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Take a laptop backpacking?

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Image by dasnake via Flickr

There seems to be an increasing trend for people taking laptops with on backpacking holidays. It seems a bizarre thing to do, after a little investigation here’s some point about why you should and shouldn’t take a laptop backpacking.

Advantages

  • It could be cheaper in the long run as you won’t need to pay for internet cafe usage, that’s providing you can get free wifi.
  • Staying in touch with people back home is easier. If your suffering from home sickness a call or Skype home can really help. Skype also works out cheaper than paying for phone cars and pay phones.
  • Work, you don’t want to be working while on holiday but you can keep earning from article writing or other online schemes.  Having your laptop means you can keep bringing in cash as you travel which can extend your travels.
  • Back up, it’s another pace to backup your data from your camera or video camera. As well as having the files on the laptop you can then send back home or upload to sites such as Flickr or Facebook.
  • Preparation, you can surf the net easily to find our about your next destination for places to stay or things to do in the local area.
  • Entertainment, you can fit a lot more songs on a hard dive than a laptop. It’s also better for watching TV or films than using a iPod. You can even play solitaire!

Disadvantages

  • It’s heavy, you’ll have to carry it about, including the power lead. Even if you take a small notebook laptop it’s still going to be heavy to carry, you may need a bigger bag too.
  • Breaking, your bag will get bashed about when traveling so without protection a laptop going to get smashed into bits. Adding protection does the trick but adds weight to your pack
  • If you lose it or have the laptop stolen your going to have to foot a bill to buy a new one, or pay the excess to claim on your travel insurance. Check your travel insurance covers it, some only cover a couple of hundred of pounds for theft of items which won’t buy you a new laptop.
  • Travelling for some is about getting away from technology and not being connected 24/7, so taking your laptop isn’t really getting away from it all.

Overall there does seem more advantages to taking a laptop, for me getting into the outdoors and travelling is about getting away from TV, laptops and computer games, so best to leave the laptop at home!

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