Ruth from Piglet’s House teaches English in China. A quick scan of the home page of her blog and you can guess right away what she likes to do most, Travel! We share a passion.
I love traveling, who doesn’t?! I believe it’s a gift we should all embrace as much as we can. Research has shown that people who invest their money in gaining experiences enriching their lives instead of possessions are happier people . I try to follow that as much as I can and keep that notion in mind.
You might say that traveling is too expensive and therefore you don’t do it a lot. It’s ok to think this way but when you think about the research just quoted it puts things in perspective. To say it more directly: Instead of investing in a new car, newest phone that you need to upgrade endlessly, have a vacation with your family with the money you save.
But still, I’m not here to preach on what people should be spending their money on, but trying to help getting most out of your startup life.
So, how is this related to entrepreneurship at all?!
Working remotely can also be a great positive experience for a you in a startup either by yourself or by going with the whole team to work in an exotic place for a couple of months (These guys have been to Honk Kong, Tel Aviv and probably a bunch of other places. I’m not following…)
A couple of people I know take the advantage of working remotely just to enjoy a warmer winter, as Beijing tends to go as low as -15C (today is a -4C warm day…).
Working remotely is certainly a great option, especially when you establish your company and work in a small team. It raises some questions but generally it’s a good vibe.
I don’t care, my company pays for my flights!
Well you are right, this post may not be for you but…
What can you do if you bootstrap? Get those flight for free!
If you are from the US, Canada or Australia consider yourself lucky, you are in a great position for Travel Hacking.
Travel hacking is done at its best by getting most of your travel miles/points/some-awkward-name-marketing-department-chose, when you apply for different credit cards and use them for your daily expenses. You don’t need to use it all the time, you normally only need to hit a certain minimum.
There are many resources out there to learn how to do it, and the main ones are:
- The Frugal Travel Guy
- Nomadic Matt
- View From the Wing
- One Mile at a Time
- Loyalty Traveler
- Mommy Points
It all sounds nice, right? Fly for free or almost free and even get to sleep at the best hotels…yes! For free!
What if I’m not An american, Aussie, or Canadian?
Most of the travel hacking is done by applying for credit cards on special occasions and earn maximum points as explained. The problem with that is if you don’t have a social security number (SSN), you can’t apply for all of those cards! That sucks!
Chris Guillebeau who wrote “100$ Startup” (which is on my reading list) even posted on this problem.
It’s a bad post, must say (Sorry Chris, I’m not convinced). It’s outdated, and doesn’t really bring real solutions to the problem. I’ve tried twitting some of the “experts” mentioned above a couple of times asking for solutions. So far not so good…
But I’m working on my startup so why travel? isn’t that out of focus?
It’s certainly not!
Working in an environment that you actually enjoy being in, helps your creativity and focus. Using today’s tools for remote working, I don’t see a reason not to use it.
Want to save on travel expenses? Want to be able to work remotely from wherever. Then start applying for travel hacking deals.
Don’t have a SSN? it’s a problem.
Join me, and tweet those guys. perhaps it’s a matter of raising awareness on this matter.
Update: After I finished working on this post I spoke with Clint from triphackr.com, who gave an interesting solution. It’s not ideal though must say, so him and me are still looking for real deals for the ones with no SSN.
Now over to you
Already doing travel hacking or working remotely? What’s your experience like? Is it working? Which tools are you using to make it smooth and workable, especially if you are working in a team.
image credit by Giorgio Montersino