Use VPN to Encrypt the Network Traffic
Establish a VPN back to your home or office. The VPN will encrypt the network traffic.
If you don’t have VPN access make sure you use SSL (HTTPS) whenever you login your email account, bank account, or anything else that's sensitive. Beware of ARP poisoning as well.
Also don't use applications that make use of protocols such as telnet, pop, imap, ftp, etc. These programs send data without encryption. Instead you should be using protocols with encryption such as imaps, pops, vsftp, ssh, scp.
If you want to set up a VPN server using Microsoft products check out their articles on how to do this. If you're using linux you can also find several free products to set you up with a VPN.
Perhaps the easiest though is to just buy a cheap VPN router or install an IPCop box or something to that effect. It really depends on your comfort level and skill level. VPN routers are pretty painless.
Make sure your laptop is PATCHED
It goes without saying but make sure you're up to date on your operating system's updates/patches.
Don't use public computers for sensitive tasks
Avoid using public computers for anything sensitive/personal such as checking email, online banking, etc. Its not your computer, you don't know what's on it, and its simply not secure. Enough said on that one. ;-)