When I first started traveling the world, I always left my tech behind. To be fair, this was before laptops and phones had become ubiquitous, and I was not about to take a desktop PC to another country. But even if I’d had a laptop then, I would not have wanted to take it with me.
The reality is that when you are traveling, you are making yourself vulnerable. This vulnerability is why traveling is both exciting and transformative, but it does present some danger. If you are visiting a part of the world with high crime rates, you have to accept that theft is a possibility.
There are ways to protect your stuff while traveling abroad, including travelers’ renters insurance that will cover you no matter where you are. But is it worth putting yourself in that position?
Let’s take a look at some of the pros and cons of taking your expensive tech on your travels.
One of the major reasons to take your tech abroad is so that you can continue working while moving from country to country. The idea of the digital nomad was gaining traction long before COVID-19, but now that so many companies allow employees to work remotely, it is accessible to millions more people.
As a digital nomad, you have no choice but to travel with your laptop at least. If you are in a tech field, you may need to bring more devices, whether VR consoles or devices that can handle complex computing.
People who travel a lot learn to put up with a myriad types of discomfort and inconvenience. It is a necessary evil if you are going to try out new places and activities. However, one thing that no one should ever get used to is getting robbed. Even if it happens when you are in your home city, it can be extremely upsetting. If it happens while you’re traveling, you are unlikely to appreciate your expensive trip.
Bringing expensive tech along opens you up to the potential for theft. If you are not planning on working and don’t need your tech, it might be wise to leave it behind.
I envy people who enjoy drawing for one simple reason: you can do it anywhere with no hassle at all. You don’t even have to bring supplies as you can get them everywhere. The way I love to express my creativity, however, is through music, and music requires equipment.
When I first started playing music, I would bring my guitar around the world. It was a huge hassle but I never wanted to miss an opportunity. Nowadays, I don’t need any traditional instruments to make music. I have a compact midi keyboard that plugs into my laptop, on which my music station is set up.
Bringing this sort of stuff along adds weight to your luggage and puts you at risk of theft. However, it can give you the chance to express your creativity, whether through music, writing, virtual design, or anything else.
That said, there is a problem with bringing technology that has nothing to do with theft. When you’re traveling, you are constantly moving, potentially staying at a number of different places in the same country. Every time you check out of a place, you have the potential to leave your tech behind. While you’re on the move, you could drop your devices, especially if you’re taking public transport.
Checking in expensive luggage is risky as well. You can put as many fragile stickers on a bag as you want, but the airport staff are still likely to throw it around. You may be able to claim from the airline if your stuff gets damaged, or alternatively you can claim from your insurance, but you don’t want to have to go through the process.
Ultimately, whether you bring your expensive tech on your travels depends entirely on how you travel. Ideally, however, you should do what you can to minimize the amount of expensive items in your luggage.
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