If you have to check your electronics in on your next flight, (#electronicsban anyone?), here’s the best way to keep it safe.


Canon 6D CameraYou’re packing for a trip overseas:

Camera – tick

Lenses – tick

Tablet – tick

Laptop –tick

e-Reader – tick

And all of that will go in your hand luggage… right? I certainly wouldn’t leave my expensive and valuable electronics in the hands of baggage handlers given the choice.

Well… perhaps not if you’re flying between the US and UK, and the Middle East and North Africa.

The governments announced the ban of electronic items larger than  a smartphone on flights between various countries:

USA UK
Turkey Turkey
Jordan Jordan
Egypt Egypt
Saudi Arabia Saudi Arabia
Morocco Tunisia
Kuwait Lebanon
UAE
Qatar

Many of the airlines have been getting clever and cheeky with the ban. From social media posts suggesting what else you can do with the time, to lending out laptops or tablets to passengers.

But if you have to fly on any of these routes and can’t have a stopover in between, and you still need your equipment at the other end…

How do you pack your electronics in your check-in luggage?

Dell XP-13 LaptopLaptops and tablets
  • Make sure they’re switched off to avoid overheating and batteries from being drained
  • Put them in a neoprene case for extra padding
  • Pack them in the middle of a stack of clothes away from the edge of your bag so that it has padding on all sides
Cameras

SLRs:

  • Detach your lens and make sure the caps on your lens and body are secure
  • Pack the lenses in lens cases
  • Wrap the body in clothing or a towel, or even better pack it in a sturdy camera bag
  • Even better pack everything in a hard case, but keep weight in mind
  • Remove the battery to avoid the camera turning on and the battery being drained
  • Pack the lenses and body in the middle of your luggage just like your laptop and tablet

Compact:

  • Wrap the camera in clothing or a towel, or put it in a camera bag
  • Remove the battery to avoid the camera turning on and the battery being drained

If you shoot on film, make sure you pack the film in your hand luggage, exposed and unexposed.

The check in luggage screening can damage the film, the hand luggage screening shouldn’t. You can also try and ask the security officers to inspect the film manually if you’re concerned about the affect of the screening.

Carrying your memory card in your hand luggage isn’t a bad idea either, you’ll keep all those photos safe (hopefully they’re all backed up somewhere too, probably the cloud is a good idea as your laptop/tablet are in the hold).

You should also check with your insurance company whether they will cover your electronics if you check them in.

Travel Insurance Direct travel expert Ash Zaman says insurance doesn’t cover laptops, cameras, tablets or phones that are checked in.

Have you been caught up in the #electronicsban? How did you handle your equipment? Let me know in the comments.

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6 Comments

  1. atobtravel17

    April 17, 2017 at 15:25

    Great info for people that need it! I really hope the electronics ban doesn’t spread worldwide.. that would suck!

    1. Emma

      April 19, 2017 at 08:38

      Thank you – and yes, I hope it doesn’t spread either!

  2. Zoe

    May 2, 2017 at 12:17

    Great tips Emma! I’ve taken a few domestic flights in the US that were full and ran out of overhead compartments. I had arguments with airline staff who forced me to check my hand luggage at the last moment, when I hadn’t packed my camera and laptop appropriately to be checked. One guess which airline?

    1. Emma

      May 2, 2017 at 12:18

      It wouldn’t happen to be one that has been making news for all the wrong reasons lately would it?

  3. Sandy

    June 8, 2017 at 06:21

    SO useful! I didn’t know memory cards and USB sticks were exempt. Got some backing up in my future…

    1. Emma

      June 8, 2017 at 15:28

      The ban is for items larger than a smart phone, so memory cards and USB sticks should be fine. It might be worth checking with your airline just to be on the safe side though.

      Backing up your photos should be done on a regular basis as a matter of habit; it is far too easy to lose a memory card, have it corrupted or wiped. I always back mine up to an external hard drive when travelling, Google Drive if the internet is powerful enough to handle the uploads, and once I’m home they go onto to two other hard drives. Too many memories to lose due to technical breakdowns. Hope that helps.

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