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Do web developers travel?
April 20, 2022
Do web developers travel? A lot of people are looking for jobs that don’t tie them down to one place. The rise of the internet has made remote work a real possibility, and it’s becoming more and more common for people to simply travel while they work, instead of using vacation time.
Web developer seems like a job that lends itself to that kind of lifestyle. But do web developers travel? The answer is more complicated than you might think. Keep reading to find out more about web developers and travel.
Do Web Developers Travel
It really depends on what kind of web developer they are. Many web developers for companies that design and build websites, and these companies often prefer their employees to work together in the same building.
In addition, many companies simply hire their own web developers to build and maintain their own websites. In these cases, they might like to have their developer in the building so they can respond quickly to any website-related needs.
While these web developers are free to travel during their vacations and on the weekends, they can’t travel during the week when they’re working. Some companies allow their web developers to work remotely, while other developers are freelancers. It’s these developers who have the most freedom to travel.
Different Kinds Of Web Developers
Web developers are all doing, essentially, the same job. They’re writing the code that creates websites, including the various apps and functions that each website will need to run. That work can be done from anywhere in the world. Since it’s all done via the internet, you can create a website for somebody on the other side of the world.
Many web developers work for companies that require their employees to work together in the same building. There are good reasons for this. If you’re collaborating with other web developers on a project, it’s nice to be able to do that in person. Sometimes a company just doesn’t like relying on digital communication, and they prefer to be able to walk to your desk and talk to you in person.
Sometimes a company simply has a web developer on staff to create and maintain their own website, as part of their IT department. In these cases they often like to have you on site to quickly respond to any needs.
Of course, sometimes they just don’t trust their employees enough to let them work remotely. Freelance web developers can and do work from anywhere. Since they’re self-employed, they may work from home, and most of them don’t bother with the added overhead costs of an office space.
What A Web Developer Needs To Do Their Work
A web developer can do their work from almost anywhere, provided they have what they need. There are some specific requirements for doing your work as a web developer, and they do impose some limits on where you can work from.
If you want to know do web developers travel, first you need to understand what it takes to do their job.
A Reliable Computer
Any web developer needs a computer that will work reliably. Since they can’t do any of their work without a computer, this is clearly an important need. You don’t necessarily need the most powerful laptops, with the fastest processors and the nicest screens. You just need one that works consistently, doesn’t crash easily, and you’ll probably want decent battery life.
That means you don’t need to pay for a top of the line, high end laptop if you don’t want to. And if you’re going to be traveling a lot, you may want to focus on affordability and durability more than high-end specs. It’s also a good idea to invest in some extra batteries and a good protective case.
A Reliable Internet Connection
This is the real limiting factor in your ability to travel as a web developer. To do your job, you need a strong, reliable internet connection. First, because all of your work is done on the internet. You can’t really develop a website if you can’t access the website.
The strength of the connection isn’t hugely important for writing the code. That isn’t going to require a lot of bandwidth, and can be done over fairly average internet connections. However, it might take longer to actually update the website if there are bugs you’re trying to fix, and that could cause some friction with your clients.
What you will need a strong connection for is communication. Your clients are going to want to remain in regular contact with you, and if you’re working remotely that means a video chat more often than not. Video chats require a strong, stable connection for clear communication. So, while remote travel destinations are great for vacations, if you’re going to be traveling while you work you need to be sure that you’re going somewhere with great internet.
Benefits Of Being A Freelance Web Developer
Many web developers seek employment either at companies that specialize in web development or for companies that want an in-house web developer in their IT department. While these can provide a lot of stability and steady work, the pay is often poor, and the hours are long. If you’re asking do web developers travel, you’re probably interested in freelance web development.
A lot of web developers prefer freelance work. While it can be scary at first, you typically end up earning more money for each job, and you have a lot more freedom in your schedule. Freelances have to find their own work, which means it can be difficult to get steady, consistent work when you’re starting out.
Most freelancers would say the benefits of freelance work far outweigh the risks, though. You’ll get paid much more for each job, because there’s no employer taking a cut of your earnings and there are no overhead costs to pay. You can work whenever you like. If you a night owl, you can start work at midnight. If you’re a morning person, you can be done working for the day before lunch.
Plus, you can work from anywhere. As long as you’ve got a good internet connection you can create websites from anywhere in the world, and there’s no reason you have to be tied to one location. This is one reason a lot of people decide to become freelancers.
How To Become A Freelance Web Developer
If the thought of controlling your own scheduling, working from any location around the world, and making more money excites you, you should consider becoming a freelance web developer. Plus, if you’re wondering do web developers travel, the answer is that it’s often easier for freelancers to travel. Here’s how to make that happen.
Make Sure You Have The Right Skills
If you haven’t done any web development, or if you’ve only worked for large companies, you might need to brush up on some web development skills. As a freelancer, you’re going to need to know more programming languages, and you might need to be able to do more of the work on each website than you’re used to.
Of course, you can also decide to specialize in one area of web development, since niche skills can often allow you to charge higher prices.
Pick A Niche
If you haven’t already, you’re going to need to pick one of the four areas of web development for focus on:
- Full-stack development. This is the combination of front-end and back-end development. This is how most freelancers work since it can be difficult to find another freelancer to handle the part of development you don’t want to do, and it’s more expensive for the client. This, of course, means you’ll need to learn everything about both back-end and front-end development.
- App Development. Your web development skills can come in handy if you want to design apps for Android or iOS.
Build Your Website and Online Presence
Once you’re a freelancer, you have to find all of your own clients. You’re now responsible for your own marketing, too. You’ll need to build your own website. Since you’re a web developer, that shouldn’t be too hard. Just remember that your website basically functions as your portfolio. Clients aren’t going to want to hire a web developer whose website is terrible.
