Having recently returned from a wonderful family holiday in Italy, there are of course many things which worried me while beginning our travel plans to a different country.
I am a born worrier, I can’t help it – I think up scenarios which could happen and like to pre-empt a solution so that I am not left panicking if they do happen. It’s bad enough while at home but factor in a different country, a language barrier and young children and I am on edge.
I worried how the boys would cope with the flight, and how we would cope with the boys on the flight!
There is nothing worse than being a childless couple on a plane and the kids in front struggling with the new environment and sitting still for so long – of course I needn’t have worried as they took it in their strides but I was prepared with drinks, snacks, activities and of course tablets should they need a distraction.
I have recently discovered the joy of taking tablets with us on holiday so I can pre-download a few of their favourite shows (and ours) from Netflix ready so I wasn’t worrying about the cost of data while watching.
Of course taking devices abroad does come with a few risks, although taking them anywhere does too I guess.
There is the security factor – I didn’t want them with us while enjoying family fun time and they were for emergency use only and winding down times when foreign TV doesn’t show their favourite bedtime show, but leaving them in our apartment was a risk too. I always made sure they were locked away in the room safe along with other valuables such as our extra money and passports. If you don’t have a room safe most hotels have somewhere you can securely lock away valuables instead.
I did ensure we had travel insurance, mainly for my own piece of mind but knowing it was there was always handy.
I also needed to look into device security, as I would at home – because although many establishments had Wi-Fi so I was able to check a few emails (I did try not to work while away but being self-employed I do have to reply to a few urgent emails somethings….no rest for the wicked!) you can’t guarantee the security, we were on holiday but hackers etc. never rest.
Before travelling anywhere I make sure all my device updates are up-to-date and I back up everything I can – photos are automatically saved to my i-cloud and all files saved in multiple places.
A good tip I picked up from travelandleisure.com is to assume all networks are hostile, That means hotels, airports, and cafés. They suggest downloading the web browser plug-in HTTPS Everywhere to force secure connections where available and do your research before signing up for a virtual private network service.
Before travelling I discovered Kaspersky Security Cloud which an adaptive security app which gives protection to the whole family while online, whether that be on social media, banking online or downloading. It also protects against viruses, Trojans, worms, phishing and much more. It automatically alerts me to new threats and can be used on multiple devices making connecting to public Wi-Fi safer.
Like all apps of course it needs keeping up to date, but I always make sure I install updates on all devices when available anyway, that goes for updates on this blog too which I am especially careful to look out for after many of my friends falling foul to hackers after failing to update fast enough, Clare sadly was one of these victims and I saw the stress it caused.
Others tips I suggest for protecting yourself and your devices while away are:
- Turning off cookies and autofills for passwords – they save you time and effort when logging into accounts but they also make it easy for others to login should they get hold of your devices
- Password protect – make sure you set a secure password upon the entry screen when turning on your devices, and of course don’t write these down and keep with that device, and use different passwords too
- Be careful which apps you install
- Don’t download anything you are unsure of or open any attachments to emails unless you are sure they are safe – even if you know the sender – the amount of PR emails I have received with attachments I have received after they’ve had their emails hacked is unreal
- Limit use – you are on holiday – try to enjoy it!