Products for parents who work on the go

None of us want to, but sometimes as parents, we simply must work on the go. My job has me working on the fly on airplanes (pun intended), in cars, and in hotel rooms on just about every trip we take, and while I’m the exception, I know most parents have to check in with work at least a few times during most family vacations.

work-from-the-road

Below are my favorite products to help ease the pain of working while away, plus some tips for getting that proposal sent or that project done from the road.

Tip: Parents trying into balance work and family life can use Cloud Services such as Windows Desktops hosted with CloudDesktopOnline and online file storage with CloudAppsPortal .

logitechLogitech Keys to Go:

Anyone who’s ever tried to get actual work done on an iPad knows how crucial it is to have a keyboard. We’ve tried many portable keyboards, but find the Logitech Keys to Go pad works the best for us. It works on both iPads or iPhones, which we love, and is small enough to fit in a jacket pocket. The keys are still full-sized with iOS shortcuts, and the pad is spill-resistant (which we’ve put to the test). Pick one up in one of several colors for under $80 on Amazon…if you work from the road even a few times a year, it’s worth it.

Tip: Use an internet fax service if your hotel isn’t business friendly.

Yurbuds noise-isolating wireless ear buds:

yurbudsEar buds that don’t get tangled, stay in your ear, and don’t restrict your movements? Yes, please. I love Yurbuds Leap (for women) when I need to listen into a conference call or edit a video while traveling because I can move around in the car or on the plane and not feel tethered to my screen. These bluetooth enabled ear buds have three inline remote buttons that make it easy to pause or resume work, control volume, and skip tracks, and Yurbuds ‘twist and lock’ technology that keeps them from slipping out of your ear. This feature is nifty: by angling the buds when you place them in your ears, then twisting, they become very secure in your ear (read the instructions when you get them, or you’ll be confused!) You get two bonuses with Yurbuds, too: 1. they double as great workout ear buds, and 2. they’re easy to pack in their own carrying case (included). Pick up a pair for $99 on Amazon.

Cube light from Enevu:

I love this little (big!) light. Billed as a personal light by Enevu, the cube is a small but efficient LED light you can take anywhere. Great for emergencies, it also works wonders when you have to see while getting a bit of work done after the kids go to sleep in a hotel room, or as a nightlight for kids in unfacube-lightmiliar places. Extremely lightweight and packable, I toss our cube into my day bag or carry-on to have for whatever comes up. Its especially useful when you don’t have a power outlet nearby on trains or when the overhead light in a plane cabin is just too bright or intrusive. The cube can be set to multiple settings, from dim to bright to colored light. Best of all, it’s under $30! (Beware of cheaper knock-offs online.)

Amplifyze TCL Pulse bluetooth alarm:

Let’s say you need to get up earlier than everyone else to get some work done, but don’t want to wake everyone else in your hotel room with your alarm. The TCL Pulse is a bluetooth enabled vibrating alarm you can set bedside, or even under your pillow. Controlled by your smartphone, the Pulse has adjustable vibration levels and snooze option. You can set it to wake you by sound if you prefer.

tcl-pulseWhat I love about it: I used to set my iPhone alarm in hotels, never wanting to figure out different alarm clocks in each room. But sleeping next to my phone is not restful, as it wakes me throughout the night with various buzzes and updates if not in sleep mode. With the Pulse, I can set the alarm on my phone, then put it far from my bed. Pick it up for $39.

Put your newfound productivity to use with these tips:

1. Pick a work hour and stick to it. Having a schedule while on vacation may not always be possible, but if you need to carve out some work time, it simply won’t happen unless you schedule it in. Opt for a quiet time of day for your family. Maybe that’s nap time at mid-day, or maybe it’s the hour just before dinner or the hour after the kids go to bed.

2. Find a place to work. Maybe this is in your hotel room or vacation rental, but if you’re trying to work after the kids go to sleep or while it’s noisy in the room, it simply won’t work. Think outside the box that is your 300 square feet…head down to the lobby or a coffee shop in the immediate area. The change of scenery will motivate you to get to work.

3. Think strategically when looking for wifi: Always have an app ready to tell you where the closest free wifi is, but also be ready to think on your feet. If you’re camping or staying in an otherwise remote location, the local grocery store or postal center will likely have wifi. Ditto for laundry facilities. I once found excellent wifi sitting on a picnic table outside the public laundry area of a national park lodge. In less rural areas, opt for quiet corners of hotel lobbies, coffee shops, or libraries. Worst case scenario: just suck it up and pay for wifi in your hotel room or on the plane. Sometimes, it’s worth it. Check to see if joining a loyalty program (always free) will grant your free wifi first, however! This is true of Kimpton hotels, among others.


How do you tackle work while on vacation? 

As we disclose whenever applicable, Pit Stops for Kids received the products above for the purpose of review. Not all products we looked at made the cut. All opinion is our own.

About the author

Amy Whitley AUTHOR: Amy Whitley is the founding editor of Pit Stops for Kids and content editor of Trekaroo. She writes on staff monthly as a family travel expert at Go Green Travel Green and Practical Travel Gear, and contributes to Outdoors NW as an outdoor adventure traveler. Find Amy at Google.

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  1. Long gone are the days of traditional

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