Although many business travelers are adept at working on the go, being productive while on a trip (business or pleasure) always requires planning.
Don’t be vague about “working on the road”. If you don’t have a plan in place for when you’ll work, chances are you’ll accomplish little if anything. Plan ahead and schedule times to work like during a flight, before breakfast, during a long lunch break, etc. Planning helps you to stay committed to a work schedule while having minimal impact on other business or personal events that occur while traveling.
When you’re working on the road, you’ll not only have your cell phone to keep charged, but your laptop, tablet, and other work-related devices. Plan for times when you can charge your device batteries throughout the day and invest in a power block or a battery backup case that you can use to charge your phone if it gets low while you’re out and about.
In today’s world, working means using Wi-Fi. It’s becoming easier to find free, high-speed internet access in hotels. But in airports or other public places, as well as in flight, you’ll probably have to pay to get online. Access fees of $5 to $20 might seem steep to leisure travelers, but if you have work to do, paying for internet access can be a smart purchase. If you plan to use public or in-flight Wi-Fi regularly, consider buying a monthly subscription plan from providers such as Boingo or GoGo.
Make sure you have everything you need at your fingertips by using a cloud service like Dropbox or Google Drive. Upload your work before you leave and then access the files from any internet-connected device. Use the syncing features, so that work you do on your tablet or laptop will automatically be updated on your workplace computer when you return home.
Tether When Necessary:
If you need to use your laptop to get online quickly for just a few minutes of web access in a public place, use your smartphone. Most smartphones offer a tethering feature, which allows you to use your phone’s mobile data to create an internet connection for your computer. Look for the personal hotspot or mobile hotspot options in your phone’s settings menu. If your traveling internationally, check with your provider to see if tethering is available outside the United States.
Working while traveling doesn’t need to be burdensome. By doing a little pre-planning, you can work productively and still participate in and enjoy other aspects of your trip.
(Portions of this blog post were taken from an article published in Select Traveler titled “Travel Toolbox: Working on the Road”.)