Should I bring my laptop for travelling (backpacking) ?

During your preparations for departure, you will probably ask yourself whether you should bring your laptop or not. It could indeed be quiet useful : you could search the internet and look for various information, store your pictures, send emails, etc etc.

But you need to ask the real questions :

  • How much more additional weight to my already heavy ass backpack ?
  • Do I really need it ?
  • Can my laptop handle all the moving around in a safe manner ?

Not to mention your potential fear to getting it robbed or whatever. You’re free to imagine anything that could happen to it but there is in my sense many arguments to counter-weigh the balance in the “I’ll leave it home” side.

In summary :

Clearly, bringing a big fragile and bulky rectangle is more of a burden than anything else. Of course you’ll probably need to access the internet once in a while or backup your pictures but there is fortunately some more suitable alternatives for a traveller like you and keep in mind that “light is right”.

One solution

Bring your smartphone with you (if you have one). This will allow you to go to the internet, send emails, and more. It is a small and lightweight device, it fits your pocket and in addition to this, can be used as a watch and you won’t need to bring an alarm clock ;)

For those who don’t own a smartphone, you can still bring a small touch-screen tablet which will have basically the same function than a smartphone, except it will less easily fit your pocket. And this is above all way less bulky than a laptop.

As for your pictures, if you are a precautious person and you intend to make backups throughout you trip, you have many options to do so. You will find out in this article but bringing a small storage device like  an external hard drive or a usb stick (but a big one, because unless you set your camera to save pictures in tiny dimensions, you can expect an average weight per file of at least 1 or 2 Mb, or even more if your camera has got a hell lot of megapixels) seems more convenient.

And if you’re wondering how to fill your hard drive, you will only need to go to internet coffees once in a while. You can find them pretty much everywhere but you may want to avoid those with old computers running Windows XP, because in addition to getting – for sure – a whole lot of viruses of all kinds, you will risk to damage your hardware. Do not hesitate to go to places where the computers are recent, even if it’s a bit more expensive. Anyhow, it’s only going to cost you a few dimes, from $0.6 to $1.2 per hour in average.

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