How to Protect Your Tech on the Go
If you’re like me, then you’re always on the go. I often find myself in the airport waiting bays, train stations, and gearing up the car for a long haul. I don’t travel with tons of tech, but I typically bring along my laptop, smartphone, Canon camera, and the accessories that come along with them. As someone who works for an iPhone repair shop in Toronto, I started wondering about how I can keep my gear safe from being damaged.
Travel is unpredictable. Something can always damage your gear whether that’s a lazy airport bagger or rain damage while you’re camping. Over the past three, I’ve traveled my fair share. I’ve lived in a foreign country and visited another eight. I’ve traveled all across my province and I’ve camped in a few dozen locations. During this time I’ve tested out gear to see what works best and here’s what I found.
In the US we use 110v plugs, however, in many other places such as Europe, 220v plugs are the norm. This doesn’t just mean your laptop or phone will be charged faster either. It means it could very well burn up and look more like a toasty piece of metal than it does a sophisticated piece of tech. You can find plug adaptors relatively cheap on Amazon and eBay.
Buy a Rugged Phone
If you’re often in rougher places like the middle of the woods, then you should consider buying the rugged version of a phone. These often come military-grade to be able to withstand immense blows before they bust.
Or At Least a Solid Case
Being cheap when it comes to a phone case is a bad idea that leads to regret. If you don’t want a rugged phone at least pick up a solid case. You should also get a case for your laptop that comes on and off easily (check the reviews!) and for any other device such as an e-reader.
TunnelBear is an app that creates a VPN for your cell phone. It will protect the wireless network you’re on and the files in your cell phone. If you don’t use much data you should be okay with their free version. If you riffle through a lot of data then you can upgrade to the premium version. Even if you’re not worried about getting a VPN for your phone, it’s still a fun app to mess around with.
Not everything with tech has to be expensive. Some of the best things in the world are also the simplest. This holds true for good ole Ziplock bags. I throw all of my USB cords in small baggies to keep them organized and prevent myself from misplacing them. Bring extra bags to toss any smaller devices into if it’s going to rain.
Travel insurance is an often overlooked commodity. No matter how protective we are of our equipment things ultimately are out of our control. Travel insurance is a worthwhile purchase if you’re headed to another country, especially if you’re backpacking. A good insurance policy will replace any lost or damaged tech. Make sure to check your policy to see when you’re covered.
If you’re someone who stays at hostels make sure where you’re staying has a lockbox that you can put your belongings in. While I’ve only ever had good experiences in hostels I’ve heard horror stories about people’s belongings being stolen. You can also invest in a cover for your travel packs that will lock to a bed frame to prevent it from being taken while you’re away or sleeping.
Protecting your gear while traveling is more of an art than a science. You’re always susceptible to occurrences, but by being proactive in protecting your devices you can reduce the chance of something being lost or damaged significantly.