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Bringing electronics on vacation can be risky

Consumer Reports partnered exclusively with ABC7 News to find the best way to keep electronic devices safe while on vacation.
Thursday, June 26, 2014
A Consumer Reports survey found 94 percent of people take at least one electronic device on vacation, and a majority take three. So what's the best way to protect these devices?

"Nearly 10 percent of people in our survey reported damage to a laptop, tablet, or digital camera that was in a checked bag," Consumer Reports' Glenn Derene said.

Consumer Reports recommends carrying on all electronic devices instead and, if possible, the use of a padded bag. If it is necessary to check a device, it is recommended to wrap it in soft clothing.

About 10 percent of survey respondents said their device got wet on vacation and 19 percent said sand or dirt was a problem. It's so easy to damage a device.

"Obviously be careful, but if you're looking for a simple and cheap way to protect your electronics from sea and sand, use a zippered food storage bag," Derene said. "They're just as effective as pricey waterproof cases and you can even use your touch screen through them."

Batteries dying is another common complaint from about half of those in the consumer reports survey.

"Conserve power by lowering the screen brightness on phones and tablets, and reduce text and email updates to once every half hour," Derene said.

If there are no service bars, just turn everything off or set to airplane mode. There's no sense in burning through battery life trying to connect to non-existent service.

The ultimate protection is to leave some electronics at home. In fact, nearly a third in the consumer reports survey said they'd prefer their children not to bring along any gadgets at all while on vacation.

Keeping children off electronics is not easy. In the survey, half of the parents who preferred a no-electronics policy on vacation said they caved to placate cranky or bored children.

Consumer Reports is published by Consumers Union. Both Consumer Reports and Consumers Union are not-for-profit organizations that accept no advertising. Neither has any commercial relationship with any advertiser or sponsor on this site.

(All Consumer Reports Material Copyright 2014. Consumers Union of U.S. Inc. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)
Related Topics:
technology consumer reports electronics smartphones android iphone tablets laptops vacation travel travel tips air travel beaches 7 On Your Side
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