Last week I wrote a post about the need to take vacations. A friend commented that it was easy for me, because I have a team to keep things rolling.
But in the age of wi-fi, even a solopreneur can take time off with the help of a few tools. While it’s easier if you vacation around the US, even if you’re traveling internationally, you never feel far from home if you have the following as part of your virtual office:
Gmail and DropBox. With these two web-based programs can take your desktop with you. All your email history, contact list and working documents follow you everywhere. All you need is Internet access.
Sign up for a month of Boingo wi-fi. It works in most airports and on street corners around the world. At $14.95/month, it’s a real convenience
If you are traveling internationally, spring for a paid Skype account. You can call call land lines and cell phones at a fraction of the cost of extending your cell phone plan. And if you’re chatting with another Skype account, you have the video conference feature which makes the call more like being there. Just remember the time difference, so you don’t wake your customers up to close the sale.
iPad or other mobile tablet. This one device fits neatly into any purse, bag or backpack. It is your desktop, phone (with Skype), camera, music collection, video screen and bookshelf all in one.
You are on vacation. You don’t want to lug a laptop, besides the additional weight, the temptation to do other work is too great. The tablet lets you do what you need to and get back to vacation.
Chargers and converters. Bring a spare in case you leave one in a cafe or hotel room. It’s easier to find a replacement when you get home instead of spend precious vacation time looking for a shop that sells one.
Select hotels based on quality of wi-fi. Okay, that isn’t my only criteria, but when we look at reviews on Hotels.com, you can bet any hotel with a review that includes the words intermittent wi-fi won’t make my short list. With a good wi-fi connection, you can check for crises twice a day, handle them and get back to your vacation.
Finally, remember it is only a week. Go have fun, all your work will still be there when you come back.