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  • What You Need to Know about Canada’s Super-Strict Anti-Spam Law

    Monday, September 25, 2017 by

    Canada AntiSpam LawWhat Canada's Anti-Spam Law Means for Your Email Marketing Program

    Heads up, American online business owners! Our neighbors to the north now have one of the toughest new anti-spam laws in the world. Canada's government has been phasing it in gradually, and if and when the final provisions are fully implemented, individual spam recipients in Canada will be able to sue businesses for breaking the law. That means you need to know the rules for email marketing to Canadian customers and clients. Before we delve into the details of email marketing to Canada, if you're not seeking Canadian customers already, now's a good time to ask yourself why not—especially if you plan to expand into other countries later on. US-based businesses earn about a third of Canadian consumers' cross-border purchases, and Canada's total e-commerce spend will reach $50 billion within two years. With a shared language in much of the country and similar holidays, it's a good “starter” market for international sales expansion – as long as you play by the digital marketing rules. Recommended WordPress Hosting

    What are the differences between US and Canadian anti-spam laws?

    Each country's anti-spam rules are detailed and cover a lot more ground in legal language than we can cover in a short article. Here are the main points for comparison. In the US, the CAN-SPAM law, which stands for Controlling the Assault of Non-Solicited Pornography and Marketing:
    • Applies only to marketing emails sent by businesses to consumers.
    • Puts the burden on email recipients to opt out of receiving messages they don't want.
    • Doesn't go into details about marketing emails sent to American recipients from outside the US, according to Canadian law firm McMillan LLP . North of the border, it's a different story.
    • Requires an unsubscribe process that can take multiple steps to complete.
    • Can result in fines of up to about $40,000 per violation.
    Meanwhile, Canada's Anti-Spam Law (CASL):
    • Requires senders to contact only people who have opted in to receive marketing messages or who have an existing, recent business relationship with the sender.
    • Applies to all marketing messages that are sent or accessed on Canada-based computer systems, meaning that the messages into Canada from abroad are subject to CASL.
    • Covers all forms of electronic direct marketing, including texts, voicemails, videos, and images to both consumer and business recipients.
    • Requires a faster, more streamlined unsubscribe process than CAN-SPAM.
    • Prohibits installation of software on recipients' devices without their permission.
    • Assigns “potential vicarious liability for directors and officers of corporations and employers of employees acting within the scope of their employment.”
    • Can result in penalties of as much as $10 million for corporations found in violation of CASL.
    CAN-SPAM has been around in the US since 2003. CASL is more recent and has been phased in since 2014. CASL's final phase – allowing individual spam recipients to sue senders – was supposed to take effect this summer. However, the Canadian government put it on hold for further review, saying it was concerned about the regulatory burden on businesses and nonprofits.  

    How can you stay on the right side of Canada's anti-spam rules?

    Compliance is important, not only for legal reasons but also because your email marketing service and  web host may close your accounts if you get flagged as a spammer. In general, if you follow CASL's stricter rules you're also probably CAN-SPAM compliant, although you should check with your business attorney if you have questions. Just remember that basic courtesy can help your business stay on the right side of your recipients—on both sides of the border:
    • Only send marketing messages to people you've done business with within the past two years or who have asked to join your list. This should keep you within CASL's implied consent time frame, and anyone who hasn't followed up with you after two years is likely no longer interested.
    • Identify your business clearly in all your marketing messages.
    • Ask prospects and customers to opt in to your marketing messages by entering their email address or checking a permission box on your sign-up form (like the ones detailed in this email marketing how-to post).
    • Be transparent. It's not good business to bury marketing consent in your terms and conditions, and in Canada it's not legal to do so.
    • Include an opt-out tool with every message you send, whether by email or text, and make it easy to use. This not only keeps you compliant with CASL's detailed opt-out rules and CAN-SPAM's more general ones, it also sets you apart from the “wrong direction” trend of retailers who are making it harder for email recipients to opt out.
    • Comply with opt-out requests quickly.
    • If you outsource or don't directly oversee your company's email and text marketing programs, make sure you check in regularly with your contractors or managers to ensure their programs are both CAN-SPAM and CASL compliant.
    Making sure your emails and texts comply with CASL takes some time, but the investment can pay off in the form of new customers--plus cross-border marketing and sales experience you can use to expand into even more markets abroad later on.
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  • 33 Types of Side Hustles

