For most people, traveling has never been easier and cheaper than it is today, and whether you’re going on a road trip, taking a flight to a country you’ve never been before, or preparing for a full and fun family vacation, you’re likely going to be bringing some of your favorite devices with you. On them, you can get your tickets, pay for quite a bit, learn bits and pieces of the language, impartial reviews of local attractions and restaurants, and get the best maps in the world.
Yet those devices need proper care and attention, and there are ways you can best use them to make the most of your trip. While we can’t provide you with an exact guide to how to do everything you need (that’ll depend on multiple factors, all of which only you know), we would like to provide the following general tips and guidelines you can use to make your next journey much easier:
Remember, You’re Going to Carry that Weight
Every pound you take with you in your bag is another pound you might have to potentially carry around or otherwise drag you with you all day. While there are certainly a few things you should try to take with you, if you’re going to be flying or traveling in a way where you’d want to have your technology with you at all times, remember this will be true even (and especially) when you’re most tired. If possible, finding or choosing lightweight items is key, and bringing anything especially bulky or awkward to carry can make for poor travels.
Another side to this, especially if you have a laptop, notebook, or larger tablet you need to keep with you, is to find a bag or backpack that will distribute the weight well and fit comfortably on you. The right choice will make it feel like you’re carrying nothing at all, while a poor one will dig into you all day. Choose carefully and remember that most straps are replaceable or adjustable.
Prepare Instead of React
If you are planning to just deal with any potential problems as they happen without thinking about it first, you’re going to have a bad trip, or at least not as good of a trip as you could’ve had. This is especially the case if you’re travelling alone and without the backup options provided simply by having another set of devices with you.
Having multiple ways to access any account available will protect you from a digital standpoint, and an extra flash drive or two you can use as a backup can help, especially considering an easily affordable one has the storage space of a small hard drive. When you’re travelling with others, see what they have under control and coordinate as best you can, and try to make sure both of you have necessary information on your phones or other devices.
While it can add to clutter, another way to better prepare yourself is to print out copies of important documents you may need and keep them in a bag, pocket, wallet, or folder.
Know the Security Procedures (and Your Rights)
Depending on where you’re coming from and where you’re going from, you should know what types of security procedures you can expect, what privacy rights you have, and what recourse you may have if those rights are violated.
Unfortunately, if would be impossible here to break down the procedures of every single country and given how often the minutiae of those procedures change, we fear that any information would quickly become outdated and thus misleading. Instead, we strongly recommend looking them up for yourself with the resources available to you (they should be extremely easy to find with a few searches) and that you use your better judgment about what you take with you and what data is contained on your devices.
We recommend you do or at least plan this well before you leave. If you are concerned with some data in particular, then we recommend wiping it entirely and keeping it at home. If you will need to access it on your travels, perhaps you may wish to use a secure cloud service, which admittedly could have security issues of its own, but is far less likely to be an immediate problem.
Personal Security and Cybersecurity Is Important
Don’t let your devices out of your sight, ever if possible. And if you are planning on doing so, leave them with a person you trust or in a locker or safe. Not only are the devices themselves valuable, but the data held on them is equally valuable. Avoiding their theft should be a top priority, and you should be able to remotely wipe the device and track it using one of several apps.
You might have heard this a thousand times, but be careful of what you do on public networks. Hackers, with a device that can fit in the palm of someone’s hand, can easily track everything that happens on the network, including the input of your passwords, etc. The last thing you need to deal with when you’re traveling is identity theft, as it could potentially strand you with little money to work with.
Similarly, remember all of your other cybersecurity best practices. Avoid scams where possible, which you should be especially vigilant for as you might be exposed to unfamiliar sites more frequently as a result of your travels. And give no one your information unless it’s absolutely necessary and give thought as to when it’s necessary.
Remember Spare Battery Packs and Chargers
A spare battery pack can mean a huge difference if your devices are a bit older and the batt. You can’t guarantee that you’ll find a reliable charging station when you’re exploring your destination, and even then, you don’t want to be bogged down by that inconvenience when there is simply so much else to do.
Depending on the country you’re travelling to, this also means investing in an adaptor as soon as you can so you can properly charge your gear. You can certainly get one at the nearest tourist trap, but do you really want to pay three times what you could pay online?
If you’re willing to expend a little extra space, a wireless charging pad can make you the hero of the travelling group when someone else inevitably forgets their charger.
A Few Other Key Items
Here are a couple of other tech items that we think would be great for any trip:
- An extra usb cable. However, your phone connects to the outside world that isn’t a wireless connection, you might want to be able to move photos or other data from your computer or transfer files another way. It can also be handy for charging your device, and be a great backup if your first cable is
- Some lightweight headphones or earbuds. You were probably going to anyway, but you’re going to want to listen to something when you’re in transit. If you can find a lightweight noise-cancelling set, that’s all the better.
- Something you can watch your favorite shows or videos on. For many this might be their smartphone, but in other cases a tablet or lightweight screens might be best, especially for longer trips with a lot of downtime. With one you can look up clearer videos on local attractions or do something like keep up with your favorite shows.
There is still a ton we could talk about when it comes to travelling with your phone, laptop, and other devices, but an entire book could be written on the subject. Instead, we will leave you with the advice that you should look up more details and specific advice relevant to your origin, destination, and the devices you plan on bringing. We wish you the best of luck and much enjoyment on your travels.