5 Tips for Actually Getting Work Done While Traveling

I’m all for actually unplugging when you’re on vacation. If you’ve put in for PTO and your boss assures you that you’re covered, go ahead and spend your upcoming flight engrossed in a good book.

But for everyone else—for the commuters, the super-commuters, the people on a business trip—your work won’t wait!

I used to take 10-day business trips every other month, and here’s what I learned: If you squander your travel day, you’ll arrive at your destination tired, maybe even jet-lagged, and with several hours of work to make up before you do things like unpack and sleep.

I became an expert at getting work done while traveling. Here are five tips I recommend for optimizing productivity on a travel day.

1. Book Wisely

You know those TV commercials targeted at the people who research every trip on a half-dozen different websites to see if they can save $15 on their hotel room? That’s me. 

But, for my recent train trip, I took the Acela. I knew I’d need to get work done on the train and while, in my personal life, I often book based on price, I had different priorities for this trip. A faster train meant I’d have a fuller day without having to wake up before 5 AM. It meant fewer stops, so I could really focus in on my work. And it meant the Wi-Fi worked the entire way. 

If you work for a nonprofit or company with a tight budget (I’ve been there, too), talk to your boss about elements of your trip where paying a little more will make it easier for you to complete your work. See if there are trade-offs you can make. Maybe you stay with local contacts for a night or two to minimize hotel costs, or plan to use the subway, or rent the cheapest car—but get a direct flight to cut out the hours wasted on layovers.

Read the rest of this article on The Daily Muse.