Flying with a baby is a challenge unto itself but trying to work during a flight with your baby is a true test of multitasking ability. With a little advanced preparation and a bit of luck, you can get work done with your little one in tow.
5 tips for working while flying with a baby
Tip #1: Leave Early and Work from Airport
Babies and billable work are both unpredictable, so I always aim to arrive at the airport at least 2 hours in advance and work from the airport if needed.
Tip #2: Invest in a Mobile Hotspot or Learn to Use Your Phone as a Personal Hotspot
Most airports have a free or paid wireless option at the airport, but I find that these are not always reliable or the speed is so slow with people passing the time watching Netflix that Citrix refuses to load. Having a mobile hotspot or using my phone as a hotspot is a good way to ensure I will have internet connection to fire off any important emails while waiting at the airport.
Tip #3: Use a Diaper Backpack and a Small Crossbody Bag
I opt to use a diaper backpack when traveling, as it’s large enough to fit all of baby’s necessities plus my work laptop. To make check in and security clearance easy, I use a small crossbody bag to hold my wallet, cell phone and boarding pass. I have never been stopped for having 3 carry-on bags (roller bag, diaper backpack and crossbody bag), but I always make sure the diaper backpack has a little extra space where I can stuff my crossbody bag just in case.
Tip #4: Sit in a Window Seat on Your Non-Dominant Side
I am right handed so I make sure I sit in a window seat on pilot’s left side of the plane so I can cradle the baby on my left arm with his head near the window. This protects the baby from traffic in the aisle and potential spilled drinks, plus allows me to hold a pen to easily mark up agreements during the flight.
Tip #5: Go Old School with a Pen and Paper
Working on a laptop is nearly impossible with a baby in your lap or even a small child next to you. There isn’t a lot of space in economy seating, plus baby hands and milk are a constant moving target. To make the most of limited space, I print out the agreements I need to review or bring a legal pad with me and do any revisions or drafting the old school way. Pen and paper are also easier to stow at the end of the flight when there is the mad rush to make sure the baby is feeding to protect their little ears.