As a freelancer, I work wherever my laptop is, but for the most part, I work out of my home office. Working from home comes with its own set of challenges but I've done a good job at solving them. When I travel, though, the laptop comes with me and the writing continues. Over time, I’ve come to realize that working from the road comes with its own set of challenges.
1. Internet connection
At one point I carried around a separate WiFi card, but I couldn’t justify the $50/month fee for it because I just didn’t use it very often. I have an original AT&T unlimited data iPhone plan, and so I don’t have access to tethering. That means that when I’m on the road, I’m at the mercy of free WiFi.
The good news is that there are a bunch of free WiFi hotspots out there – at coffeehouses, restaurants, hotels and the like. The bad news is that I don’t always end up with a good connection. A slow WiFi connection leaves me with files that won’t upload and pages that have to constantly be refreshed; definitely a frustrating scenario.
I’m trying to figure out the best and most economical way to address this issue. Do you have any suggestions?
When I’m on the road I’m off my typical schedule, which means that I may not be able to sit down and write during my usual writing time. Whether I’m on a business trip or a vacation, finding the time to write while on the road is another big challenge.
Typically, I’ll try to work on my blog posts in advance of the trip but that may be difficult depending on the household schedule. If I end up having to work while on the road, I can plan on late nights and early mornings. Depending on the trip schedule, this may mean very long days and very short nights.
How do you manage your time while on the road?
Even when I’m on the road, I’m still a mom. Sure, my husband is home holding down the house and shuttling the kids to and from school and activities, but I try to check in with the kids daily. Depending on my schedule, I’ll squeeze in a Facetime breakfast.
These challenges compound when I get home. Even if I stay connected while traveling, once I’m back at home I have to get up to speed with classwork, extra-curricular schedules and the like. I feel like I spend the first few days back at home rushing to catch up.
If you’re a parent, how do you handle this challenge while working from the road?