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Five Tips when Traveling With Your Laptop

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Like most people that carry a laptop, yours is probably a vital part of your personal or professional life. Your laptop was probably a big investment and you’d like to keep it as long as possible, providing that it allows you to continue to do the things that you need to do. Because your laptop is a big part of your life and was such a huge investment, you’ll want to be sure to protect your asset when you are traveling. Many people who have laptops consider them and every day, ordinary item, and they don’t protect their laptop as much as they should. When you travel your laptop can easily be stolen or damaged if you don’t take the appropriate steps to secure your belongings.

The following are five tips to help you travel safely and efficiently with you laptop:

• If you are debating whether you should carry your laptop onto the plane with you or check it, you need not debate anymore. You should definitely carry your laptop onto the plane with you. The airline baggage handlers expect items such as clothing to be stored within the luggage that they put on the plane, so if you pack your expensive laptop it will get tossed around and it definitely won’t be treated like the fragile object that it is. Not only should you carry the laptop on the plane with you, you should keep it stowed under the seat in front of you instead of putting it in the over head storage of the plane. Other people will likely bump, bruise, move, and possibly even drop your laptop as they store their items or get into their bags stored next to yours. It’s best to always keep your laptop right next to you.

• As you probably know, people traveling with laptop computers are usually required to turn it on and show that it is nothing more than a working computer. If you would rather not be slowed down by this visual security inspection, you can actually anticipate this and turn your computer on before you get to the security checkpoint. Before you leave the house in the morning consider turning on your laptop and simply leave it in suspend mode so that you can open it up, it’ll come on, and you’ll be cleared to go to your gate. It’s amazing how much time your laptop can take to power up when you are running late for your plane. Just be sure that you plan accordingly and you charge the battery before leaving home.

• When you are waiting for your flight or even in flight, you should try not to draw attention to yourself and your laptop. If it’s a very crowded boarding area or flight, you might not feel comfortable turning on your laptop as other people peer over your shoulder. If another traveler expresses interest in your laptop, you can be polite but try to keep it brief. Many people ask questions and watch people with laptops waiting for the most opportune time to steal it from them. You shouldn’t assume that everyone out there that expresses interest in your laptop wants to steal it, but it happens more often than you would think so it’s better not to draw attention to your laptop or yourself while using it.

• Another good rule that you should have for yourself when traveling with your laptop is not to let it out of your sight. Even if you have to use the restroom or are just running across the way to grab a cup of coffee, you should not leave your laptop. The only exception to this rule is if you are traveling with someone that you know and trust, but remind him or her also that your laptop can never be left alone, not even for a moment. Many people believe that they can ask the nice woman or man sitting next to them to “keep an eye” on their belongings while they make their way to the restroom or that cup of coffee, only to come back and find that nice person and their laptop is gone. It’s better to be safe than sorry, so don’t let your investment out of your sight.

• When you are traveling with your laptop you should always keep your laptop case or bag locked, if possible. While someone might not be able to gain access to your laptop without you noticing, they may be able to steal other equipment, documentation, or other items that you keep in your laptop case. When you lock your case, there is no way for them to sneak off with these items without your knowledge, unless they are able to get away with the whole case. You’d be surprised at how sneaky well-practiced thieves are, and you just wouldn’t want to take a chance with your items. A locked case will also prevent someone from putting something into your bag that you do not want there.

Things to remember

1. Do not keep anything important on it
2. Have anything you want/need backed up
3. Password protect everything you can on the machine
4. File a report with the airline immediately
5. When asking for damages ask for 2 to 3 times the value, this way you will end up with a payment for what the thing was really worth. 

Your laptop is likely a huge asset to you for business and personal reasons, and when you are traveling it’s up to you to protect this asset. Generally, you won’t have a problem with people trying to steal or damage your personal belongings, but it only takes that one person who is able to catch you unaware to have your laptop missing or damaged. So, take care, plan ahead, and be aware so that your travels with your laptop are as pleasant as possible.

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