Travelling with a Laptop
Replies: 11 - Last Post: Aug 19, 2012 2:43 PM Last Post By: PhiMeow
Jul 22, 2012 9:48 AM
Travelling with a LaptopI was looking for a bit of advice... I am a first time traveller who is setting off around Europe next year. After travelling for a bit, I am intending to find a job and accommodation in France - and for this reason, I need to take my laptop with me as I will be applying for jobs and looking for apartments as I travel with the intent of attending interviews, etc, when I arrive at my final destination. I know that hauling a laptop around with you while backpacking isn't an ideal situation, both for the obvious fear of it being stolen and also because you'll have to drag it around with you, but it's unfortunately a neccessity for me because of my plans. Does anyone have any advice they can give me for travelling around with expensive technology? I have heard some people say it's worth investing in a Pacsafe. Is there anything else I could do to give myself added security?
Jul 22, 2012 2:56 PM
1You can get a kensington lock which is like a bike cable lock that attached to you slot on the side of the laptop and around a the leg of a table for eg ..
You can also get alarms, ie., attach one piece to laptop bag and one piece to your belt and if they are certain metres away the alarm rings.
But anyway, back up your data online like Google, don't store personal stuff in it, if you lose it, it's only a few hundred brand new or half that used. You can also install software that encrypts your hard drive as well but if you forget the password, the whole HD is lost.
Edited by: Rayonline
Jul 22, 2012 3:30 PM
2Apart from the above advice by Ray:
You can also buy light weight laptops - netbooks or Apple MacBook Air. Netbooks are less expensive than the MacBooks. So you don't need to worry too much about the weight aspect.
The PacSafe bags are good for extra security while it's on your person. It's not lockable in the same sense as a padlock but it does help with pickpockets, thieves and bag snatchers that want to slash the bottom / side of the bag or the shoulder strap.
Kensington cable locks are quite good for when you are staying at some place for a while. Only thing is to find something that is solid (e.g. metal pipe) so that they can't just break that. A table leg is NOT a good object!
Jul 22, 2012 3:50 PM
Jul 22, 2012 10:25 PM
Jul 23, 2012 2:59 PM
5Low-end laptops and netbooks are comparable in cost these days but a netbook is more ideal for the weight factor. If your laptop is the expensive kind, see if you can have it forwarded to your final destination. A netbook can serve you well for web researches and general browsing. You can carry along a USB memory stick and store all your info on that, instead of on the netbook's hard drive. You can use a free program like Truecrypt on the USB memory stick if you totally want to lock it down even further.
Jul 24, 2012 1:14 AM
Jul 26, 2012 7:20 PM
7I love my macbook pro and have taken it with me everywhere. Mongolia, China, Hungary, Poland, Australia and yes, even the dangerous lands of Canada. Spooky, I know. But I never had a problem. I was just very careful as to not leaving it anywhere I wasn't comfortable. Don't leave it out even in you hostel room. The way I see it, if people don't know what you have than they will likely not waste time stealing. If, however they know you have expensive things, because you've been showing them off unintentionally, then you become a target.
At times it did bother me to carry the 13" beast around, but in the end, it really helped me on our trip.
As well, if you do get a mac, I suggest you install Phone Home , from the good folks at digital point. It will help you find your laptop if it is stolen by sending you a photo from the installed camera and saving the IP address every time they login to the net.
Jul 27, 2012 11:33 PM
8Since it's important for your plans to have a laptop - anticipate on loosing it through an accident, failure or theft.
As already suggest, put your data online, don't store personal data and don't show-off your gear - and above all Keep it Simple.Traveling is demanding enough already.
So in terms of 'replace-ability' choose an affordable brand easily available in Europe. The charger and battery are equally important - loosing a battery charger can be as crippling as having no laptop. A 2nd or 3rd battery is nice to have. A great device is an standalone / external laptop battery charger - allows you to charge the battery outside the laptop.
Warranty on the road - in my experience - doesn't mean a thing. When stuff breaks, the extra time needed to get a replacement inside warranty is a total waste of time. It works at home, not in a foreign country and different language. Of course unless you're prepared to pay for expensive global 'business' laptop replacement deals.
In France, sales / support personnel in computer shops usually speak a bit of English. For the brand you choose, get a list of the points of sale in France. Helps a great deal once you need supplies.
Here's an example to get yourself connected to the internet in France..
Aug 1, 2012 1:41 PM
9The type of pacsafe that goes around your whole bag is not a bad idea. While travelling we left our netbook in a bag inside the pacsafe in hotel rooms most days and never had a problem. Most rooms have something sturdy you can attach the pacsafe to. It adds some weight to your bag but less weight to carry around each day. Hostel lockers should also be fairly secure if you bring your own pacsafe.
Aug 19, 2012 7:19 AM
10Thanks for all the useful replies, all good suggestions I'll be considering.
I think I've definitely shelved the plan for taking along my chunky old 10" laptop now!
What about travelling with a tablet? There are some fairly low-budget ones around these days (less than a £100) - the cheap ones are nothing amazing, I know, but as all I need is email and the ability to hook up to wifi, it's not like I need a high-tech, expensive version - and it wouldn't break the bank if I lose it. Does this seem a good option in your opinion, or would you guys still recommend a netbook?
Aug 19, 2012 2:43 PM
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