For the last decade, traveling has been far more than an interest or a passion – it’s been a lifestyle. Between personal travel and traveling for work, I’m frequently in the position of accomplishing some work-related task while sitting at the departure gate of one airport or another. Or worse, mid-flight.
If you do any amount of international traveling, you know that internet access is one of our primary sources of anxiety. The cloud is great for long-term storage and uploading final copy, but flash drives are superior for works-in-progress, and likewise, remote access.
I’m not really a cheapskate, but I loathe to pay Deathtrap Airlines $24.95 for a couple of hours of spotty and unreliable Wi-Fi. I mean, I’ve done it, but I wasn’t happy about it. At the same time, free airport wireless is generally slower than a dial-up modem circa 1998 – it couldn’t be a worse way of maintaining a digital umbilical cord. If you have work to do, the smart move is the simplest move: put it on a flash drive and spare yourself the heartburn.
At this point in my travel career, I have the routine down to a science. From booking flights that don’t arrive during peak hours to making sure my carry-on luggage is a top-shelf backpack under 40 pounds. One of my final tasks before leaving for the airport is to write my own “insurance policy”: a custom flash drive that I got from USB Memory Direct, which at the moment contains a mere 32.90 GB of my most valuable digital data. Once the files are copied, the flash drive goes into the waterproof vinyl satchel that contains my passport and other absolutely indispensable items.
The implications should be obvious. There’s a far greater chance of something bad happening to my vulnerable, unguarded desktop computers at home and work, than me getting separated from that backpack. Likewise, if somebody wants to get their hands on my passport and personal items, they’re gonna have to do it over my dead body. Above all, if there’s work to do, I don’t need internet access.
As far as I’m concerned, that USB drive is as important, if not more so, than my actual passport when it comes to traveling the world year-round.