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Notebook for a long trip?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Notebook for a long trip?

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1. Posted by csfreixo (Full Member 83 posts) 11y

I am wondering if an ultraportable notebook would be really useful in a long trip... what are the pros and cons taking a notebook on the road?

2. Posted by GregW (Travel Guru 2635 posts) 11y

By notebook, do you mean something to write in, or do you mean a computer?


3. Posted by Sam I Am (Admin 5588 posts) 11y

As I'm guessing computer, I'd say it's pretty much only pros, except for the worrying about it getting nicked part... but if what you're to be doing on it surpasses those worries, then I'd take it. I always travel with mine and have so far been lucky enough to not have it nicked. Then again, I generally HAVE to take it with me to keep updated on work things as my trips are often half work/half play.

4. Posted by james (Travel Guru 4138 posts) 11y

If you don't need it for work, then my opinion is to leave it at home.

You'll find yourself worrying about it getting stolen, as Sam has said. Plus, there's issues about recharging the battery, having the right adaptors for your various locations, etc, as well as the space it will take up and the added weight. Then you might find that you're pre-occupied with it (transferring photos, sending emails, stuffing around with trying to get it connected in an internet cafe, etc) when you should be doing more interesting things on your travels.

Personally, I think it's just another hassle that you don't need when you are travelling.

5. Posted by yolandac8 (Respected Member 159 posts) 11y

If you are talking about something "electronic", leave it home. You will worry about it getting stolen or damaging it.

Two things I can think of doing with a portable small pc is getting my pictures downloaded and writing. As for the pictures, nowadays, you can get them into a CD almost everywhere in the world, and as for writing, I like the idea of taking notes, writing my thoughts or whatever it is on a small paper notebook that I always bring with me!!!!

6. Posted by csfreixo (Full Member 83 posts) 11y

sorry Greg, but yes I mean a laptop.

To organize ideas, here are some pros:
- Download/Edit Photos and Videos
- Write (Diaries/Blogs/emails/Sites.. and upload it when on-line)
- Read (e-books, which is quite unpleasant/personal files/etc)
- Work (depends on the user)
- Comunication (when on-line, to use Skype)
- Midia center (for instance, study languages by CD-ROM/Movies)
- Besides that, you may change your mind and sell it on the way! ;)

The cons:
- Hard to find a connection, or worse, a hotspot. (when you find a connection you find a desktop attached to it already!!)
- Water, scratches, dropping...
- being stolen

Apart from these above... any more ideas?

7. Posted by DocNY (Respected Member 420 posts) 11y

It's a very personal issue. I certainly wouldn't take a very expensive machine with you unless you have really good insurance. Finding hotspots is probably harder than you think in most of the world and internet cafes outside of europe tend to be fairly cheap, making a laptop computer really necessary only for things like work, secure online bill pay, writing a manuscript, and managing photos.

Personally I'd much rather take a computer than a phone, but even a 2 pound laptop gets heavy after a while.

8. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4933 posts) 11y

Quoting csfreixo

I am wondering if an ultraportable notebook would be really useful in a long trip... what are the pros and cons taking a notebook on the road?

Given that you specified a long trip, I'd consider it almost essential, at least if you want to organize/edit pictures, write down some kind of tripreport, etc. In my experience, if you let more than a couple of weeks (days for some people) pass, it takes much longer to ever get around to doing these things, if it happens at all.
Beyond those things, having your laptop with you means that you also don't have to worry about security when logging into anything (not just online banking; most people won't be interested in having access to most other people's email accounts, but pretty much everyone would hate having their email accessed by others, and then there's instant messaging, message boards, etc, etc), have your favorite browser all set up in the way you prefer, all your bookmarks and stuff right there, etc.

Of course it also depends on where you will travel to and what kind of accommodation you'll be staying at, etc, but personally I haven't regretted travelling for the last two and a half years with my laptop yet.

9. Posted by Peter (Admin 5910 posts) 11y

I couldn't live without mine on a long trip :) I take a laptop lock with me for added safety.

10. Posted by rbyslipahs (Respected Member 349 posts) 11y

I don't think I would want to lug a notebook along on a long trip. There are always opportunities nearly everywhere in the world to do most of what you need on a computer in a hotel, hostel, internet cafe, etc., that it might be worth the peace of mind and lighter load to leave it at home. So a few extra pence/baht/euros/etc. come out of your pocket to do so, but it's one less thing to be stolen.