As the parent of a small child, I have learned to be realistic about my ability to get things done. I packed my iPad when we left for Texas, but that was mostly for email/reading purposes, and to have another tool in my arsenal for keeping my son happy on the plane. (Turns out, he preferred to open and close the ribbed cover rather than play with any of the apps.)
There was a time, however, when I would have packed three books, two magazines, and my laptop, and had every serious intention of trying to write on the road. I rarely managed to do more than jot sporadic notes in my notebook.
On one babyless business trip to Los Angeles last year, I managed to get a surprising amount of work-related writing done. I don’t know if it’s the distractions or the “acceptance is the best way through this” approach I take to the indignities and tedium of travel, but I can’t concentrate on my own work for any sustained period of time while I’m on the road, unless (for some reason) I’m on the bus from my house into New York. Not on a layover, certainly. Not at my parents’ house, not since high school. Not even while traveling, years ago, by train through Italy, which by rights should have been very inspiring.
Can you work from the road?