I rarely take real vacations, but I do travel often. Since I'm a freelancer, my work can, and does, travel with me.
Case in point: I recently took a trip to Seoul, South Korea on a whim, to see my brother compete in the CrossFit Asia Regionals. Because this trip was sort of last minute, I didn't really have time to block out "vacation" time (that's where I try to finish a bunch of projects before the trip so I don't have to work during the trip). Instead, I relied on in-flight Wi-Fi, a plethora of mobile devices and apps, and sheer willpower to get my work done — even while overseas, jet-lagged, and at a CrossFit competition.
Getting work done on the go is actually pretty easy these days, but it's a lot easier if you have the right apps. You've probably seen "road warrior" app suggestions before, but you'll need an entirely different toolset if you're working in the air and overseas, because many of the typical apps won't work without a cellular connection. I found seven apps that are essential for the international road warrior.
Of all the dozens of travel-planning apps, TripIt (free for Android, iOS, BlackBerry, and Windows Phone) is my go-to for two reasons: It keeps all of my travel plans and itineraries organized and in one place, and it's accessible offline. That second reason is particularly important when I'm traveling internationally, because not all airports have readily available Wi-Fi hotspots.
If you've never used TripIt, you're missing out. At its core, it's really just a simple organization app that gathers your various travel plans in one place, like flight numbers, and hotel and car rental reservations. You can either input these details manually, or use TripIt's ultra-convenient "email itinerary" feature, where you link your email account to the app and forward all relevant plans to a special TripIt email address. TripIt can also identify travel-related emails that appear in your inbox and automatically update your itineraries.
What I like about TripIt is that you can access it offline — well, most of the time. To ensure you'll be able to get your trip info when you leave your carrier's network, you should open up your itinerary while you're still connected so that the info is freshly stored. Later, when you get to your final destination, you should have no problem pulling up the itinerary offline. TripIt also sends email notifications if your flight is delayed, which is a great feature. For $49 per year, TripIt Pro adds more features, including notifications by text message, which are virtually useless if you happen to be in another country with a CDMA phone.
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