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Peru with a laptop (and other 'expensive' gadgets)?

Travel Forums Central/South America & The Caribbean Peru with a laptop (and other 'expensive' gadgets)?

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1. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 9y

Sander has indicated that this thread is about Peru

I'm tentatively planning a trip to Peru (and onward to New Zealand and beyond) for next year. I have absolutely zero knowledge of the conditions in Peru (all I know is that I've never seen a picture of the mountains there which I didn't like; that's mostly what I'd be going for: hiking and beautiful landscapes). I have vague notions of poverty being rampant, but I can't really even begin to imagine "poverty". Obviously I'm going to read up, and later on experience things myself (as much as you can in an amount of time which will forever be too limited), but just to help me start forming a picture of the country: how smart an idea is it to travel through with laptop and other 'expensive' gadgets? (I'm not interested in general replies of "don't travel with laptop" from people who themselves never do, because I myself have always travelled with laptop, and doubt I could do without. Security-wise, it's the only way, and the convenience is not to be underestimated, both for having all your information there, and for backing up gigabytes of photographs at a time and burning them to DVD for added safekeeping.)

Now, obviously you shouldn't flaunt your expensive electronic equipment, and keep it close at hand and use common sense and all that, but any personal experiences here of travelling through Peru with laptop e.a.? What extra security measures did you take, if any? Or are there any people here who usually do, but decided not to take these things to Peru? Did you regret that decision?

2. Posted by tricky (Respected Member 323 posts) 9y

the best bit of advice I read re: laptops on here was to NEVER take it out in public, including in hostels. I think the person said that now and again they got a single room to stay in overnight and at that point they would do all their downloading of pics, music etc etc.

It made perfect sense as it isn't just the locals that may rob you unfortunately.

Obviously you ain't daft though and not flaunting your equipement has already crossed your mind. Good luck with it all.

I hope to be in Peru mid March for around 6 weeks myself. Looks truely amazing.

[ Edit: Edited on Sep 27, 2007, at 6:07 AM by tricky ]

3. Posted by vortexx (Budding Member 2 posts) 9y

Hey Sander

If you want to carry your laptop here, just do it. Many peruvian an foreigner people uses computers, cell phones, and many gadgets all the time (technology is well known here). I think is easier to download your infornmation directly. There is poverty here, of course, but you can find it everywhere in the world even in developed countries. My advice is that you just have to be carefull in big cities, crowds, and when travelling, keeping your gadgets safe. I do the same when i travel to big cities in America or Europe (believe me, sometimes i feel safer in my own country!). If you are a smart traveler, you'll be fine.

If you want aditional info about Peru just write me. We have many things to see, not just only mountains or machu picchu. this is my website: -snip-
Saludos
Arturo

Quoting Sander

I'm tentatively planning a trip to Peru (and onward to New Zealand and beyond) for next year. I have absolutely zero knowledge of the conditions in Peru (all I know is that I've never seen a picture of the mountains there which I didn't like; that's mostly what I'd be going for: hiking and beautiful landscapes). I have vague notions of poverty being rampant, but I can't really even begin to imagine "poverty". Obviously I'm going to read up, and later on experience things myself (as much as you can in an amount of time which will forever be too limited), but just to help me start forming a picture of the country: how smart an idea is it to travel through with laptop and other 'expensive' gadgets? (I'm not interested in general replies of "don't travel with laptop" from people who themselves never do, because I myself have always travelled with laptop, and doubt I could do without. Security-wise, it's the only way, and the convenience is not to be underestimated, both for having all your information there, and for backing up gigabytes of photographs at a time and burning them to DVD for added safekeeping.)

Now, obviously you shouldn't flaunt your expensive electronic equipment, and keep it close at hand and use common sense and all that, but any personal experiences here of travelling through Peru with laptop e.a.? What extra security measures did you take, if any? Or are there any people here who usually do, but decided not to take these things to Peru? Did you regret that decision?

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Moderator comment: Personal and promotional website addresses are not allowed in the open forums. Thank you.

[ Edit: Removed website address. ]

4. Posted by perutour (Budding Member 12 posts) 9y

hi Sander

Well, I have already traveled through Peru with my laptop (once I live here and work for a Peruvian travel agency) and I may tell you the only thing one may have in mind, regarding safety, is to stay in good hotels where responsible and professional people can be in charge of your equipment while you’re out hiking etc.

During your movings, you must be sure not to look so tourist-like, putting your equipment in safe “bags” (dark if possible), so people won’t look at you and think: that must be expensive, I want that!!! See what I mean?

Are you traveling alone? Another great idea is to travel in groups, or join groups whenever possible…

Well, apart from that, as I told before, if you need some adives about Peru or Southamerica . I’ll be glad to help!

Hope my mail helps you in anything…

Cheers,
Carla

5. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 9y

Thanks for the feedback, all. One less thing to worry about. :)

6. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Hi Sander,

Just thought I'd throw in a few comments.

One positive aspect is that you will generally have your own room while you are travelling Peru. Hostels, i.e. dorm accommodation, aren't really that common in Peru. You will usually end up staying in Hostals, where you are given your own room or a room to share if you are travelling with someone. As I was travelling alone, I found it to be a bonus sometimes because I could jsut lock the room and didnt have to worry about packing every single thing away and locking it every time I left the hostal.
However, even so, I definitely would not leave a lap-top just sitting out in the room, even it was locked. As long as you had it locked securely away within a rucksack, which was in turn locked to your bed, maybe you could risk leaving it then. BE UNDER NO ILLUSIONS - even the nicest of staff in Peru are capable of going through your things while you are out. It happened to me - nothing was stolen - they just tried on items of clothing and then asked me if I would sell them to them. Friends of mine had their passport and some money stolen out of the pockets of clothes they had left in a locked bedroom. It's just the way things are down there. The great paradox of South America is that the people are the warmest you will ever meet, but some of them would just rob the eye out of your head.

