All about laptop travel

Laptops are a great boon for travel. They allow you to blog, capture photos, send emails and skype cheaply and make travel plans as you go. They are also a time waster, can cause you to not engage with whats happening around you as you travel. Think carefully before a trip as to whether you need your IT. If two of you are travelling consolidate your electronics! It amazes me when I see couples carrying multiple smartphones, two laptops, two (or more) iPads, two kindles, and two cameras.

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Check that your insurer covers damage and theft of your laptop.

Don’t check your laptop in -ever.

I have see too many laptops dropped at security check points. Get a security approved laptop case or cover which allows you to safely pass it through security with some cushioning. It goes in its own bin at the airport I also wait for my case to have gone through the X ray machine before stepping through. Decorate your case with something distinctive so no one else might be mistaken for thinking it is yours. X-ray machines won’t harm your laptop or erase the hard drive. Don’t forget to collect your laptop after you go through security.

I have been told that customs in some countries will want to see proof you purchased the computer prior to arriving in the country. It has never happened to me but I am told to keep your laptop receipt with you.

At some airports, you may be asked to switch on your laptop to prove it is a genuine laptop. Have the battery charged to allow you to do this.

Also, there are stories, in some countries, of border guards checking the contents of a laptop. If you have pictures or documents perceived to be immoral, illegal or inciteful, your laptop may be confiscated. I am told, that if a border guard wants your laptop. You do not argue with them.

Generally, airlines do not allow you to put your laptop in your seat pocket. I recommend Pete never use them because you can lose stuff. Nor will airlines allow you to old it during take off and landing. Either put it under the seat in front of you or hold into it and pop it int the overhead compartment after everyone has shoved their bags in. I had a laptop damaged because a guy threw his heavy bag on top of my laptop bag ( his bag was clearly way more than a few kilograms).

Check to see what the airline’s policy is regarding laptops use while parked at the gate. European and Pacific carriers tend to discourage use on the ground. The US seems more lenient.

Switch it off when asked to by the airline’s announcements. It makes your cabin crew’s life easier. Not doing so will get a polite gritted teeth request to switch it off. Refusing to do that can get your laptop confiscated or you removed from the plane.

Don’t expect power outlets on your flight. Also don’t count on them working even if they are installed. A polite request of an air steward may result in them charging your laptop at one of their outlets.

Don’t count on wifi on the plane being available or working.

Don’t use your laptop during meal service or drink service. I have seen red wine poured over a keyboard. It didn’t work after that! Turbulence is unexpected and your drink can end up spilled over yours or someone else’s laptop.

Password protect your laptop.

Buy a laptop combination cable locks that plugs the side of the laptop. You can use this when staying in hostels or dodgy hotels. I have even left my laptop sitting on the table of a train while I have visited the lavatory.

Don’t forget your charger and adapter.

Back it up -online is best.If your bag is stolen then you dont want to find your back up is gone too.

Know your warranty. If the computer fails mid trip, you may need to negotiate its repair.

If its stolen tell the police.

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