89 Best PC Tips – Travel

Over the course of the next couple of days, I’m going to post quite a few articles in relation to the 89 best PC tips. This will include everything from Audio, iTunes, Email, Productivity, Mac OS X Tips & Tricks, Security, Travel, Video, the Web and even Media in general! This is a very well thought out and well written list originally from Laptop Mag. I enjoyed reading this article so much that I decided it was worth re-publishing. All of the original copyrights are in place, the next series of articles, titled 89 best PC tips, are completely credited to LaptopMag!

The following series of tips is in complete dedication to Travel.

#1 – Turn your laptop into a navigator
If you work out of your car and your laptop rarely leaves your side, skip the standalone navigator and try Microsoft Street & Trips 2008 with GPS Locator ($99.95 – www.microsoft.com/streets).  This software includes automatic rerouting, night view, and perspective map view, which displays your route as seen through the windshield.  Users can access detailed maps of the U.S. and Canada and enjoy spoken directions and construction updates.  For $50 more,  Microsoft’s Streets & Trips 2008 with Connected Services includes maps of 37 European countries and an FM receiver, which streams traffic data from MSN Direct and searches for gas stations and prices.

#2 – Charce your notebook in the car
If you’re in a vehicle and your notebook is running on empty, don’t fret. Lind Electronics (www.lindelectronics.com) offers a slew of car adapters, starting at $59.95, that are compatible with a wide range of systems from more than 30 notebook manufacturers.  Each adapter connects to the cigarette lighter and provides the proper voltage for your notebook.  Output filtering and short-circuit protection keep your system safe from power fluctuations.

#3 – Stay connected (and get directions) from anywhere
Besides a place to eat and rest, the modern road warrior requires two essentials: directions and Internet access.  Sprint’s Novatel Wireless Ovation U727 ($79.99 with a 2-year contract and mail-in rebate – www.sprint.com) combines a USB EV-DO Rev.  A modem and GPS location capability (along with 4GB of Storage) for accessing the Web and navigating the streets right from your laptop.

#4 – Register your laptop before you fly
When you return to the U.S. from overseas trip with your laptop, you may have to prove that you didn’t just purchase it abroad and are therefore liable for import duties.  So register your laptop with U.S. Customs and Border Protection, which you can do at your airport before departure or at a CBP office.  For a list of local offices, go to www.cbp.gov.

#5 – Charge your notebook in the air
As any road warrior knows, the degree to which an airline can accommodate a laptop varies.  Fortunately, there’s a Web site that can give you an approximate idea of what to expect; SeatGuru (www.seatguru.com).  Once you’ve used the comparison charts to identify the airplanes that offer EmPower in-seat power, you’ll need an adapter that will keep your notebook up and running during long flights.  We recommend the iGo everywhere85 ($129 – www.igo.com), a thin, 8-ounce power supply that can charge your laptop and another gadget (like a cell phone or MP3 player) at the same time.

#6 – Label your laptop

It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how rarely people actually do this.  Services such as TrackItBack (www.trackitback.com) sell ID tags (starting at $9.95), that you can attach to your notebook.  If you lose your laptop, the person who finds it can call the toll-free number to receive $50 worth of TrackItBack tags (and a user’s optional cash reward).  of course, there’s no guarantee that your lost equipment will be returned.  But it certainly doesn’t hurt.


A thirty-something code ninja + web diva. Former New Yorker who's passionate about web development, HTML/CSS, beautifying things and marketing.

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