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It’s the Gail to my Oprah, the Will to my Grace, the red wine to my Olivia Pope: my laptop is my constant companion.

Because I’m earning a living on the go, taking my computer along is non-negotiable. But today, I meet tons of travelers who travel with a laptop out of choice. After all, if allows you to manage, edit and upload photos, watch movies, keep in touch with family and friends, plan onward travel, and way more. As internet cafes become obsolete, toting a laptop along — especially for longer trips — will only become more and more common.

How to Travel With A Laptop

How to Travel With A Laptop

Obviously, traveling with the most expensive electronic most of us are likely to purchase in our lifetimes can come with a side trip to Drama Land. Over the last five years, I’ve sobbed when my charger died on a remote beach in Brazil, I’ve banged my head against the wall when I’ve lost files on a fried hard drive in England, and I’ve searched for flights back home when a simple screen repair took six weeks in Thailand — and that’s just the start of it. While it’s been an adventure, I’d like to think I’ve learned a thing or two along the way.

After half a decade of learning the hard way, here are my top tips for traveling with a laptop.

Load It Up

The primary concern of most laptop-toting travelers seems to be theft. However, in my experience mechanical failure and physical damage can be a far more common threat.

Laptops, in spite of their portability, function best when they are cool, dry, and still. These are conditions that can be difficult to meet while bouncing down a dirt road in an open-air jeepney in the Philippines, or motorbiking down an unpaved path in Panama. Thus, it’s best to take a few other precautions.

How to Travel With A Laptop

Go solid. When purchasing a machine, consider a solid state hard drive — also known as a flash drive. The advantage of a solid state drive over a standard one is the lack of moving parts susceptible to shock, motion wear and magnetic failure. Once fairly unattainable to the average buyer, solid state drives have become more affordable over time and now even come standard in the latest round of MacBook Pro. If you’ve ever known the heartbreak of a hard drive failure after jostling around in a backpack for a year, you’ll know this is one of the wisest decisions a traveler can make.

Charge up. If you’re an Apple addict about to embark on an epic journey, save room in your bag for an annoying-yet-necessary item: an extra charger. Mac chargers are notoriously finicky, and mine always seem to fry in the most inconvenient of places: on an island in Indonesia a day’s travel away from the nearest shop selling a replacement (the day was saved when a handy local tech at my dive school managed to solder it back together for me — seriously), in Brazil where the cheapest replacement was a cool $215 (real versions sell for $70 in the US, though quality knock offs can be had for $35 on Amazon), and in Thailand where replacements are overpriced and under-performing (they rarely last more than six months). Recently, I vowed that I’ll no longer leave North America without a backup in my bag.

And while most travelers know they’ll need an adapter in order to charge their computer internationally, they many not realize a surge protector is also key. If you’re traveling somewhere with unstable electricity sources — ahem, Koh Tao — you could fry your computer in an outage, like one of my friend’s did. Look for a universal adapter with a surge protector built-in in order to travel light (I’m thinking of spray painting mine gold since I’m obsessed with everything I pack being adorable).

Case in. And how, exactly, to carry your computer?  The first layer of protection is a laptop sleeve, which can go in my big oversize purse, pop into a backpack, or occasionally sit in a wheeled carry on. I love my Eagle Creek Afar Backpack because it has a secret laptop compartment that sits against my back under the straps — there’s no way prying fingers are getting in there while it’s on me! I do get stressed about bad weather sometimes when I’m in transit, and have a decidedly low-tech solution: old plastic bags given new life as electronic covers if the forecast calls for heavy rains.

How to Travel With A Laptop

Pimp out. And of course I never leave home without a wireless mouse and quality earphones (my Christmas gift two years ago!), though those have more to do with travel convenience than security. Other accessories I’m considering? A privacy screen (in gold!) as I hate when seatmates look at my laptop on the plane and a spare battery bank, though I’m not sure it’s worth the weight and cost for the few times a year I’m on a flight long enough to outlast my battery but annoying enough not to have plugs at each seat.

