These days, it's not just business travelers who require the use of a
laptop on their trips. Whether traveling for business or pleasure,
laptops are a great tool for communicating with others, finding in-town
hotspots, storing multimedia files, or just catching up on work. With
increased travel comes increased risks; due to their portability laptops
are susceptible to theft and damage. The following are some tips for
traveling with a laptop which can hopefully save you time, money, and
Preparing for Travel
- Backup your computer before you leave and store the backups in a safe place at home or at work.
- Protect your data by setting a login password for your laptop.
- Charge up your battery fully to make sure you have enough battery life to turn on the computer at the airport security checkpoint.
- For international travel, purchase the appropriate power converter for your laptop (check with your laptop manufacturer).
- Call your destination hotel to see if there is internet access in your room.
- Pack your laptop in a padded bag specially designed for carrying laptops.
At the Airport/In-Flight
- Do not check your laptop in with baggage, as there is no guarantee it will be handled with care.
- Keep your laptop with you at all times, making sure it is easily accessible for security inspection.
- Make sure to send your laptop through the x-ray machine instead
of the metal detector. X-rays are not harmful to your computer, but
metal detectors may cause damage. You can try to request that Security
do a hand-check of your laptop instead of a metal detector check.
- Keep all Customs documentation to prove that your laptop was brought with you from your country of origin, and not purchased while traveling.
- Do not store your laptop in the overhead bin as other luggage may be placed on top of it.
- Adjust your power settings to conserve battery life when using the laptop in-flight.
- Keep your laptop stowed away during flight take-off/landing until notified by flight crew that it is safe to turn on electronic devices.
At your Destination
- Use the power adapter with the appropriate voltage for the country you are visiting; plugging your laptop into an outlet without the proper power adapter will damage the device.
- When away, store the laptop in the hotel safe.
- Do not take your laptop to places with excessive sand or moisture.