Occasionally, Kathryn and I come across some great travel ‘hacks’—tips and shortcuts that help backpackers, vagabonds and long-term travellers get things done smarter, cheaper and more efficiently. So, with no further ado, here’s an inexpensive solution that might be deserving of a place in (or on) your backpack.
In our Travelling Safely series, Kathryn and I touched on the importance of ensuring that you make copies of important documents. In truth, you’ve likely come across this travel tip before—passports, visas, tickets, credit cards, drug prescriptions and other critical documents are all good candidates for backups. This way, it will be easier to replace the originals in the event you lose them.
Last Thursday, Gizmodo’s Andrew Tarantola put together a good little tutorial on how to put together an emergency flash drive to take with you whenever you travel. He writes:
Getting stuck in a strange city with no ID, no money, no credit cards, and no medical or insurance documents can be inconvenient. In a medical emergency, it can be life-threatening. So have a backup plan: a secure flash drive loaded with your most vital documents and details.
In the tutorial, he recommends a couple of flash drives that lend themselves to the purpose, suggests which data to include and how to organize it and, most importantly considering you’ll be carrying sensitive information, how to keep it safe.
All in all a good article, although he recommends the ‘Verbatim Tough-n-Tiny‘ as his USB flash drive of choice. Its reviews on Amazon, however, are dismal. A better bet at the same price point might be Kingston’s Digital DataTraveler SE9. It’s covered by a five-year warranty, free technical support and Kingston solid track record of being reliable. It also boasts, in Andrew’s words: “a cute little eyelet you could use to string it around your neck”, as well.
One of Gizmodo’s commenters recommends Victorinox’s ‘Swiss Army Secure Flight‘ for its “256 bit AES encryption, biometric (fingerprint) scanning for access and a bunch of other handy security features”. Note that the blade and USB flash drive are removable so that you won’t have any problems at airport check points. It’s a little pricey, though, coming in at around $100.
Check out the rest of Andrew’s article on Gizmodo.
Recommendations for other USB flash drives to consider taking on the road? Hit the discussion!