At one point I ordered a keyboard cover, hoping to prevent dust and tiny insects (ah, the tropics) from getting into my laptop, but I couldn’t get it to sit snugly on my keys. Maybe I got the wrong size? I’ve also weighed up various shell casings over the years and been tempted by some sweet designs, but ultimately didn’t want to add any weigh or bulk to my machine. Perhaps a cute decal, instead?

Lock It Down

Hotels usually have safes but I rarely stay in hotels — I’m more often in long or short term apartment rentals, guesthouses, or hostels, which rarely have one. So I bring my own. I used to take my portable safe but eventually got lazy about locking all my valuables into it and got sick of the bulk. So I switched to a cable lock and was super happy with that solution — until I upgraded to a Retina Screen Macbook, and realized Apple removed the locking port. Thank, Apple! So I had to switch to a slightly more cumbersome bracket version.

Still, it’s the absolute easiest and best solution for securing your laptop. You can lock to pipes and other stationary objects when leaving the laptop behind in a room, or even just sling it around a table leg when you’re working in public to prevent grab-and-run thefts.

When I’m in transit, I listen to my intuition regarding when its safe to flash my laptop. I usually don’t take it out on a bus that I’m going to be sleeping on, though this is less of an issue in say, Southeast Asia than it is in say, South America. If I’m going to be awake and alert the whole time, I go to town. But I try not to advertise my big ticket electronic before nodding off in la la land unless I feel super secure, and even then I’ll usually sleep with it on my lap or in my arms — never under the seat.

How to Travel With A Laptop

Back It Up

When it comes to potentially losing a laptop, the hassle of replacing it and the financial burden of doing so are certainly factors, but I think most travelers agree that the greatest heartbreak would be losing their digital data — photos, videos, documents, and more. Hence, I consider protecting data to be the number one priority when considering travel with a laptop.

The goal? To have as many backups as possible in as many locations as possible. Back when I first began traveling, the go-to advice was to burn CDs and mail them home occasionally as a backup. How quaint! Today, I focus on having a local hard backup and a remote cloud backup.

Local Hard Backup

My local hard backup consists of my trusty 1TB hard drive synced to my laptop with Apple’s Time Machine. Time Machine comes free on all Macs and basically creates a clone of your computer — files, applications,  settings, everything — and saves it on an external drive. Once you go through the very simple set up process, just plug in your drive whenever you think of it and it will do its thing automatically. On the road, I try to keep my backup drive and my laptop separate in case anything should happen to either of them. If I have no choice but to leave my laptop somewhere I feel a little less than secure about, for example, I pop my backup drive into my purse for peace of mind. Don’t forget to stick a label on it with your contact information and the promise of a reward if lost or stolen. (If you wanted yet another layer of security, you could keep a duplicate backup drive at home, and mail home flash drives with your updated files as you go — though there’s a better remote backup arrangement that I’ll get to in a second. Personally I always keep a few flash drives handy for other reasons — to transfer files, watch movies on TVs with USB drives, etc. )

Over time, however, I grew wary of this arrangement. What if I was on a ferry that sank and I lost everything? What if my hotel caught on fire and I lost everything? What if my bus was hijacked and I lost everything? They seem like wild scenarios, but it was the last one actually happening to a friend of mine while we were traveling in Guatemala that finally pushed me to patch the final holes in my backup system. My business would be crushed by the loss of my data — and personally, I’d be devastated — and I just can’t afford to leave myself vulnerable to that.

How to Travel With A Laptop

Offline Cloud Backups

So after much research into the world of offline cloud backups, I settled on CrashPlan. Basically, it’s a cloud-based version of Time Machine. After struggling to do the initial backup over wifi, I coughed up the one time fee of $125 for CrashPlan to send me a seed drive in order to make the initial backup quick and easy. Now that that is out of the way, CrashPlan checks for data that is already backed up and ignores it, making subsequent backups much smaller because they contain only new or changed information. Anytime my laptop connects to wifi, CrashPlan is quietly working in the background to clone my computer to a secure cloud. I pay $60 a year for this service, which means that even if every single physical thing I own was stolen by a rouge gang of runaway unicorns, I could buy a new machine and restore my data from the cloud and it would be identical to the one I’d lost, right down to my screensaver and saved internet passwords. I’ve actually put Crashplan to the test a few times this year when I’ve inadvertently deleted folders full of photos — I open up Crashplan, dig around for the last saved version, and restore it to my desktop. Viola!

