Carry On: How to practice good (travel) hygiene

When the world starts moving again, hand-washing and sanitizing will only take you so far.

When the world starts moving again, hand-washing and sanitizing will only take you so far

When travelling for business, you might have valuable devices, information or goods with you that could compromise your company and your privacy if stolen. We’ve collected some best practices and smart gadgets for protecting them.

• Don’t post your travel plans on social media.

• Travel with as few devices (and credit cards) as possible.

• Enable “find my device” on your smartphone or tablet.

• Turn off file-sharing settings or applications while travelling.

• Use a secure virtual private network (VPN) to access company servers when away.

• Try to use only secure websites (prefaced with an “https”).

• Avoid public wifi networks, which are usually unencrypted.

• Turn off wifi, location and Bluetooth services when not in use.

• Use a secure personal hotspot from your mobile provider.

• Consider buying a portable hotspot such as Skyroam or Roaming Man.

• Avoid public USB chargers and public or shared computers.

• Avoid ATMs, or choose major-bank machines in public places.

• Check data privacy and device search and seizure laws in other countries.

• Store copies of travel ID and documents in the cloud or at home.

The Right Stuff

Smart travel gadgets can help you stay safe and secure on business trips.

Radio frequency identification (RFID)–blocking wallets and document covers help keep your cards and identification safe from identity theft.

Luggage tracking devices like Trakdot or Tile (most require an annual tracking subscription) pinpoint where your bag is and tell you if it moves unexpectedly. Silent Beacon, a personal safety device that pinpoints your own whereabouts, can be programmed like a high-tech panic button to summon local authorities at a touch.

Small lockboxes such like the discreet, smartphone-controlled Trova Go are a way to protect cash, identification and credit cards—for instance, in accommodations with no in-room safe. Likewise, the AirBolt smart travel lock can be used on almost anything and requires a secure app login to open.

Travel Insider

Matthew O’Brien is the Vancouver-based co-founder of Träkál, a new spirit distilled in Chile that he calls “the Patagonian love child of brandy and gin.” He often makes the long trek south to Chile. “I literally just finished hiking Torres del Paine in the Chilean Patagonia with my sister,” said O’Brien after returning from a “stunning” stay this past winter at the Singular Patagonia in Puerto Natales, where innovative Träkál-based cocktails feature at the bar.

His anti-jetlag routine: he changes his watch and devices to the new time zone before boarding a plane, catches up on sleep (not work) on the flight, seeks a “solid meal featuring local cuisine” when he lands–and takes a power nap for 20 minutes or less.

As the talent behind the brand’s image, O’Brien packs like a creative. “I am usually adorned in a black T-shirt and some chinos or denim, and rarely have to don a suit, so that makes it a little easier.” The distiller, who calls walking “the best free travel perk,” always brings workout gear, too.

By unplugging from technology as much as possible while away, “I get more inspired,” he says. “I’m connected [creatively], and ideas are not forced,” adds O’Brien, who finds that the most powerful aspect of travel. “People and places can act as the springboard, but it starts with disconnecting. I think we all need to do much more of it.

Space Case 

The region around the tiny towns of Guysborough and Canso, Nova Scotia, could soon be home to Canada’s first commercial spaceport, approved to launch Ukrainian-built rockets into space eight times a year. The Maritime Launch Service rockets could carry transport satellites (sadly, not business travellers) into orbit as soon as 2021–if some (significant) local objections are overcome.