Traveling Laptops …
This post came about in part because I got caught in this situation recently.
There’s no doubt about it, if you’re serious about traveling, blogging and writing, you must have a computer to take with you.
An iPad or similar will help but if you do a lot of photography like myself you will need the computer.
It is possible to do without, but you’ll be at the mercy of Internet cafés, shared computer access, and incompatibilities between your preferred equipment and what you can get your hands on.
I’m going to list just a few short tips. I see so many exhaustive lists from others kindly sharing their experiences but to my mind, there are just a couple of considerations for you to make.
Please note I use the term laptop and notebook as one and the same….
- Back up EVERYTHING BEFORE you go and leave a copy at home.
- Note down all relevant serial numbers for everything you take. It might not help you have them recovered but it will help with any insurance claim.
- Delete any sensitive information from your computer that you wouldn’t want anyone else to access. If you need passwords etc put them on a separate thumb drive for you to access.
- Take a plug ‘n play external hard drive and associated cables (with backup)
- check that everything works together BEFORE you go away. Doing this your first night in the hotel will not work…
- Choose an operating platform you are familiar with… if you usually use a PC, don’t run out to buy a Mac just for the trip and Visa Versa. You will find the whole experience frustrating otherwise. Make sure you pack your trusted power cable for your laptop.
- Ensure your computer has sufficient memory to make it through the trip. If you run programs like LR and CS5 take that into account. If you use Picasa or Flickr etc just ensure you are familiar with the program and know what to do with your files while both online and offline.
- Pack appropriate power adapters; plane, country etc. I usually travel with two multi adapters that cover me no matter what country I go it. You probably won’t need an adapter for the plane unless your traveling business or first but you can always check your seat out at www.seatguru.com to know if you can plug in.
- And I ALWAYS have spare cables…
- You most likely will NOT need a converter, just the adapter, so beware of anyone wanting to sell you a converter for your laptop.
- Dial up is common while traveling so make sure all your files you want to blog etc are compact.
- I travel with a backpack that holds both my camera and my computer so that it is with me all the time and it not obviously noticeable.
- Be aware of climate conditions, excessive humidity etc can play havoc with your equipment.
- Most importantly – unless you are regularly going to use your laptop for more than just maintaining email contact – DON’T TAKE IT. After a while the extra weight, no matter how light, will get to you.
- an additional useful website is http://www.transitionsabroad.com/listings/living/resources/stayingconnected.shtml
- Did I mention spare cables… CABLES are always the weakest link…..
- Relax and enjoy the experience, it will last you a lifetime…..:)
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