If you’re planning on traveling this year, chances are, you’re already putting a lot of thought into your airline tickets, hotel reservations, and exactly how to stuff all of your fabulous outfits into one suitcase. But have you given any thought to traveling with your electronics?
In such a wired age, most of us wouldn’t dream of setting off for a week away from home without a bevy of gadgets: a laptop, iPad, cell phone, camera, e-book reader, MP3 player, video camera, and of course all of their accompanying chargers and USB cables. Whew! That’s a lot to pack along, especially in a carry-on. Here are a few things you can do to make your trip a bit easier.
For starters, before you even pack your bag, write down the make, model, and serial number of every electronic item you plan on packing. Yes, you should already have all of your serial numbers tucked away in a safe place, but many people neglect this step when they purchase a new ìtoyî. Put one copy of your records in a safe place, and take another copy with you; if your items are stolen, you’ll need those numbers to help ID and recover your goods.
Make your gadgets pull double duty. The laptop and Kindle might be superfluous if you have the iPad; likewise, many cameras now record HD video, so unless you plan on making a mini-movie, a separate video camera, with all the bells and whistles, might not be necessary.
Use plastic twist ties (sold at electronics stores) to corral all of your cables, and store them in a clear plastic Ziploc bag. You can use different colors for different items for at-a-glance identification. Make sure all of your gadgets are in protective, water-resistant sleeves, too. If you have items that require rechargeable batteries (like AAs), make sure you have a spare set and a charger in your bag so you don’t end up searching for a Walmart store in the middle of the night.
Finally, pack your devices wisely. Chargers and small items (like the camera) can be tucked inside of shoes. Larger items, like the laptop, can be nestled in between layers of clothing for extra cushioning (that doesn’t mean you can ditch the sleeve!). Don’t put items in outer pockets where they can be easily pilfered, and consider purchasing a lock for your bag to deter thieves.
Most importantly? Remember to put down the gadgets once in a while and enjoy your trip!