In a recent post I mentioned that the Arawak Beach Inn confiscates your electronic devices upon checking in. It's their way of helping to ensure that you have a peaceful, stress-free vacation.
However, not everyone is willing to go to this extreme. For those, myself included, who like a bit of outside communication at least once a day, bringing along a laptop to use on a limited basis is more feasible.
If you do travel frequently and need to keep multiple computers in more than one location updated with the latest files, a new service called SugarSync can help. SugarSync places the latest version of each file you choose to sync on each of your chosen computers. It also creates a password-protected web page that allows you access even when you are on a borrowed computer. Every time you make changes to any designated file, that change is reflected on each synced computer and on the website within seconds when you are connected to the Internet.
When bringing along the laptop on a trip, there are some precautions you can take:
- Have a secure password. Number and letter combinations are best. Do not choose anything obvious to someone who knows a bit about you.
- For confidential files, you can add an additional password to block access.
- Be careful what you transmit through unfamiliar networks. Reservations and online purchases can require more personal information, so try to cut down on the need to use these while you are out of town.
- Bring an ethernet cord with you. Wireless access may not be available in all locations, and this gives you another option.
- Never check your laptop in luggage, and do not let it out of your sight. Sometimes it means squeezing the case into a small restroom stall, but you want to keep it with you at all times.
- If you leave the laptop in your car, secure it in the trunk to avoid overt temptation for theft. Extreme temperatures can be harmful, so limit the length of time you pack it away.