This post was originally published on The Social Commerce Mom blog on 12/18/12. The products mentioned below were received as samples in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own. 

I’d like to share with you a review of two products you can use to protect your tech & valuables while you are traveling for the holidays.  But first, I’d like to share some holiday traveling tips that Master Lock also provided me with.

“Inclement weather and an abundance of travelers can make heading out of town to see loved ones for the holidays a stressful experience where safety precautions are often overlooked.” said Rebecca Smith, vice president, marketing for Master Lock. “By planning ahead and taking the time to think through proper safety and security measures, travelers can ensure the holidays are spent focused on good friends and family.” To keep the home and family secure during the holiday season’s hustle and bustle, Master Lock offers five tips to help travelers keep safety top-of-mind:

1. Keep that lived in look. In 2010, more than 1.8 million homes were burglarized, with 400,000 of those burglaries taking place between November and December. Making the home appear active while away can discourage potential break-ins. Set a timer for both inside and outside lights to switch on and off and turn a radio or TV on to create the illusion that someone is home. Hold your mail deliveries at usps.com, and contact your other providers to stop newspaper and package drop-offs while you’re away.

2. Toast don’t post. Resist the temptation to update your social network accounts with travel plans to avoid having the news of the unoccupied status of your home fall into the wrong hands. Instead, spend that time in the company of friends and family toasting to health and happiness, and wait to post photos of holiday fun until you return home.

3. Check (Twice) Before Travel. Before departing for a holiday destination, check the schedules and status of your flight, train or traffic route to stay aware of delays, bad weather and other potential changes. Checking in on the status of your method of travel will guarantee you are prepared for any delays and keep you calm during the holiday rush. And don’t forget to double-check your travel documents before leaving the house.

4. Activity and Emergency Kits Are Key. Whether traveling by train or car, always carry a first aid kit stocked with bottled water, snacks, medication, bandages, a flashlight and cell phone charger. Should you encounter a problem or a long distance between rest-stops on your route, these items can help keep you nourished and your travel companions busy. Keep children occupied by bringing fun games or movies to lessen driving distractions. If traveling by car, have it inspected by a mechanic or someone you trust before a long journey to make sure all systems are primed and tires are filled.

5. Lock It Down & Carry It On. A reported 200 items are stolen each day from JFK Airport, one of the busiest airports in the world. Keep your valuables including cell phones, wallets, watches/jewelry and other important property safe by carrying them with you at all times and locking them up while on-the-go. Storage solutions like the 5900D SafeSpace™ are perfect for keeping these items secure. In addition, use generic luggage, be mindful of wearing flashy jewelry and dress down to prevent being targeted for theft. Secure checked and carry-on luggage with a TSA-accepted lock, such as the 4688D Combination Lock while traveling to prevent unauthorized access to your possessions.

Of course my review is most closely related to Tip #5. I got a chance to review both the 5900D SafeSpace™ ($27.59) and the 4688D Combination Lock ($9.21).

Here is the combination lock in its packaging:

 The 4688D Combination Lock is unique because it is TSA-approved and designed to go around your zippers and straps without damaging them.

I must admit that it took me a minute to get the little strap part out of the lock so I could wrap it through my zippers. Once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy from then on. Unlike traditional locks, you can fit this onto your luggage when you travel. I have to tell you that when I traveled to NY, my bags never came with me. It took me a whole day for them to deliver them to me and I was worried about the items I had in the bag (that was checked curbside with a tip, no less). One of the straps had been ripped and I was fearful to find out if anything was missing. Fortunately, everything was there but imagine it wasn’t. I had no locks on my luggage and someone could’ve easily gotten into them. Having this lock on your luggage can help give you some peace of mind. I used the lock on my bag as we traveled to a family’s house in Orlando recently. I have a nephew that works in the luggage area of the airport there, and he tells us stories of people’s bags opening, etc. when being bounced around the belts. Having a lock can prevent zippers from coming loose as they are shuffled about. And being a blogger, I should mention that this lock can help lock up your larger valuables like your laptop and ipad.

I also reviewed the 5900D SafeSpace. I have to tell you that I am somewhat fascinated by it as I am in development of a similar product.

It is like a miniature, portable personal safe. Rather than stowing things away at home, you can now lock them up while you are out and about.

The combination was easy to set. I just needed to figure out which button opened it and which one released the cable wire. Fortunately the buttons have arrows on them to tell you where to push. The left one releases the cable and the right one opens up the top. The rubbery piece on the button of the picture is actually a protective covering that you put back in place.

A very cool feature of this product is that it has a built in cable that you can latch onto tables. This is similarly to the laptop cables. This is especially good for when you are visiting public places an spaces with your tech stuff.

This model comes with enough space to place items like your cell phone, mp3 player, small camera, flash/usb drives, external hard drives, SD cards and more! There is some minor cushioning inside to keep the items from scratching. I think it would be nice to have something to secure the items within the case. As you can see, two or more items can easily rub against each other and perhaps scratch each other if you are traveling in motion with it.

For more information about these safe holiday travel and security solutions, please visit the Master Lock website at www.masterlock.com or the Master Lock Facebook page at www.facebook.com/masterlock. Visit http://www.mastervault.com to utilize the free, secure online data storage website and smart phone app for easy access on the go – an ideal place to keep important account information, passwords and other private information.

 

Disclosure: I was not monetarily compensated for this post, but I did receive the items to facilitate my review. All opinions are my own.