    Thursday, September 14, 2017 by

    Types of Side Hustles

    Find Your Side Hustle

    The average household in the United States has about $16,000 in credit card debt. Americans like to spend, but too often aren’t making enough for the amount of stuff they’re buying. One solution a growing number of people are turning to is the side hustle. Side hustles are ways to make some extra money on top of your full-time job. If you can find something you’re good at that people are willing to pay for, you can make money in your free time to supplement whatever you get in your work paycheck. Businesses have developed a number of platforms devoted to helping match people willing to do a lot of different types of work with people that need it. With the help of these platforms, about 10% of people have become participants in the gig economy. If you could use a little extra money each month and are considering a side hustle, here are some of the options to consider. HostGator Website Builder

    1.    Rideshare Driving

    One of the first and biggest side hustle opportunities to come onto the scene was working as a rideshare driver, and it remains a common choice. The popular apps Uber and Lyft, as well as a number of regional alternatives, help people needing a ride find drivers willing to provide one. Some rideshare drivers even treat it as their main job, but you can do it in your off hours as a side hustle.  

    2.    Pet Sitting

    When people with pets travel, they have to leave their pets somewhere – and many people would prefer their beloved animals to stay in the home of a pet lover rather than being crowded in with others at a kennel. Rover lets potential pet sitters create profiles on the site so people needing somewhere to leave their dogs and cats can book with you.  

    pet sitting side hustle3.    Dog Walking

    People are busy and sometimes it’s hard to get high-energy dogs out for walks as often as they need them. If you like the idea of making money by walking dogs, sites like Wag (and the aforementioned Rover) will help match you up with people looking for help. You can get healthier and make some extra cash at the same time.  

    4.    Vacation Rentals

    If you have extra space in your house or a property you don’t use full-time, listing it on HomeAway and AirBnb could be a good way to supplement your income. People will pay to stay somewhere more comfortable than a hotel with more useful amenities, like a kitchen and washer and dryer.  

    5.    House Sitting

    When people travel, they often worry about leaving their house unattended. They need their plants watered, their mail brought in, and to know their home is safe and sound throughout their trip. That’s where house sitters come in. You can get paid to stay at someone else’s home in their absence and take care of their stuff. House Sitters America and Trusted House Sitters can help you find people needing house-sitting help.  

    6.    Food Delivery

    A number of services will hire drivers to deliver groceries and takeout to customers. If you don’t mind driving around town, you can sign up to make money delivering food with Instacart, Shipt, Doordash or one of the other food delivery services out there.  

    7.    Selling Handmade Items

    If you’re good at making anything homemade that people are likely to want to buy – that could be crafts, clothes, jewelry, soap, you name it – you can make some extra money selling them. Etsy makes it easy to get started with an online store so interested buyers can start finding the items you make.  

    8.    Selling Your Old Stuff

    You probably have some stuff around the house you never use and don’t need. Some of that stuff could be something that other people are interested in buying. Go through your rooms and closets to see what you can find that’s likely to attract a buyer. Sites like ebay and Craigslist let you list just about anything, while some sites focus more on specific types of items like Poshmark for clothes and TIAS for antiques and collectibles.  

    9.    Selling Your Art

    If you’re a creative, you can do what you love in your spare time and look for buyers (or renters) on sites like Creative Mart and TurningArt. It’s not easy to make a living as an artist, but the internet makes it easier than it used to be to make some money on the side for your art.  

    rideshare driving side hustle10. Renting Your Car

    If you don’t use your car all that often, you can make money by letting other people use it with the help of sites like Getaround and Turo.  

    11. Renting your Parking Space

    In many cities, a parking space is a valuable commodity. You can rent yours out during the times you’re not using it to make some extra cash with Just Park and Parqex.  

    12. Renting Your Clothes

    If you’re into fashion and have a closetful of nice clothes in good condition, StyleLend can help you find people willing to pay to rent items in your closet.  

    13. Babysitting

    The go-to way many people used to make extra cash in their teens is still an option in adulthood. Parents are always in need of people to watch their kids when they go out.  Sitter City and Urban Sitter can help you find babysitting opportunities.  

