Travel Unravelled Q&A Series 3: Computer Yes - Computer No?
Wed 29 Dec 10
Welcome to installment three of the Travel Unravelled Q&A Series. This particular TU question deals with computers as questions about traveling with or without them come up frequently. So:
Do you recommend traveling with a computer or leaving it at home?
Criteria: Travel time is 3 months and visiting any 3 countries of your own choice.
Heather Robb (Purdy)
Computer - NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!
I'm on holiday to visit new countries, have new experiences, taste new foods, meet new people - not sit on a computer.
l go to work Monday to Friday and sit in front of a computer. l come home, log on and check the sites l want to check. l log on at weekends too - so, why would l want to go on holiday, which l do to relax and enjoy myself and sit on a computer? I'm on holiday to visit new countries, have new experiences, taste new foods, meet new people - not sit on a computer.
If l need to check email or contact home, hotels and hostels have internet access. l can do what l need to do on my mobile, if needed. A computer is an additional worry and weight to carry with you - in my opinion. So what if l'm on a 12 hour flight - plug in the MP3 player, read a real book, or sleep! Ok, l want to write a blog or keep a journal - might not be in real time but l take a journal note book with me and keep a daily diary. Through security, lap tops are a pain having to be checked out, additional insurance, and what if it gets nicked?
So in my opinion - computer says NO!!
Sam Daams (Sam I Am)
Personally, I can't imagine not travelling with a computer, but I also make my living by running a website, and that requires a certain amount of 'always online' mentality. I have, on shorter trips, decided to leave my computer at home just to not have any kind of distractions; fantastic!! But I guess more and more the question is "what is a computer?". More and more phones have all the same features you'd require from a computer for travelling purposes and I think most people would take their phones with them on trips.
Gretchen Wilson-Kalav (Isadora)
At one point in time, I didn't have a computer with which I could travel. A big Mac G4 tower and monitors were way over the weight limit without including my 2,000 pounds of luggage at airport check-ins. So, no to taking a computer anywhere. Since that time, I started out slow with our first laptop and only taking it when we'd visit our friend in Florida. We could 'hack' into his broadband to check TP and upload photos. We now have 2 laptops - PC and Mac - and for the most part they both follow us around.
All in all - short trips - no computer but long trips, worth the consideration.
Given the 3-month, 3-country criteria, I believe we would bring both computers so we wouldn't have to share. (I'm PC illiterate while Beerman is lacking in Mac skills.) Sort of like Sam, I make my living by working for a website - the computer would be a necessity. I do not own a cell phone that would work as a replacement device which makes the computer that much more important. All in all - short trips - no computer but long trips, worth the consideration. Though, internet cafe computers and online data/photo storage capabilities do negate the need for your own. Just be vigilant about your passwords and personal information in those situations.
Kris Kalav (beerman)
Well, lugging along a 20 kg desktop, 10 kg monitor, keyboard, and mouse.... Hmm.... I'll say no. Now, if you're talking laptop or smartphone, sure, why not. They take up far less space, and are much lighter, and you can do virtually all the same things as you would on your desktop. Call me crazy, but I tend to travel heavy. But I would happily bring along a laptop (no smartphone yet) on any three-month holiday I would plan. It wouldn't matter if I had internet access, I could still document what I wanted, upload pics of my trip, etc., and then update my blog when I had a good connection. Even in third world countries, they would marvel at my antique Dell laptop, no doubt asking how I manage to even play solitaire on it. Laugh I would, while beating a game of 4-deck Spider Solitaire and bragging to the village elders. I could at least show the locals pics of my other adventures as a way to strike up a good conversation. As long as I had an electrical outlet, I could do what I wanted on my laptop. And if all else fails, a trusty #2 pencil and pad of paper would suffice.
Nikki Leigh (Rraven)
For me travelling with a computer is a no unless it is necessary for work, many countries have decent internet access & cafes when it is needed. The extra bulk/weight in the back pack is not worth it.
For more information about the Travel Unravelled Q&A Series see: Travel Unravelled Q&A Sessions Unleashed. Please join in on the discussions!