If all that sounds intimidating, don’t worry — it did to me too. But investing a little time in wrapping your head around it can prevent a lot of time nursing a broken heart down the road.

How to Travel With A Laptop

Have Your Back

Hope for the best and prepare for the worst. Even if you’re doing everything within your power to prevent your laptop being stolen or damaged, things do happen that are beyond our control. Thus I suggest a service plan, insurance and recovery software.

Service Plans

For mechanical failures, I highly recommend purchasing the longest available AppleCare plan or the equivalent protection for your machine. Your computer goes through a lot on the road and I have found it to be money well invested. Travel with your laptop’s precise specifications, including make, model and serial number, and a copy of your purchase order and warranty, and the phone numbers for your manufacturer in case you need to contact support — or report it lost or stolen. AppleCare is available over the phone and I have often used it when I’m in a location where the nearest service center is a day’s travel away.

Insurance

I insure my laptop on my mom’s homeowner’s insurance (this is the address that I use to pay taxes and vote), and have read that this is also possible for those with renter’s insurance too. Because this is such an affordable and easy solution, I’ve never even considered other options, especially as many travel insurance plans offer extremely low electronic coverage that wouldn’t come close to covering the cost of a replacement for my top-of-the-line model.

So far, I’m thanking my lucky stars I haven’t had to use it. But when I almost did — a flight attendant dumped a drink on top of my open keyboard while I was working and it wouldn’t turn on for a week — they were super helpful and gave me no indication my claim would be held up. (In the end the airline also admitted liability and seemed willing to replace the computer, but it was all moot when a magician computer tech in Bangkok got it working again!)

Recovery Software

Have you heard of Prey? If not, prepare to be obsessed. For a total run down of what Prey is and how it works, check out this comprehensive guide from Lifehacker. Basically, it’s a software you install that once activated can snap secret web-cam photos of the person using your computer, take sneaky screenshots of what they are up to, and track the location of the machine and more. I first heard about it when my friend Matt used it to track down and recover his own stolen computer! The best part? You only pay if you have to. So far, I’ve only installed the free version, though I can easily upgrade to a $5 paid version if any of my electronics get nabbed. Sweet!

One caveat — you can’t have your computer password protected because you want the thief to access the internet in order to let Prey do its thing. A simple solution is to create a password-free guest account so that the bad guys can get online without having access to any of your sensitive personal data. And to prepare for the rare-but-possible scenario of my laptop falling into the wrong hands by accident, I have a friendly lock screen message with my contact details and the promise of a reward should it be returned.

Finally, data encryption — another buzz word you’ll see come up often when it comes to traveling with a laptop. I don’t have any of my data encrypted, for the very simple and solid reason that I have no idea what having one’s data encrypted means. Good times!

How to Travel With A Laptop

Conclusion

These days, if my laptop were to break, get lost, or be stolen, the only thing I’d have to fear would be the hassle of replacing and reloading it — my data and financial investments would be safe and sound.

I still have progress to make. My files need to be infinitely more organized, I need to figure out what the heck a VPN is, and I could probably do more to keep my computer happy and healthy from a software standpoint. But overall, I travel confidently into the sunset with my trusty laptop, knowing I’ve taken great pains to keep it by my side for as long as possible.

What am I missing? How do you protect your laptop and data when you travel?

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Please note that some of the links in this post are affiliate links and I will earn a commission of any sales at absolutely no extra cost to you. I have personally paid for every product mentioned in this post and am not in partnership with any of the brands listed.
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64 Comments...
  • Ariel
    September 17 2016

    Hi Alex,
    Thanks for all the valuable advice. Especially your cloud backup was good news to me as I’ve been looking for something like that for a long time.
    Consider an SSD external hard drive, it’s much smaller, more secure and faster. I’m using the Samsung T3 on my trip and am very impressed so far.