    14.  Housecleaning

    Some people hate cleaning the house, or simply find it hard to keep up with when busy. If you don’t mind cleaning and are good at it, you can make some money on the side by cleaning your neighbors’ houses. Housekeeper.com is a good place to start finding clients.  

    house sitting side hustle15. Chores and Errands

    TaskRabbit lets people list a range of tasks they need help with and are willing to pay people for. From running errands, to assembling furniture, to making home improvements, you can make extra cash by helping people out with various things they have trouble doing on their own.  

    16. Tutoring

    Plenty of kids need help in school – and some adults need help in learning things like coding or foreign languages. Wyzant and ClassGap help tutors and people needing tutors find each other.  

    17. Consumer Surveys

    A lot of companies find value in what they can learn from surveys. You can cash in on that by participating in consumer surveys. Swagbucks will provide you with surveys that pay.  

    18. Design T-shirts

    Have a t-shirt idea you think could sell? There are a number of sites that allow you to design t-shirts that people can buy, letting you keep a portion of the profits. Cafepress and Spreadshirt are a couple of options to try.  

    19.  Tech Support

    Are you the one that always gets called when a friend or family member is struggling with computer problems? If so, you can start making money by providing tech support to people willing to actually pay for that help. HelloTech matches people that know technology with people that need help.  

    20.  Interior Decorating

    If you loved designing the interior of your own home and constantly get compliments on it, then you can make money helping other people design their homes. Try Decorist and Havenly to start finding clients.  

    21.  Professional Organizing

    Some people are just bad at organizing things. And some of those people are willing to pay others to come in and make their messy desks, cabinets, and garages into a cleaner, more organized space. While there’s not a platform just for professional organizers yet, you can use one like TaskRabbit or create your own website to promote your services.  

    22. Voice Acting

    Businesses need voice actors for ads, audio guides, video narration and more. If you have the right equipment and a strong voice, you can make money on sites like VoiceBunny and Voices.com.  

    23. Transcription

    Sometimes people need to take audio recordings and write out everything that was said, and often they’re willing to pay someone to do the work for them. You can find transcription work with TranscribeMe.  

    brainstorm side hustle24. Translation

    If you’re fluent in more than one language, then you can make some side money providing translation services. Give MotaWord and Unbabel a look.  

    25.  Car Advertising

    Make money during your daily commute by letting companies use your car to advertise their businesses. Wrapify and Carvertise help companies find people willing to let their cars get wrapped in advertisements for pay.  

    26. Affiliate Marketing

    If you have a popular blog (or are willing to put the work in to create one), by including links in your posts to businesses that have affiliate programs, you can start making money for the referrals your website sends their way. Do some research into affiliate programs relevant to what you write about get signed up.  

    27. Give Tours

    Travelers often appreciate a local perspective of the places they visit. With sites like Tours by Locals and Vayable, you can be the one providing that perspective while making some extra money at the same time.  

    28. Proofreading and Editing

    Are you good at catching typos and grammatical errors? You can pick up some proofreading and editing work as a way to make extra money. There’s not a good platform devoted specifically to proofreading and editing, but you can create a website or use sites like Upwork to get started.  

    29.  Cooking

    If you love to cook and your friends are always thrilled with what you make for them when they come over, you can make meals for strangers to increase your monthly income. Feastly and Bon Appetour both let chefs create a menu for a hosted dinner that consumers can buy tickets to.  

    30. Selling Ideas

    We’ve covered most of the types of physical items you can sell, but there are a couple of ways to sell your ideas as well. You can get paid to help companies come up with names on Name Station. And you can help companies and organizations solve problems on Innocentive.  

    31. Peer to Peer Loans

    This is the kind of side hustle that requires you to have money to make money, but if you can afford it, peer-to-peer loans can earn you regular interest. Prosper and Lending Club are some sites that enable investments in peer-to-peer loans.  

    32.  Personal Trainer

    If fitness is one of your passions and you have the skills to help other people craft better workouts and meal plans, look into providing services as a personal trainer for some extra cash. You can find clients in your town or provide virtual training with GymGo.  

