You may have figured out by now that I travel a lot for my *job*. Brand outings, blogger conferences, speaking engagements, and media appearances… something is always coming up. I am always on the go and I need to stay connected. Obviously I don’t take everything that I own, but as I laid out in my post Preparing for Your First (or 50th) Conference I prefer to be over prepared than under prepared. And, doing what I do… I may have to knock out a post, email a client, or write a proposal at any time. Plus I HAVE to take pictures being the photobug that I am. And, I may take my iPad so that I don’t have to lug my laptop around for sessions. So, that means that I carry a far amount of expensive equipment.
I do worry about keeping all of my equipment safe from thieves and from prying eyes. Here are a few tips to help you if you travel with your expensive equipment while on the go.
1. Label everything: Invest in some labels like Mabel’s Labels and label everything from your laptop down to your camera to your chargers. If you are attending a conference full of others that know you chances are the majority of them are honest. And if you do leave a gadget somewhere, a fellow attendee can tell right away who it belongs to and hopefully return it to you. I actually left my Flip camera in a conference room and because it was skinned in my blog name and logo, someone grabbed it and returned it to me.
2. Use the hotel room safe: Most hotel rooms have a safe in the closet, dresser, or corner of the room. Use it. Put items of value that you do not take with you in the safe and make sure that it is securely locked.
3. Do worry about identity theft during travel: Be aware of the fact that you might be browsing the internet on a public network if you connect from the airport, hotel, or other public place. Because of this, you might want to limit accessing your bank accounts until you get back home. Or, install your bank’s mobile app on your smartphone and access it there instead.
4. Do monitor your accounts: Although I just told you in #3 not to access your bank accounts on public networks, you should still monitor them either on your secure smartphone app, or by dialing in to the bank. And you should check your credit monitoring account to make sure that all is well. If you do not have one already, consider signing up for Identity Guard. It is easy to spend, spend, spend, while on vacation by using a debit or a credit card. Make sure that your card stays in your hands, and monitor iffy activity. Savvy thieves might notice the fact that you appear to be on vacation and figure that you will not notice a few extra charges on your account.
5. Keep your valuables in your carry-on bag: NEVER put expensive equipment, gadget parts, or cords that you might need, or anything else that you really do not want to lose in your checked luggage. Keep it in your carry-on. Luggage comes up missing more than we probably know about. And, upon scanning TSA may feel the need to go through your bag. It happened to me and I ended up coming home with someone else’s iPad and cell phone chargers in my suitcase. I am sure that person was quite upset when they got home.
These are just a few things that I can think of to help you travel safely with your gadgets. Of course if you are going on a true vacation, you might want to leave the laptop at home to force yourself to unplug. But, if you are taking what you consider a business trip and you have deadlines to meet as many of us do, you want to be prepared.
For a bit more information on identity theft and some surprising stats, check out this infographic:
Disclosure: This post is part of my involvement as a kIDSure Ambassador. All opinions are my own.
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