Whether you’re off on holiday somewhere, or racking up a list of festivals to visit, taking your precious gadgets with you is always a dilemma. Is it better to leave them at home, and have them miss out on the event they were bought to capture, or do you take the risk that they go, but maybe won’t come home with you?
We’ve put together a fool-proof guide to help you make up your mind!
Image source techistan.com
– Be ruthless
The best way to protect your gadgets is to leave behind everything that isn’t necessary. It would be great to have your Kindle at a festival, for the mornings, but realistically, could you live without it? On the other hand, if you’re going on a snorkelling holiday, your Kindle will be a great use, but your iPad? Maybe not so much. As you pack, decide what you really, really need, and leave anything behind that you won’t miss once you’re away.
– Use a gadget to save a gadget
The thought of being in a tent, in a field always brings one problem to mind: phone battery. Luckily there are plenty of gadgets about to help you overcome this. Invest in a portable charger to ensure you won’t spend three out of four days of a festival without a phone. These nifty devices are battery powered, and allow you to plug in a range of devices, from your phone to your camera. To save picking up any scratches or dents, pick a case for your phone or camera – there are some ultra-lightweight, but super-protective choices on the market at the moment, that won’t hinder usability.
– Swap brains for brawn
Here’s a chilling thought: how about leaving today’s top of the range gadgets at home, and opting for the bestsellers of yesteryear? Swap your digital Nikon for a disposable, and leave your iPhone 5 at home, and invest in a Nokia 3310. Not only can you forget about battery issues, but you’ll get some awesome looking photos at the end of it. Although you might miss having instant access to the internet, it can be quite refreshing to be incommunicado for a couple of days!
– Investigate hiding spots
If you definitely want to take your smartphone, camera and tablet with you, it’s a good idea to start looking into hiding spots. Whether you’re on holiday or at a festival, there should be safety deposit boxes, or safes in your room that you can leave valuables in when you don’t need them. When taking them out with you, keep them in front-facing pockets, or in a zip-up shoulder bag – and try not to flaunt them in busy places.
– In case of theft
If your phone or tablet does get stolen, you want to make sure no one will be able to access any of your data, so put a lock on, and look for apps that allow for remote data wiping. It’s a good idea to get hold of your phone’s IMEI number (which you should be able to access by dialling *#06#), which you can use to report it stolen. There are also a variety of tracking apps for smartphones, so install one before you leave. These range from tracking your phone to a location, to being able to take photos of the person who’s now using it, all of which will help the police locate it.
Insurance for your gadgets is well worth taking out, just in case. Depending on who you use, it can be fairly cheap, and will cover the basics – theft, water damage, and being dropped. Even though you’ll be able to get a phone or camera back (or the monetary equivalent), you won’t get anything personal, so upload all your contacts and photos onto your computer before you go.
Although you can’t prepare for being chucked in a pool with your phone in your pocket, if you’re going on – or under – the water, there are plenty of gadgets you can use to enable you to take phones and cameras near water, without having to pay out for a new one. There are cases that allow you to take a smartphone under the water, and Tweet from the seabed, and others are shells designed to protect cameras or camcorders.
– Avoid added expenses
When going abroad, make sure you check for cover under any holiday insurance, or the terms and conditions of your gadget insurance. To keep costs down, turn off your data roaming, your 3G, and your voicemail, and tell your provider that you’ll be going away. Some tariffs have better abroad deals, so it may be worth investing in a new sim if you’ll be away for a while, or need to have constant use of your phone.
This article was written by Ben Skinner of competition site MyOffers who run competitions for all kinds of electronics and gadgets, as well as holidays. Visit them at http://www.myoffers.co.uk/