    33. Help people move.

    Everybody with a truck knows how it feels to be that guy – you know, the one who always gets a call anytime someone you’re acquainted with needs help moving. You can finally be that guy for pay with the sites Buddytruk and GoShare. Instead of helping people out for beer, get some actual cash.   A lot of people start out doing some of these side hustles and become so successful they turn it into a full-time business. If you find yourself nearing that point, you can cut out the middleman and set up your own website to start finding clients. It will legitimize your business and give you more power to set your prices and keep more of your earnings. In the meantime, try out the side hustle that most appeals to you and see how you like it.
  • 23 Resources for Side Hustlers

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by
    Resources for Side Hustlers

    23 Blogs and Podcasts to Help You with Your Side Hustle

    Side hustles aren’t anything new. People have always looked for (and found) ways to make a little money on the side to supplement whatever they made at their main job. But the rise of the gig economy and the development of new technology platforms that match people wanting to make money with people willing to pay for a wide range of services has made side hustling into a significant part of the economy. About 10% of people in the United States participate in the gig economy in some form or another. If you’re considering joining the fray and starting a side hustle to pay off those loans faster or make some extra spending money, here are a few good resources to help you get started. HostGator Website Builder

    Resources for Finding Your Side Hustle

    If you’re at the stage of figuring out exactly what you want to do and how this whole side hustle thing even works, there are a number of resources that tackle the general subject of having a side hustle.  

    1. Side Hustle School

    Side Hustle School consists of a daily podcast, in-person workshops, and a book that’s coming out soon. It’s a comprehensive, multi-format project to help people figure out how to develop a successful side hustle.  

    2. Side Hustle Nation

    brainstorm side hustleSide Hustle Nation is a podcast and blog filled with advice on how to build a side hustle. The site offers side hustle business ideas, information on how to get a side hustle business set up, and tips on how to promote and manage your side hustle to make more.  

    3. Side Hustle Pro

    Side Hustle Pro is a podcast focused on black women entrepreneurs that started a side hustle and turned it into a profitable business. For those who could use some inspiration by hearing stories of people that have already developed a successful side hustle, this podcast is a good resource.  

    4. Side Hustle Show

    The Side Hustle Show is a podcast that covers tips and actionable advice about starting a part-time business. The topics on the podcast are fairly wide ranging, covering information on passive income, freelancing, self-publishing and more.  

    5. Ryan Robinson

    Ryan Robinson has a podcast and blog devoted to advice on building a side hustle and interviews with people have that have done so successfully. You can learn tips on getting started, advice on how to market your business, and insights from side hustle success stories.  

    Side Hustle Resources for Managing Your Time and Money

    6. Penny Hoarder

    Penny Hoarder is another personal finance site that includes a section devoted to Side Gigs. Their posts can help you figure out new ways to make money and advice on how to keep more of the money you make from your side hustles.  

    managing side hustle budget7. Believe in a Budget

    Kristen Larsen has a blog and guide that provide useful information on how to start and maintain a side hustle. She collects ideas for different side hustles people can try and provides tips from her own experience building a side hustle business.  

    8. Two Inboxes

    Two Inboxes is a podcast produced by Forbes featuring interviews with people who manage multiple roles at once (hence the need for more than one inbox). The interviews get into the different types of work that guests do, as well as learning how to balance multiple types of work at one time.  

    9. Budgets are Sexy

    Budgets are Sexy is a blog that covers a range of personal finance topics. What makes them especially relevant to this post is their Side Hustle Series, which covers a wide range of ways people can make money on the side.  

    Side Hustle Resources for Rideshare Drivers

    10. The Rideshare Guy

    Harry, the Rideshare Guy, got into rideshare driving early and started his site as a way to provide useful information to other drivers. He’s become one of the foremost experts on learning the ropes and making money as a rideshare driver.  

    rideshare driving side hustle11. Rideshare Apps

    Rideshare Apps is a site and community that covers industry news and promotions, and provides training resources to help new rideshare drivers learn how to maximize their profits.  

    12. Ridester

    Ridester is a blog that answers common rideshare questions and covers promotions from rideshare companies.  

    13. Rideshare Report

    Rideshare Report is another site with a blog that covers industry news and promotions. It also includes a forum where rideshare drivers can learn from and interact with each other.  

    Side Hustle Resources for House Sitters

    14. We Love House Sitting

    We Love House Sitting provides articles with tips on how to be a successful house sitter, which networks help you find clients, and advice on skills you may need when working as a house sitter – like taking care of dogs and landscaping.  

    house sitting side hustle15. Hecktic Travels

    Hecktic Travels is a travel website with a lot of information on how to find and take advantage of house sitting opportunities while you travel. The couple behind the site promote good house sitting opportunities they come across and sell an ebook on how to become a house sitter.  

