A white sandy beach, flip flops, sunglasses and a laptop. At first glance, this might be just another vacationer enjoying a little reprieve from the office. But take a closer look, because in today’s connected world, where the internet is all you need for an office, you might be looking at someone at work.
Technology has created a new frontier for today’s mobile professional, many of whom are making a living online armed with only a laptop and a smartphone. For some it’s a lifestyle, for others a chance to see the world while staying on top of their work at home. Either way, those with a sense of adventure, and the ability to stay connected, are embracing this new style of working.
But before you hoist anchor and set sail to join the ranks of the connected, here are three tips to ensure that you’re not working any harder than you need to be.
Open a bank account that doesn’t charge ATM fees
For many people, choosing where to bank is like choosing where to buy a house. It’s all about location, location, location.
However, when traveling, other factors exist, like opening a checking account that never charges ATM fees, such as the Schwab Bank High Yield Investor Checking Account.
Free to open with no minimum balance required, this Schwab account reimburses you for all ATM fees wherever you are in the world. With added benefits like mobile check deposits and no fees for external transfers, the Schwab checking account is a must have for traveling professionals.
Get a credit card with no foreign transaction fees
While cash is king in most parts of the world, credit cards are widely accepted by most major vendors. Whether you’re making a hotel reservation on the go, booking an Airbnb at the last minute, or buying an overnight train ticket from Paris to Rome, having a credit card while traveling abroad comes in handy. Yet, many credit card companies charge as much as 3% for purchases made outside the United States.
But using plastic while traveling doesn’t need to feel like death by a thousand credit card swipes. Instead, apply for a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, such as Bank of America’s Travel Rewards Visa. Besides no foreign transaction fees, this card offers a 0% APR on purchases made in the first 12 months and a $200 statement credit for travel purchases when you spend $1000 in the first 90 days.
Get a virtual mailbox
Who has time to worry about life’s stresses when you’re staring into the vastness of the Grand Canyon, or hiking the Machu Picchu, or booking an Airbnb in Tuscany? But, unfortunately, while you may have “gone fishin,” your mail never takes a break, leaving you in danger of missing that important tax receipt, bank statement, or utility bill. And no matter how many fish tales you come home with, you’ll be telling them in the dark if you forget to pay the electric bill.
But the solution is simpler than you might think. Rent a virtual mailbox, which allows you to stay on top of your mail no matter where you are. Starting at as little as $15 a month, getting a virtual mailbox through a company like Traveling Mailbox, the sponsor of this post, gives you an actual street address to receive mail. When mail arrives, you’ll get an email with a picture of the front of the letter, which you then can choose to have opened and the pages scanned so that you can read them online. You’ll soon wonder why you ever used your home address in the first place.
For an additional fee, most virtual mailbox providers also offer additional services like sending and receiving faxes, mail forwarding and check depositing. In many ways, having a virtual mailbox is like having a virtual assistant.
So whether you’re setting off on an amazing race around the world, studying yoga in India, or just spending a few weeks in Yellowstone, to stay connected, it pays to plan ahead.
Blog Posting Written by Matthew Allabastro