    All the best, Ariel

    • Alex
      September 17 2016

      Hey Ariel! Yes I’d love to have a solid state backup at some point too though right now the $375 price tag on the 1TB version is scaring me off a bit! I think I’ll wait until this one bites the dust to upgrade…

  • Sarah
    September 17 2016

    This is some seriously in-depth info, I love it! Though it does make me realise that I could do with becoming a touch more tech savvy, a lot of this flies wayyyy over my head. It’s incredibly useful though, thanks a lot 🙂

    • Alex
      September 17 2016

      Believe me, none of it has come easy to me! Especially figuring out offline backups felt very overwhelming to me, but I’m so glad I did it. I sleep so much easier now for the cost of about $5 a month!

  • Thuc
    September 17 2016

    Awesome tips. That locking cable is interesting – have never seen it before! Nor have I seen the gold privacy screen – SO COOL. I also almost always travel with my laptop and haven’t ever had any issues though, touch wood. HOWEVER, I did recently have my external hard drive crash on me with 6+ years of photos and work on it….I’m still waiting to hear the verdict 🙁 Can’t stress enough how important it is to save everything in a myriad of places haha. I now use an external hard drive as well as Google Drive!!!
    Thuc recently posted..Hiking Oregon’s best and tallest non-technical mountain

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      So sorry to hear about your hard drive… that’s the exact nightmare scenario that pushed me to do a cloud backup! Crossing my fingers for you that it all works out.

  • Gemma
    September 17 2016

    Currently in the process of backing up the past 17 months worth of travel on iDrive. It has taken three weeks so far… Worth it once it is done. I do come out in cold sweats worrying about the hard drive burning out / being swiped. I’ve travelled with the PacSafe net safe, goes around a small backpack, wraps around something like a radiator then locks via padlock. Checking out the life hacker post now, thanks for sharing!
    Gemma recently posted..Lisbon Restaurants Under €30 (for 2)

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Yeah, it was taking months for all my data to backup with Crash Plan, which is why I finally just splurged and payed for the seed drive. It was worth it to make sure it was done before I returned tot he upload speeds of Southeast Asia, ha.

  • Andy
    September 17 2016

    Great piece, but I really do think you should get a case for your Mac. Don’t want to jinx you, but…. Also, if you need free online storage, open a few Gmail accounts where you can email docs to yourself. You get 25GB with each account. They’ll just sit there in the Google cloud. Access them anywhere.

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Hey Andy! I think out of the dozens of Mac owners I know only one has a hard case on it… would definitely be open to hearing your argument for why they are essential though! Also, while emailing yourself can be good backup for documents, it’s really not a comprehensive solution. A cloned backup of your computer will backup far more than just documents. It will also capture settings, software, old files you forgot you needed, old photos you forgot you cared about… I really think it’s an investment everyone should make!

      • Andy Strote
        September 22 2016

        About the hard case, well, OK…. I know my hard case has little cracks on the corners where the laptop has been bumped or banged. Better the case than the screen. I’m also aware of weight, but this is just a couple of ounces. So, insurance, I guess. As for emailing docs, I do that on top of the back-up. Easier to find docs when I need em.

  • Grace
    September 17 2016

    Hi Alex,

    That was absolutely some awesome tips. Thank you so much for sharing them all. Incredibly helpful.
    I was actually planning of buying a Time Capsule to use as my Time machine to back-up my mac book pro as it has never been backed up before but I heard it’s quite complicated to go back and find some files. And besides I wont be able to bring huge capsules while travelling.

    So if I will try the Crash Plan as another option aside from using a hard drive, do you think it would be enough instead of having both?

    Thank you. I am so desperate right now to back up my laptop but can’t convince myself which one to get.

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Hey Grace! Personally I’d skip the Time Capsules which from my understanding aren’t really designed to be portable. I love my system and definitely recommend it — just get a small, portable 1TB hard drive and use that as a daily time machine back up, and also set up a cloud-based secondary backup like Crashplan for extra security. Good luck!

  • Kate Storm
    September 18 2016

    SO MUCH great information in here, thanks! I’ve been putting off thinking about more nuanced security, and… I really need to pull my head out of the sand with this one.
    Kate Storm recently posted..13 Ways to Fall in Love with Bangkok

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      It’s definitely easy to ignore until something happens and suddenly it’s like… WHY DIDN’T I DO SOMETHING ABOUT THIS SOONER?! I sleep so much easier at night now that I have a comprehensive backup system.

