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How to Pack: Your Tech Items


This blog post was updated on April 2, 2020.

From photography equipment to smartphones, and from computers to portable video games, there are lots of gadgets that you will want to bring along on your trips. However, it can be incredibly disappointing to reach your destination and find that your expensive camera lens is cracked or your laptop had an unfortunate run-in with your travel shampoo. Don’t worry, there are plenty of tricks to help you avoid these unfortunate situations. So whether you’ve been planning your trip for awhile, or you’ve grabbed one of those last minute flight deals, here are three things to consider when packing your valuable gear:

Be Choosy About What to Bring


It can be hard to narrow down the gadgets you want to bring with you on a trip, especially if you’re in a hurry to pack after booking one of those last minute flight deals. As a writer, I’m constantly weighing the pros and cons of bringing my laptop or just making do with my phone and tablet. My photographer friends agonize over which lenses, shades, and tripods to bring. However, take it from me that you’ll be a lot happier moving around with less. In the name of efficiency (and light bags), be as choosy as you can when deciding what gear to take with you. Think through each step of the trip and what you will need (and what you can do without). Stick with the essentials, AND their respective chargers, and leave the rest at home. Your future self will thank you.

Carry On Your Equipment Whenever You Can


The safest bet is to always pack your electronic equipment in your carry-on bags (this goes for all valuables, really). This is the only way to ensure that your expensive gadgets won’t get stolen or broken bumping around with the other checked bags. If you can, pack them together tightly in a carry-on bag that fits under the seat in front of you. Another option is to pack them in a padded or hard-sided bag and put them carefully in the overhead bin. Every traveler should have a quality carry-on bag, but this is even more important for those who regularly bring along tech items. When I’m shopping for a quality carry-on bag, I look for pockets (with enough room for what I usually bring with me), a laptop sleeve, and a good zipper. This makes it easier to find and remove my electronics when needed (and keep them secure). I always feel better knowing my valuables are close to me, especially on international flights.

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Bubble Wrap and Foam Are Your Friends


Sometimes, you may have to pack your gadgets in checked bags. If you travel with electronics frequently, it’s a good idea to invest in a hard-sided suitcase. If you’re not sure your current bag is up to the task, don’t underestimate the power of bubble wrap or strategically positioned foam padding. Using your clothes to cushion gadgets is another good bet. Don’t worry too much about sending off your expensive gear in checked luggage. After all, carefully wrapping and securing your gear inside a suitcase is a great way to protect them from unexpected thumps and bumps along the way.

If you’re traveling on one of those last minute flight deals, chances are you’ll probably be sitting in an economy seat. If so, here are some tips on how to fly in economy class comfortably.

Do you have any other suggestions to add to this list? How do you decide what tech items to bring on a trip and how to pack them? Let us know in the comments section.

About the author

Jen Westmoreland Bouchard

An insatiable foodie, art collector, and international literature aficionado, I have traveled throughout Europe, Asia, the U.S. and Canada. For the past fifteen years, I have written about my adventures for various travel and literary publications. I am the owner of Lucidité Writing ( and Bouchard Design Co. (

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