Carrying one in the street, I would imagine, could be very risky. Maybe if you could disguise the fact that you are carrying a lap-top, but I'm not sure how you could do that. I mean, I suppsoe you'd have to carry it in a padded case etc. Most likely, carrying a piece of electronic equipment like that, you will be watched and most likely followed. Something like that is going to really be worth stealing from you. Twice on my travels in South America, I saw people's cameras just snatched from their hands in mid-air, although admittedly that was not in Peru.

If you are plannign to stay in hotels and not backpacking around too much, then it's a different story. Staff in reputable hotels are less likely to interfere with your things, plus you will have the option of using a safe to store belongings if you wish.

If you're used to bringing your lap-top I'd expect it would be hard to not have it with you for this next trip, but the one question you'd need to ask yourself is:

How much is it worth to me to bring it, even if it's stolen?

If you are used to travelling with one, then maybe you are already used to being really watchful of it already and it wont be much extra hassle to bring it this time. Just have eyes in the back of your head!

7. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4810 posts) 9y

Quoting samsara2

BE UNDER NO ILLUSIONS - even the nicest of staff in Peru are capable of going through your things while you are out. It happened to me - nothing was stolen - they just tried on items of clothing and then asked me if I would sell them to them.

*blinks* Wow. That'd so totally freak me out. *adds wire mesh covering for backpack to his packing list*

Carrying one in the street, I would imagine, could be very risky. Maybe if you could disguise the fact that you are carrying a lap-top, but I'm not sure how you could do that. I mean, I suppsoe you'd have to carry it in a padded case etc.

Heh, no, luckily not. The laptop is a tool, not something to be cuddled. It goes into a sturdy plastic bag or two (against moisture) and then straight into the daypack. That means I have a heavier daypack than most, but otherwise should be walking around just like anyone. (That's the same as I do in Australia/New Zealand; idem for not leaving it in a locked room either, for that matter.)

the one question you'd need to ask yourself is:

How much is it worth to me to bring it, even if it's stolen?

Well, not bringing it would mean not being able to do internet banking for three months, not being able to read my regular email for three months (I'd set up a throwaway account for daily communication with home, but that isn't a solution for 90% of my email; e.g. inquiries from potential customers e.a.) and needing to go through a whole lot more hassle with finding internet cafes for photo backup. Those things are worth a whole lot.

8. Posted by samsara_ (Travel Guru 5353 posts) 9y

Quoting Sander

Heh, no, luckily not. The laptop is a tool, not something to be cuddled. It goes into a sturdy plastic bag or two (against moisture) and then straight into the daypack. That means I have a heavier daypack than most, but otherwise should be walking around just like anyone. (That's the same as I do in Australia/New Zealand; idem for not leaving it in a locked room either, for that matter.)

Well, then you should have no problems. The only way you'd become a target is if people can see that you have one, so if you can just stick it in your pack, sweet!

9. Posted by attaque46 (Budding Member 16 posts) 9y

Good thinkink of putting it in your daypack whilst travelling, covering that obvious "laptop casing" look - I was surprised on how
nonchalante some tourists (gringos) were with their digital equipment, almost flaunting it
This could, although needn't lead to robbery, but in any case - attracting too much attention on your expensive stuff is never welcomed , in any country

But just wanted to add that internet caffes are abundant in Peru and all over S.A.
(even the small villages high in the Andes have at least one, I was surprised)
, so there's no worry
that you wouldn't be able to do your business and read e-mails, even burn CD's and so forth
while you're there,
even if - Godforbid - your laptop does get stolen.

Make backups of your photos, and keep'em separate.

And have fun

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 9, 2007, at 3:45 PM by attaque46 ]

10. Posted by Taffski (Travel Guru 182 posts) 9y

Hi Sander,

will be in Peru in a month. Am in Quito in Ecuador now and to be honest, travelling with a laptop is now more and more frequent amongst backpackers.

I will say that I decided not to bring mine though.

Obvious reasons... can´t be arsed backing the whole thing up before I travel and also the insurance on single objects goes up to a certain amount ($500 or so) which I´m sure your laptop will exceed.

I´ve brought my camera here to South America (a D80) however, I´ve not taken a single picture yet as am in Quito learning Spanglish.... however... once you get out of larger towns I´m suer it´ll be fine.

I have got a crappy day bag though in which I put s special camera holder thingy which means plain black day bag looks crap... which is good for down here.

Will update you how it goes in Peru if you want re: Camera et al!

With regards to the wire mesh..... hmmm..... this smacks of I´ve got something expensive in my bag.... so steal it!

Also, with backpack covers this means you r bag looks new when you take it out.... which also smacks of I´ve got a new bag so I´ve got lots of expensive stuff in it!

I just expect my bag to get sirty... it´s a bag after all !

MAkes me laugh when you see all these people with plain black bags on their backpack (on their backs!!!) I can tell they´ve got a backpack underneath it. I can also see it´s a backpack when it´s on a bus.... so why can´t a thief!

once again sometimes it´s maybe better to have things out in the open (not regarding your laptop of course!)

Internet seems to be everywhere at the moment so I´m sure as said before you´ll find internet about every week or so ! I know we have so far (Arg, Chile and Ecu....)

Hope you have fun anyway and will be here for 6 months so I´ll update the blog and a few posts when I can... or you can email me later in the year (say 2 months time)and I´ll update you :)

Hope you´re getting excited.... It´s great down here

Taffski