The beauty in working remotely is that you can work anywhere. Well, sort of.
One important key to making remote work as seamless as possible when traveling is to have all the right conditions, just as if you were at home.
Traveling with family, but need to get some work done? Here are some tips that I’ve learned as a work at home mom with structured work hours while traveling with little ones and my husband.
1. Get connected.
If your remote job relies on quality internet connection (as most do), then you’ll have to do a bit of research before you travel. While most hotels offer internet connection, it’s not always reliable or strong enough to use certain functions you might need.
For instance, my job relies heavily on an app that allows me to make phone calls. Poor connection = no phone calls = limited work ability = no bueno.
While you really never know what you’ll get until you get there (unforeseeable problems always arise), a little preparation never hurts!
You can find hotel tested connection speed results at: https://www.hotelwifitest.com/
Also, check to see if the hotel offers hardwired connection capabilities in your room, so that you can wire your laptop to the internet using an ethernet cable. This’ll give you the best connection, and is like creating your own personal hotspot to the hotel’s WiFi. Check out this article for more in-depth advice.
Some questions to ask when researching a place to stay:
- Do your rooms have the ability to hardwire internet connection through ethernet?
- What is your internet speed?
- Is there a certain area/floor/room that has a stronger signal?
- Is it unlimited data?
- Is WiFi free or paid?
2. Find a quiet, make-shift office area.
I focus better when it’s not dead silent. Am I weird? Maybe. But my job often requires me to work in a quiet, distraction-free space, because I’m frequently on the phone.
When traveling, I let the family take the room, and I hang out somewhere else so that my screaming baby doesn’t interrupt my client’s phone call.
If you’re not on a budget, opt for a suite that has an enclosed room that you can use as an office space. One bedroom suites do the trick for my family; I take the bedroom and close (and lock!) the door, and the kids take the rest of the area.
But, hotel suites can be booked fast, or are just a lot more money than I can pay. So sometimes I opt for a regular room, and use the business center.
But, be careful with business centers! Sometimes they are situated right in the middle of a noisy lobby, or right by the front desk, where people are checking in and out. If that’s the case, you’ll have to get more creative.
For example, I’ve asked to sit in a hotel’s restaurant area that was closed. I had to ask the manager, of course, but if it’s not being used, generally the hotel manager won’t have a problem with it. I cuddled up in a booth and had the whole quiet area to myself. This is actually one of my favorite spaces to work, and I prefer it to a business center.
Some questions to ask when researching a place to stay:
- Do you have an enclosed business center with more than one chair?
- Is your business center in the middle of the lobby?
- Do you have a quiet lounge area?
- Do your suites have an individual room with a door?
- Do you have a quiet area that I can sit to get some work done on my laptop?
3. Look into a co-working space.
While not always the most budget-friendly, if you realllllly need to get some work done without distractions, co-working spaces are legit.
These offices are perfect for working remotely because they are literally spaces set up for office-less people to work, with high-speed internet.
The only problem is 1). it’ll cost extra and 2). co-working spaces aren’t available everywhere (they are mostly in big cities).
Some co-working spaces have membership packages, but there are some that give you the option to pay by the day or even hour. Be mindful of the hours, as some co-working spaces have limited hours.
Check out these sites to search for a co-working space that fits your needs:
4. Bring toys from home (silent ones!)
My 18-month old hollers enough as it is, and while she loves to dance and press buttons on light-up toys with sounds, it’s distracting.
So, my advise is this: bring some toys that’ll occupy the little ones, but that don’t make all the extra noise.
I usually bring her little stuffed animal plushes, wooden blocks, books, fidget toys, and such.
For the older kiddos, you can’t go wrong with phones or tablets. My 9 year old loves listening to music and watching movies on her tablet.
In this case, we’ve invested in some awesome headphones so she can jam out without us having to hear it. (Except when she sings loudly, not realizing that she’s being so loud)
Fun toy ideas that don’t make too much noise:
- Montessori Reading Blocks
- Mini Plush Toy Pack
- Colorful Wooden Blocks
- Toddler Fishing Tank
- Kids Character Headphones
5. Schedule work around nap time.
This may seem like a duh! tip. But, it’s really important!
And if you’re a mom like me, I can’t help but see nap-time as mommy break-time, where I can fit in an a quick snooze myself, or at the very least, some Netflix in bed time.
But when you’re traveling and working remotely, nap time is the perfect time to get. stuff. done.
So, maybe enjoy your sweet little rambunctious babies during the morning, but as soon as you see those little darling’s eyes shut, head off to work!
Pro tip: If you’re working in the same room as your sleeping little one, use a white noise machine, or play a white noise playlist on your phone, so the sound of your typing and phone calls don’t wake your baby.
White-noise makers I love:
Traveling with a family is fun, right? But isn’t it also exhausting?
Add working remotely to that list, and it can get a bit cray.
But just think about how much more stressful it would be to have to take multiple days off from your traditional office job, if you weren’t working from home.
That thought alone, and the flexibility that my job offers in ALLOWING me to work from anywhere, makes me feel grateful. 🙂
Again, these are tips that help me, based on my job duties. Some may or may not be helpful to you, especially if your line of work is very different from mine.
But I’d love to hear from you – let me know what works for you when working remotely!