June 25, 2018

How to Be a Road Warrior: Streamlining the Laptop Security Check

Streamlining Laptop Security

Flickr Photo Credit: Steven Witherden

Just when we thought wed streamlined packing and minimalized travel items and chaos as much as possible, we were slapped with the following reality:

Apparently we have a major experience gap when it comes to the airport security protocols for laptop computers. Additional complication? This gap may result in yet another luggage purchase. Heres the deal:

For whatever reason, laptops are required to be pulled out of their cases and put in a separate bin. OK. Fine. However, when this happens, the case and loose cord components are all exposed to baggage handlers in a hurry which means risk of dumping / misplacing of key elements. I used to have a rolling office case, but with the size of the new machine, Im no longer able to use it.

What to do? More research is needed. What were leaning to is some sort of hybrid rolling carry-on that handles clothing, files and smaller electronic accessories such as adapters, chargers, cell phones, I-pods, PDAs Blackberries, etc. Once all of the other items have been secured independently within that luggage piece, our thought is that the laptop can then be handled with a separate laptop sleeve. Dont get me wrong. The basic laptop case with front pocket, back slot and carrying strap works great most of the time. But airport screening adds another layer of aggravation that didnt used to be there.

The long answer to the short question? As far as a recommended solution, were still test driving options. This article basically illustrates the discovered need, our thoughts in how well approach the issue, and our intent to keep you posted. As always, we are interested to hear about any tips and tricks you might have. So feel free to chime in. Were looking forward to it.


  1. laradunston says:

    Like your blog! As for the laptop solution… I’m a professional travel writer so I probably catch 50 or more flights a year. And on some research trips I’m jumping on and off planes every few years – such as a ‘budget Scandinavia & Baltic’ trip which involved 12 flights and one ferry (and a bus) over 3 weeks. Add to that, my husband and I have been travelling continuously for over 2 years now, so it’s out of the question for us to use a standard office-type laptop case. He’s also a pro-photographer so he has a lot of gear. We have a soft Samsonite on wheels, each full of technology, several seasons of clothes, books etc. Plus I’m always carrying around one or two bags of research materials, because we might finish research in one country but have to keep the paperwork for the Author Query period which probably won’t happen till we get to another.

    So the laptop has to go in my big shoulder bag – which makes it handy for use when I’m walking around cities – it’s a PowerBook G4 so it’s nice and light anyway. To protect it I pop it in a Tucano Second Skin Folder especially made for the 12 inch PB. I then quickly unzip that and pop the laptop on top of it in the plastic tub so it can ride through the x-ray machine.

    We have the whole x-ray machine routine worked out. I always go through first, cause my husband will be inevitably stopped for something (coins in the pockets, a forgotten phone…), and we head the laptops through first so we can quickly grab them from the machine before everything else comes through and crunches all the luggage up. Don’t you just hate that? Why can’t they slow those things down?

  2. webmaster says:

    Hi Lara.

    Thanks for stopping by and chiming in on the discussion. I definitely agree that when you have two people, things can be remarkably easier as far as airport issues are concerned.

    I’m definitely going to check out some of the items you mentioned. We were leaning towards exploring the skin folders, so it’s reassuring to know that it’s working for you.

    Hey, stop by again some time!

  3. Lisa says:

    Myscha, I have a clear zipper pouch that I use for all my small electronics and chargers. That keeps everything safe and easily accessable for security if they need to see anything. The laptop issue is certainly one that we all have to address. For short domestic flights I simply put all the cords and charger in the outer pocket and close it with the velcro seal and let it ride through security that way. They have never asked for me to remove those items. That isn”t a fail proof option but it has worked for me. I would opt for something safer for an international trip, especially since losing an item would be complicated overseas.