International travel is exciting, but in this day and age, a lot of travelers like to take their laptop with them. Whether you are traveling for business or pleasure, you’ll likely want to take your laptop with you for many different reasons. It makes it easier (and cheaper versus cell phone data) to stay in touch with family and friends while traveling abroad. It allows you to do travel planning or continue your blogging while you are on the road.
Traveling with a laptop internationally is something that a lot of people have had questions about due to recent changes and issues with airport security, as well as laptop safety while traveling.
Frequently asked questions about flying with a laptop
Can you bring a laptop on international flights?
Yes, you can and many people do daily. You will be required to take it out at your security screening, so be sure to pack it somewhere that is easy to access so you don’t get caught off guard and receive stern stares from fellow passengers.
Also, almost all airlines ask you to stow anything larger than a standard tablet for takeoff and landing. You will need to put your laptop back in your bag and place it in the overhead locker or under the seat in front of you. With limited space, this can be a bit of an awkward maneuver if your laptop is a large one.
Can I take a laptop in hand luggage?
Yes, but as mentioned above, be aware f the security checkpoint. They guard at the laptop may also ask you to turn it on so you can prove it is a working laptop. They ask people this at random, so it is wise to make sure you have some battery power before you leave your house, because you never know. A bit more on that later.
Are laptops allowed in checked baggage?
Most probably, yes. But it could be different for some airlines due to the issue with lithium-ion batteries. They have a track record of setting on fire. I was actually on a flight where this happened, smelling burning at 35,000 feet above the Atlantic Ocean is not a comforting feeling, I can assure you of that. Anyway. It may be that they ask you to take the battery out if possible, and one thing you will not be able to check-in is spare batteries.
However, I would ask why you would want to check it in? Leaving such valuable possession at the mercy of baggage handlers is a bad idea. Stuff goes missing, gets smashed about, it’s just too much of a risk. So to answer, yes you can, but I wouldn’t recommend it.
Can I carry two laptops on an international flight?
Yes, you can. There is no restriction, as long as they fit within your luggage allowance, you should be fine. It’s worth keeping them easy to reach and maybe security will be more likely to ask you to turn them on, but not a problem.
OK, so now you know that, let’s have a look at five top tips for traveling with your laptop for a safe and comfortable journey.
Travel Laptops Top 5 Tips for Traveling With a Laptop Internationally
1) Get Through Airport Security Quicker
According to TSA, you can carry your laptop or tablet in either your checked bag or your carry-on baggage. We would strongly discourage anyone from putting their valuable electronics in a checked bag as there is a high risk of damage. Always keep your laptop with you in a secure laptop bag while moving through the airport terminal.
When going through security, you must take your laptop out of its bag and place it into a bin to be scanned through the x-ray machine. Keep an eye on your surroundings and your device as it moves through the conveyor belt to ensure no one can steal it.
The x-ray machines are fine for laptops to be run through and have no risk of damaging your device. Immediately once you are through security, secure your laptop back in its bag, before even putting your shoes back on.
2) Be Prepared for Possible Inspection
Security may request to do a visual inspection of your laptop. That essentially means you will need to turn your laptop on and log into it as proof that it is an actual functioning laptop.
These checks are usually done randomly, so it’s essential to be prepared for it if it happens. You can do this by making sure your laptop is fully charged. Even better, leave it on and in standby mode until you are through security, just in case. Having it already on and in standby mode will make the visual inspection process much quicker.
3) Carry Documentation With You
One thing a lot of travelers forget to do when they leave for their trip is to take along any receipts or proof of purchase documents for their expensive equipment.
This is essential at helping you clear your countries’ customs when arriving home from your trip. If you don’t remember to take these documents with you when you travel, you might be questioned about whether or not your laptop was purchased in another country. That would now require you to pay customs fees, duty, and taxes on it.
4) Research Your Destination Countries’ Power Plug Options
Depending on where you are traveling, you might need to purchase a plug-in cord adapter so that you can plug in your electronics and charge them.
One of the worst things for a traveler is to realize is that when you arrive at your hotel, you didn’t research the country’s plug-ins and they are different than what your device needs. In a technology world, not being able to charge your device can be frustrating.
Making sure to research this before your trip saves you some additional stress and headaches.
5) Back-Up Your Important Files Before You Travel
An important step for traveling internationally with your laptop safely is to back up and save your important files elsewhere before you travel. One good suggestion is to save these files to an external hard-drive that you keep safe at home.
Then, if you might need those documents on your trip, email them to yourself beforehand. That way, they are secure and safe within your email account that can’t be accessed with your password, and not just available to anyone. On the off chance, your laptop is stolen; the most important files will be safe.
Final Thoughts on traveling with a laptop internationally
There many tips and ways that you can keep your laptop safe while traveling and move through security quicker. If you need your laptop on your trip, it’s not a problem to take it with you as long as you are aware of the processes and procedures beforehand, and can keep it safe with you at all times. Make sure you enjoy your trip and don’t spend too much time on your laptop, though!