Traveling Safely with Electronics

NetbookNumberedJust because electronic devices need protection when traveling doesn’t mean you have to shell out as much money for the carrier as you did for the device itself. You can be creative, protective, and frugal, all at the same time. Here’s one example.

1. When I purchased my Acer netbook a few years ago, I designed a padded, envelope-style cover from blue-jeans denim. The fabric had been worn to a soft, smooth patina and didn’t flaunt to the world “contents may be worth stealing.” I lined the bag with a scrap of kelly-green knit fabric over padding made from an old flannel receiving blanket. A hook-and-loop closure under the tip of the fold-down cover keeps the bag closed, while the denim handle provides a secure grip when I pull the bag out at airport security or want to take it to the library like a second handbag.

2. Across the back of the pouch is another piece of denim-blue fabric that forms an outside pocket. A hook-and-loop strip across the top ensures that the contents—in this case the cords mentioned in number 4—will not fall out.

3. Using a colorful ribbon, I attached a USB drive for transferring files to and from the netbook. This thumb drive tucks discreetly and safely into the back pocket so I can always find it.

4. A small zippered cosmetic pouch—with a fun kitty motif—is perfect for holding and protecting the power adapter portion of the cord set. After the original adapter failed as a result of getting dropped too many times, I started using the little pouch for additional protection. The power cord itself can fit inside the kitty pouch too or lie next to it in the carrier’s back pocket. A USB mouse also fits in the back pocket when I plan to use the netbook for extended sessions and the mini-touchpad alone will prove to be annoying.

5. The netbook fits into the carrier’s main pocket. I taped my business card to the outside to discourage would-be thieves while giving honest people a way to find me in case the netbook goes astray. I admit I worried more about theft when I first got the device in 2009. Now I like to think that the netbook’s age is as much of a protection as the low-key denim cover.

If you need a protective carrier for your electronic devices, consider making your own—whether or not you repurpose your favorite blue jeans for the project.


Fiercely Frugal Savage Sister Diana has gathered packing pointers over the years on numerous domestic and foreign trips. Most recently, she travels in conjunction with the publication of her latest book, 52 Heart Lifters for Difficult Times.

© 2014 The Savage Sisters

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