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Turkey Tour & Photos - OK To Bring Laptop? Or Bring Lots of Memory Cards?

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Since starting our family 17 years ago, I have not traveled outside of the US/Canada. After 18 years, taking my first international trip to Turkey with my mom next month. Without my husband or dad, even though we are not tour travelers, we are taking a Smithsonian tour which includes Istanbul, Cappadocia, and the Med coast, plus 3 extra independent days in Istanbul.

How should I deal with digital photo storage? I take a lot of photos so I've been in the habit of traveling with a laptop and downloading photos onto it each night. We thought that since we will be on an air conditioned tour bus it should be locked when we're not in it, but that is probably naivete. I'm thinking of packing the laptop in my suitcase which should be secure in the luggage compartment. A friend suggested that I buy 15 memory cards and leave the laptop at home. I can handle the expense to so, but is it necessary? Or is that being paranoid?

Any suggestions?

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