Tech At The Beach?
The summer will soon be hotting up, and family and friends are going to want to spend time with you outdoors. There are two choices here. Go unplugged, or go ruggedized. If you know that a bit of fresh air and sunshine might actually do you some good, then get out there. You can take your tech if you really can’t bear to disconnect. But would you take it somewhere like the beach?
Heading to the beach is an annual event that requires a big car, an even bigger cooler box full of beer, and a day away from work. It can be as lazy or as active as you like. Of course, these days, cell signals are pretty good. You don’t have to leave work behind completely, or Just watch out for these ten tech hazards:
Most of us are sensible enough to have a comprehensive insurance to cover the tech we take out and about. However, you might not be covered for those pesky little scratches that can occur on your screen from sand. In fact, without a ruggedized case, chances are microscopic damage could occur to your glass screens even if you keep them in your shorts pocket.
This is the most obvious hazard for your tech. Fortunately, many ‘go anywhere’ tech items really can withstand a splash or too. You’ll want your Bluetooth speakers and your smartphone with you for a good beach party. Just make sure you’re bringing the tech that can handle the odd spray or even an entire bucket of the stuff.
Not for your tech, for you! That stuff is sticky, and it stays on your skin for ages. Well, that’s the point, isn’t it? You can’t avoid sunscreen, but do avoid touching anything of value to you for a few minutes after applying. Most ruggedized cases can handle it if you wipe them down. Remember, you’re making your stuff slippery so be careful not to drop it.
On The Move
If you’ve got a fair walk down the beach, you need a bag. Something like a drop leg bag can protect your mobile devices and even give you the chance to go hands-free (or carry the beers instead.) Keep a screen cloth handy, and a small face flannel or cloth just to wipe your bag and your tech down if needed. Keeping your stuff in a bag means it’s less likely to come to harm from direct sunlight too.
Direct sunlight can cause color fading, but the worst problem for you is being able to read the screen! If you haven’t got a parasol or other cover, you’re not likely to be able to see what you’re doing on your device. Plus, it’s good skin care to sit in the shade! Make sure you’ve got some handy by bringing it or picking a spot where you can find it naturally.
It’s well known that some devices simply don’t hold their charge when you’re using them constantly. You have two choices here. You can either bring some spare power sources, which is cumbersome and almost defeats the point of being mobile. The other is keep your device cool. The added heat might be causing your power to drain even faster. Keep it out of direct sunlight.
Is It Legal
If you’re at a beach you don’t know too well in a place you don’t know be wary. There are some local laws that might prohibit the use of cameras. Did you know that you may need a license to play music that is loud enough for anyone but you and your family to hear? Make sure you’re not videoing any other sunbathers by accident, or their kids. The last thing you need is angry parents and husbands suggesting you have inappropriate intentions.
Are You Covered?
The tech, not you. Household insurance isn’t often enough. Always check the exclusions and limitations. Replacing the stuff you love could cost you more than this vacation so you want to have full coverage if you can get it. There are specialist insurance companies that handle things like cell phones. Of course, these policies might have exclusions or cross-overs too. Think about which policy will cover you fully while your tech is in the car, for example. The beach is a high-risk area for these types of items so double check you can claim before you risk taking it out of your bag.
What Can Go Wrong?
Kids. Kids, kids, kids. Why is it, when you’re on the beach, there is a need to bury stuff? Chances are they’re going to bury you too! Will you remember that your phone is in your pocket? Or your car keys? Or all that loose change? Kids might bypass you and just bury your valuables. Got a metal detector?
Changeable weather. A sudden gust of wind, a dramatic downpour, or the heat just getting too much could be a problem for you and your tech. If you can’t bag it or ruggedize it, consider leaving it at home. Your laptop’s not likely to do too well on a beach, for example.
Loss and theft. So you want a dip in the ocean. You head out for a refreshing swim and let the current take you a little way. Are you going to remember exactly where you left your stuff? And is it still going to be there when you get back? Loss and theft are some of the most common insurance claims. That doesn’t mean they are most commonly paid out, though.
Fire. Yep, believe it or not, people do claim for fire damage. Barbecues that got out of control, fires started from magnified sun rays, and silly discarding of cigarettes are often to blame. Sure, your tech might not resemble kindling, but your t-shirt you tucked it under could be a pretty good bet.
In the real world, we’re all going to take something with connectivity and entertainment to the beach, regardless of our insurance coverage. Do try to use ruggedized covers, and be sensible around barbecues, the sun, and the water. Have a great day out!