Travel And Electronics

Friday, May 19, 2023
Essential Electronic Gear - pic from

We live in a digitalized world. And even when we go on a hike into the wilderness or a road trip to an unknown destination, our sidekicks are almost always our smartphones. We use them for multiple operations, and most of them are not calling another number/phone. For a longer-than-a-few-hours trip, we probably also carry a tablet, maybe a laptop, an external drive, and possibly a USB, an electronic reader, and perhaps a camera. Or shall it be the gaming console? Argh! How are we supposed to make the right choice, when what used to be gadgets are an integral part of our daily lives?

Having traveled a lot, and frequently, I learned not to overpack. Especially not electronic devices. I cannot explain how annoying it can get when you are at a checkpoint at 3 am, exhausted from lack of sleep, and you have to explain what a lithium-battery-powered device is doing in the bag you intend to check in. It wasn't so long ago that some phones were exploding in people's pockets. To avoid having a fire started in the cargo area, many airlines, if not all, ask passengers to carry their lithium-battery-powered electronics in a carry-on bag. Or in their pockets.

So your first golden rule is to leave that gizmo you won't have the time nor the opportunity to use at home. Get yourself a backpack that is electronics-friendly, where all your cables, chargers, and tools will fit. And make sure it is not too heavy.

Second: always carry your own chargers. And keep an international adapter/converter on you in order to load at least 2 items at a time. In the same line of thought, pack an extra cable for your phone. It can come in very handy, especially when you have multiple phones or tablets.

Third rule: avoid accessing personal or sensitive personal information on public or hotel Wi-Fi. This means do not operate your banking apps if the internet connection you are using is not secured and encrypted. Be careful not to charge your phone, tablet, or laptop with a USB cable in a public space as hackers can access your data remotely and without your knowledge.

Remember. If you absolutely "need" those extra widgets, like a noise-canceling headphone, or even an electronic bag scale, take them. But you will keep them all at hand in your carry-on. Is it worth the space, weight, and effort to transport them? If you have an ounce of doubt, you don't really need them and you would travel lighter and better without them. For tips and tricks on how to travel light and smart, read my previous post here.

Happy traveling✈️

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