    16. Housesitting Magazine

    Housesitting Magazine is both a print magazine and a website with information about house sitting. They provide comparisons of different house sitting platforms, recommendations for books about house sitting, advice on creating a good house sitting profile and more.  

    Side Hustle Resources for Vacation Rentals

    17. The Abundant Host

    The Abundant Host is a blog that’s all about how to be a successful host on Airbnb. The blog covers best practices, mistakes to avoid, and tools Airbnb hosts can take advantage of to get more from the site.  

    vacation rental side hustle18. Get Paid for Your Pad

    Get Paid for Your Pad is a book, blog, and podcast all about making money by renting out your property. They provide information on things like getting your listing just right, how to handle cancellations, and how to encourage good reviews.  

    19. Pillow

    Pillow is a blog that provides advice for people who offer vacation rentals. They cover topics like hiring a cleaning service for your rental, security tips, and vacation rental trends it’s good to be aware of.  

    20. Laptop Landlord

    Laptop Landlord provides a guide that covers Airbnb tips and best practices. It covers both the basics that newbies need to know and tips for getting more out of your listing once you’re established.  

    Side Hustle Resources for Dog Sitters

    21. Rover

    One of the main platforms for matching pet sitters with pet owners, Rover is also one of the best sources of useful information for pet sitters. They provide guides on getting started, training tips, and knowledge on keeping dogs in your care safe.  

    pet sitting side hustle22. 101Petsitting

    101Petsitting offers a blog with pet sitting tips, resources that cover important topics like pet sitting insurance and first aid, and a community of pet sitters you can join to learn from other people’s experiences.  

    23. Petsit.com

    The Pet Sitters International blog provides information on home pet care, pet safety, and how to run a pet sitting business. Starting a side hustle requires work and knowledge, but it provides more freedom in how you earn your money and what kind of options you have in life. And many people who start side hustles manage to turn them into their main job over time. If you’re ready to become a side hustler, take advantage of the knowledge of people who have been there and spend some time learning before you get started.
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  • 5 Ways You Can Make Money Blogging

    Monday, September 11, 2017 by
    Make Money Blogging

    How To Make Money With Your Blog

    You’ve heard it’s possible to make money blogging, but you can’t seem to figure out how it works. Creating a blog and writing posts is doable, you can work out that part well enough. But how do you turn that into income? The first thing you should understand is that it’s competitive. There are a lot of blogs and making money blogging isn’t easy. And even before you get to the point of monetizing your blogging, just keeping up with producing regular content is hard – no matter how much you love what you’re writing about. But if you’re still with us now that the warnings are out of the way, making money blogging is possible. You should expect it to take some time and a lot of work, but here’s how other people do it. Create Your Blog

    1. Be an affiliate marketer.

    Affiliate marketing is when someone who produces popular content (often on a blog, but it can also be on YouTube or another social media platform) includes references and links in their content to products from relevant companies. When those links lead to purchases, the content creator gets a portion of the profits. A few things have to fall into place for affiliate marketing to work:
    • You have to have a following – if no one’s reading your stuff, then there’s no one to click on your affiliate links.
    • Your readers have to trust you – if they think you’re just making recommendations for the money, they’re unlikely to follow the links and make a purchase.
    • You have to find relevant companies with affiliate marketing programs – If you write about movies and try to shoehorn links for fitness products into your blog posts, you’re unlikely to find much success. The products you promote have to be a good fit for your audience.
    Building a following isn’t easy. You’ll need to create great content consistently, promote your blog to people in your target audience to get on their radar, and engage with your audience enough to build trust. And even if you do all that, a certain amount of success falls to luck. But if you can get to that point, affiliate marketing can start to net you some extra income. Learn more about HostGator's affiliate program here!  

