for more information regarding such transactions.

Credit cards: Spending with a credit card can be a little risky. There is always a chance of it getting stolen, and if you like shopping it could be your undoing in terms of spending. But credit card companies too can charge you quite a bit for international transactions, so they should only be used during emergencies.

Wiring money: While it is a more complicated process, wiring money is another way you can get money sent to you while you’re travelling. You will need someone from home to send you some money so let your family or a friend into the loop. You can choose which bank account to send the money to or collect it in cash from there.

Befriend a local: Always have a local contact in your destination country. They can give you tips about how to spend money wisely, get good deals and in extreme cases, lend you some local money.

Currency Exchange: Find currency exchanges that are not located at the airport, as their exchange rates are higher. Instead find one in the local town or go to a local bank. The best thing to do is to exchange them at your home country before you leave.

Use common currency: US dollar, Pounds Sterling and Euro are the most popular currencies to exchange and it is always a good idea to keep some of them on you regardless of where you travel or what your country’s currency is.

If there’s one thing demonetisation has taught us, it is that financial emergencies can hit anytime. You can have tonnes of money and still be stranded and helpless just because someplace doesn’t accept a certain method of payment. It is always better to be prepared, than find yourself in a bind.

Investments begin quite early in life, and for good reason. Everyone could use some money, or some form of it to lean back on. Whether it be financial security or a roof over your head, investment caters to a number of needs. As a nomad, our investments may be different but they are still needed. Here are a few ways to invest money:

Private Provident Fund: A PPF could be incredibly useful in terms of long term investments. Ferreting away a little amount of money every month will give you a reasonable chunk at the end of 15 years. You could reinvest this money if you like, or perhaps spend it on that trip that you’ve always wanted to take.

Insurance: Travel insurance is a no-brainer while travelling. Losing your luggage is a very real possibility while travelling and while airlines might try to help you recover your luggage, there are many cases of travellers having to let go of any hope that it might be found.

Mediclaim: Medical insurance is extremely important for travellers. With medical expenses hitting the roof these days, one should take extra care while travelling. A good mediclaim ensures that you are financially covered in case any accident befalls you or at the very least, takes care of your hospitalisation charges.

Mutual funds: Investing in mutual funds is also a good option. With the option of selling your funds at any time, you can have an amount of cash when you need it the most. You also have the choice of reinvesting it.

Recurring Deposits: A short term recurring deposit saving scheme is an ideal way to keep your travel plans going. With even a small amount of monthly savings each year, you will always be financially ready at the beginning of the next one. Plus you can choose the period of investment time according to your convenience.

Property: Depending on the degree of your nomadicness, investing in a house may or may not be useful. Many nomads feel the need of a home base, or freelancers with an unsteady income may need a roof over their head at some point. However, if you are a total nomad with no plans of pitching your tent in one place and get a reasonable monthly salary, it makes no sense to buy property. You will likely need to take a loan and pay it off over a number of years, all the while not even living in the house.

No matter what your profession is, it is imperative to understand that money is important in the world. While nomads understand that the true value of life is in the experiences you collect, the world ultimately does run on money. Since nomads are free from financial constraints like rent and bills, it is never too late to begin thinking about sensibly managing money.

There are some who travel for work and some who travel to work. The latter category of people have been titled as digital nomads which as the name suggests are nomadic in nature and work on-the-go utilizing internet to their advantage. Now when some of us digital nomads travel to off-beat locations, explore far-off destinations to satiate our wanderlust, we might experience different weather, terrain and food constantly. This can sometimes affect our health due to the sudden change in the environment. Therefore, we would love to share our two-piece of advice for this burgeoning community by listing down what are medical essentials for a digital nomad.

  1. Country-specific medication: With our obsession to travel far and away to distant countries, it is a must that you study the health risks a country can cause. For e.g. many tropical regions are known to pose a risk of malaria infection. You can visit here to check country specific health details and prepare for your trip accordingly.
  2. Allergies: Some of us have very specific allergies that can come alive anytime anywhere! It’s good to find-out your allergy triggers in advance and ensure the medications to counter them are part of your kit. Also, get the prescription of these meds from your doctor. Make sure these prescriptions are part of your kit, so you don’t have to look through your bags for it.
  3. Special medical needs: For instance, if you are asthma patient, you will need to make sure you have all sorts of meds and backup meds, as you may not get all the medications at the right time. Similarly, if you have an ailment that needs regular medical check-up fix your check-ups in your travel country beforehand. 
  4. Basic Kit:
    1. Antiseptics & antibiotics: An antiseptic liquid, lotion and anti-fungal cream are must-haves for every digital nomad. What if you slip or attract skin allergies while doing a strenuous trek? With respect to antibiotics, carrying a box consisting of basic medication post you have consulted your doctor. You can be prepared to pop one in case of indigestion, acidity, headache and other minor health requirements. In case you are already on medication, do carry those for sure.
    2. Swiss Knife: Yes, you heard that right! A Swiss knife due to its multipurpose utility can be used to cut a bandage or open a medicine bottle. It is compact, useful and totally a must-have in your medical kit.
    3. Camphor: Sniffing camphor works wonders when you are travelling to high-altitude areas. People with mountain sickness should definitely carry it in an air-tight pouch/ container.
    4. Feminine hygiene: Many girls & women these days are travelling and utilizing different modes of transport to reach their destination. This also means using various washrooms on their way. In such a scenario, it makes lot of sense to tuck in that gentle care wash and sanitary napkin and panty liners in the corner of your bag.
  5. Insurance: Yes, you will not carry documents in your medical kit but travel insurance is equally important as you frequently change your locations. Rules of this will change basis the country and the duration of your stay. Lot of Indian banks offer travel insurance like ICICI, Bajaj Allianz, HDFC Ergo, etc. A travel insurance makes sense as it covers not only your medical requirements but also your camera breaks, flight cancellation, death of a family member, loss of a bag, or in case of theft. Why would you not buy it?

