Monday, February 21, 2011

traveling with laptop...

When you take a vacation or travel for business, there is no reason to leave your gadgets behind. Hotels around the world offer Wi-Fi service and make it possible for you to use your laptop to stay in touch with the office, family and friends. Similarly, when traveling, taking your GPS along can help you navigate your way through unknown cities and off the beaten track.

Keep Electronics Safe
Even though it is common in the United States for people to use laptop computers, GPS and other expensive electronics in public places, public use of electronics can be less common in some countries. Using electronic devices in public could cause you to be marked as a potential target for theft. Before traveling abroad, purchase cases for all your electronics, so that you can keep them hidden from public view in your bag. Limit electronics use to private spaces such as your rental car or hotel room. If you must use your electronic devices in public, enter a safe place, such as a retail store or cafe, before removing devices from your bag.

Update GPS Maps
In theory, using a GPS to navigate the winding roads of Tuscan hillside villages sounds like a great idea. However, GPS units come loaded with maps for the regions where they are purchased. If you are planning to use your GPS for a road trip abroad, check your unit's information manual or the manufacturer's website to see how far the pre-loaded maps extend. If your manufacturer also distributes GPS in the country to which you are traveling, you can download additional maps. Even if your manufacturer does not provide maps for the country you are planning to visit, you could be able to purchase them from a third party GPS map vendor.

Get the Right Plug Converter
Laptops, cellphones and other portable electronic devises are made to work within a range of voltages, typically 100 to 240 volts. North American outlets use a 110 volt system, while Europe and Asia use 220 volts. However, even when your device is compatible in terms of voltage, plug configurations vary abroad, even within a country. North American laptop cords typically include a third pin, but some outlets abroad use only two pins or have three thin pins in a horizontal configuration. Before your trip, visit a travel store or an airport electronics vendor and pick up plug converters specifically designed for the country or countries you plan to visit.

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