    2. Run ads on your blog.

    Another option you have is to make money the way major online media properties do: with ads. You’ve probably noticed a lot of the blogs you visit show ads show alongside the content. blog with ads Those ads make the blog owners money based on the number of impressions and/or clicks they get. You can pretty easily get started making money on your own blog by setting up an account with Google AdSense. Fill out their application, tell them the type of ads you’re interested in, and add the HTML code they provide to your website. The amount you can make with ads depends on how many visitors you get and how many of them click on the ads. You shouldn’t expect the payoff to be big – you need a lot of traffic and clicks for it to add up to much and Google won’t cut you a check until your account reaches $100, which will take a while. A lot of bloggers don’t recommend using ads at all since they can distract people from your content and, if you use too many, they can make your website look less authoritative and clutter your design. But, if you’re careful about how you incorporate them into the design and don’t set your expectations too high for the amount you expect them to make you, ads can be a good way to make a little extra cash from blogging.  

    3. Accept donations.

    Another option you have once you’ve started to build up a following is to make it easy for your readers to provide donations. You can include a subtle (but noticeable) donation link at the top of your page and a virtual tip jar at the bottom of each post: blog patron requestask for donations on blog As with the other options we’ve mentioned, this isn’t a sure way to a solid income, but if your readers really appreciate your content, you may get a few extra bucks here and there this way. You could also consider setting up a Patreon account that provides rewards or exclusive content to readers that commit to donating a set amount (even if just $1) each month. Many content creators have found success with Patreon and it brings the added benefit of providing you with an idea of how much you can expect to make on a monthly basis. patreon acount for blog

    4. Create information products.

    One way bloggers make money is by using the blog as a marketing tool to sell products. The type of product that often feels like the most natural extension of what you do as a blogger is information products like ebooks, courses, or tutorials. If you have enough knowledge on the topic you write about and know learning more about it can be valuable enough to your audience to pay for that knowledge, then consider becoming an infopreneur. For this to work, you have to put the work in to create really strong information products that are worth charging for. Like any business, starting an infopreneur business takes a lot of time and work. But if you choose to go this route, your blog can become a valuable tool to attract people to the knowledge products you have to sell.  

    5. Become a freelance blogger.

    Content marketing has become big business in recent years and lots of companies need a constant stream of fresh blog content. The downside to becoming a freelance blogger is that you can’t be too picky about what you write about – you probably can’t get businesses to pay you for blog posts about your passion for romance novels or video games. But the good news is that it’s one of the best ways on this list for blogging to actually make you a living, rather than just a few bucks here and there. Working as a freelancer isn’t for everyone, but if you want to make a living as a blogger for hire, it may be a good fit for you. Start reading up on content marketing and get to work building a website and looking for your first clients. Like the other options on this list, this isn’t an easy way to make money, but it’s one more likely to lead to bigger returns than depending on the pennies you generate from ads or the dollar here and there from donations. If writing is your dream and you’re prepared to put in the work, you can make money blogging. But you’ll have an easier time building to the point where you’re earning an income if you have realistic expectations going in. Don’t expect a sustainable income overnight and know you may not be able to stick with subjects you’re most passionate about if you want to get paid. But with the right approach, blogging can pay off in real cash.
  • Working From Anywhere: Getting Started

    Monday, September 4, 2017 by

    How to Work From Anywhere

    Enjoy a Successful Workcation by Answering These 5 Questions

    Part of the appeal of running an online business is the freedom from being anchored to a particular location. Another plus is that your online business can help fund your travel. Before you strike out for a working vacation, there are a few things to plan and do for a productive and relaxing experience. Use this guide to make sure you can reach your clients and customers, get your work done, stay on budget, and enjoy yourself while you're working (far) away from home. Create Your Blog

    1. What does “work from anywhere” mean to you?

    “Working from anywhere” covers a range of possibilities from writing copy at the local roller rink (true story) to consulting with clients during your month in the Caribbean to roaming the globe for years while teaching online. In this article, we'll focus on working remotely within in your own country or abroad for a relatively short period of time. Most countries issue travel visas for up to three months, so consider that a good upper limit for getting started. If you're interested in fully embracing the nomad-worker lifestyle -- moving from country to country for months or even years while you work -- you may want to take a few practice trips using these tips before you level up.

