Technology has allowed me to use my time wisely while traveling, so that I have more time for friends and family. Here are some tips that help me balance work and life on-the-road.
Traveling to the Airport or Train Station:
Download all the documents you need to review. Downloading documents allows time to work while in route to the airport and/or train station without access to WIFI.
I use this time to answer emails, read articles, study; the things I can do with one device and available data. Occasionally, taxi’s or other modes of transportation will have WIFI available.
If a taxi or other mode of transportation has a charger for phones or laptops, use it! Many Uber/Lyft drivers have chargers set-up for their customers. If they do not and you need one, ask if they have one available – most do.
If necessary, you can buy a data, data device for your laptop if you need access to the Internet at all times.
While at the Airport or Train Station:
If you have a Personal Virtual Network (PVN), login so you have more privacy and security.
Find a corner or area in the terminal that allows for privacy and has an outlet for charging your devices. Get your chargers out, charge devices, and set-up your temporary office. If traveling internationally, make sure you have an adapter for US based devices so you can charge devices at any location.
Restaurants are another great location as it can be more comfortable to work at a table and have drinks and food while working. Again, it is best to find a corner or your back against a wall for privacy.
Lounges are an excellent option for long layovers. You can pay as little as $40 for an extended period of time in more comfortable seats; access to outlets, drinks, snacks; privacy; and it is typically quieter.
Some airports have business centers with printers and desks as well.
While In Route to Destination:
On train or aircraft, the best seat for privacy is the window seat.
If you can manage to reserve or grab a window seat, that's great! However, a window seat is even a better option if the middle seat is empty. I typically use two laptops, so I use the tables and seat for additional room to do research and writing. Not ideal, but at least you can get some work done.
This is also a good time to go over downloaded documents.
WIFI is occasionally available on some flights and trains for free or at a minimal expense. Not the strongest connections but better than nothing.
The first thing I check when making reservations is do they have strong, secure WIFI.
Make sure there is a workspace set-up for business travelers.
Most hotels have a business center that allows for printing, scanning, and faxing, if necessary.
Business Centers and Shared Workspaces:
If you want or need quick and informal access to office equipment such as copiers, I suggest business centers. FedEx business centers have saved me numerous times when I need to print, scan, or fax SSA forms or upload documents on-the-go.
Shared workspaces are popular, more expensive, but very nice! It is a more social office environment for the extroverts as the workspaces are often open. They also have private space for conference calls and meetings. Many workspaces also have coffee shops and bistros.