Travelling for the Holidays? Protect Your Tech!

If “I’ll be home for Christmas” is not just a hope but a promise this year, you’ll be packing your bags before the season’s out. So will a lot of others before they take to the roads, rails, and skies. More than 107 million Americans travel during the winter holidays, journeying 50 miles or more to celebrate with friends and family.

Travelling isn’t easy at the best of the times. During the hectic holidays, when roughly one-third of the country joins you, it can challenge your grip on your sanity. Naturally, you’ll pack your tech to help distract you from the experience. From navigating your route to keeping your occupied during a long flight, they’re helpful gadgets at every step of the trip.

If you plan on packing your phone, tablet, or laptop this year, make sure you check in with this guide. It’s a list of friendly reminders about how to keep your tech safe wherever your travels take you.

Remember your charger!

Be honest — how many times have you found yourself in the following situation? It’s a Monday morning and you’re just arriving at work when you realize your Pixel’s at 5%. With no time to turn around to pick up your charger, you’re stuck spending the day looking at your phone yearningly — desperate to check your messages but worried it won’t last through the unlocking process.

If a dead battery can make a long workday feel even longer, just imagine what it can do for a long journey when you were planning on using your phone or laptop to distract you.

Forgetting key details like your charger is easy to do on a simple day. Add the excitement of travelling and you’re even more likely to leave behind important elements of your tech.

Make sure you set multiple reminders about your chargers before you leave. You can also use a traveller organizer like these ones to keep all of your cords together, so you only need to pack one thing before you’re ready to go.

Pack a backup battery

Personal outlets next to your seat are becoming more popular, but don’t assume you’ll have one — or that you’ll be able to use it. If you get on an older train or plane, it may not offer in-seat outlets for every passenger. Your seatmate may monopolize the outlets nearest to you, or your charger may not reach all the way from your seat.

These experiences can leave you fuming if you don’t have a backup battery pack to boost your tech’s juice. For heavy-duty charging, the Anker PowerCore 20,100 power bank can charge multiple gadgets multiple times. If you’re only travelling with your Pixel, a small power bank like the Pebble will do just fine.

Think about physical safety

Tech makes travelling so much easier. With your Pixel in your back pocket, friends and family are just a message away — as are all your apps. You can toss a tablet or computer into your carry-on, so you’ll have movies, tv shows, or larger games with which to occupy your time.

While these devices certainly make your life easier as a passenger, an itinerant holiday season can be hard on their delicate machinery. Scrapes, drops, and spills can leave your tech looking worse for wear by the time you ring in the new year.

Physical protection is an obvious solution, but you need to be careful with the accessory you choose. Bulky cases hulk out your gadgets, adding mass to devices that are already cumbersome to use. Meanwhile, cheap adhesives do nothing but damage the surface of your tech, leaving behind residue and other gunk when you want to take it off.

This isn’t a design flaw in the gadget skins from a company like dbrand. They use authentic 3M vinyl to ensure Pixel skins fit snuggly without the use of gross adhesives that damage surfaces. It’s the same material used in all of their designs, including skins for iPhones, iPads, tablets, computers, and MacBooks.

MacBook skins protect your laptop from scratches, grime, and spills with its water-resistant material, just as every other skin does. They also come in unique textures that look great while improving your grip, so you’re less likely to drop your tech while making a connecting flight.

Think about digital safety, too

Quick — what’s the first thing you think to do when you arrive at the airport or settle into your seat on the train. It isn’t to check in or take off your coat. In all likelihood, it’s to sign onto the free Wi-Fi offered by the airline or railway.

Free Wi-Fi can be a blessing for anyone who has maxed out their data during the holidays, but you should use it with caution. Public Wi-Fi is unprotected, which means anyone can sign on to the network. People with the right computer know-how can break the network to see all the devices connected to it. They can eavesdrop in on your browsing — seeing everything from the passwords you type in to access your email or the credit card you punch in to finalize a sale.

Protect yourself and your identity by using the free Wi-Fi for basic browsing. Wait to do any shopping once you’re on a network protected by a password. This limits the chances of someone being able to “hack” your account.

Travelling is every bit a holiday tradition as eating Yule logs or lighting the menorah. If you plan on taking to the skies or hitting the roads this season, make sure you pack your tech appropriately. When you take the time to make sure your gadgets are ready for takeoff, you’ll be able to enjoy the journey and arrive at your destination ready to make merry.

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