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going away for a while - bring laptop?

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1. Posted by itchyfeet2 (Budding Member 58 posts) 8y

Hi guys - hope this is the correct right place for my question ...??

at the end of november my friend & i are off to S.E.A for a few months - then NZ eventually Sth America, & Canda...
i have a feeling it'll take a while for (if we do come back) to return to Scotland - and both have laptops - infact my life is on my laptop... pictures etc.

I really wanted to take it with me - feeling it would be a good way to contact friends back home - download & send emails pictures as i go ... i know its not the lightest most delicate item to travel with - and i wanted to find out some advice from you guys

Struggling to decide what to do & would really appreciate your thoughts!!!

Thanks so much! :)
Linzi

2. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

Hi Linzi,

We started travelling last year without a laptop and in May we decided to buy one in Kuala Lumpur and we have to admit it was the best decision we made! We found because of the time differences it was getting difficult to contact our families, as my dad works a combo of days/nights and sometimes it was 3am our time when it was convenient to skype!

Carrying the laptop isn't really much of a hassle AND it comes in useful to update blogs - you don't have to spend hours typing up in internet cafes and can upload fast once you get an internet connection. Most places we have stayed in Asia have wi-fi or internet connection in the room, if not there are always coffee shops which are connected. We have also found it useful as a stereo and DVD player, buying lots of DVD's on the way, so we can pay a lot less for a room without tv because we have our own entertainment!

We have never once regretted buying it and wouldn't be without it now!

HTH

Donna

3. Posted by vxmike (Budding Member 64 posts) 8y

I think one laptop is sufficient for the both of you for a trip. I just got back from a trip with a friend and we brought only one laptop for the two of us and it worked just fine - means that you can carry more of other things between the two of you.

4. Posted by itchyfeet2 (Budding Member 58 posts) 8y

Thanks loubylou ... that's good to hear. I really want to take it but kinda wary - obviously dont want it to be stolen or damanged - im pretty careful though so should be ok!!!

Thanks again!:)

5. Posted by sri_gan (Budding Member 33 posts) 8y

I'm a software engineer. 99% of time I work with the computers.... wake up.. before sleep after sleep ...

When I take my vacation once a year, nowadays I prefer not to carry the laptop with me... If I wanted to update the blog I can update after I come back.

If I want to talk to some one overseas I use the prepaid card. Simple.

Less electronics More nature... thats what vacation is all about.

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 23, 2007, at 9:41 AM by sri_gan ]

6. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 8y

sri_gan: that might work for a vacation of a week or two, but when you're going travelling for many months (as the original poster is), I at least have found that the backlog of online activities becomes far too large to let lie until you return home. A laptop is ideal, then. And when you go for a full year, there's really no question about it. You pretty much need the laptop.
Having access to your regular browser with all your bookmarks and history of visited pages, your email, being able to do online banking (doing that at internet cafes is gambling with all your money; keyloggers are getting ever more prevalent), being able to backup photos, burn them to DVD, edit them for uploading - it's just so convenient; more than weighs up against the hassle of having to keep an eye on it. (Just don't leave it behind in dorms.)

itchyfeet2: As for a laptop being "delicate" - don't pamper it. Just wrap a couple of plastic bags around it to keep out moisture - maybe get one of those thin laptop sleeves - but accept that after a year of hard travelling the laptop won't look like new. It's a tool, and you'll have used it to its fullest.

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 23, 2007, at 10:03 AM by Sander ]

7. Posted by loubylou (Travel Guru 664 posts) 8y

Quoting Sander

itchyfeet2: As for a laptop being "delicate" - don't pamper it. Just wrap a couple of plastic bags around it to keep out moisture - maybe get one of those thin laptop sleeves - but accept that after a year of hard travelling the laptop won't look like new. It's a tool, and you'll have used it to its fullest.

Sander is right, our laptop eventhough only 5 months 'old' is looking very battered but we wouldn't be without it. Again as Sander says the tasks for online just back up and you end up not keeping in touch or being worried about internet banking. AND if you can get internet for free where you are staying then you save money too!!

8. Posted by itchyfeet2 (Budding Member 58 posts) 8y

Thanks guys for your advice ... I've pretty much decided to take it with me along with webcam, mic etc.. it makes much more sense than leaving it behind esp since I'll be gone a long time!!!
hurrah hurrah! - v.excited. I know I'll have to carry it through airports separately though so will buy myself a laptop bag - im sure that'll be enough to protect it ... anything else I should do to make sure it's well protected???

cheers!!!! linzi

9. Posted by Sander (Moderator 4808 posts) 8y

Quoting itchyfeet2

I know I'll have to carry it through airports separately though so will buy myself a laptop bag

I wouldn't do that. Imagine yourself walking around the seedier area of any big city with that, let alone through poorer countries. It just screams "steal me!".
I actually had such a laptop bag with me when I set out on my two year 'round the world trip, but I ditched it after barely a month. What I did for the rest of those two years (which I can highly recommend) is to take a backpack just large enough to put the laptop in (optionally inside a thin laptop sleeve), and to use that as your daypack. No one will ever know you're carrying that laptop with you. Yes, that means it's a bit more hassle at airports to get it out (since you invariably stuff too much things into your daypack), but well worth it if you consider the ratio of time spent at airports versus time spent outside them. :)

[ Edit: Edited on Oct 24, 2007, at 9:14 AM by Sander ]

10. Posted by itchyfeet2 (Budding Member 58 posts) 8y

Hi Sander - makes a lot of sense - I've so much still to plan and arrange before I leave i guess I really didnt think about it like that - but it's pretty simple. Thanks for the heads up !:)