Today’s business travellers are used to being well-equipped with their tech gear. Leaving town without our laptops leaves us feeling handicapped and out-of-touch, and when we’re travelling on business, we typically need access to important work-related documents. But travelling with tech gear can sometimes be complicated if you’re headed overseas. Here’s what you need to know to keep your tech safe and yourself tapped into your network while you’re travelling.
Pick a Safe Pack
Travellers taking their devices and electronics along for the ride will want to pack them securely in a well-padded carrying case. It’s always advisable to take laptops and other devices as carry-on luggage, because airline baggage handlers may not be as gentle with your gear as you’d like. Also, if you’re in for a long flight, you’ll be able to use your tech gear in airplane mode for at least part of the trip, so you’ll want to have it easily accessible.
Buy the Proper International Adapter
In the United Kingdom and Ireland, as well as other European countries, you’ll need an adapter to plug into a power source. That’s because the typical two or three-prong plugs we’re used to in the U.S. won’t fit in outlets in some other countries. Plug adapters are easy to find, and some even come in kits that will ensure you’ll be outlet-ready no matter what country you travel to.
Check the Country’s Voltage
In some international cities, power voltage runs at about 220 volts, whereas in the U.S., electronics are typically designed to operate at 110 to 120 volts. Fortunately, most laptops today are equipped with dual voltage and will adjust automatically. To be sure this is true of your tablet PC or laptop, check the rating listed on the bottom of your equipment. A word of caution: If you plug into a power source that runs at a higher voltage than your equipment is capable of handling, you run the risk of literally frying your tablet PC or laptop.
Bring an Ethernet Cable Just in Case
Many times, business travelers are headed to hotels and locations they may never have been before, and it’s hard to know what to expect on arrival. Taking an Ethernet cable will ensure you can at least connect via a standard internet router in your hotel room if your locale doesn’t offer WiFi.
Update Your Security and Anti-virus Software
When you’re connecting to an open wireless connection, you run the risk of becoming infected with a virus or malware. Updating your anti-virus protection and creating secure passwords for confidential data is an additional safeguard to protect your proprietary documents from unwanted outside access. When you’re connected, avoid sending sensitive data such as credit card or banking information unless absolutely necessary.
Traveling is stressful enough without having to worry about arriving unprepared or losing valuable data. Taking some added precautions and preparing in advance can take some of the worry out of business travel, so you can focus on the tasks at hand.