4 Must-Have Tools for Working While Traveling

This post has been sponsored by Corning Incorporated.

Working remotely is both a blessing and a curse.  I’m thrilled it has allowed me to travel more, but it means I have to get work done whether I’m at my local Starbucks or at a California beach resort.  Surely it won’t surprise you that I’d rather get my work done quickly so I have more time to explore. Talk about having first world problems.

Tools for Remote Work

Corning® Gorilla® Glass 4

When I say I juggle my work these days, I mean physically juggling just as much as I mean balancing my time.  I’m often responding to emails on my phone in one hand while rolling a suitcase behind me with the other one.  No minute is too short to get something accomplished, but I’m really rough on my phone in the process.  Keeping my electronics protected while traveling is a necessity since frankly I don’t have time to go shopping while traveling (a worst case scenario).

Gorilla Glass 4 dramatically improves protection against drops, a must when your phone is on a restaurant table and a busboy bumps it or when you’re fumbling to open a car door in the parking lot.  In laboratory tests, Gorilla Glass 4 survives up to 80% of the time when dropped from 3 feet high, and was 2x tougher than competitive glass design.  I saw some pretty amazing demos of Gorilla Glass (made by Corning Incorporated) and can vouch that it helps protect my own device when I’m rough on it…aka every day.

gorilla glass

Should I be more careful?  Sure, but I live in the real world and I’ve chosen productivity and efficiency.  And when I’ve switched from using my phone for work to play, I still want to make sure it’s protected.  Every time I hand it over to a stranger to take my photo, I feel better knowing that if it’s accidentally dropped on cobblestone sidewalks in Europe or on ancient bricks of the Great Wall of China, that Gorilla Glass 4 is better able to withstand damage from drops.

Shopping for a new device?  Find out ahead of time if it’s made with Gorilla Glass 4 here!  Many phones, tablets, notebooks, and other electronics are made with Corning’s toughest glass yet.

Inflight WiFi

Working on a plane can be one of the best times to get work done.  With no phone calls to distract you and nowhere else to go, you’re a captive audience.  Onboard movies are usually mediocre and as much as I love my Kindle, I’ll rarely want to read for five hours straight while flying cross-country.  Out comes the laptop, and you’re at your destination with all your responsibilities completed before you know it.

While different airlines offer different types of WiFi, I’ve used several versions and they all work pretty well.  However, Gogo is the most common provider, found on flights by Delta, American Airlines, US Airways, and more.

gogo-inflight

I won’t lie and say it’s cheap, but I always come out ahead.  Save even more by buying your passes ahead of time and look for deeper discounts by buying access cards on eBay.  There’s nothing better than walking off a plane and straight to vacation.

Worldwide Connectivity

As much as I’d like to disconnect while traveling internationally, it’s not a possibility for me.  My T-Mobile phone plan includes texting and data in 120 countries (at no extra cost), meaning I can check emails even while riding the subway in Hong Kong or while at a conference in Cancun.  Honestly, I think it even works better internationally than it does at home.

But T-Mobile doesn’t offer the complete package, so I compliment it with WiFi based calling.  Google Voice lets you call U.S. based phone numbers over WiFi, for free!  Even though FaceTime and Skype are great for calling friends and family, Google Voice is a better option for joining work conference calls or calling the airline’s 1-800 number to rebook a flight. It works like a champ every time and can be used on both computers and mobile devices.

VPN

For data security and the privacy of your personal information, a VPN is worth its weight in gold when connecting to public WiFi hotspots.  They scramble your information and re-route you through different servers so that hackers can’t steal your accounts.  I work with a ton of client information, including credit card numbers, so keeping that safe when working from hotel rooms is an absolute must.  However, even casual internet users would do well with free options like Tunnel Bear.

Tunnel Bear
Turning the Tunnel Bear on to pretend I’m in the USA when I’m actually abroad

The Bottom Line

In case you haven’t noticed, remote work depends heavily on electronics.  Without my laptop and smartphone and a great internet connection, I wouldn’t be able to balance work and travel.  While it’s relatively easy to keep my notebook protected, my phone is a whole different story.  So far, my phone has safely made it to 15 countries over the past year, thanks to Gorilla Glass!

Are you rough on your electronics?  Let me know in the comments!

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I received compensation in exchange for writing this review.  Although this post is sponsored, all opinions remain my own.

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2 thoughts on “4 Must-Have Tools for Working While Traveling”

  1. I tried out T-mobile free data on a recent trip to Japan and China. It was almost completely useless. The data speed is suppose to be 2G but in reality it didn’t work well enough to be usable. Pages took forever to load. Uber took several seconds to refresh if it did at all. Try using data while on a moving on bus or train, no luck.
    I recalled being on 2G back home and it was actually useful, slow but useful.

    Texts and calls did work well however.

    I promptly cancel my trail service.

    1. @MichaelP, Thanks for sharing your experience! I used T-Mobile in China about 2 weeks ago and didn’t think it was particularly slow, but I’m sure it depends on where you are.

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