By Kate Voss

No matter your destination, before leaving on a vacation you pack an assortment of personal items and clothing — perhaps a bathing suit or possibly a snow suit. Either way, there are a few things you usually never leave behind: your electronics. From a cellphone to a tablet or laptop, portable electronic device are essential these days while on vacations. They provide travelers with everything from entertainment, to a means of staying up-to-date at work, to a back-up camera. However, it is essential that we routinely check on our electronics before and during our travels to make sure they are safe, charged and secure.

Backup all data

Before leaving for your destination, it is a good idea to backup all your data from your portable devices onto your home computer or external hard drive just in case something goes awry. You don’t want to lose your phone during a deep-sea fishing excursion to find that you’ve accidentally lost all 520 of your beloved iphone photos. Backing up your devices only takes a few minutes and could save you from future loss.

Turn off cellular data

One of the biggest tips for saving energy in your phone or tablet’s batteries while traveling internationally is to turn off any cellular data network connection if you do not have an international calling plan (this is often called “airplane mode” on mobile phones). You can still operate the phone or tablet’s music player, camera and all native apps, but by turning off the cellular data the device will be consuming far less battery power searching for a network which it can’t find anyway, so you’ll be able to keep your device charged for much longer. Plus, you won’t be hit with the hefty roaming fees once you get back from your relaxing vacation. Make sure when you are on an airplane to turn on airplane mode to also help conserve your phones energy.

Invest in protective cases

Protective skins and cases can do wonders for electronics. Simply putting all devices in cases, especially your iPhone (which you’ll probably be hauling everywhere you go to capture pictures), can prevent your device from becoming scratched or damaged. If you are going to a tropical location such as a beach, invest in a waterproof case to protect devices from water damage. The LifeProof iPhone cases are a great investment — they are waterproof, shock-proof, dustproof and snowproof, so no matter your destination, they have your devices covered.

Charge your phone on-the-go

For a slightly different form of protective case that not only prevents your devices from damage but also charges them on-the-go, invest in a case that has built-in power storage, such as the Energi or Morphie Juice Pack. These are life-saving (or so we like to think) cases, so no matter how long you’ve been snapping photos or browsing music, you will (hopefully) never run out of juice.

Pack carefully

There is a certain method of packing that some of us have mastered and some of us still need to work on. Whether a pro packer or a newbie, it is essential to pack your electronics in a safe and secure part of your luggage while on traveling. While you are toting your luggage around, you want to keep the devices from moving around as much as possible. You can use your clothing as a cushion to protect your devices pocket-size devices, and for larger items, invest in an electronic-protective carrying case such as the TSA-approved notebook bag, which can be taken through airport security checkpoints without having to remove your computer and lay it on the belt.

Keep important items close

This typically goes without saying, but while traveling, especially to unknown and foreign places, it is important to keep your important electronic devices close to you. Do not fall asleep alone on a train or bus with your possessions exposed. Also, make sure your hotel has good security so you don’t have to worry about locking up devices while out of room. Investing in a secure money belt which can hold your phone is a great way to keep devices close to you.

Author bio: Kate Voss is a freelance writer from Chicago who has written on everything from the philosophical TV lessons, to electric cars. Her favorite travel spots are Norris Lake in Tennessee and St. John. You can follow her on Twitter at @Kateevoss.

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