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The UK has followed the US in drafting in a ban on electronic devices in your carry-on luggage, as a security measure on inbound flights from six Middle Eastern countries. So I'd like to know: would this put you off bringing a laptop or tablet with you altogether on your next trip, if you were at risk of being affected?
As I don't own a laptop or tablet, and only have a very basic phone for emergencies when driving in the UK, it would not worry me. But it would be a big problem if they tried to make me check my expensive cameras and lenses!
When the news broke I double checked my travel insurance and as I expected, if I put my iPad in my checked bag, it isn't covered. Even if it was, I'm not very good at remembering to back up, especially when away, and I'd be upset to lose my luggage with the iPad in it. I use it in preference to a laptop for writing on the road as well as basic photo editing and backup, internet and with a Kindle app, to carry reading material. I've got so used to travelling like this, I'm not sure I'd like to change.
Which gives me a choice: leave it at home and rely on an iPhone or go somewhere else. Right now I'm choosing the latter. Fortunately I've already explored four of the six countries affected and am not bothered to miss out on the other two. But it does concern me if the rules were to change while I was away somewhere. The explosives in liquids plot struck while we were away in Peru in 2006 and we were not allowed any hand luggage on the return flight save for our passports and wallets. That was one stressful return flight until I saw my valuables on the carousel at Heathrow. Hopefully this won't be a ban which is extended to other destinations, or like Cathy says, to other electronics like digital cameras.
This is an interesting one as we normally travel hand luggage only, so any items can't be taken out of our hand luggage and stashed in hold luggage.
For us it actually doesn't really matter as we'd just rewind a few years to the time when we didn't have much in the way of technology to take with us - about five years in our case.
Self and GF discussed this when we got back from our most recent travels last week and concluded that all we would do would be to take a phone each (smartphone in her case, dumb-ass talk and text phone in my case), my Nikon digital compact camera and that's it.
Although I took my iPad Mini on the last trip, the ability to get a Wi-Fi signal was interesting - great in the basic pension, non-existent in a business orientated hotel, vague in another hotel (had to open the room door to get the signal) and at 7.25am in the hostel we stayed in.
So the iPad is staying at home next time as are our Kindles in favour of taking a book or two each and swapping them along the way.
Not saying that it's an approach that everyone would take, but leaving most of the tech at home would get rid of the few worries about losing stuff and also reduce the amount of weight in our hand luggage to allow for a book or two (no iPad, no Kindle and no chargers for them either!).
Don't always post on my blog when I'm away - usually write things down in a notebook and write the story when I get home or use a computer in a hotel or hostel to do the deed...
Only affected country on the horizon was Turkey in our case, the interesting parts rather than the beach resort that someone's just offered as a 'prize' for filling in a survey and attending a presentation next week - we declined this as we like to do our own thing!
It will really depend on the trip. Most of our trips have been between 5 and 13 months, so we normally carry a kindle fire and a Microsoft surface, which enable us to do everything we need, including our planning and budgeting spreadsheets, photo loading and editing, blogging, Skype etc.
For longer trips we will probably still take them with us, but would try to avoid flights that are affected by the ban, as I simply don't trust hold luggage for valuables, as they are far too prone to theft or damage, and as Julia said, they generally are not covered by insurance companies. I will be even more concerned if they add in cameras, which I believe the USA has.
We do have a trip planned that will be affected, as we have booked a three week trip to Jordan in October. For that time, we will probably leave the larger and more expensive surface at home, and just take the rather more durable kindle, and hope for the best. We'll just have to use USB sticks to safeguard our photos, and do all of the uploading when we get back. It is something of a nuisance, as we had planned to only take carry on for short trip, so that will no longer be possible.
I would find it less irritating if I thought the ban made more sense though. It seems too isolated and inconsistent to be truly effective, and I am unclear how they are reconciling this with the fact that you are not supposed to put lithium batteries in the hold.
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