The beauty of today’s personal computers is that they are mobile. Most people own a laptop either as a sole computer or as a handy addition to their desktop that can’t be taken along on trips or to the office. Unfortunately, altogether too many times people forget to plan for the contingencies, one of which is safeguarding that costly laptop when travelling. Most of us would feel a tragic sense of loss if anything happened to our laptop, and doubly so if it could have been prevented. Here are five tips for travelling with a laptop suggested by Charles Ford London to help protect you from any mishaps along the way.
#1 Choose a Laptop Bag with Adequate Protection
First and foremost, whether frequently taking long trips or short jaunts to the office, you will need to think about the level of protection needed in a laptop bag. When travelling great distances, or on the tube where they might get jostled about, you might want to think about a hard shell laptop case. If you choose to go with a lighter-weight bag, make sure there is ample padding. The adverts might tell you that the product is virtually indestructible, but you know better. There are fragile components in any laptop, so give them enough protection even through rough handling.
#2 Stay Aware of What Goes on Around You
There is no way to guarantee that everyone around you will have the same set of ethics you do. It only takes a moment’s lack of attention and that laptop could be history. When using a shoulder bag, this is not as usual as with the laptop bags on wheels. Yes, they do make for easier transport, but don’t leave them unattended.
#3 Carry-on vs. Cargo
If you choose to carry your laptop on a plane, train or bus, then a well-padded laptop bag may suffice. However, if you are going to check your laptop bag to be transported with cargo, it is advisable to opt for a hard case. Pick up the newspaper almost any day of the week and there will be horror stories about luggage being lost or destroyed by baggage handlers. Add that extra bit of safety with a hard case and if you have a soft, nylon bag, take it on board with you.
#4 Keep Laptop Documentation Separate and Insure when Possible
Since you will be in public for much of your trip, don’t leave any documentation in the laptop bag. Keep it in a safe place at home or in some other piece of luggage or handbag. Make sure you have written down the make, model and serial number in the event your laptop is stolen or lost. Travel insurance itemising your laptop is also a good idea. This can serve to recoup the cost but what happens to all that data stored on the hard drive?
#5 Run Backup and Lock the Hard Drive
Ah, the wonders of the Internet! In recent years there has been a great surge in the number of servers that offer something called Cloud Storage. Depending on the level of service you choose, everything on your computer can be backed up and stored online just by setting a few parameters. Whilst working you can have the system backed up as often as every minute to every 10 or 15 minutes to hourly or even daily. Make sure to run backup prior to leaving on a trip and then lock your hard drive before packing your laptop away. You can find out the specific instructions for locking your computer’s hard drive with the documentation that came along at time of purchase.
You may need that laptop on your trip, but don’t forget it can be lost, damaged or stolen in a heartbeat. Follow these tips for travelling with a laptop and your trip can be worry-free. You remember the old adage, better safe than sorry. Well this is true when travelling with a laptop. Plan now to avoid loss later.