When you’re on a long vacation, there are lots of things you could be worried about. What if someone steals your luggage? What if you get caught in the rain without an umbrella? What if your laptop gets stolen or damaged? While all of these things can happen to us at some point in our lives, none of them are really things we’d like to spend time thinking about while on a trip. However, it is crucial that we do think about them, so here are some tips that you should keep in mind when packing your bags and traveling with your laptop.
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1. Know where not to take your laptop
There are certain places you shouldn’t take your laptop. Be careful not to take it where it could get damaged, such as on the beach or pool. If you’re out and about, don’t leave your device unattended in your hotel room or car. Also, it’s best not to use your laptop on the plane, because if you drop your computer while getting up to use the restroom or grab a beverage, the person behind you may not appreciate it if your computer lands in their lap.
2. Protect your laptop in transit
To protect your laptop from damage during transit, use a hard case, which is a special type of suitcase designed to hold laptops and other electronics for safe travel. The most popular choice is the Pelican 1410 Hard Case, which costs about $120 and includes an anti-static strap that prevents static electricity from damaging your computer’s components. Other options include the Pelican 1510 Hard Case (about $100), which is lighter, while the Pelican 1710 Hard Case (about $200) protects against both static electricity and water damage.
3. Backup all your important data before heading out
Backing up all your files means that if your laptop is stolen or lost, you won’t lose any information. It also saves you time in case of physical damage to your computer, since backing up is often faster than recovering lost data from a damaged hard drive (assuming the hard drive isn’t completely destroyed).
You can save backups to an external hard drive or upload them to cloud storage services like Google Drive. Just remember to keep that external drive with you at all times. If it gets stolen or lost too, then you’ll be out of luck.
4. Use a VPN to encrypt connections when using public Wi-Fi.
Public Wi-Fi networks are notoriously insecure and vulnerable to hacking. You should avoid connecting to them whenever possible, but if you need to connect, be sure to use a VPN service first so that all your traffic is encrypted.
Hackers can intercept unencrypted Internet connections and steal passwords, credit card numbers and other private information that could cost you a fortune.
5. Learn about whether your laptop is covered under your existing insurance or not
If you have home contents insurance, your laptop should be covered against most risks, so it’s worth checking this first. Don’t wait until something happens to your laptop though – call your insurer to confirm what is covered and what isn’t. If you don’t have home contents cover, you could add your laptop.
But if your home insurance policy has an excess of £75+, you may find that it’s cheaper to get specific insurance for your laptop or other valuables instead. You’ll be able to claim the full cost of replacements – and might even get extra features such as ‘worldwide’ cover and accidental damage.
Although if you have a homeowners or renters insurance policy of a reliable insurer, there’s a good chance that your laptop would be covered in your policy and you won’t have to employ any mental gymnastics to find the right kind of insurance for the laptop you’re carrying on the trip. This means, if someone neatly takes away your laptop during your trip without you noticing, your insurance policy would cover you.
6. Don’t leave it unattended
Don’t ever leave your computer in a public place like a hotel room, the airport or even the back seat of your car. Think of it as a piece of luggage that can’t be separated from you for any length of time. Even if it’s in “plain sight,” don’t leave it unattended for even a few minutes. Do what you need to do and then return for it before moving on.
7. Use a cable lock
Cable locks are devices that attach to the frame of a laptop and then secure to something else — like an office desk or hotel room furniture — using a cable and locking mechanism. If someone wants to steal a laptop protected by such a device, they’ll have to take the entire table or desk with them. That makes the device more trouble than it’s worth and will discourage most thieves from trying to
8. Use your hotel’s safe
You may be tempted to leave your laptop in your hotel room, but unless you have one of those secure ones with a key card lock, it’s not safe. Don’t let the “Do Not Disturb” sign fool you. Hotel cleaning staff still enter the room several times a day, and anyone can get in with a passkey or an easy-to-pick door lock.
Put your laptop in the hotel safe when you head out for the day. It’s better to carry it around than risk having it stolen from your hotel room by housekeeping or someone else with a passkey.
If there isn’t a safe in your room, ask the front desk if they can put it into their safe until you return. You’ll want to choose between carrying it around or leaving it at the front desk because both locations are too public to be left unattended.
Laptops can be vulnerable to lots of things as you travel on flights, buses, and trains. Scratches, drops, food, liquids, and spills could ruin your brand new laptop very quickly. It could also be ignorance that costs you a fortune. And that is why it’s important to take some precautions before you lose your expensive gadget. We hope this guide will give you the necessary tips so that you can make sure your laptop stays in one piece while you travel.
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