Nobody travels without their technology. For business travelers, their IT support virtually travels with them, but casual consumers are on their own. Most of us won’t even walk to the end of the block without our smartphones. When you go on a trip, not having your technology there when you need it can ruin your day, if not your entire trip.

Make several tech-checks before you go so you can travel smarter and more securely. Use our handy tech travel checklist below. It can save you from having to deal with lost devices, missing chargers, or a data breach.

  1. Check Your Apps

Showing up at your airport departure gate and finding it empty should make the hairs on the back of your neck stand up. You ask at the desk and find out your gate had changed. Now you’re hoping you’re not too late as you make a mad dash to the other end of the concourse.

You get to proper gate and it’s still full as people are boarding the flight. How did they know about the gate change? Most likely, they downloaded the app for the airline and received a notification.

Make sure to download any apps you may need before you leave for a trip. It’s better to install them at home on your own Wi-Fi. If you wait until you’re at the airport, reception may be an issue.

Some of the apps you may want to grab or update before your trip are:

Airline app

Train app

Hotel app

Theme Park app

Camping ground app

Weather app

City tourism app

  1. Check All Cords & Adapters

People forget their chargers and adapters in airports, restaurants, cabs/Ubers, and train stations around the world.  Bring a backup charger for your laptop, tablet, or phone. Otherwise, you may find yourself paying a premium for a new charger in a gift shop. Your device could also go black if you lose its charger and can’t quickly get a new one.

  1. Backup Your Power Supply

It's also highly recommended that you travel (even across town) with at least one (or several) fully charged Portable Power Bank or ‘Power Stick’ for your devices. If you can’t charge your device normally, due to anything from a lost cable or charger – or even a power outage, you can just pop it in and fill your device with juice. Remember to recharge it for next time.

Having this extra backup also helps you avoid potential juice-jacking ports. These are fake or compromised public USB charging ports. Hackers use them to steal your data when you plug in.

  1. Check Your Mobile Plan

If you’re heading out of the US, you need to check your mobile plan. If you don’t have the ability to call internationally, then you may not be able to text or call home.

Carriers can add an international capability to your plan, but it’s wise to ask about pricing and what extra charges may apply. It can get expensive if you’re on long calls or using mobile data. An alternative is to set up a VoIP app you can use with your office, friends, or family while you’re traveling. These enable both calls and SMS as long as you have an internet connection.

  1. Check or Add a VPN

Free Wi-Fi on the road is no less dangerous than what you have on your home turf. You don’t know who else is using that Wi-Fi. A hacker lurking on the connection can easily steal your data if you’re not protected.

It’s better to use either your mobile carrier connection or a VPN (Virtual Private Network). VPN plans are inexpensive and will keep your data encrypted and your identity hidden when you’re on public Wi-Fi.

  1. Check Your Backup

Mishaps and thefts occur when traveling. You may leave your phone somewhere, your luggage might be lost, and devices can be stolen while in a crowded area.

10% of all laptop thefts happen in airports.

It’s bad enough to have to buy a new device, but don’t lose all your data as well! Back up the data on your devices to the cloud or local storage before you travel. This ensures that you won’t lose the valuable information on your device. You also won't need to think twice about enacting a remote “wipe my device” command if necessary.

  1. Check Your Device Cybersecurity

Even though this is a standard rule whether traveling or not, make sure your devices as secure as possible before you hit the road. Our minds are occupied by other things when we’re traveling, so, you may not think to check your antivirus or avoid suspicious phishing links.

Enact these protections on your devices before you go:


DNS filtering

Screen lock with passcode

Sharing features turned OFF

VPN application

Find-My-Device feature turned ON

If you work in a company with an internal IT Services department or an outsourced Managed IT Services company, call the IT HelpDesk and ask them for help.

  1. Check Your Double-Checks

That may sound like a memo from ‘The Department of Redundancy Department’, but what we mean is to use the same methodology for your travel-tech that you use for everything else about traveling. When the family is going somewhere, moms and dads ask each other and the kids if they packed important items – anything from an allergy inhaler to a swimsuit. Travelers should check with their companions that they have all their devices and have installed protections like the ones listed above.

If you’re traveling alone, have a friend or family member check up by text. Did you grab your charger? Is your VPN turned on? Did you back up your data at home?

Those little reminders can go a long way toward avoiding digital travel nightmares.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Do I actually need a VPN?

A:  Absolutely, for home, office, or mobile devices. A VPN is a necessary and valued tool in 2023. It completely secures your private and personal information and prevents third parties from gaining access to your data, as they can exploit and use this information against you. For such reasons, it's recommended to keep your VPN on for most if not all of the time.

Q: How much can a power bank hold?

A: Just like our smartphone batteries power banks’ capacity typically measures in mAh (Milliamp Hours). Power banks usually are offered with capacities ranging from 4000 mAh to 40000 mAh. The bigger the number, the larger the capacity. A power bank with a 10000 mAh battery has a capacity of about 6000-7000 mAh. The iPhone 12 mini has a 2227 mAh battery.

Q: How can I check security on my phone?

A: On most Android and iPhones security patches and updates happen automatically. To check:
On Android devices, go to Settings > Security > Google Security Checkup.
On iPhones, go to Settings > Privacy & Security > Safety Check.

Q: How do I get antivirus on my phone?

A: It’s simple: Just open the Play Store app, tap your icon or avatar at the top right and activate ‘Play Protect’. Then install anti-malware software. An antivirus app is the best way to automatically clean your phone of viruses and malware, plus it will detect malicious strains to prevent future infections.

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Improve the Security of Your Mobile Devices Now

Don’t leave your devices, both mobile and stationary, unprotected. This could mean a breach of your banking app or personal data. Contact us for device security solutions to reduce your risk.

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