Getting away from it all no longer means going off the grid. The undeniable conveniences of using electronic devices while traveling — accessing maps and restaurant reviews on the go and sharing snapshots from your adventures in real time — makes it harder to unplug and unwind. If a digital detox isn’t on your travel itinerary, you can still relax and recharge using these stress-free tips for traveling with those indispensable electronic devices.
Stick to the Essentials
Not sure if you should pack your laptop, iPad, Kindle AND smartphone? Let the length of your trip determine your device needs. While your phone and e-reader should be sufficient for a weekend getaway, you might want to swap your Kindle for the iPad’s expanded entertainment and app choices to get through a two-week vacation. Instead of carrying a laptop on long trips, use a tablet case with a built-in keyboard to boost your iPad’s functionality.
When packing, space is at a premium and things like noise-canceling headphones and DSLR cameras require lots of it. Opt for compact versions of accessories when possible to reduce baggage bulk. Switch headphones with quality noise-reducing ear buds and consider a high-powered camera lens kit that attaches to your smartphone. Eliminate the need for cord wrangling with a USB mini-cable kit that has compatible connectors for your devices. Replace the power blocks for individual devices with a compact USB hub or dedicated portable charger that has multiple USB ports.
Most airlines recommend packing electronics in carry-on baggage. Choose a carry-on bag with many compartments to keep devices and accessories manageable and accessible through the airport and beyond. Put must-have in-flight gadgets in a slimline pouch that fits easily into the seat back pocket so you don’t have to get up and rummage through your larger bag mid-flight.
Protect Your Devices
Keep your tablet or e-reader protected from scratches and dings with a padded sleeve or case. The padding offers extra support and prevents your device from coming in contact with other items in your purse or day bag. If you’re planning a day at the beach or lake, take along a waterproof pouch for your phone and e-reader.
You don’t want your phone dying just as you’re taking a once-in-a-lifetime photo or making an important call. A supplemental power source such as a portable USB battery or solar-power charger can give your battery a boost when you need it most. Some mobile batteries are capable of charging three or four devices at once, perfect for those long days exploring exotic locales far from an electrical outlet.