Does the open road beckon? And are you hauling your work with you down that open road?

If so, you’re not alone. Most of us pack our laptops, tablets, and smartphones (and chargers and earbuds) before we pack our socks.

Just before you toss your laptop into a bag, take a look at theses suggestions we’ve compiled for your journey, and see if any will work for you:

Install a firewall and up-to-date security programs. This is a given for all desktops and laptops.

If the laptop isn’t your primary computer, consider keeping only must-have files on it and bring an external hard drive with everything you could possibly need from your desktop. For extra security, you can carry the small external drive with you at all times. Should your laptop get stolen, you won’t lose content, just equipment.

Put your password list on that hard drive and while you’re at it, change your passwords before you go. (You should regularly change your passwords whether you’re traveling or not.)

An alternative to bringing an external hard drive is to have your desktop configured for remote access, or store your files in a cloud and access them from anywhere in the world.

Bring a little USB drive, as it’s handy when you want to pull a few files off for printing or sharing.

Traveling outside of the US requires adapter plugs, and it wouldn’t hurt to bring along CDs of your operating system and software, in case you crash and need to start over.

Depending on your destination, WiFi may be hard to find. Bring a surge protector for the dicey power in some countries, and make sure it has a phone jack on it for dial-up.

Be aware of temperature and humidity when you travel with laptops and other electronics. Don’t stow away your laptop in a bag for several days in an area where there’s high humidity. You might end up with a corroded mess.

Check that your insurance policy covers the electronics when you travel. If not, you may be able to purchase additional insurance for the trip. Also, check the warranty to see if you can have work done on the laptop when outside the US.

If you’ll be traveling a lot with your laptop, you should consider an anti-theft pack or bag. It’s not perfect, but it does deter slash-and-grab thieves.

Share your tips and experiences in the comments – it’s good to learn together!

 

By Danny Tehrani