How to Work On a Laptop While Travelling?

Working on the go is something that more and more people are becoming interested in thanks to books like ‘The Four Hour Workweek’. These books talk about a ‘digital nomad’ lifestyle where you can work online while travelling the globe and seeing the world rather than being trapped in an office. All you need these days is a laptop to earn money, so why not throw one a backpack and go travelling?

That’s all good and well, but of course you are going to have to actually do some work while at the same time seeing the sights and this can be quite difficult. There are plenty of articles out there on balancing this work/exploration ratio however. So what I’m interested in is something different: I’m interested in the practicalities.


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In other words, if you are on a coach, on a plane, or in a car… how do you physically going about getting your work done? How do you find room to use a laptop while squashed behind the chair in front? How do you avoid letting the glare from the window obscure your view? And how do you deal with the noise from other passengers? Read on for some tips that will help make working on a train, bus or coach almost as productive as working in an office (if not moreso in some cases…).

The Situation and Device

In some cases you are going to be unable to control these two factors, so we will provide tips that pertain to every scenario later on. However if you are looking at buying a new device, and currently choosing which mode of transport to take, then it’s best to think what will be most conducive to getting lots of work done.

For instance you should try and choose coaches, trains and busses where possible that have plenty of leg room, that provide WiFi and that won’t allow too much noise. If you can find a quiet carriage then that would be ideal, and if you can find seats with a table than that too will be a huge bonus.

In terms of your device you want something with lots of viewing angles, and that is small enough to be moved around on your lap. Ask yourself: if the person in front reclined their seat all the way back… would you be able to fit your laptop in? <a href=””>Bus rental</a> is also ideal as you’ll then have the space to yourself.


Now think about your accessories. The most important thing here of all is to get headphones which you can use to blot out any background noise. What’s also very important/useful is to look for Bluetooth keyboards. These can be great for two reasons:

  • They allow you to work on your projects on a mobile phone if your computer dies
  • They let you carry on typing when you don’t have a good angle. Thus if someone were to lean back in their chair for instance, you could put your laptop on the seat next to you then carry on typing on your Bluetooth keyboard on your lap with no need for lots of space.

Bluetooth keyboards are relatively cheap and can come small enough to fold into your pocket, so consider adding this to your mobile productivity station!

Your Situation

Some more tips can help you to make the most of your situation now you’ve set things up as best you can:

  • Close the curtains if you can to block out light
  • Download any online elements you may need (such as e-mails) incase your connection is poor/non existent
  • Work through tasks that are simple and repetitive rather than those that require precise movements, creativity or deep thought
  • Turn your screen brightness down to avoid draining your battery too quickly
  • Set an alarm if you have to get off at a particular stop – it can be all too easy otherwise to become engrossed and then forget your stop!
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Vinod is Tech blogger. He contributes to the Blogging, Gadgets, Social Media and Tech News section on DigitalYcia.