Everything You Need to Know About Keeping Your Laptop Safe While Travelling to the US or UK

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How to deal with the recent ban imposed on large electronic devices and a few ways you can remain unaffected by it

By Irfan Aziz

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and Transport Security Association (TSA) had announced a ban on large electronic devices such as laptops and tablets in the cabins last month. Following their footsteps, the UK government has issued the same ban. Now any and all flights from Egypt’s Cairo airport, Jordan’s Queen Alia, Kuwait’s Kuwait International, Qatar’s Hamad, Saudi Arabia’s King Abdulaziz and King Khalid airports, Turkey’s Ataturk, Mohammed V Airport in Morocco, and Abu Dhabi and Dubai airports in the United Arab Emirates cannot have any form of electronic devices that exceeds 16cm X 9.3cm dimension in the cabin. Both direct and connecting flights are affected by this ban
What this essentially means for Bangladeshis is that we can no longer carry our laptops or tablets or even smartphones (provided, they do not meet the aforementioned specifications) to the UK and US. The reason being, all flights from Bangladesh to these two nations are connected through at least one of the eight airports. People going on leisure trips will more or less remain unaffected through this ban but this is a massive, massive setback for anyone going on a business trip. Although there are still a few ways that your business trip can gain immunity from this ban, but bear in mind that some of these solutions are in no way cost effective or credible.

Relying heavily on smartphones
We can actually get a lot done with our smartphones on business trips. Smartphones like the Samsung Galaxy S7, iPhone 7 and even 7 plus are still eligible to be carried on cabins as they do not exceed the specified dimensions. The android and iOS platforms offer a plethora of apps that will make working on-the-go easier for you. Hence relying on the comparatively smaller yet powerful devices will leave you relatively unaffected by the ban

Buying a laptop or a tablet exclusively for your trip
You always have the option of purchasing a laptop or a tablet after you have reached the UK or USA. This may sound like an expensive alternative but what’s intriguing is that you can actually purchase more than decent tabs such as Amazon Fire Tablet for under $50. Laptops such as the Samsung chromebook and HP Stream can be purchased for under $170. These devices are more than enough to serve your purposes for a few days. This also removes the risk of damaging your more valuable electronics on the trip.

Mailing your device prior to your trip
You can send your devices to your destination through DHL or Fedex before you board your flight. We advise you to not go down this road because not only is this an expensive solution but you have to plan ahead and get the timings right so that your device reaches the US or UK in time for you to actually go there and use it. There is no guarantee that they will and there is even the risk of losing your device.

Going old-school
By this we mean ditching your laptops and tablets for your trip and reliving the good old days where people used to rely on pen, paper or their sharp digital organizers (anyone remember those?). Let’s not kid ourselves though, we know no one will be going down this road but if all else fails, this option is always available.  

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