Traveling with electronics

  • By Mary A
  • Top Travel Tips
  • 14.08.2016

Technology is useful, and all gadgets can make our life so much more easy. Read more about traveling with electronics (smartphone, ipod, laptop...), what to have in mind to have them functional during overseas travel.

The first rule to electric devices to work is to have their batteries fully charged. This means you need to charge all the devices you plan on taking with you before you leave. You will want to buy an outlet adapter because outlets in different countries look different than those back home. The bright side is that you can easily find one online and it will not cost you a fortune either. You might be lucky and find one in your local hardware store as well. You will generally need one only for your laptop as many other handheld devices can be charged using the USB cable connecting them to the laptop. You will want to save some battery juice by turning all of them to airplane mode. Not everyone knows this, but airport security might ask you to power up your gadgets and if you cannot do it, those devices won't be allowed on board.

Speaking of being able to charge your laptop overseas, make sure to check out the voltage or you might fry your charger. Asia and Europe use a voltage that is almost double than that of USA. Luckily for you, you can read the voltage on the charger and you can find out the one in your host country either online or from the host. If you can, pack an extra battery for your laptop as well.

During the security screening all gadgets pass through the Xray machine. Leave the laptop in an easily accessible place as not to have to take everything out and put it back again after neatly packing. Since the laptop and everything else goes in your carry-on bag, you most likely also have some liquids packed as well. Be extra careful and wrap your devices in plastic also, not just the liquids. If you need to bring both your laptop and tablet, make sure to pack them with a tshirt or a sweater in between them to avoid ugly scratches.

There is one aspect many tourists seem to forget or to ignore when traveling: security of their electronics. Electronics are rather vulnerable to virus attacks and some of them can render your item useless. Before leaving, make sure you update your antivirus software, as well as any other software that may need this action. Furthermore, set up passwords and PIN codes on all your electronics. Very few travelers are aware of the dangers of using random free WiFi hotspots. These can be set up by hackers and you may realize this when it's too late. You shouldn't need to be told, but leaving your stuff unattended or looked over by strangers is bad idea. You might return to what appears to be your laptop, but it will either be full of viruses or a different one - you will only find out a bit too late again.