What to Consider when Traveling with a Video Game Console

How do you travel with a Gaming console, know all about it?
What to Consider when Traveling with a Video Game Console
Authored by : Jess
Last updated on 02 February, 2024

Whether you are moving to a new house, bringing your console to a friend's house, or going on vacation moving your console around safely can be tricky. You want to make sure you can travel with your console without worrying about your console or games sustaining damage.

There is not a one size fits all when it comes to the best way to travel with your console, but there are a lot of factors you need to consider when determining the best way to pack up your console when traveling. This article will walk you through everything you should consider for traveling and some tips on how to pick the best travel methods.

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What type of traveling are you doing?

The first and biggest consideration you need to think of is the travel method you plan on taking. Whether it is an airplane, a car, or public transportation.

For an airplane you need to consider whether you are going to check your bag or carry on your console. (Ideally you always want to carry on anything that you don't want to break.) You also need to consider putting it through the x-ray machines and how the TSA agents are going to handle your console. Airplane travel can be hard on a video game console because of the danger of other people potentially handling your console.

Car travel is usually a better situation for traveling with your console. There usually is not too much to worry about with car travel because you will be in control of the car and the environment that you are in. It usually is better to find an area in the car such as the floorboard or a seat that is tight and won't allow the console to move around too much.

If you are in a city and plan to take public transportation such as a subway or train you want to consider how your local public transportation rules and regulations. If you have to have bag checks or allow others to handle your items. You will want a more sturdy case if someone else may be handling it because you don't know how careless they might be. When traveling on bus, subway, train, or other public transportation it is best to consider getting some case or backpack that is lighter and easier to carry around since it will be on your person more than traveling by plane or car.

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How often do you plan on traveling with your console?

When deciding the best method and cases to use for traveling will depend on how often you plan on traveling with your console. Most people tend to not travel very often with their consoles because they are usually meant to be a static item that is hooked up to your TV or gaming monitor at all times.

However, there are a few people who may want to take their console to their friend's house and play games together. There are some situations where a child may travel between households and want to take their console with them between houses. For these situations you will want to consider investing in a sturdier case that can withstand the consistent traveling.

If you only travel with your console in rare circumstances such as moving or going on an extended vacation, you may be able to get away with a less expensive less protective case.

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Avoid letting others handle your bag if possible.

Traveling with a console can be risky because you could damage your console during transportation. What takes some of the risk out of the situation is to avoid letting others handle your bag that contains your console when possible. You also want to avoid putting your console in areas that contain other people's luggage such as the overhead area in an airplane.

When traveling by plane there are a couple of things you want to do to avoid others handling your console. Pack your console in a carry on, preferably one that you can put under the seat in front of you instead of the overhead storage. When you put your bags in the overhead areas, other passengers have access to that area and are putting their bags up there that could hit your bag and potentially damage your console.

game accessories handle bag

When traveling by public transportation such as a subway, bus, or train consider a carrycase or backpack that you can keep with you at all times. On public transportation try to keep your bag or case in your lap and avoid putting it in the seat next to you so no one will move your bag without your permission.

The more control over your console you have the better, you will be more careful than someone who handles thousands of bags every day. Many of these security workers, or TSA agents do not care about what is in the containers and bags they are handling.

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Picking the perfect case:

The most important aspect of traveling with your console is the case you choose to carry it in when traveling. There are many different variety of cases you can choose from. There are backpacks that are specially made for consoles there are also some hard and soft carrycases. What case you need will be based on some of the factors we discussed above.

Hard case versus soft case

When looking around for a case you need to decide if you need a hard case or a soft case. Hard cases are sturdier and usually provide more protection over a soft case. While soft cases do not provide as much protection as a hard case they can be easier to travel with and may provide more room for accessories than hard cases.

If you plan on traveling on an airplane and are thinking about checking a bag a hard case is a must. You need the extra protection because a checked bag will be thrown around, and you should really try to pack your console in a carry on if traveling by plane.

A hard case is also a good idea if you are going to be traveling with your console frequently in order to provide protection each time you travel. The more frequently you travel with your console the more you risk dropping it or it bumping around too hard and causing damage.

A soft case is good if you plan on putting it in another bag such as a backpack because it affords some flexibility. Just be careful of handling your bag through the day. If someone else would be handing the bag you may want to find a good hard case that would fit in your backpack or other luggage to make sure nothing breaks.

Soft cases usually provide some flexibility when it comes to accessories, many have additional pockets that let you store your cords and controls. If you don't see yourself traveling very often with your console a soft case can be a great solution for you.

Backpack versus carry case

Some companies create backpacks that are specialized for gaming consoles in addition to the regular carry cases. Backpacks don't provide much protection but can be great for someone who frequently travels with their console and may use public transportation or taxis.

Backpacks are best for traveling around town if you are going to be hopping on different trains or subways. They tend to have a lot of extra room that can allow the console to move around in the case which may not be the best, but they usually allow you to carry a lot more with your console than you usually could in a regular carry case.

Video games carry case

A carrycase is best for someone who only needs to carry your console from one location directly to another. Carrycases tend to be a more snug fit which provides the best protection, they usually provide a hard case solution that will give you the ultimate protection for your console while traveling.

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Brand name cases

Many companies, such as Nintendo, PlayStation, and Xbox, come out with their own branded accessories and cases for their consoles. There are some pros and cons to buying brand name cases. Here are a few to consider when deciding between purchasing a brand name case.

Advantages

  • The cases tend to provide a very snug fit, and many provide cut outs in their case that are the exact dimensions needed to fit the console. This will keep your console from moving around in the case and prevent damage if you happen to drop the case.
  • Many include spots that fit brand name accessories or controllers which can make transporting everything at once very easy.
  • Some also include spots for multiple games so you don't need to figure out how to travel with your favorite game separately.

Disadvantages

  • The biggest disadvantage is the price, brand name cases in most cases will cost more than a third party case.
  • Some fail to provide storage areas for third party accessories and only provide spots for their specific accessories. If you plan on buying any third party chargers or controllers they may not fit in the brand name case.
  • Many do not provide much room to grow, so you might find yourself limited to only being able to transport one or two games or controllers within that particular case.
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Third Party Cases

For almost every gaming console there will be a third party case option available. Third party cases are ones that are not made by the gaming companies themselves. There are a lot of advantages and disadvantages to consider when deciding if a third party case is right for you.

Advantages

  • The biggest advantage third party cases provide is price. They are usually cheaper than the brand name counter parts.
  • In many of the third party cases you will find that you have some more flexibility in what can fit in the case. Many third party cases provide room for accessories other than the gaming companies accessories.

Disadvantages

  • May not be as snug around the console and the console may move around in the case while traveling. This is not the case for a lot of third party cases, but you will want to test out a third party case and make sure there is not too much extra room before you travel with it.
  • While some come with additional storage, other may not provide proper room for the controllers or games.
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Final thoughts

The best way to travel with a gaming console really boils down to what type of transportation you will primarily be using and how often you will be traveling. The biggest decision you need to make is how you pack your console and what type of case you purchase to pack your console in. I would always suggest a hard case that tightly holds your console in place because you never know what may happen while traveling around with an expensive gaming console.

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