How to Protect Your Electronics When You Travel
Those who know me, know that I’m not the kind of guy to travel light – especially when it comes to electronics.
In fact, I’ve written before about my travel electronics obsession.
While these days I no longer travel with a video camera (my camera does this just fine) or an iPod (my iPhone covers this), I’m still loaded up with laptops, iPhones, iPads, Kindles, and cameras wherever I go.
Having this many expensive devices with me when I travel obviously requires some kind of precautions, and I thought I’d share with you the you can protect your electronics when you travel.
This one isn’t going to sit well with everybody, but sometimes the easiest way to prevent something expensive from being lost or damaged is to leave it at home.
Do I really need a laptop, iPad, Kindle, three cameras, and an iPhone with me when I travel? Of course not.
With my laptop in my backpack, I had my camera in one pocket and my iPhone in the other.
Sure, there’s that chance there’ll be an enterprising pick-pocket, but anybody I catch rifling through my pockets had better be prepared to finish me off. They’re only getting their hand back when I’m post-coital.
One of the easiest ways to protect your electronics if by putting them in a protective case.
For my iPhone, I’m currently using a lightweight but durable Urban Armor Gear case that has saved my phone from a few drops on a couple of different wine-tastings and pub crawls. While it doesn’t have a screen protector, I’ve found it much easier to handle than the bulky LifeProof case I’d previously been using.
For my iPad, I’m still using the Kensington KeyFolio with its built in keyboard and its padded exterior. My iPad might as well be wearing a bulletproof vest for all the damage it takes in my travels.
Even my Kindle, durable little bastard that it is, is encased in a fetching blue case that Cherie from Flight of the Travel Bee gifted to me for the Great US Road Trip earlier in the year.
For my laptop, which is basically my livelihood, I made a point of purchasing a Berghaus Twentyfourseven backpack with a padded laptop compartment. This not only protects the laptop from unncessary roughness when I’m flying, but also allows me to keep it close to me when I’m travelling.
There are few things quite as frightening to a traveller as losing their valuable data, whether it be files from your laptop or photos you’ve been taking while on the road.
In both cases, keeping back-ups is a vital way to protect your precious memories.
I find a two-pronged attack is a great way to go, with digital backups online and a physical back-up or two.
Before I leave home, I make a point of backing up all of my important files and photos on a hard drive that I leave at home with my family. As I travel, I also back-up ongoing work and any photos I’ve taken onto a hard drive that I keep separate from my other electronics.
After all, what good is a back-up if it gets stolen with your laptop?
Finally, I use services like Carbonite and Google Photos to back up my pics and documents online. While these measures do require pretty decent internet access, it’s worth it in the unlikely event that all of your stuff gets stolen, drenched, or eaten by a bear.
If the worst happens and you do lose your favourite gadgets, travel insurance is a good way to at least ensure you’re not completely out of pocket on the experience.
Many policies only cover a small fraction of the lost item, so double check to see whether you have to pay an additional amount to insure pricier items such as laptops and high-end cameras.
Having trouble choosing the policy for you? Read about how to choose the right travel insurance.
What precautions do you take with your valuables when you travel?