    2. How will you connect with your customers or clients?

    Where you go determines how you make calls and get online while you're away from your home base. Phone and internet access If you're traveling domestically, your phone and internet access shouldn't change much, but you may want to check the strength of wireless coverage and speed of internet access with your hotel, landlord, or home-stay host before you go. When you're going abroad, make sure you'll have a working phone and reliable internet. For international voice, text, and data, you can buy an in-country access plan from your US carrier and use your existing phone and SIM card overseas. These plans aren't cheap, though. For example, AT&T's Passport packages range from $40 per month for 200MB of data to $120 per month for 800MB of data and voice calls priced from $1 to 35 cents per minute. If you'll be out of WiFi hotspot range frequently or make a lot of calls, the international add-on option may not be cost-effective. If you just want a backup plan and the cost isn't an issue, an add-on package is an easy way to get access abroad, although it's a good idea to find out which in-country network they partner with and confirm coverage at your destination. That's important because in some countries, reliable cell service is limited to cities and major tourist areas. If you're going off the beaten path, you may need to find other options. Work-abroad author Kathleen Peddicord's recommendation for travelers is to buy a local prepaid SIM card for your unlocked phone as soon as you arrive in your destination country in order to have a local number and inexpensive wireless service. However, with the local SIM card in your phone, your US phone number won't work. For that reason, some work-abroad travelers follow travel writer Rick Steves' suggestion to pick up a separate prepaid phone when they arrive or keep a separate unlocked phone just for in-country use. For those times when you need to work on your laptop with internet access, in-country co-working spaces, coffee shops, and hotels can cover you for free or with a paid pass. HotelWiFiTest is a handy tool for checking WiFi speed and pricing at hotels worldwide. To protect your business data, it's a good idea to use a VPN like the one that comes for free with the Opera browser. Power supplies and reliability Headed overseas? You may need to buy a plug adapter and maybe a voltage converter for your laptop and phone. Research power reliability before you go, too. You're unlikely to face outages in major cities, but rural areas and less-developed locales may have power outages often enough to disrupt your work. Time zones If your business is based in North America and you keep regular office hours, the Caribbean and Central and South America are probably your best options for working vacations, thanks to the time zones. People can and do work abroad from Europe and Asia with clients in the US, but it takes more planning and careful management of your client's communication expectations to pull that off.  

    3. What about emergencies?

    It's always smart to be prepared in case of a professional or personal emergency, and a little planning before you go can save you serious hassles on the road. Professional emergency planning Keep the customer service numbers for your web host, shipping carrier, and merchant bank with you. Upload copies of any work-related documents you create while you're away to the cloud so you can reach them even if you lose your laptop or phone. If have employees back home, establish a reliable way to contact each other if something weird comes up. Better yet, delegate local mini-crisis management to a trusted employee before you go. Personal preparedness Even if you're not leaving the country, it's a good idea to touch base with your health insurer to learn your options if you need care while you're traveling. Most US-based insurers cover emergency care abroad, but you'll have to pay out of pocket up front and then file a claim. For more coverage while you're abroad, comparison shop travel insurance providers or use InsureMyTrip to find quotes. You may be surprised by how much inexpensive travel medical coverage is. For example, coverage for a month in Panama would cost me between $43 and $50. At that price, there's no reason to skip coverage, especially because travel medical policies usually include medical evacuation coverage – a huge savings in the unlikely event that you have a serious problem and need to get home for extended medical care.  

    4. Are your travel documents in order?

    For international working vacations, you'll need your passport and you may need a visa. Whether that's a tourist or work visa also depends on the rules of your destination country. Benny Lewis, an online language instructor who's been working while traveling for more than a decade, has written about how online work is tricky to categorize when you travel. In general, if you're not earning money from clients in your destination country, you're not “working.” Ultimately it's up to you to make sure you stay on the right side of the rules, so check before you go.  

    5. How will you access your money?

    Between international ATM fees imposed by your bank and foreign exchange fees levied by your credit card, you can end up spending more than you expect on every transaction abroad. To avoid these fees, look for cards and accounts that don't charge for foreign transactions and withdrawals. Nerdwallet, Kathleen Peddicord and the New York Times Charles Schwab's checking account options for no-fee international ATM withdrawals. For credit cards, Nerdwallet offers a yearly list of the best foreign-transaction-fee-free options. Business income is another thing to plan ahead. If your shop has a merchant account or if your clients pay you through PayPal or direct deposit, you're already set. If your clients pay by check and you'll be away from home for more than one billing cycle, move them to an electronic payment method before you head out.   Your “workcation” can give you a much-needed change of scene, let you catch up with distant friends and family, or help you preview a place where you might like to move later —all while earning an income. By following these steps, it can be a relatively low-stress, high-reward experience that gets easier every time you take your business on the road.
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