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The scene is all too familiar: While packing your bags back home, you spot your laptop computer. It seems to be winking at you with an all-knowing, come-hither look.
“Take me with you,” it says. “Please. You know you need me!”
Well, Cheapos, what do you do? Should you pack your computer or not? Can you survive your trip without it?
– There are all sorts of light, cheap, and web-only laptops that are well suited for travel.
– Taking a laptop makes it easy to update your friends and family from the road. You can send them daily emails and photos.
– A laptop keeps you informed of news and current events. (It also allows you to set your Facebook status from fabulous locales.)
– Many hotels offer free wireless connections, making it easy to go online — and avoid paying for computers at inconvenient internet cafes.
– Laptops can help “spur of the moment” travel planning and research. Need a restaurant suggestion for tonight? Go online from your room.
– A laptop can help keep an eye on your workplace activities. This could minimize feeling overwhelmed upon your return. If necessary, you can work from the road.
– Of course, some of us travel for work and simply must take a laptop. Case closed.
– You’re on a trip, right? Not having a laptop and being “offline” can help recharge your batteries, so to speak. Do you really want to turn on your laptop first thing in the morning, just like you do every other day of the year?
– Internet cafes offer low-cost access to your email and websites.
– Many travelers already receive their emails on their telephones. A laptop just isn’t that necessary.
– Lugging a laptop around requires additional packing and extra security considerations. (You’ll probably choose to cross off hostels from your accommodation considerations.)
– While many hotels offer free Wifi, other hotels charge for the service. It can add up.
– Wifi isn’t always a sure thing, especially if your itinerary doesn’t include major destinations. Think you’ll easily find a signal in the rolling hills of Tuscany? Think again!
– Laptop bags can start feeling pretty heavy, especially as you acquire souvenirs. “You just had to bring that thing along…”
– Most “mission critical” work and research can be done in an internet cafe. Or when you get home.
To pack, or not to pack the laptop? What do you think, Cheapos?
Do you take a laptop with you while you travel? Why? Do you swear against it? Why? Post a comment below and tell us what you think!