Life on the road is always full of surprises, especially when traveling with 3 small kids. Yesterday we drove from Cleveland to St. Louis, MO. Our final destination is Arizona for those wondering. The drive yesterday was about 9 hours in total. My wife and I split the drive up 50/50 with her taking the first shift. I am writing this post from our hotel room very early before everybody wakes up.
Working on the road went smooth, but I should admit that I do get motion sick. Today we will be driving from St. Louis to Oklahoma City, OK and I have every plan to take a non-drowsy dramamine as soon as I get in the passenger seat.
But what sort of work can you do from the road?
Yesterday I worked through website revisions for a site that’s launching very soon, took a new-lead sales call from the road (my wife deserves an Olympic gold metal for keeping kids quiet in a car for 40 minutes) and coordinated social calendars across multiple clients.
You see, this isn’t vastly different than a normal day. My day was a touch more interrupted with kids but if I’m being 100% honest I was probably as efficient at working as I was when I worked in a corporate environment.
How quarantine helped me for this trip
You see, working in a car is already kind of difficult, but I had set up a pretty good work space for myself. But even with the fancy lap desk, a solid internet connection and some headphones, the “work day” was full of kids wanting snacks, different books, movies, etc. But guess what? This is what life has been like as a working parent for the past 4 months. Gone are the days of sitting down at your computer uninterrupted for hours because your kids were at the babysitters or school.
And let’s be honest, these requests are easy and simple. Toddlers are very…ummm…up front about what they want and when they want it. So it helps take the guessing game out of it!
So if you have coworkers with little ones and they seem to be a bit scatter-brained or sporadic in their work schedule and productivity, don’t make them feel bad about it. They are trying to perfect the art of distraction and keep their cool. They are trying to keep small children quiet while on zoom calls (speaking of Olympic gold metal performances, the mute button is getting a work out right now for zoom calls).
Things I’ve learned so far
- Verizon’s coverage map is incredible. I’ve been using a hotspot this entire time and it’s been perfect.
- The lap desk is everything. Here’s the link again. Even if you’re just working from home and need something good to use if you are wanting to work from your couch.
- Having a good task list set up before you hit the road is extremely helpful. I use the high-performance planner for that.
- Cloud-based apps are the saving grace when you have a day that may include interruptions.
- Stop and enjoy the surroundings sometimes.
It is 100% possible to work on the road, you just have to rethink what work and productivity might look like. I will admit, it’s probably not for everybody, but it’s definitely for me!
Traveling During a Pandemic Notes
I know some are probably reading this wondering what it’s like to travel during a pandemic. Let me just make sure this is clear as day. We are mask-wearing, hand sanitizing, let’s stop as little as possible people. Here’s a few bullet points about travel specific:
- Bring more than 1 face mask with you. Whether they get buried under stuff in your car, you misplace them or you break one, you’re going to want a few extras.
- Hand sanitizer, multiple bottles. Basically we treat every surface like it has cooties, so we sanitize after touching just about anything
- Hotel rooms
- We took clorox wipes and wiped every hard surface we could before we all got into the room. The room was already clean as a whistle but we just wanted to be diligent.
- We brought our slippers / house shoes for the hotel. I already don’t love walking barefoot inside hotel rooms sometimes, so this wasn’t a big change for us
- Eating dinner inside the room was a bit of a challenge, but we had packed paper plates and prepared accordingly
- Food delivery is so helpful – we ordered dinner on Uber Eats and they delivered it outside our hotel room door while we were getting set up for the evening, that was super helpful!
- The hotel’s continental breakfast wasn’t setup, but if you went to the front desk, they would happily glove up and pack a brown bag of some of the usual options. I took them back to our room and we ate before hitting the road.
- Gas stations – as an extra precaution I would use a paper towel or wipe when handling pumps and would also sanitize before getting back into the car. A little extra, but I’d rather try to do my part.
As we work our way west I will continue updating the Duo Day to Day blog with more things that I find. Be sure to follow my account on Instagram, or follow Duo on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn!