Photo Source: Flickr - Fran Trudeau
Let's face it; in today's world we no longer travel with just one or two gadgets. We now carry cameras, cellphones, GPS devices, laptops, and tablets as helpful tools for our trip or simply to entertain us. So, with this already emerged trend of carrying multiple electronics throughout your trips, here are a few tips that will help you take care of them. We don't want to ruin our precious devices on the road, right?
Don't put them in checked luggage
Always have all your electronics in your carry-on bag, never in your check-in bag. Once you check them in, you don't know what could happen to your electronics. First, and this is sad to say, but theft does occur. We don't want to blame anyone, but there are many stories of baggage handlers permanently borrowing items out of other peoples bags.
But, let's pretend for a second that all baggage handlers are careful and your bags won't suffer any mistreatment; still, your bag will go through severe temperature changes. When you check a bag, it is stored in the belly of the plane - that is the space below you. That space is not acclimatized like the cabin, so when the plane flies at 40,000 feet, the freezing temperatures from the atmosphere (about -64 degrees Fahrenheit) slowly makes its way into the luggage compartment.
While the baggage compartment doesn't get that cold, many electronics are not designed to withstand cold temperatures for long periods of time, so you run the chance of damaging your electronics.
Protect them with a cover
No matter what kind of electronic device you have, chances are that there is a cover designed specifically for it. Use it! It will protect your device from scratches, falls, and even the inevitable pressure you'll exert on your daypack when youre tired and want to lean on it for a bit to rest. Yes, you'll do that a lot if you travel long term.
Separate devices in small bags
Covers are good to protect your devices, but small bags are great for organizing them and providing further protection. You can use bags to either separate the devices further to prevent scratching, keep all chargers and cables organized in one place or simply to keep your bag more organized.
Get waterproof bags
You might approach this in several ways. You can either get a waterproof daypack, a normal daypack with a rain cover, or simply a small and light waterproof bag to store your electronics inside your carryon. I've had the experience of walking on the street and suddenly finding myself under heavy rain and with no cover. As a result my daypack got soaked, but luckily, those separate smaller bags helped protect my electronics.
Another good reason to get a small waterproof bag is to keep your electronics clean and sand-free when you go to the beach. Sand is a horrible enemy to electronics, especially if they consist of multiple moving parts. Sand gets in, stuck, and your device no longer works properly. With a waterproof bag, you can use your device when needed, seal it back inside, and even go into the water with them (if you're traveling solo and have no one else to look over for them).
Have cleaning supplies and protective screens
Have the proper cleaning products to clean your camera lens, the screen of your tablet or other electronics. These can be found in most electronic stores. Also, get screen covers (those thin transparent films) to protect them from scratches.
Always be aware of your devices
Beyond getting covers and waterproof bags, the most important factor in taking care of your electronics is to always be aware of them. Clean them when needed, don't drop your bag unnecessarily and always handle them with care.
What are your best tips for traveling with electronics?