When you are traveling internationally for business, chances are, you’re going to need some of your electronic devices. These days, almost no one travels without at least their smartphone, but if you are going to be working from the road (or, as it were, plane), you’ll likely also need other electronics, such as your laptop. As much as you may need them, it is understandable if you have some hesitations about bringing your devices along for the ride. The risk of breaking or losing one of these essentials, particularly if it belongs to your company, is stressful. However, if you take the right approach, traveling with electronics doesn’t need to be a crisis. In this blog, we will give advice about how to best travel with electronic devices.
Know Travel Rules and Restrictions
Before you even pack up your electronics, you need to know whether or not you can even take them with you. If you are flying, you are going to need to fully understand the rules of TSA. Perhaps most importantly, you will want to consider the weight and size of your bag. In order to carry on your electronics, they will need to fit in a compliant bag, so make sure to look up the size and weight regulations of the specific airline you are flying.
In general, you can carry on pretty much any electronic device in accordance with TSA, from headphones to drones to laptops. You will need to concern yourself more with the rules of the airlines. For example, some dictate that portable electronic devices must stay in your bag during the flight.
If your device is battery-operated, you will also need to take that into consideration. TSA dictates that you must keep lithium-ion batteries in a carry-on bag. You also may not be able to check your bag if you have removable lithium-ion batteries in any of your devices. There is also a limit on the number of spare batteries you can have, though you don’t necessarily need to worry about that. The maximum capacity is 100-watt-hours, which is twice the number of the average laptop.
Invest in an Electronics Bag
One of the best ways to protect your electronics from harm is to invest in a carrier that is specifically designed to protect them. Regardless of the specific device you are using, there is a piece of luggage out there that is specially made for it. Even if you plan on packing this case into another bag, this added layer of protection can make a big difference. Here are some specific considerations to make for your electronics.
If you are packing a digital camera to bring with you, you’ll want to make sure you have a bag that will protect it and all the accessories you bring, such as extra lenses. Alternatively, if you plan on only bringing the camera and packing it in your suitcase, you will need a compact bag that will cushion your DSLR on the inside while providing waterproof protection on the outside.
The most important consideration to keep in mind when shopping for a laptop bag is size. There are a variety of different sizes available on the market, and you want to be sure that your laptop is neither too small nor too big for its bag. If you would rather do a case than a bag, make sure that it will provide shock-absorption and water-protection.
You shouldn’t travel with a smartphone or tablet without a case — that’s just asking for an accident. There are a wide variety of effective case choices for both these types of devices, from hardshell to soft sleeves. The key here is to make sure that it protects against scratches, cracks, and internal damage.
Pack With Care
While having an effective bag or case for your electronic device goes a long way towards protecting it from damage, if you are putting these devices in your suitcase, you will also need to pack with extreme care.
First of all, consider the battery life of your devices. If you are going to have your electronics stored for a few days, try to shut them down when they hit 50 percent battery. This is the best practice for maintaining battery health over time, so before your trip, run your batteries down to 50 percent and then power down.
Next, consider your more complex devices. If they feature many different parts, consider disassembling them before you pack them. For example, if you are bringing a DSLR camera, take the lense off for transit. This way, it reduces the number of stress points where the electronic could break.
As you pack, it’s essential that you remember all of the chargers, cables, and adapters you need to power them up, or there is no point in you packing them at all. Because this can lead to a tangled mess in your suitcase, make sure to coil the cords up compactly and secure them with a tie of some kind. It is handy to keep all of these in one place, such as a zippered pencil case or resealable plastic bag.
If your devices are going into larger bags, be sure to provide padding. This way, you can protect against bumps and stop the devices from moving around in transit. A great way to do this is by wrapping the electronics in your clothing. If you need more padding, you could always use bubble wrap or tissue paper on top of that.
Take your method of transit into consideration when packing. For example, if you are going to be keeping your luggage in your car, avoid putting heavy objects on top of your gadgets, but also avoid placing them in direct sunlight. If you are going to be traveling by plane or train, keep your devices in your carry-on, as in checked bags, you won’t be able to keep an eye on your expensive gadgets.
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