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Laptop? Is it worth it?

Travel Forums Travel Gear Laptop? Is it worth it?

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1. Posted by spank18 (Budding Member, 19 posts) 5 Mar '07 14:09

Hey

I have a question with regards to laptops.

I think I want to take one when I go in Oct, but is there any point?

I'm a bit paranoid about using internet cafes to do my banking etc.

Also, I will have my Digital SLR, my Ipod and blog to write.

So I thought it would be good to get a cheap, small 2nd hand laptop so i can do all this. What Do you think?

I will have a 50lt bag.

IS it worth it or shall I just shut up and put up?

Look forward to hearing from you,

Matt,

2. Posted by hey_monkee (Respected Member, 430 posts) 5 Mar '07 19:13

I'd have to say leave the laptop at home. When it comes to using the net, internet cafes are no more dangerous than anywhere else - just check no one is looking over your shoulder at you details;) A laptop just means extra (unnecessary) weight in your pack

3. Posted by JAY_H (Full Member, 69 posts) 6 Mar '07 02:48

Dont take it!!
You will be worrying about it all the time and it will spoil your trip.
I was going to take my digital SLR but not even taking that now just going to take my small digital camers (Even worried about where to put that).
The less expensive things you take the better!!!

4. Posted by fuzzypuppy (Budding Member, 62 posts) 6 Mar '07 08:41

Um, internet cafes could have keyloggers installed so if you can wait until you get home to do your banking that would be so much safer. Or get someone you trust to do it for you.

When I was in europe, I only checked my email and I changed all my passwords when I got home.

5. Posted by huishan (Full Member, 96 posts) 7 Mar '07 05:45

yeah. i agree with many that laptop is a hassle when it comes to travelling. you risk all the bumps your lappy may get as you travel and worst, theft.

6. Posted by bentivogli (Travel Guru, 2398 posts) 8 Mar '07 00:31

same here; imo, a laptop is nothing but trouble when travelling. However, the safety level on public computers in internet cafés is usually dreadful, so best exercise some caution there (for instance, don't do any e-banking, and be reserved about buying stuff (flights) online with your Creditcard while travelling).

[ Edit: Edited on Mar 8, 2007, at 12:31 AM by bentivogli ]

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator, 4382 posts) 8 Mar '07 11:22

Quoting JAY_H

Dont take it!!
You will be worrying about it all the time and it will spoil your trip.
I was going to take my digital SLR but not even taking that now just going to take my small digital camers (Even worried about where to put that).
The less expensive things you take the better!!!

What's the point of having things like DSLRs if you're so worried about it that you won't take it along? These things are meant to be used, not pampered.

I travelled 2+ years around the world with laptop and DSLR, and for all the hassle it provided, it was totally worth it, and would do it all over exactly the same way (and indeed continue to bring it on all my travels; free wifi is finally becoming ubiquitous enough for it to be getting only ever more useful, too).
Having your own trusted laptop is the only (acceptable) way to do internet banking while abroad (otherwise let someone trusted back home do it for you; as has been said, internet cafes are not to be trusted; thousands of potential malicious people have direct access to them to install who knows what), so Matt, you're right to be paranoid about them.
Besides that, it's a great goodness to have your own browser and all your bookmarks available, to be able to write emails offline to quickly send when in an internet cafe, to edit and manage your pictures, to burn CDs/DVDs with backups of those pictures, and on rainy days when you're stuck in a place where there's absolutely nothing interesting to see (hey, it could happen!), you could even use it to play games. ^_^

Also as reference for future readers (as I see spank18 posted in it already so doesn't need to be pointed to it), see this other recent thread about laptops, which has a few more opinions.

8. Posted by JAY_H (Full Member, 69 posts) 9 Mar '07 02:06

Quoting Sander
"What's the point of having things like DSLRs if you're so worried about it that you won't take it along? These things are meant to be used, not pampered.
I travelled 2+ years around the world with laptop and DSLR, and for all the hassle it provided, it was totally worth it?"

Well arnt you clever but i cant be bothered to carry the extra weight when im backpacking and when im out one evening being worried that it may be stolen from my hostel. I couldnt think of anything worse than going to a party and having to lug around a huge camera but leaving it in a beach hut isnt really secure. And to take a laptop travelling aswell as a camera????? I see travelling to be a stress free time of my life where i can do most things where materialistic things stay at home. You could argue and say you get lovely pictures at the end of it and somewhere to store them but i will get lovely pictures out of my smaller, lighter camera and somewhere to store them on the internet & cd's.... hassle free!!!
I use my SLR where ever else i go as i usually have somewhere safe to put it down and if I don’t... I put up with it because its usually only for a weekend or a day but backpacking is usually longer than that. Im not even taking my phone when i go. Ill use the pay phones!! And i dont even like my phone so its not just the case of im worried about it.... i just dont want to carry it.... i think thats fair enough!!!! I have to accept that things get lost/stolen and im prepared for that eg Why im not taking my camera and i def wouldn’t take my laptop.

9. Posted by BLINDUSAR (Budding Member, 16 posts) 12 Mar '07 05:41

If your worried about using internet cafes or any other place for internet access use a memory stick + Portable Apps.

I have a Creative Zen Vision M 30Gb and have dedicated 512MB to a portable HDD which works like a memory stick... I have Firefox web browser on there plus AI Roboform and I dont have to type my personal details into the PC as its safe on the MP3 player and is secured by a password. Also on the MP3 player is Thuderbird for accessing my emails and a Antivirus which I can use to scan for dodgy software such as keyloggers.

So everynow and then I will change my password to keep it safe.

Works really well means I only have to carry my MP3 player and only have to remember my password and dont have to carry internet banking details... So in form of expensive hardware I have 1 camera and 1 MP3 and thats all.

10. Posted by samot (Budding Member, 35 posts) 12 Mar '07 06:25

If your willing to pay a new/ used laptop anyway, maybe look into one of the smaller ones. You can get one of the smaller 7" to 8" screen laptops. Most of them weight only about 2 to 3 lbs. They aren't the most powerful laptops, but there is plenty for e-mail, booking tickets and keeping your blog updated. Plus alot of them have built in DVD players, which can come in handy when your stuck on a endless flight to nowhere with an in-flight movie you've seen 50 times already.

Plus you can find them on some of the well known auction sites.