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Whether you’re on a vacation or a business trip, it’s not unusual to bring your laptop along for the journey. Your laptop is one of your most important possessions. It contains work information, personal information, family photos, and much more. It’s how you access the Internet and how you get things done. Losing it would be inconvenient, to say the very least, and expensive.

When you’re travelling with your laptop, it’s a good idea to take extra precautions to keep it safe and protect it from damage or theft. There are also some things you should keep in mind that will just make your trip easier. Here are some tips for travelling with your laptop.

Backup Your Data

If you aren’t already backing up all of your data, you should start now, especially before a trip. If you lose your laptop, you don’t want all of your important files to go with it. Before you leave, backup all your data on an external hard drive that you leave at home. An even better idea is to use a cloud storage system, so that you’re able to continually backup your data and access it from anywhere with an Internet connection if needed.

Laptop Tracking

As an extra measure of precaution, you may want to pay for a service that using GPS tracking to locate your laptop if it is stolen or lost. Computrace technology will help you recover your laptop, and some options are LoJack for Laptops, MyLaptopGPS, and Absolute Software’s Computrace.

Storage and Protection

Your laptop should have its own separate bag. You should not store your laptop in your luggage, especially your checked luggage. A sturdy bag that fits the size of your laptop and carries its accessories is the best way to go. It should be lightweight, easy to carry, and marked with your name and phone number inside. You can also purchase skins for your laptop, just like you can to protect your smartphone. A silicone skin can help protect your laptop if its dropped. You should also purchase a laptop lock to deter thieves.

Airplane Travel

Most airlines will allow you to bring one carry-on and one personal item. A laptop bag is considered a personal item, so you can bring it separately from your carry-on baggage. When going through airport security, you’ll need to take your laptop out of its bag and place it in its own bin. It is safe for a laptop to go through an airport scanner; it won’t be damaged. If you need to go through a metal detector, however, ask that your laptop be checked by hand instead.

Using Your Laptop

If you’re travelling abroad, find out what type of adaptor you’ll need for your laptop’s power source. You can also find multi-adaptors if you’re going to be travelling to more than one country. Always make sure you log out of your accounts after using your laptop, and avoid doing personal banking or activities involving personal information on public Wi-Fi connections.

Caroline Jones is a travel agent and business professional.  She travels around the world on business trips and recently spent time at a Bahamas vacation resort.

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Photo by:Özgür Donmaz

Given high fuel prices all round the world, more and more airlines are charging extra to check a second piece of baggage, packing light has become a necessity – well unless you have your own plane.

Many of the international airlines (AirTran, American Airlines, Northwest, Delta, US Airways, United) are now requiring passengers to pay fee of US$25.00 if they can’t cram all their belongings into one bay to check. Those were the days when you could travel with 2-3 pieces of luggage, well it’s still possible but just be prepared to pay the price.

If you’re like me “a poor traveler” and you just hate paying more- well you’re in luck. I found a really great website called onebage.com where this packing expect says it is possible to put all your clothes, shoes, books and hairdryers 🙂 into on bag to check.

Doug Dyment of onebag.com is dedicated to the art of traveling light, and says that the key is to make a list in advance of what to pack and stick with it. He has developed a master list over the years that people can use as a starting point for creating their own.

Dyment motto is – “If it’s not on your list, it shouldn’t be in your bag.”

Many times I’ve traveled with stuff in my bags that I never use or wasn’t needed. I think what happens with people is that they pack before their trip and that packing activity consist of mostly talking to yourself and saying – well I might need this and I might need that and what if I invited to a party? And that’s death to light packing, trust me on that one.

He advises people to think of what their lists look like well before a trip — literally writing it down and then checking off one item at a time.

Two big tricks Dyment outlined for packing a bag correctly: Don’t let any space go unused, and wrap your clothes in bundles.

For example if you’re packing a pair of dress shoes, don’t forget there’s a lot of space inside those shoes that you can use to pack some underwear. When it come to clothing, travelers usually fold their clothes individually, stack them, and force them in the suitcase are making a huge mistake.

As an alternative, he suggests using a technique called bundle wrapping (never heard of it before); apparently it keeps clothes from getting wrinkled and takes up less space. Take a look at the diagram.

Diagram by:Doug Dyment

I know there will always be some wise-ass out there saying – how do you bundle warp shoes. Of course, you can’t bundle wrap shoes, the bulkiest item.

Suggestion:It’s better to just take one pair of shoes. A lot of shoes today are both casual and dressy looking at the same time. For women, may I suggest just taking a pair of dressy sandals and low heels – if you can control yourself? 😀

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