One of the worst things that can happen while traveling is encountering a problem with your mobile device. Whether it’s a cracked smartphone or a laptop that won’t connect to the Wi-Fi, issues with your mobile device can put a damper on your whole trip.

So, before book your flight or hop in your car for your next road trip, here are the common mobile device problems that you may encounter while traveling, and how you can avoid them.

  1. Cracked screen

When you’re rushing to your next flight or having the time of your life on top of a tour bus, your mobile devices are exposed to more risk than usual. While you’re not as mindful of your phone or tablet while on the go, they are more prone to falling to the floor or accidentally getting slammed into something equally as hard. Next thing you know, you’re looking for the nearest cellphone repair shop to fix your broken screen, not exactly something you want to happen on your trip.

The easiest way to avoid this is to, of course, install a screen protector. And yet so many travelers overestimate the strength of their screens and choose to go without it. Don’t make the same mistake. Before going on your trip, install heavy-duty screen protectors on each of your mobile devices with screens; they are inexpensive and very easy to install on your own. If you want, you can even install screen protectors with privacy features so that no one can see your screen.

  1. Shock

Dropping your phone, laptop, or tablet can cause significant damage to their internal components. Even if you don’t get a cracked screen, an accidental drop can render them unusable until they are repaired, or worse, completely kill them.

This is a common problem among travelers, and understandably so. To prevent this from happening to your devices, here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Put a case on your phone, laptop, tablet, camera, etc. to dampen the impact if you drop them
  • Always keep your devices in your bag; keep your bag closed to prevent them from falling out
  • Don’t put your phone in your back pocket
  • Keep your devices out of reach from children and pets
  • Avoid using your devices in risky situations, e.g. when walking on a very busy street, carrying multiple bags at once, etc.

  1. Water damage

Water damage is another leading cause of mobile device death. While you may still be able to salvage your device that has taken a dip in the water, the moisture can cause a significant amount of damage to the device’s internal parts, thus shortening its lifespan.

Whether or not you plan to go near a body of water while on vacation, protect your mobile devices from water damage with these tips:

  • Put your phone in a waterproof pouch if you plan to take it near the pool or on the beach
  • Don’t go to the bathroom with your phone, tablet, or other mobile devices
  • Always keep your camera strapped to your neck when taking pictures near the water
  • Avoid drinking near your devices; don’t leave your devices on top of the table near beverages

If your device does get submerged in water, do not try to turn it on (turn it off if it’s still on). Dry it off as well as you possibly can. Then, place it in a desiccant (a substance that will absorb the water). Rice is often the most accessible option. But if you can get your hands on silica gel packets, those can absorb more moisture than rice or oats.

  1. Loss

Losing your devices is an awful and extremely costly experience, but it is unfortunately common while traveling. You may think that you are the most careful traveler who is always mindful of their valuables, but it can take just one crafty pickpocket or one moment of forgetfulness to lose your device forever.

Don’t let a missing device ruin your entire trip. Here are some pointers to help you protect your devices from loss or theft:

  • Always be mindful of your surroundings; thieves can be anywhere, even in the airport
  • Keep your bags closed when you’re not using them, even when they are in front of you
  • Put tracking apps on your smart devices and tracker tags on your non-smart devices
  • Leave your devices in the hotel safe or at the reception if you’re not taking them with you
  • Minimize the number of devices you bring on your trip; the fewer valuables you have, the less you have to worry about

Don’t let these common mobile device problems dampen your trip. Whether you’re traveling to another country or in the next city, keep these tips in mind and avoid potential headaches that can happen later on.