Summer is a terrific time to take college courses online. But don’t hit
the road with your laptop until you’ve reviewed this pre-departure checklist:
Is your laptop up to
the task? With the cost of laptops and netbooks at a record low, this could
be the time to buy a new summer study machine.
Are you protected
from theft? Hotel robberies do happen, so take a security cable or – even better
– stay at a hotel where you can keep your laptop in a hotel safe behind the front
desk. Another thing? Take the extra time to cable-lock your laptop to something
solid if you will be leaving it in a parked car. Car thefts are common these
Will you have decent
Internet access while on vacation? Even though Internet access is provided
at most every hotel these days, there can still be some unpleasant surprises,
like a $10 daily fee. So call ahead and be sure you can log on for as long as
you want, for free.
What are you going to
do about backup? Since you don’t want to lose your online college study-related documents, make
sure you have an easy way to back them up while you are on the road. It could
be a good time to sign up for Carbonite or
another service that automatically backs up your documents remotely. Or save
your working files on Google
Docs. An even easier option? Email your working documents to yourself as
What can you do to
protect yourself from technical glitches? Don’t forget to take along
recovery disks and the phone number for your computer maker’s technical service
How will you protect
your laptop from airport thieves? First of all, don’t check your laptop
with your baggage. You knew that, right? But here’s another safety tip. While
you’re standing in line at the airport, lean your laptop bag against your leg.
That way you’ll know right away if someone snatches it.
And one more thing. If you’re going abroad, don’t forget a
voltage converter. What’s the point of having your new netbook with you in
Prague if you can’t even plug it in?