Published on November 27th, 2023 | by Charlie Fletcher0
How to Travel and Work While in France
A vacation to France is a trip that should be treasured. There’s so much to see and do, and the locals you’ll meet along the way are without comparison. However, even during vacation, work sometimes intervenes. If you’re visiting France and you absolutely need to complete some professional tasks, then you need to have a game plan. In addition to learning how to work remotely in another country, you must also enjoy yourself so you don’t get burned out.
Here’s a guide to accomplish all you want and more during your work-vacation to France.
If you have a demanding job, you’re a manager, or you work at a company with odd hours, it’s OK that you have to complete some office tasks during your trip. However, it’s important not to overdo it. After all, you’re in France! It’s one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and there’s splendor and wonderment around every corner. Working during the entirety of your vacation may upset the friends or family you came with. Even worse, you could get burned out if you constantly work but don’t take time for yourself.
Burnout can leave you mentally and physically exhausted. Working without breaks can lead to headaches and anxiety, and you could be so stressed and stretched to your limits that you could end up making more mistakes during your tasks.
Burnout and long hours can affect you in ways you never imagined and can even negatively impact your oral health. Stress may manifest itself in many ways, leading to a weakened immune system and an increased risk of gum disease. When you’re constantly on the clock, you’re also more likely to make poor diet choices and rely on sugary food that can lead to tooth decay. Plus, drinking coffee all the time can also cause stained teeth and bad breath.
The point is that you should be like the French nationals and enjoy a more leisurely lifestyle. Work a modified schedule, so you have time to explore. Consider setting working hours for the morning so you can get your work done early and then enjoy the day. Also, while you’re on vacation, take breaks and lunches at some of the local eateries and try new dishes. Local food is often made with fresh ingredients and prepared with care, so it tastes good and is often healthier than what you get at American chain restaurants.
If you have no choice but to work, at least ensure you’re taking the steps to be productive and professional, especially when working across multiple time zones. Be sure to inform your workplace that you’ll be in a different time zone so they’re not calling you when you’re sleeping or scheduling meetings when you’re out enjoying Paris. You can even update your location in Slack and your other messaging apps so people can see that you’re elsewhere. If you need to call contacts at work, let them know when they can expect a call so everyone can keep to a schedule.
When important meetings come about and showing your face is necessary, take advantage of video conferencing apps like Zoom and choose a gathering time that suits the attendees wherever they are. Whatever you do, work over a secure network; use a virtual private network to disguise your location and encrypt incoming and outgoing data if you’re on an unsecured WiFi network.
You can also avoid bringing bulky computers and hardware on vacation by taking advantage of cloud programs, such as Google Drive and Google Docs. It’s a great way to save your information wherever you are, so if a bright idea comes to you while you’re sitting at a French bistro, you can quickly enter it with your phone. You can upload your programs to the cloud so you and your coworkers can reach them when necessary.
You may be so enamored by French culture that you want to stay in the country for as long as possible. If that’s the case, you’d need to apply for a French work visa. There are different categories, so do your research. You would then need to fill out an application while also sending photos of yourself, proof of financial means, and a letter from your employer stating you intend to work for them remotely while in France. Be sure to read all of the fine print on your visa so you never find yourself in violation.
Although you can mix business with pleasure, try to enjoy your French getaway as much as possible, especially if you don’t get much vacation time. After seeing the Eiffel Tower and spending some time around Paris, spend some of your days enjoying the authentic French experiences that not everyone sees.
For instance, if you enjoy wine, stop by the Bordeaux region and sip some of their finest creations. France also has a lot of great natural beauty, and there’s no better place to see it than in the alpine city of Grenoble, where you can enjoy water sports, swimming, and hiking through the gorgeous landscapes.
There are also many events happening throughout France over the course of the year, ranging from the Tour de France cycling race in July to the Nice Carnival in February, which is the largest carnival celebration in the country.
With so many places to visit, you’ll likely want to rent a car, but be aware that at this time, the gas prices are a little intimidating, often surging past the equivalent of $5 per gallon in U.S. dollars. If you get a car, beat the high gas prices by changing how you think about driving. If your car offers an engine start/stop function, activate it so you’re not wasting fuel while waiting at traffic lights. Also, avoid turning the car on at all unless you’re ready to start driving. Finally, check and fill the tires when necessary and avoid excess weight in the car that will force it to work harder and burn more gas.
The beauty of France is too impressive to spend the entire trip with your face buried in your laptop. Learn how to work effectively and take time to smell the flowers, and you’ll make it a trip to remember.