Having your own website doubles your chances of landing a client. It makes you seem professional. But it’s not the only way to build an online presence. You’ll need social media pages for your freelance business, too.
This is all a way of building up your online presence. You want to make yourself more visible to clients, and to get your name in front of as many potential clients as possible.
One of the trickiest parts of freelance web development is deciding on your pricing. You’ll need to consider how much you need to make to cover your expenses, and then how much over that you can justify charging. The more experience and education you have, the higher you’ll be able to charge.
Once your website and social media accounts are set up and you’ve settled on your pricing, you have to find clients. There are agencies that connect clients with freelance web developers, but they’ll take a cut of your pay. You can also start cold calling local business, and reach out to friends, family and business colleagues.
Do Web Developers Have To Travel?
For some, travel is a major perk of freelance web developers. Some people, though, are actually put off by the ideal of lots of travel. Maybe you’re asking “do web developers travel” because you want to avoid a job that requires a lot of travel.
Whether you’re just a homebody, you have a family, or just prefer not to spend the money, you may be wondering how much a freelance web developer is required to travel.
In general, the fact that you can do your work from anywhere means that you don’t have to travel if you don’t want to. You can work from home, stay in one spot, and still enjoy the extra income and schedule flexibility that comes with freelancing.
You will probably still need to travel from time to time, though. Sometimes, you just have to meet with a client in person, and a video chat won’t do. Communication is always easier and clearer in person. Especially if it’s a new client, meeting in person to establish their wants and needs can be very helpful.
You may also want to travel for web developer conferences. These can be great opportunities to continue your education, learn new skills, and meet new people. Networking with other people in your field can be a huge help and often leads to more and higher paying work.
How To Travel As A Web Developer
Whether you’re a fully remote employee or a freelancer, web developers who take advantage of their ability to travel need to keep a few things in mind. First, you’re going to be sending and receiving large files, including videos. You’ll likely be on video chats with clients or coworkers, and you’ll need to be able to share your screen.
That all requires a strong internet connection. It means that if you’re planning to work while you travel you probably shouldn’t be staying in a remote mountain village or on a cruise ship. Those are for when you need to get away and take a break from work.
Instead, plan to be in areas with good infrastructure and reliable internet. That means staying in major cities or tourist hot spots. “Do web developers travel” is really not a question of whether they have the time, it’s about whether the destination can support their work.
You’ll also need to set the expectations of anybody traveling with you. If you’re traveling while working, make sure your traveling companions understand that you’re going to need time to get your work done, and you won’t be free at a moments notice to go do something fun.
Tips For Saving On Web Developer Travel Costs
One of the nice things about your travel as a web developer is that you’ll have a few options to really save on your travel costs.
One of the easiest ways to save money is to travel when the actual costs are lower. Plane ticket and hotel room prices fluctuate. Since most people travel on the weekends and during the summer, you can easily avoid the highest prices.
You have the flexibility to travel whenever you’d like. Plane tickets are often cheapest when your trip is Thursday-Wednesday, so plan your trips accordingly.
Before I go on, let me point out that I’m not a tax expert, and you should always check with your financial advisor or the IRS when it comes to tax deductions. That said, as long as your trip is more than 50% business (including 2 travel days, there and back), you can write it off as a business trip. The IRS will also allow to include a weekend on the trip.
So: Thursday travel day, Friday work 4 hours, Saturday/Sunday weekend, and Monday travel back. Since the IRS lets you include the weekend and the travel days, you only need to spend 50% of the workday on Friday working for it to count.
Should I Be A Freelance Web Developer?
Freelancing is not for everybody. It has great benefits, but there are some drawbacks, too. Plus, you need the right skill set to make it work. Soft skills are a huge part of success as a freelancer. Since you’re the one responsible for your own marketing as well as maintaining your relationships with all your clients, soft skills are more important for freelance developers than for other web developers. Can you handle the stress of being a web developer?
Your technical skills will go a long way too, of course. And doing right by your client is always the most important thing. Soft skills can be a major factor in landing those clients in the first place.
Freelancing also comes with the added stress of finding your own clients to keep up a steady stream of income. You won’t have a benefits package, or paid vacation, and your taxes become a little more complicated. But if you’re willing to deal with those challenges, it can be a wonderful way to earn a living.
Benefits Of Working For A Company
Of course, working for someone else also has its benefits. You get a stable job with steady income. You can usually find a job that includes benefits. You won’t have to find your own clients, and you won’t be responsible for marketing, either.
While some employers might insist that you work in their office building, that’s not always the case for web developers. In fact, plenty of web developers are fully remote employees. For a lot of web developers this is the ideal situation. You still have control over your own schedule and can work whenever you want.
You can still travel while you work. And you aren’t responsible for finding your own clients. You might make a bit less money, but that really depends on your employer. It also depends on how well you’d be able to market yourself and find clients as a freelancer. For some people, they would really struggle with that part of freelancing, and end up making more money as a remote employee.
Do web developers travel? There’s nothing about the job that makes it more travel-friendly than any other remote job, and a lot of web developers are content to stay home, even if their working remotely.
That said, it’s definitely a job that lends itself well to remote work. As long as you have access to a good internet connection and a reliable computer, it can be a great way to travel the world without taking time off work.
You can even save money on your trips by timing them when plane tickets are cheapest. And, you can probably write off a lot of your travel as business trips. That, too, can save you some money.
So, if you want a job that will allow you the freedom to travel the world, you might consider being a web developer. You don’t even have to go freelance to enjoy the travel, since most web developers are fully remote employees anyway.
Do web developers travel? Yes, of course. But they don’t always, and they don’t have to.