Internet on the Road: How to stay connected on your next road trip

I hate long car rides. I hate long car rides even more when they eat into my precious PTO (paid time off). Last summer I was desperate not to waste half a vacation day on a 5 hour car ride to my vacation destination. I was shocked at how difficult it was to find a solution to work remotely in a moving vehicle. Finding internet on the road is a lot harder than you’d think.

I thought this was going to be a reasonably easy endeavor by means of a wifi hotspot. After minutes of research, I found countless complaints of connectivity issues is moving vehicles. I then spent the following hour looking for alternative solutions only to come up empty and defeated.

Before throwing in the towel on the entire operation, it occurred to me I frequent the net via smartphone when traveling by car. Then it occurred to me my Verizon iPhone 4s served as a hotspot. Then I found this great article on phone-computer tethering for internet access anywhere.

Long story short (easy to say after 3 paragraphs of rambling), I successfully tethered my iPhone 4s to my MacBook Air for consistent 3G internet connectivity as we sped 80 MPH through the deserts of inland California and Nevada. I was able to knock out a half-day of work and save my precious PTO for actual rest and relaxation.

Whether you are commuting by train, plane, or automobile, there are ways to stay connected. Here is a great article from the WSJ on airlines that provide wi-fi. Not only does work-while-travel save you money, but keeping busy will have you at your destination in no time.

If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, feel free to drop them in the comments below or contact me directly at @AllanBlocker on Twitter.


One Comment

  1. Drew Robertson
    January 15, 2014

    Keep in mind, if you have a small data plan, your next phone bill might suffer greatly depending on what sort of data your accessing whilst on the road.

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