I am going to study a semester in Santiago de Chile and on my way there I am travelling for a month through Argentina and Uruguay. Now I am wondering whether or not I should bring my laptop - a macbook. It would be very convenient to have it with me when I am in Santiago as well as for photos and stuff but also very annoying to take it with me on the way. It is an extra weight and I really wouldn't want to lose it...
What is your experience with lockers in hostels etc? Can I trust it? I mean, I don't want to carry around my laptop all the time...
Looking forward to hearing from you!
So you're travelling ahead of your semester away? Will you be needing your laptop in the time that you're on your study semester? If you do, then you may not have much choice but to bring it with you.
I've not travelled where you are so I can't tell if it's safe to bring your laptop there but I've certainly brought mine to US and Canada before and it was totally safe there. Then again I also don't make a habit of taking my laptop in and out of my bag/locker in front of anybody. In fact, I don't think any of my room mates even realised I have a laptop with me.
I used to be annoyed carrying a heavy laptop when traveling around and of course, most of the time, I'm worried that I might misplaced it or something. the good thing about technology nowadays is that they make everything smaller and more compact, what I did was change my laptop to a smaller and more convenient and light notebook. it maybe costly but if you want to have it with you always and not be bothered by the weight and size, you should change it...
make sure you get a 1gallon size zip lock bag for it or one of those vacuum seal bags for clothes so you can keep your laptop waterproof.
I always travel with a Laptop and do long term traveling. I have never had my Laptop stolen or tampered with. Take a combo link and then lock your locker wherever you are at. I suggest a mini notebook thier small and they travel well. Ive found its cheaper to take a laptop instead of traveling without one thats for sure as Hostels charge heaps of money to use thiers.
I am off to Ecuador and Peru and planning on taking my macbook.. ive got a Lacie hard drive to back up everything...this i will keep separate so i dont lose files...then make sure u have insurance for it... i'm covering mine through home insurance :o)... finally as i'm travelling between places ive got a special luggage tag globalbagtag, think its called, so if i lose my bags people can send them back safely...
hope that helps? good luck :o)... take ur mac they are an invaluable tool when travelling, especially if you are creative!
I've travelled both with and without a laptop and I still oscillate between which I prefer better! Whilst the weight and size can be a pain, it certainly does come in handy.
Having been over in Argentina and Uraguay in the last six months, I was really surprised at how readily available wireless internet was - it seemed almost all of the hostels and many cafes/restaurants, public libraries and other public spaces all offerred free wireless... from that point of view it might be worth taking it to make keeping in touch easy. My person experience was that most of the hostels there had good locker facilities and it wasn't a problem to say leave a laptop at the hostel for the day. Of course I alway make sure I have adequate travel insurance and back up my photos and important docs just in case.
Unless you absolutely need it, don't take it. If you are taking it primarily for internet connection, you can usually find a decent rate at your hostel. Most places I went (in 9 different countries) had easy access to computers and decent costs. Of course, if you are someone who is glued to the computer all the time and have a hard time functioning with out it, then I would bring it along for sure. Most of the hostels I stayed at had large lockers, just bring a lock. Also, remember that carrying a laptop means you have to worry about all the cords and equipment needed to run it and any other electronic device, oh and wandering eyes.
[ Edit: Edited on 24-Jan-2010, at 14:47 by bsnodgrass ]
I just recently purchased a 8 inch netbook, it was about $250 and it only weighs about 3.5 lbs. The cost of using internet cafes during a long trip will be more than that, and if hostels offer free wifi it will offset the cost. As far as a macbook is concerned, just know that pcs are the norm down there so you may have problems printing or using any software while down there. Generally you can trust lockers in hostels, but one never knows. I think that if you plan on using it everyday, then bring it, just be careful when using it in public.
Thanks for all your answers!
I found a very good solution. I will get a visitor after 4 weeks, when I'm already in Santiago. He will bring my laptop and will stay for 3 months. By then, I will have found out how the situation in hostels is and how my overall feelings on safety are. So, either he will take the laptop with him on his way back or I will take it for my 5 weeks journey through Peru and Brazil before I'm heading back to Europe.