How to travel safe with a MacBook Pro

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by kot, May 9, 2012.

  1. kot macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2011
    #1
    I will be traveling from Europe to Australia this summer to visit relatives. I am planning to take my MacBook Pro with me, however as I've never been abroad before, I am not quite sure if it's safe to bring an expensive piece of electronics with you and on plane.

    Should I rely on my smartphone instead for communication (email, skyping, IM) and leave MBP at home? Is there a significant danger of bumping it into something when in flight or at the airport so that it breaks, or maybe the customs officer will destroy it if he/she doesn't want it to be within Australia's borders or suspects I might have hidden porn on it?

    Do any of you travel with your expensive electronics and how do you handle the perils of the road?
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #2
    It's fine to travel with a portable computer. :rolleyes: If you're worried about it, a carrying sleeve prevents most major and minor damage.
     
  3. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #3
    get a proper backpack (with a dedicated sleave/compartment) and you'll be fine
    i travel all the time ( never to australia unfortunately) and never had a problem
    rember to get the connectors for the powersupply
    enjoy your trip
     
  4. Peterkro macrumors 68020

    Peterkro

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    #4
    This,you'll be able to get your computer and all the things you need to keep with you in it and bring as cabin luggage.I've never even been stopped and asked what I've got when entering OZ,on leaving somewhere they'll get you to pull out computer just to make sure that's what it is.In any country in the world you'll need to make sure you have close contact with your bag at all times.Have fun.
     
  5. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    Location:
    The Far Horizon
    #5
    Exactly this. I travel a lot, as well. My MBP (when I had one) or my current MBA always travel either in my rucksack/backpack, further protected in a proper sleeve/compartment, or, in a small briefcase, which I carry on to the plane in addition to a rucksack.

    Make sure that you have the appropriate power adaptors as well, as Australia differs from both Europe and the UK in that regard.

    Have a great trip.
     
  6. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

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    #6
    Just to clarify, you need appropriate plug adapters, not appropriate power adapters. Apple power adapters accept 100-240 VAC, 50/60 Hz. The plug shape is the only thing you'll need to worry about.
     
  7. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #7
    Sorry, yes, I should have clarified that. Usually, in airports I buy a 'world' set of plug adaptors. However, while I have never been to Australia, I understand that the plugs are different from those of the UK, which differ from those of Europe, all of which are different from those in the US.
     
  8. NewbieCanada macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #8
    Be sure to check into roaming charges for your phone. They can be shockingly high, especially for data. Can easily run to hundreds or even thousands of Euros.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

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    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #9
    Customs is not usually an issue... but just so you know up front... If they want they can go snooping through all of your files. They have the right to. So don't leave anything on that may even hint at porn or being illegal in those countries. If some officer wants to be a jerk, that can include looking through caches. Personally, if you even think there may be something on the laptop I'd format it and start clean again.

    It's not likely this will happen ... but if it does the downside could be bad enough that I'd be paranoid about the contents of my MBP.

    Worry now and breeze through customs stress free.

    Luck.
     
  10. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

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    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #10
    I've never been through customs with a computer so I can't speak to that, but as far as general plane travel goes just get a good case/sleeve and a protective carry bag or backpack. I use a messenger bag for my laptop and it houses everything I need on a trip, cables, adaptors, external drives, media, etc. etc.. It really shouldn't be a problem as traveling with a portable electronic device is very common today. Like someone else mentioned, just watch out for thieves by never leaving your bag unattended. Have fun on your trip. :)
     
  11. kot thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2011
    #11
    Thanks guys for all the helpful info! I will be carrying it in my backpack which has a special compartment for a 15" laptop.

    It's just my first time so I'm a little worried.

    Good! I will erase all videos and music from my MBP, leave just my documents.
     
  12. cambookpro macrumors 603

    cambookpro

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    United Kingdom
    #12
    In customs they just seem to xray it, so you don't need to delete anything really.

    As for travelling with it, go for it. I'd shot a home film on my holidays, so on the way back I whipped out my MBP and started editing it in Final Cut Pro :D (7 mid you, not the botched FCPX)
     
  13. boss.king macrumors 68040

    boss.king

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    Apr 8, 2009
    #13
    I'd recommend a sleeve and a proper laptop bag. My parents travelled with a brand new MBP a few years ago and after the first flight the lid was dented. They are always careful with stuff, but its thin aluminium, these things are a possibility.
     
  14. mobilehaathi macrumors G3

    mobilehaathi

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    #14
    The first time can be a little scary and a bit awkward, but after you've done it a few times you'll gain your confidence and get good at doing it.
     
  15. Don't panic macrumors 603

    Don't panic

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    #15
    this seems extreme.
    i have never ever experienced the computer itself being searched, nor ever seen happening to others. at most they ask to turn it on in some countries.

    And good luck with searching it: unfortunately (because it's just a pain, and i don't need it) I must keep full-disk encryption on at all time by work rules, and the system is just unbreakable. :D
     
  16. Daffodil macrumors 6502

    Daffodil

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    Jun 7, 2011
    Location:
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    #16
    Yeah, seems extreme to me too. If I recall correctly, when you enter Australia they are far more concerned with whether you're bringing any food items in... Only time I've had my laptop anything remotely like "checked" was in security when flying out of China, where I had to prove that the laptop actually turned on.

