We’re a gadget-focused generation, meaning that many travellers have at least one, if not several expensive devices with them when they travel. You’re likely to be carrying a precious load with you when holidaying overseas, whether it’s a camera, tablet, smart phone, laptop or all of these items. This leaves your electronics vulnerable to accidents, theft or loss, none of which are likely to be cheap to fix.

10 tips for the gadget-savvy traveller

If you’re a gadget savvy traveller, you’ll want to keep your beloved electronics safe and sound at all times so here’s our tips for protecting your devices so they’re in tip top condition throughout your travels.

1. Hold on and check, but don’t check in to hold
The first step in keeping your devices safe is to keep them close. Pack precious electronics in your hand luggage rather than checking into the hold on a flight; that way, if your bag gets lost in transit you know you have your most expensive items nearby. Also, there’s a chance the baggage handlers may be a little rough with your luggage, so keeping them with you means you’ll know these items are safe from any unnecessary bumps or breakages.

2. Keeping track of your electronics
There are plenty of gadget-tracking apps available, which will help you to keep tabs on your belongings. For example, Apple devices can all be linked via Find My iPhone, which you can access from the iCloud to locate your iPad, Mac or iPhone. As long as the device is switched on, you’ll be able to see where its GPS signal is coming from and can set your device to make a loud noise to help alert you to its whereabouts. For Android devices, there’s Device Manager, which sends location data to Google to help you locate your gadgets.

3. Water way to go
Water is the nemesis of pricey electronics, so make sure to protect your gadgets from all wet encounters, from rainstorms to boat trips. The cheapest option is to tuck your tech goods in plastic bags when they’re in your handbag, rucksack or luggage, to protect them from unexpected rainstorms. However, this is by no means fool-proof so it’s better to purchase legitimate cases for your goods if you’re likely to be around a lot of water. Brands like Otterbox or Aquapac offer a range of options for waterproofing your electronics that will keep them dry, even if dropped in the sea or pool.

4. What a beach
In the same way that you’d protect your items from water, you should also protect them from sand and dust, which can get into the nooks and crannies of the electronics and cause faults. A solid case like those mentioned above should help to beat this issue. If you do find sand in any of your devices, try cleaning it out with a can of compressed air – a few puffs in the right place should help to remove any unwanted grains. 

10 tips for the gadget-savvy traveller

5. Backup before you pack up
Before you travel, make sure you’ve backed up all the photos, contacts, documents and other items you’d like to keep from your phone, camera, tablet or laptop. There are plenty of great options for online cloud storage, meaning you could continue backing up as you travel, which is particularly useful for longer trips. You should expect a charge if you need to store a lot of items, but you can have some space for free when you sign up with certain providers. Google Drive is a fantastic option that will provide 15GB of free storage before you’ll need to pay and DropBox, another effective choice, gives 1GB of complimentary storage. 

6. Keep a log of your electronics
Loss, theft and accidents can happen when you’re on holiday, so you’ll need to make sure you have effective insurance and can prove to your insurer that you owned all of the items you’re claiming for. Take photos of your goods and any receipts you have for them, making sure to keep serial numbers safe so you can reference these if you need to claim. The more proof you have that you owned these items, the better.

7. Turn down the heat
If you’re jetting off to sunny shores, make sure to be careful with where you keep your gadgets – they’re not built to withstand high heat and, if left in direct sunshine for too long, could shut down. Find a shady spot when using your devices and they’ll be far more likely to survive the hot days.

8. Snow way to behave
The cold can be just as dangerous for your electronics as heat, and snow is both cold and wet, neither of which is a healthy mix for a phone or camera. This chill can affect the batteries, which will then “die” until warmed up again. If you’ve been out in the cold for a while, try to warm your electronics up slowly, so that they don’t build up condensation; cameras in particular can suffer from this. A tip from professional photographers is to keep some silica gel sachets handy to pop in a bag with your device; this will ensure remaining moisture doesn’t harm your items.

9. Anti-loss, anti-theft
If you’re prone to dropping your devices, or are concerned about thieves or pickpockets, you can invest in anti-theft straps with slash-proof wires. Particularly useful for cameras and phones, these will help keep your items attached to you and safe from accidents like hitting the floor, falling into water or from theft.

10. Stay in charge
If you’re likely to be away from a power source for long periods, then consider taking a solar powered battery charger like Powermonkey on your trip. Perfect for the beach, airplane, long treks or poolside, you can simply plug in items like your phone, camera, tablet, Kindle and continue enjoying the use of your electronics without fear of shutting down.

For more tips and advice from travel experts, check out these Gadget Savvy Travel Guides for a selection of favourite travel destinations, with instructions for reporting theft, basic phrases and top tips for protecting your electronics.