  • Eva Casey
    September 18 2016

    Oh boy…definitely time to think more about my laptops’ security (yes, I bring two laptops around with me…why I did that I’m not sure). I have two external hard drives, both with different things on them because one ran out of room but I still need the stuff on it. I keep them both together and with my laptop, but that’s smart to keep them separate. All the technical stuff is so hard to figure out! Can’t I just browse cute decals for my computer all day instead? 😛 (Seriously, I spent about an hour after I clicked on that link…)
    Eva Casey recently posted..Wanderlust Wednesday: Trying Out The Digital Nomad Life

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Ha, ME TOO. Ended up ordering a few… stay tuned for pics 🙂 Also, two laptops?! That’s impressive!

  • will there be wifi
    September 18 2016

    Great article full of the kind of good info that only comes through personal struggles 😛

    We’re big fans of Crashplan ourselves as they make the whole cloud backup process transparent for the user.
    For your VPN question, we did a lot of research and found NordVPN to offer the best service for travelers.
    They allow multiple devices, have apps on IOS and Android and allow streaming for those netflix and chill moments on a rainy travel day :)!
    will there be wifi recently posted..#Veggie : our favorites in Koh Tao

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Thanks for the suggestion! I’m definitely putting that on my to-do list. Also, just read your veggie post about Koh Tao. Definitely check out Vegetabowl next time you’re back!

  • Quincy Koetz
    September 18 2016

    Thank you, Alex! Very well timed article for me with considering a new laptop purchase. I didn’t realize there was a significant benefit with the solid state drive but that makes a lot of sense now that I read it. Sounds like it is worth the extra cost!
    Quincy Koetz recently posted..Hiking Turkey Run State Park, Indiana

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      For travelers, I think solid state is a must! I’m so happy now to have one!

  • Cate
    September 18 2016

    Wow great tips! I have an iPad with a keyboard and I download all my photos onto my google drive. I like it because no one can get in without my finger or password! Hope your having a blast in the U.K.
    Cate recently posted..The Ultimate Guide to Short Term Budget Travel

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      That’s true, though you may want to consider that if you ever wanted to install a recovery software like Prey, it only works if the person who steals your device can access the internet. That’s why I keep a guest account open and accessible without a password. Not sure if anything like that is available on the iPad.

  • Mimazine
    September 18 2016

    I always want to take my laptop as it is such a life-line but am often too scared! Thanks for the advice, I will follow your lead and brave it xx
    Mimazine recently posted..The Backpacker Diaries: Croatia on a Budget

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      I think if you take the precautions outlined here, it’s not so scary! Happy travels to you and your laptop 🙂

  • lisa
    September 19 2016

    Hi Alex,
    I don’t have a question about laptop security but you mentioned that you use a suitcase more than a backpack now.
    I have been going back and forth trying to decide which to use on my upcoming trip. Now that you’ve experienced both do you have a preference? I am in great shape but still I’m 54 and not quite as strong as a twenty-sonething.
    Also do you feel like Pacsafe purses are overkill?
    Thank you!!!!
    As always your advice is so appreciated.
    Lisa 😊

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Hey Lisa! How long is the trip? For my big long backpacking trips I still do a big backpack for my checked bag though for shorter domestic adventures I tend to go suitcase. I actually prefer to do small roll on carry-ons as that’s where my heavy and expensive electronics go, and wearing that on my back gets super heavy. I’ve never had a Pacsafe purse so I’m not sure! In all my travels no one has ever tried to slash my purse though so I guess I haven’t felt a strong need 🙂

      • lisa
        September 22 2016

        Hi Alex,
        My next trip (starting tonight…yay!) is for two months to Southeast Asia and in the spring for three months to Indonesia. I will take your suggestion then and take my backpack!
        I hope your family is doing better!
        Thank you so much!

        • Alex
          September 22 2016

          Thanks Lisa! It’s nice to have some time at home (not long enough thought!) Enjoy your trip!