An important thing to keep in mind is that you should consult your general physician before you travel and carry any particular medication required. Everyone’s body reacts differently to a different country and thus it is key to know your body thoroughly.

Everyone looks at their ringing phones from time to time to roll their eyes because “that client” is calling. We all go head to head with the people we work with and tend to lock horns with some more often than others. Sometimes, in the interest of our own sanity, there are certain kinds of clients we can avoid, or at least learn how to cope with.

The Clingy Type

Everybody has probably encountered the clingy client who keeps checking in on your progress every couple of hours, even when your deadline is 10 days away. While avoiding such clients may be really tempting, it is definitely unprofessional. The best solution is to make it clear to them that you will get back to them once you have completed the assignment.

The Payment Procrastinator

Freelancers in particular have a tough time getting clients to pay, especially if either party is new at business. This kind of client is probably a freelancer’s worst kind of nightmare because their attitude shows that they don’t value your profession. Definitely steer away from such clients. Maybe they do have a reason for not being able to pay you on time but you’ll do well to hold in your submissions till after you get your payment.

The Unreachable One

Many clients complain about not being able to reach freelancers but occasionally we too get the kind of clients who don’t pick up the phone. This can be particularly annoying if the deadline for the job is close. Whenever you do get in touch with them, always set a date and time as to when you can call them next to update them on your progress. Always check your client’s working hours and make sure you know appropriate times for calling them after work.

The One Who Deems It Urgent

Then there’s the one who talks about the assignment for 10 whole minutes and wants the assignment “soonest possible”, meaning the very next day. Steer way clear of such clients, especially if they seem to be insistent about giving out assignments. It is important to make your terms clear in a situation like this and no amount of money should justify why you should take up assignments with stringent deadlines if it is not your policy to do so.

The “It’s not good enough”

No idea seems to cut it for this client. They have an obsessive need to keep brainstorming and will waste precious time flitting from one suggestion to the next, unable to settle on any one and ultimately, leaving the decision to you. They may even ask you to keep reworking your final piece, claiming that it isn’t really hitting the right note. At such times, it is best to be honest with the client and have an open discussion about what exactly they want. Remind the client that it is up to him to give you a brief and that you cannot work on anything without knowing exactly what the client needs.

At the end of the day, a large part of any work is dealing with people, so anyone is bound to meet these kinds of clients. As a digital nomad, while you do have the advantage of not meeting these people face to face, interactions with people like these can seem trying. If you find yourself wasting too much mental energy on some clients whose priority is not to get the work done, you should definitely steer clear of them.

In today’s world, a desk job that isn’t 9-5 is still considered an anomaly in society. In less aware company it is synonymous with ‘not being serious about life’. Even our parents’ generation may not understand that being a digital nomad is in fact, no less serious than a “job”. Most parents are just clueless about how to tackle society’s confused reactions to them having children who “waste money” on travelling rather than making life plans to “settle down”. Continue Reading

More often than not, people speak about the things that digital nomads should be careful to do during their travel.  The quest about the things that they should not do has been left unattended. Today, I want us to focus on the things that you should not do as a traveling freelancer. This will save you a great deal in terms of budget as well as productivity at work.
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There is nothing as frustrating as missing a flight yet you had arrived at the airport on time. Going through the entire process of security check up at the airport can be a daunting task. The best thing is when you are able to get over the entire process early enough. Today, I want to share with you some of the tips that can make this possible.

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Travel provides us with a grand opportunity not only to have fun but also to enhance our brain capacity. As a matter of fact, it has been found out that the traveling freelancers tend to have a super high productivity as compared to the rest of the remote workers around. Here are some benefits that travel gives to your brain.

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If you have been to a successful walk at one time in your life, it is a thrilling experience. However, the truth of the matter is that the trekking shoes you walk in have a major role to play. It is important for you to make a few considerations on your shoe choice for the walk. Otherwise, you may have the worst experience at your walk in case of discomfort. Continue Reading

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