Whether you’re from England, the wider UK, or somewhere else in the world, traveling to London can seem like a daunting prospect. It’s the third largest city in Europe, behind Istanbul and Moscow, and is well known for its traffic, inclement weather, and a high cost of living that is only growing as the days go by. Does that mean that only the most fearless of travelers need venture into the British capital?
Well, no, of course not. However, the scale of preparation required for trips to London does vary according to lots of different things, like the length of your stay, as well as how thoroughly prepared for emergencies you’d like to be. Most travel guides recommend that visitors take a few basic precautions before setting off but there are some unusual ideas that do crop up from time to time.
First things first, wherever you go, you’re lugging data around with you. This is most likely contained in a phone, tablet, or smartwatch. However, even bank cards and paper letters might be considered repositories of data, as they have a fair amount of revealing details written on them. The idea of taking a flash drive on holiday solely to store even more information seems a little unusual, then.
The ExpressVPN website recently highlighted the value of keeping two flash drives around the home with medical information and copies of important documents contained within. While all the usual paperwork is here – passports, licenses, insurance information, etc – the company also recommended saving all your relevant medical data to one of the drives, something that could prove life-saving in a worst-case scenario.
This practice does make sense as something for holidaymakers to do, too. It’s well-known that replacing a passport while abroad can be an onerous task. The Confused.com website claims that it can take up to two days to get an emergency alternative – and one of the requirements for this is a scan or photocopy of the original passport. Why use a flash drive over a smartphone, though?
USB drives have no real use without a computer or laptop nearby. From a criminal’s perspective, they’re low-value items compared to a smartphone, so hiding them in a hotel room can mean that you’ll always have a safeguard against lost or stolen documents. As with physical copies of paperwork, it’s important that they’re always kept separate from items that are kept on your person.
A USB drive for medical information is the one exception to this rule as you’ll need to carry it with you if you don’t have a medical card to alert paramedics of chronic conditions. You might also choose to add any health insurance documents to this flash drive, as well as files with your blood type, donor information, and anything else that might prove useful in an emergency.
As a final point, if you’re worried about losing any of the data you’ve entrusted to your devices, the Go Backpacking website recommends encrypting it using a free service like 7-Zip. Just don’t forget the password.