          • lisa
            September 22 2016

            Yes…just long enough to not completely abandon my poor pup and cat (oh…and homebody husband…lol!)
            lisa recently posted..Orangutans and Magic

  • Megan
    September 19 2016

    This is so helpful, and super relevant to my career goals- I plan to do translation/literacy development for unwritten minority languages overseas, and I’ve heard horror stories. Decades’ worth of research being lost over the side of a boat in Vanuatu and things like that. Thanks for making everything so straightforward!

    I recommend caution with knockoff Mac chargers from Amazon though- once I had one literally melt the third time I used it! I’m lucky it didn’t set anything on fire. Since then I’ve always gone with the Apple produced ones, even if the cost is a little painful.

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Those horror stories always break my heart. I remember when I was a kid and someone at my church lost their entire dissertation because their laptop was stolen out of their car. Even back then I remember thinking… no backup!?

      As for the knockoff chargers, I always read the reviews really carefully! I’ve had good luck so far, though I never go for the absolute cheapest ones, which tend to have the worst reviews.

  • Stephanie Craig
    September 19 2016

    I wish I had packed an extra macbook charger!

    My charger blew my first day in Cyprus and I had to shell out 110 Euros so I didn’t miss an important Webex. Plus finding an Apple Store in Nicosia was stressful!

    I will never travel with less than 2 ever again!
    Stephanie Craig recently posted..Comment on July 2016 Review: Adventures and Expenses by August 2016 Review: Adventures and Expenses – GoThreeTwentyFour

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Glad to hear I’m not the only nutjob who does this, Stephanie! It’s so worth it!

  • Culture Passport
    September 19 2016

    Theses are great tips, Alex! Especially the one about Prey. I’m totally signing up. You should def look into a VPN. It’s great to secure any sensitive data you may enter online when you are using a shared wifi signal. For example: online shopping, bank passwords, etc. I use Cloak VPN and so far they have been great!

    xVictoria
    Culture Passport recently posted..{on the coast} Menton

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Thanks for the tip! I know it’s totally something I need to figure out. Added to the to-do list!

  • Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate
    September 19 2016

    Great tips! I also tried one of those keyboard cover things and it was constantly coming off when I typed, ugh. The downside is that now the keys have pressed into my screen from so many years of hauling it on travels that my screen is irreparable, ugh. I pretty much only photo edit on my iMac now and just use my laptop for writing and email when traveling.
    Kristin @ Camels & Chocolate recently posted..Nashville’s Most Delicious Weekend of the Year

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      #desktopenvy… would LOVE to have one with me wherever I go. Do you think they are working on a fold-able version? 😀

  • Leah
    September 19 2016

    Ohh, I remember the screen drama in Thailand! No fun. I needed my motherboard replaced in Barcelona last year, and it was tragically expensive (although the angel working at the Genius Bar did it for me at half price, just ’cause). At least I was still in a big city when it happened! I was totally panicking!
    Leah recently posted..Mark Manson’s new book will melt your face off. But don’t take my word for it, take his.

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Shoutout to all the Genius Bar angels out there who do things for free and for discounts… they make me believe in humanity again 🙏

  • Laura
    September 19 2016

    oh jeez, I never realized that apple chargers could fry (they do get really hot though!). That would be my worst nightmare! I’ll definitely be looking into getting a spare on my next trip back to the US. Thanks for the tips!
    Laura recently posted..The Ultimate Guide to a Weekend in San Miguel de Allende

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Oh man, I feel like I go through multiple chargers per year. What am I doing wrong?! Ha. I’m jealous that you haven’t had any issues so far!

  • Daniele
    September 20 2016

    Just set up a lock screen message. Never thought of that one before..

    Also- I have a laptop dry bag as my laptop case. I love it!

  • Michelle
    September 20 2016

    OMG I needed this post in my life! Planning for a one year trip through SEA and had no idea where to start. I’m pretty much buying everything you mentioned. And crashplan…that’s the thing I’ve always wanted and never knew existed! Great post!
    Michelle recently posted..Stepping Back in Time at The Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Yay! So glad you found this post helpful Michelle. Crashplan is the best.

