I am going ot Australia for 7 months, and I don't know if I should bring a laptop? I was thinking of buying the new one that is only 8 inches. I want to be able to send emails to friends and family back home and store all of my pictures and post them to a blog.
Based on a previous post, I assume you are a Canadian.
First of all, if you current laptop is adequate for your needs and you are going for 7 months, I see no reason to not take it and buy a new one. I wouldn't buy a new one if you think you can travel with your current one and meet all your needs.
However, if you were thinking of buying a new one regardless of your trip or not, or if you think your current laptop is too heavy to carry around all the time, then I would start to look at prices in Canada vs. Australia, and buy where-ever is cheaper.
There will be little difference between computers bought in Canada or Australia, other than the plug, and adapters are easy to buy.
Thanks! Actually I don't have a laptop right now. I'm just not sure if I should buy one to bring? They have ones now that are only $350, and small
My personal opinion based on my experience - leave it at home or in your case, don't go buy one. I have too reasons for this. First of all, you don't want to carry it around even if it's small. You don't say how you are traveling, but if you are carrying a backpack and staying in hostels than even a small one is added weight, and the stress of always worrying about it's safety is annoying when traveling. Another reason that's important for me, is that having a laptop has the potential to isolate you from the reason you are probably traveling - to get out there and see things and meet people. I'm starting to see this all too often in hostels where half the people are in the common room, or worse, in their room, lost in their own internet world. For me traveling is about a simpler life, where you don't check facebook every hour, have to talk to real life people for information, and are more interested in looking at the scenery than uploading pictures of it. Just my opinion.
Of course keeping in touch with friends and family is important. That's what internet cafes are for, and you can upload pics and do everything you need. All trips combined, I spent almost 4 years on the road doing just fine with internet cafes. And for some of it I did keep a blog with lots of pictures.
Personally I wouldn't take. You will only worry about it. Lighter weight laptops tend to not be the cheap ones either.
There are internet cafes, internet is free in public libraries.
If you are staying in Hostels, many provide free internet access, you can check what facilities are provided/available before you book on sites such as http://www.hostelbookers.com/
There are other gadjets out there like the pocket surfer if you have the cash,
Its got a 5.3 inch screen, perfect for traveling.
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The main reason I take a laptop away with me when travelling is to store photos. Sure you can buy a big memory card for your camera, but 7 months is a long time and it's very possible you'll fill it anyway. Last time I was away for 4 months and managed to take 20GB worth of photos using my DSLR, I was shooting on the highest quality mode because I like to print the photos nice and big and hang them around my house. Even if your photos aren't going to amount to this much data, it's always good to keep a backup of your photos on another medium, maybe a large capacity USB thumb drive or portable hard drive would do.
As Degolasse said, it's becomming more common to carry a portable computer so you find people hanging around in a common area where internet is available with their laptops surfing away. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, and can be quite social.
When you're travelling though, you do tend to worry about your laptops safety. I was travelling in my own car, so always had somewhere to lock it away but it would be different if you're carrying it around everywhere you go.
I guess you have to weigh up the pros and cons, your mode of travelling and make a decision.
I took mine but only because I needed it for work.
I would say that is the only reason to take one.
There is no shortage of internet cafes in australia...you will have no problem emailing people and storing photos DVDs or uploading them. every town is littered with internet places. Go to peterpan's get one of their yellow wristbands and right there you can use the internet for free for 15mins at a time.
and it is a pain to carry it around.
don't buy a laptop. It's easy enough to find and use an internet cafe. Buy a USB to back up your photos. You can have a blog without a laptop
I would bring the laptop for more than just keeping in touch and storing photos. I bring my laptop all the time on my big trips. Mostly to write in my journal, store pics and go thru my travel documentation (planning, maps, itineraries, confirmation) I've got spreadsheets of my travel routes, lodging stays and expenses. Sounds nerdy but it helps me alot. For just surfing, email, storing photos, I'd leave the laptop at home and depend on the cafes and buying more memory sticks.