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Traveling With Your Laptop

Here are a few tips for those of you carting your own computer on your next trip.

  • Invest in a good case – While backpacks are an excellent option for your laptop, make sure you purchase one that is specifically designed to house your laptop.  Many backpacks and cases are not made to carry a laptop, even though it may fit.  Stay away from these models because you’ll likely experience scratches and dings because they aren’t designed to protect your investment.  Instead, opt for a highly protective, padded laptop case that will hold your laptop securely.  Look for plenty of pockets to hold your mouse, cords etc.
  • Think about security – Remember that you will have to pass your computer through the hand baggage scanner at the airport security area.  Don’t worry about sending your laptop through; the x-rays will not harm your hard drive.  You may also be asked to power up your laptop to prove that it is not a security threat.  Make sure your batteries are charged and ready to go.
  • Check with your hotel about their Internet connection – Many countries are not as advanced with respect to Internet connections.  If you are traveling internationally, check with your hotel to see if your room will have a data line.
  • Pack necessary items for connecting – Ensure that you have a small screwdriver, electrical adapter plugs, adapter jacks, access numbers and your security passwords to log on from faraway destinations.
  • Conserve your batteries – During layovers, find an electrical plug and recharge your batteries so that they are fresh if you want to work while on the plane.  If you use a Windows operating system, always activate the suspend mode as your laptop will restart quickly and it uses virtually no battery power.
  • Invest in a laptop and luggage alarms – If your laptop is pricey, you may want to invest in a motion alarm.  These simple devices are attached to your luggage and you keep the receiver on you.  If someone attempts to steal your bag, an alarm will sound alerting you when your luggage has reached a set distance away from the receiver you are holding.
  • Never leave your laptop unattended – This is what I found to be a bit of a pain… I felt like I had to bring my laptop with me everywhere I went.  They are so easy to steal and I just didn’t trust some of the places I was staying.  Some better hotels will allow you to check valuables at the front desk and this may be worthwhile to investigate.

Traveling with your laptop can be great, just be prepared for connection challenges and always be vigilant.  Have a great trip!