  • Jessica
    September 21 2016

    Those are a lot of really great tips! I’m also at the mercy of nature and disasters waiting to happen while traveling with my laptop. Usually it has to make it from my boat to a bar or restaurant, while being shuttled around in a 9 ft inflatable dinghy. First it goes in a dry bag, then into a computer case, and then into a dry backpack. Plus I’ve had my chargers die out on me multiple times. Oh the fun of writing on the go!
    Jessica recently posted..Advice Is Not Absolute

    • Alex
      September 22 2016

      Double dry bags… that sounds well protected to me Jessica! 😛 I like it, sounds like my kind of backup!

  • Jesse
    October 10 2016

    Amazing pictures and great information. Thanks dear for sharing.

    • Alex
      October 15 2016

      Glad you found it helpful, Jesse! Thanks!

  • Bahtiyar
    October 10 2016

    Hello, Alex. Thanks for this awesome post. A laptop is definitely the most essential and important tool for every blogger. A travel blogger without a laptop is like a writer without a pen, a swimmer without water, a pilot without a plane. Every travel blogger must have a good functioning laptop. Your article is useful for all of us!
    Thank you very much, Alex!

    • Alex
      October 15 2016

      Ha, very poetic — and true! Glad you found this helpful!

  • Thanks for these great tips! I’ve just bought a MacBook to replace my iMac when I go mobile next year.

    I also just started using google drive for the few (non-photo) documents that I use, and my photo site, smug mug is my photo backup (besides iCloud) but now I’m wondering if I need another cloud backup?! I work for a tech company, and this stuff still confuses the crap out of me!
    Leigh | Campfires & Concierges recently posted..Backpacking Pictured Rocks

    • Alex
      October 15 2016

      Ugh, I feel ya. I really like having a cloud backup that completely clones my computer — my laptop is such a mess I know that if I did it any other way, I would totally forget to back something up manually. Maybe that’s just disorganized me though, ha.

  • Laurie
    December 11 2016

    I always have a case on my laptop for protection. When I travel, I bring it in a laptop case that has padding and helps to ensure that it will be undisturbed. I make sure to keep a watchful eye on it to make sure that no one takes off with it i.e. during security screenings at the airport. Having everything backed up on the cloud is a good idea at all times in case something happens to the computer. Great tips, thanks for sharing!

    • Alex
      December 11 2016

      Thanks to you too Laurie! Security screenings at the airport can definitely be a bit stressful — I hate having my laptop out of my hands for even a second.

  • chris
    December 17 2016

    For our 2 years of travel we lugged around our Acer S7.

    At only 1.3kg’s (about 2.8 pounds) it’s not so heavy, and being touch screen you could get away without a mouse (I still took one).

    In short time it was covered in stickers, the beat-up look making it far less attractive as thief bait.

    Unfortunately the standard cable locks wouldn’t fit it, so we just chanced it without it.

    Eventually it got so travel worn that it would no longer power on when not plugged into a power point, and when that cable broke in Huaraz, Peru, I thought we were stuffed indefinitely!

    Fortunately we struck gold at a local electronic shop where the guy was completely unsure what to charge me for it.

    I thought it was a great price, he thought it was the sale of the day.

    Win, win! 😉

    • Alex
      December 18 2016

      Yeah, one big drawback to my MacBook is definitely that it’s a super attractive to sticky fingers. I don’t think it matters where in the world you are — everyone recognizes that logo!

  • Peter
    February 4 2017

    Hi, Alex thank you for the helpful insights. Definitely a few pointed that I had not thought about before; When insuring the laptop do you insure it for the value of the purchase price, or do you insure it for it’s current value?
    Much love, Peter

    • Alex
      February 6 2017

      Hi Peter, I’ve never had to use the policy but I believe it is insured for the current price of buying the same item new. That’s kind of just a guess though, I’m not 100% sure… and hope I never have to find out 😉

  • Christina
    February 13 2017

    You’re right about the increase in popularity of taking a laptop out on travel excursions. This is definitely growing and will continue to be popular in times to come.

    • Alex
      February 15 2017

      Absolutely! I almost never met anyone with a laptop when I first started traveling… now it seems rare not to have one!

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