Published on May 21st, 2018 | by Jasmine Evans
Best Way to Pack Gadgets
Protecting gadgets on flights and during travel ensures they don’t get damaged unnecessarily
If you are travelling with a laptop, a tablet, a smart phone and a smart watch, you could have £5000 worth of gadget on your person. It would certainly hurt a great deal trying to replace it all – or even a small portion of it. And that’s not to mention lost files that aren’t backed up.
There’s no question that it’s worth protecting your gadgets. We’re here to give you the best advice on how to look after your stuff regardless of your budget.
If you’ve spent a princely sum on your gear then spending a little more to give it the best chance of surviving impact is only logical.
Many laptops can have a basic covering with skins, which offers protection from scratches and minor bumps. This type of protection is only cosmetic, and your device will still get damaged from a drop or hard impact.
You’ve a decent degree of choice when it comes to soft cases for your laptop or tablet, and your choice will come down to how you want to carry it. Protective sleeves for a device offer some bump-proofing and look good but rarely carry anything else (including the gadget’s charging cable).
Larger cases have the advantage of being well-designed with space for things like tablets, phones, pens, notebooks, wires and more. Some are integrated into large backpacks that can take clothes as well. For something you want to sling over your shoulder that doesn’t risk getting banged by anything then this is a good and cost-effective choice.
It’s also more convenient when going through security to have all of your stuff in one place, with your electrics easy to remove.
Hard cases and flight cases
For working computers and very hi-spec machines that are both expensive and have important functions, consider spending extra on the best protection possible. Hard plastic cases can be bought quite cheaply and offer more protection than a soft case, but still won’t save your computer from the potential damage of being thrown around in the hold or an unfortunate drop.
The best protection you can buy is a flight case. As the name suggests, these are cases designed to be put in the hold on flights. Companies will already make cases for popular models or provide a range that cater to a number of device shapes and sizes, but you can also buy custom designs.
Flight cases have strong exteriors but also have cushioning inside to protect from heavier impacts. These are usually reinforced with aluminium and have steel ball corners to prevent the sides of the case from impact when lain down or dropped.
The problem with flight cases is that, due to their level of security, they can be tricky to get into quickly. If you want to work in the departures lounge, then a flight case might not be the most convenient.
If you want to put your laptop in your hold luggage but don’t want to splash out on an expensive case, then there are steps you can take to give it the best protection possible.
The first is to put it in its original box. It will usually be protected from the sides of the box with polystyrene wedges at either end or have an indentation cut into a polystyrene sheet. Unfortunately, this takes up a lot more space.
If you have recycled the box, then buy yourself some bubble-wrap. This is an effective way of cushioning it from impacts to the case. Wrap it a few layers deep – or as many as you have space for – and then Sellotape it together tight. For ease of use, leave one end open so that you can withdraw and replace your device without having to do any unwrapping.
You might be short on time or unable to get your hands on bubble-wrap. Using clothes will offer some protection, but make sure the gadget doesn’t have space to move around. Thicker clothes offer better protection.
Gadgets: are they ever hold luggage?
There are always dangers with putting something breakable or valuable in hold luggage, and it’s really up to you whether or not you could live without it in an emergency. Even when you declare something ‘fragile’ at check-in, it might still suffer in transit.
Therefore it’s wise to only put gadgets in the hold if you are certain they are well-protected.
It’s not worth taking the risk on damage or loss to your most valuable possessions, so taking out good travel insurance is a necessary purchase to cover yourself against these outcomes.
Remember that governments change rules on what types of battery can be taken in the hold, so make sure you’re certain what you have to do before you pack.
Generally, it’s safer to take devices in your hand luggage, as you then have your eye on them constantly. But also bear in mind that you have to remove them all at security, so don’t make them inaccessible in your bag.
There’s no substitute for the right travel insurance, and you can now get specialist cover for your gadgets as an add-on for that extra level of protection. Post Office Gadget Cover helps bring you peace of mind when travelling with important gadgets.