    Never had them go through it, although technically they would have the right. I guess I'm having a hard time imagining what you have on there that'd be so terribly illegal that they'd prevent you from entering the country. :rolleyes:

    Have a good trip, though! OZ is great :)
     
  17. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #17
    I have never seen or experienced a computer being searched (and I travel a lot). As DP says, I have seen situations - it has happened to me a few times - where, not only are you asked to remove the computer from its briefcase/rucksack while going through the x-ray machine, but you can also be asked to turn it on. That meant that there used to be a bit of a delay with the old Windows HDD machines, as they would take a minute or two to boot up after being switched on. Fortunately, the SSD on my MBA is equal to this challenge....
     
  18. Sylon macrumors 68020

    Sylon

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    Feb 26, 2012
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    Michigan/Ohio, USA
    #18
    I've been around the world a couple times, traveled overseas to many places, been on a few deployments. I think I have enough fly-time to circle the globe about a dozen times. I've always had a laptop with me. Just recently I flew to Central America without issue. I don't have a backpack with a dedicated laptop compartment. I wish my SOC Bugout Bag had one, but it doesn't really. I prefer my SOC Bugout Bag because its pretty big and durable.

    To get around the lack of a dedicated laptop compartment, I use my Mobile Edge laptop carrying bag (similar to this) and stick the entire thing in my Bugout bag. My Bugout bag as a zipper that goes all the way around the bag to expand the bag if needed. So with that, I can carry my laptop bag, keeping my laptop perfectly safe, and whatever else I need, all as my single carry-on.

    Is this setup optimal? Nope, lol. But it works, and has been for the last 8 years. Combining the 2 bags helps get around the carry-on baggage limitations out now. Getting thru airport security can be cumbersome. But I've managed. I would prefer just traveling with the mobile edge bag out of my backpack, but with carry-on limits, I'm forced to combine them. Once I get to my location, I still have a backpack and a laptop bag separately to use.


    Now they have laptop bags that fold out flat for easy security screening. I would recommend something like that. They usually have tags showing something like TSA approved or recommended or something like that.
     
  19. kot thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2011
    #19
    Thanks! I'll keep that in mind.

    Also I just bought this. Will keep my MBP in it AND inside my backpack! :)
     
  20. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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  21. wordoflife macrumors 604

    wordoflife

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    Jul 6, 2009
    #21
    The only thing that could happen is that your laptop could get scratched when you put it in the security check point bin, but nothing will happen as long as you keep it by itself in the bin. Some people put their computer into the bins and throw coins, keys, phones, etc into it as well (mind you in the same container the laptop is in).

    Also, keep the laptop off during travel. You don't want the HDD to fail if the computer wakes up for some reason.

    [​IMG]
     
  22. Signal-11 macrumors 65816

    Signal-11

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    Mar 23, 2008
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    2nd Star to the Right
    #22
    You are worrying over nothing.

    I travel extensively between North America, Europe, Asia (East and Southeast) and Africa. On average, I run out of pages on an extra page supplemented passport in a little under a year.

    I carry my MBP in a sleeve in a regular, everyday leather messenger bag/briefcase, with no special compartment. Right now, I'm using a Booq Vyper.

    Personally, I never turn my MBP off - I just close the lid, regardless of when/where it's going.

    I do have a Pelican case for when I know I'm going to in and out of boats or in the desert/dusty environments, but that's probably waaaay overkill for you. Plus it's a bad idea for airports.

    My only recommendation is for you to pick up an Apple World Traveller Kit for $40 - it includes EU and AUS plugs. It also comes with an extra iPhone/iPod cable and charger so it's actually a really good deal.

    Skip the Magsafe Airline adapter. I think in the past five years, I've been on a plane that I could use it on exactly once.
     
  23. shinobi-81 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    #23
    Keep it in a sleeve during the flight. You may have to remove it from your bag when going through airport security procedures, so as to screen it separately from the rest of your items. Be careful not to drop it then.
    Don't worry about that. It's Australia, not the United States.
     
  24. phas3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #24
    I've brought my laptops to Iraq they did fine except for one. I spilled a protein shake on it while I was trying to make it. I tried to save the laptop as it was falling from my rack and in the process accidentally hit the protein shake and it fell on the laptop....nothing was saved....
     
  25. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

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    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #25
    Looks like people have answered your question. I wanted to add that if you are looking for a bag to carry your MBP and some other things in, I highly recommend Brenthaven bags. Here's a link to their backpacks: http://www.brenthaven.com/brenthaven-backpacks-0

    I bought the Trek in 2007 and have used it almost every day since, including two trips to the UK and several around the US. Still not a mark of stress on it! And, importantly, it's protected my MBP from all types of falls and incidents. I also own a Switch Messenger Bag. Both bags are extremely well-made. My only complaint about this bag (the Trek) is that the zippers can allow in some water if the bag is unprotected in a heavy rain. However, the moisture has only ever reached papers and business cards, never the computer itself.

    Also, Brenthaven frequently have various offers and discounts. Their current one is 25% off for mother's day (MOM-25).

    I am in no way affiliated with Brenthaven, BTW!

    EDIT: Whoops! I just noticed you've already bought something. Booq is good... I'm going to leave my message up anyway in case anyone wants the discount....
     

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