Things That Make Working Location Independently Work For Us

You don't need much to be location independent

 

Working anywhere in the world can be challenging although with the right equipment and attitude, it can be easy. Being location independent allows us to live and work anywhere we want to.

Hardware

Laptop / Notebook

A lightweight laptop / notebook that is still a decent size so that you can use a keyboard properly and view the screen without having to squint. This is very important. The new fandangled tablets that have come out are awesome as they are small and petite and great however neither of us can work on a 10" screen.

We recommend a laptop / notebook that is 12" or 13" in size. The laptop / notebook also needs to have enough usb ports to be able to plug numerous attachments at a time. (Not going into the MAC vs PC debate)

USB Wifi Extenders

Sometimes the wifi range at a hotel / guesthouse does not quite reach your location. Plugging in a wifi extender helps you connect to the internet easier. We love our wifi extenders. They have come in handy many times.

BearExtender for Mac
BearExtender for PC

Powerboard with USB ports

A two port powerboard with USB ports means that we can both have our laptop charging and at the same time we can charge a camera and iPhone. Our powerboard has Australian ports as we have Australian power cables.

It is best to get to a powerboard from your own country and then purchase a plug adapter to suit the country you are in at the time.

Universal 2 Port Surge Protected Power Board With 4 USB Ports

We use the a Jackson 2 Port Powerboard with 2 USB ports (surge protected) like this one (click here).

iPhone (or any other smart phone)

Crucial when choosing accommodation and restaurants to set up work time. Sometimes hotels / guesthouses claim to have wifi, we check often by the use of our iPhone. If we can connect to wifi on the phone we can certainly connect with our laptops. Always check that you can get to a website when trying the wifi on your smartphone.

 

There is always somewhere you can lock your Pacsafe to

Pacsafe Mesh

Our laptops and associated location independent equipment are locked up in the Pacsafe mesh whenever we leave our room. Very simple to use... put your little valuables in a bag, and your laptops in the mesh and then lock them all up to something that is hard to break. For example, a bed frame, slatted table, wardrobe cupboard door or our favourite, underneath the bathroom sink. Worth their weight in gold!

Click here for the Pacsafe Mesh found on Amazon.

Headphones (with music)

Listening to music whilst on your computer helps you tune out from everything that is around you. There is nothing worse than sitting in a cafe trying to work and there is screaming children around you. Putting yourself in a "musical zone" helps you stay focused.

Mini-wifi Router

A mini wifi router is very handy when a hotel / guesthouse only has a LAN connection available. Connecting the LAN cable into this little magical box means we can turn a LAN connection into our own wifi network for our laptops and iPhone. The router also works if you connect a USB 3G dongle into it, again sharing the wifi between both laptops and our iPhone.

Click here to see one similar to ours that is sold on Amazon.

Sturdy Internet Connection

Not quite hardware but very important. We can still do a lot of work "offline" but we still need to upload at some stage of our day. For us, being able to access the internet is very important so we choose accommodation and restaurants based on internet access.

Location of Work

A desk or two with chairs in our hotel / guest house room with wifi access is always an advantage, however, working at a restaurant, pub, communal living area is also easy.

Access to power when our laptops start to run out of battery is very handy but again, not important as we can always just recharge our laptops in our room till next time.

On a side note, we have found that there are public buses in the world that provide free wifi. You could always sit on a bus and work location independently. The view would be amazing, always changing!

Must Concentrate!

 

Software

Skype

We mainly use skype for video / phone calling to our family, friends and sometimes businesses around the world. Skype is awesome. Video / Phone calls are free if both parties have Skype accounts. If not, Skype offers very competitive rates to call "home". Other applications we use often is Google chat / video conference and occasionally Facebook video chat.

Paypal

Signing up to paypal has been priceless. Many companies accept payment from paypal these days which means we do not have to give Credit / Debit card details to every company we buy something from. This includes booking accommodation.

Paypal will have your credit card on record and will charge to your credit card for you. If, by any chance, the products or services you purchased do not arrive or are not satisfactory, you can submit a dispute claim with Paypal and they will happily solve the error for you.

Backing Up Your Computer / Data Storage

Google Storage is our friend. We upgraded our Google Storage to 80GB each for USD $20 per year. With this amount of "cloud storage" we back up our photos, documents, videos, music, everything, on a daily basis. Every photo we take is saved both on a laptop and online.

If something happens to one (or both) of our laptops, we have everything saved online so we won't lose anything. Other people use Dropbox or other backup programs. We just find it easier to use Google Cloud Storage as our email is already with Google.

 

What are you waiting for?
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7 comments

  1. Rob 6 February, 2012 at 11:08 Reply

    Great list… One thing I have found works well also is a large capacity USB stick to back up essential documents and photos, that way you have a pocket backup in case everything gets stolen or you need to transfer files quickly at an internet cafe.

    I have seen too many people get their cameras ripped off and never have a backup!

    • Tanya 7 February, 2012 at 11:40 Reply

      Hi Rob,
      Yes, we also have a large capacity USB stick with us although we don’t really use it for storage of photos etc. It is mainly used for movies πŸ™‚
      Generally, every second day we upload our photos straight into picasa so that they are backed up straight away.
      As a rule, we try to keep as less as possible on our laptops, camera etc, just in case something happens to it all. Then we have everything backed up from up to 2 days earlier.
      Thanks for posting! Tanya

  2. Cameron 27 May, 2013 at 20:04 Reply

    I’m thinking about a new laptop or a new bag to carry it/carry-on bag for general travel. What bag do you have? Does it have a special place for a laptop?

    Bear in mind that I want everything for no money.

    • Tanya 5 June, 2013 at 08:07 Reply

      I have the perfect solution for you. Grab yourself a smallish garbage bag, the ones that are really thick. Feel free to ask a local restaurant for one. Use that as your main bag. For your laptop case, the perfect solution for you is to use some bubble wrap. Steal some from a store full of crap. Put everything in your garbage bag, and wrap it up with a ball of string while making yourself some straps. Perfect solution for the man who has everything but wants nothing πŸ˜€

      ps. This is a joke, we know Cameron πŸ˜€

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