As digital nomads, our laptops, smartphones and cameras are our most prized possessions. Without our trusty cameras, smartphones and laptops, it would be quite difficult for us to earn our living as online workers and entrepreneurs. In my three years of continuous travels, I have never had any broken computers nor cameras yet. I make sure that I take care of them since they’re quite expensive to replace. Here are some of my basic tips of how you can care for your electronics and gadgets while you’re traveling.
1. Use Protective Sleeves and Cases: As soon as I bought a laptop, the first thing I do is to buy a soft neoprene sleeve. It doesn’t add much weight and at the same time it adds a layer of protection against bumps. I also bought a camera bag for my DSLR with ample amount of padding on all sides. My portable hard drives also have their own protective sleeves as well as my phone.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Laptop Sleeve by shaun_hare
2. Always Carry A Waterproof Bag: It doesn’t rain every day in Southeast Asia but if you’re traveling during the monsoon season then you should carry a waterproof bag to prevent your electronics and gadgets from getting wet. I also carry an umbrella even though I don’t use it for myself but rather as an extra protection (from rain) for my gadgets.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Waterproof Bag by si_fu
3. Don’t Check In Your Electronics: All my electronics are kept on my daypack including their cables, chargers etc. I don’t put them in my main backpack where my clothes are. This is to ensure that they don’t get squashed when you leave your main backpack in the luggage compartment of the bus, train, planes or cars.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Backpack by Andre Camara
4. Use Screen Protectors: My phone and camera both have screen protectors to minimize scratches. I’m thinking of doing the same for my laptop but haven’t read reviews yet about the cons of putting one on a laptop. Whenever I drop by electronic shops, I also see customer putting a layer of protection (I’m not sure if it’s plastic???) on the laptop cover. I think it’s also a good idea to minimize scratches. The resell value of your electronics would also be better if it only have minimal cosmetic flaws.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Phones by DailyLifeofMojo
5. Be Mindful of Where You Put Your Gadgets: I’ve read some post about people spilling coffee or whatever their drinking on their laptops, people stepping on their gadgets when they woke up and a lot of other things. It has never happened to me in the past three years of carrying my gadgets in my travels. I always make sure that I put my gadgets in secure places because I know that I don’t have the money to replace them every month or so. I’d rather be very careful and spend money on my travels than spend money on replacing gadgets that I broke myself just because I forgot where I placed it.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Cracked Screen by 21TonGiant
6. Install Software from Reputable Sources: I use a variety of software and I make sure that I get them from reputable sources to avoid downloading malwares and viruses that will cause tons of problems on my laptop.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Lan Cable by dkpto
7. Use Anti-Virus/VPN/anti-Malware software: I have Norton Anti-virus installed in my laptop and Hotspot Shield VPN. I also have an anti-virus installed in my android phone. I regularly use free wifi in my travels and I know that it’s not that secured. This is to ensure that I have an extra layer of protection for possible virus/malware/phishing attack.
Photo Credits (Flickr CC): Padlock by lizjones112