What if Your Laptop Gets Water Damaged While Travelling? Tips for Digital Nomads

When I saw a post in an online forum for digital nomads, I realised that this is an important issue: what happens if your laptop gets damaged by water?

What to Do if Your Laptop Gets Water Damaged while Travelling?

While the obvious choice is to find the nearest laptop repair shop to evaluate whether you can rescue your laptop, the question is: how can you prepare for the eventuality of water damage and how can you prevent it or at least protect your laptop?

You Spilt Coffee or Water on Your Laptop

If you spill a liquid over your laptop, the experts say to do this:

  • unplug it from the power source, turn it off completely and remove the battery, if possible, then send it to a repair shop (source PC World)
  • proceed as above and, before going to the repair shop, and if you feel confident to do it, dismantle the laptop and look for water residue (source The Computer Problems Guru)

Accidental Damage Coverage

Before you head off to your next trip, make sure you get the right insurance cover for all your equipment. If you have an Apple Mac, you could get AppleCare+ for accidental damage coverage.

Accidental Damage can be an add-on of an insurance policy or a standalone policy. It can be quite cheap, as long as you shop around.

Tips for protecting your laptop in hot weather

Digital nomads often share their tips in online forums. These are some of the tips I have collected.

  • Use a remote desktop application. You can use a wireless mouse and wireless keyboard and connect them to your smartphone. Ideally, your smartphone should be waterproof and shockproof (example: Blackview, which also features a dual SIM, affiliate link). If you need a larger screen you can get a portable monitor. To work on-the-go carry at least one power bank with you (example: Energizer Power Bank, affiliate link). The downside to this solution is the possible lag and the fact that internet connections can sometimes be unreliable. It’s a trade-off between working on a fast laptop but running the risk of potential damage versus playing the safe card but experiencing delays.
  • Air humidity can be just as damaging as spilling liquids on a laptop so, whenever possible, choose air-conditioned rooms to work in.
  • Use a sturdy and water-resistant laptop like a Chromebook (affiliate link, this model for example comes with 10 hours battery life). While it’s not waterproof, being water-resistant makes it less prone to damage from spilling liquids on the keyboard. Files get backed up in the cloud, so if the laptop stops working you can still retrieve your work.
  • Pack all your equipment inside a waterproof backpack (for example, BUBM anti-thief waterproof laptop backpack, affiliate link). Choose a backpack with plenty of storage and padding, including padded straps for extra comfort.

These are some suggestions which hopefully you will find useful. Safe travels!

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