To Laptop or Not?

Sep 19th, 2002, 01:06 PM
  #1  
GeeGirl
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To Laptop or Not?

I've been debating the idea of taking the laptop on the trip to London and Paris. It would be a plus to keep in touch with friends and family while we are overseas and it would easy my mind to be able to download pictures from the digital camera as a backup.(What if I should accidently delete all the pictures on the memory card from the camera?)

But is it really worth it? Especially with internet cafes? What do you think?
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #2  
ddd
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We base our decision about taking the laptop on how we're travelling and where we are staying.

If we're staying with friends or homebased in one place, we'll usually take it for the same reasons you stated.

The powerbook doesn't travel if we're on the road a lot and changing hotels frequently. Then it's a liability worrying about it being stolen. Also, some hotels have quirky phones and even stranger methods for calculating charges.

 
Sep 19th, 2002, 01:24 PM
  #3  
Marilyn
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I don't do it any more. One less thing to lug and worry about. Internet cafes are so accessible and inexpensive. I have even written a journal and emailed it to my home email. But the digital photo download is a new consideration. Only a matter of time before this service becomes standard at the internet cafes, IMO.
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 01:50 PM
  #4  
sue
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There have been some very informative posts about lacations for having a CD made from your memory card. If I remember correctly it wasn't too expensive and there were a variety of stores which offer this service.
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 03:55 PM
  #5  
sandra
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Have to say we took laptop on first trip to Europe as my husband needed it for some work and to update his GPS ( global positioning system ) . That was the last time we took it, as the other poster stated it is atoo much of a liability to drag it around and try not to forget it.
there are many internet cafes in london and paris, and some hotels even have interent acess for their guests
 
Sep 19th, 2002, 06:33 PM
  #6  
Burta
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I went to two internet cafes in Paris that told me I had to have a "driver" to download my photos. Can anyone who downloaded photos from internet cafes on the road give us any information on this? Do we really have to carry this along with us? How -- with the original CD that comes with the camera?
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 06:11 AM
  #7  
Debbie
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I believe in traveling light while in Europe and wouldn't even consider taking a laptop. Internet cafes are everywhere and range from $1 to $6 per hour depending on what city you are in(with most being $1 to $2).
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 06:54 AM
  #8  
Les
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Here we go again.
You people are nuts! Laptops? Internet cafes? You must be part of that crowd of zombies walking down the street with cell phones growing out of their ears.
If you're really on vacation (as distinguished from a business trip), then lose all that crap. A phone call home once a week is more than sufficient (maybe twice a week if you have young kids at home).
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 07:19 AM
  #9  
Ronda
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Buy another memory card for the camera. Not worth the trouble to take the lap top. We had trouble in Paris with the electric current (yes we had adapters, etc.) Plus the darn thing IS heavy.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 09:24 AM
  #10  
Gretchen
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Agree with Ronda--just get more memory cards. I have a zip drive that I thought I would take but more memory is just so much easier. If you have to keep in touch with friends via the internet go to a cybercafe.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 09:32 AM
  #11  
Thyra
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Woa.. I don't like being dubbed a Zombie, just because I enjoy sending emails while on the road. My husband and I used to battle international phone systems, once a week to let our relatives know we weren't dead.
Now, we just stroll into an Internet cafe, order a drink or two, chat with some locals and other travellers and update the entire family at a fraction of the cost it takes to phone, (and without the nasty aggrevation). Further, thank heaven FOR Internet cafes, when my husband and I were in Greece our visa company put a hold on our visa (too many strange overseas charges, even though I had called to let them know I would be on the road). 800 numbers don't work from overseas phones, but luckily I was able to get through online and resolve the entire issue. Zombie indeed!
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 09:45 AM
  #12  
Mina
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I'm one of the freakos who carry around a laptop. But the key is my laptop is tiny, and convenient (as much as lugging around a laptop can be). It's dual voltage, and I haven't had any problems accessing my ISP.

I carry the laptop because I travel alone, and one of my hobbies is to write travelogues to send back to friends. I enjoy this immensely, and it's part of my vacation experience. The journals do take some time to write, and I like not to feel rushed in the comfort of my own hotel room. Plus I often write these late at night. Also, downloading digital pictures is a huge plus.

That being said, if all I wanted was to email people a "hi, hello, what's up" then I would definitely leave the thing at home.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 09:59 AM
  #13  
Unbelievable
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I agree 1000000% with Les. You are supposed to be on VACATION!!! Leave that crap home for when you return to your yuppie ways.

Les, you now will hear all of the "excuses" for people taking their laptops. Junk! They have already started.

These are the same people who, in response to Fodors "Question of the Week", turn on their damn cell phones the minute the plane lands on the tarmac.

We are dealing here with some VERY important people!!!

Unbelievable
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 10:02 AM
  #14  
Unbelievable
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One more thing I forgot to mention. When I was planning our trip to Europe this spring, my wife asked if we should bring her laptop. I asked "Why?" End of discussion.

Unbelievable
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 10:18 AM
  #15  
Mina
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Unbelievable: fair enough.

But as you said, people are on VACATION. Shouldn't that mean they should spend it however they please?

Because that, to me, is vacation.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 10:55 AM
  #16  
Marilyn
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To Les and Unbelievable: My blood boils at your assumption that everyone who is concerned with internet connection while on vacation is simply a techno-junkie. There can be important reasons for wanting to stay in touch. In my case, I have a 93-year-old mother who is primarily my responsibility. Getting an email every few days that she was fine allowed me to relax and enjoy myself. For her, getting emails from me (delivered through a friend) alleviated my absence.

So don't be such snotty Luddites. I have also used the internet when traveling to get more info on a medical problem I was having so I could make a more informed decision about whether to take a course of antibiotics. I have emailed from an airport to tell my car pickup at the other end that I would be on a later flight (no telephone contact possible as it was in Cambodia).

Personally I think the internet has added enormous convenience to traveling and I wouldn't give it up for anything. But YOU don't have to use it -- no one is forcing you. So what do you care if other people want to stay in touch with friends or family for whatever reason?
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 12:19 PM
  #17  
Ben Haines
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I carry a couple of floppy discs, so that on an evening ith little to do I can use them to advise enquirers on this forum and Lonely Planet. I do not usually rite travelogues, but this summer in the Baltic countries thought threy might interest Fodors readers, so I did sit and tap out a report for each day. Not in a smoke-ridden internet cafe, rather in the flat (appartment) of a pleasant Australian who offers good bed and breakfast: please see http://www.freewebz.com/rigabedandbreakfast/

Ben Haines, London
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 03:13 PM
  #18  
GeeGirl
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Thanks for the input. It sounds like more memory cards is the way to go.

Once I really thought about it, the idea of lugging around an 8 lb brick and worrying that it might get stolen or broken was not appealing.

Of course, the last thing I would want to do is offend Unbelievable and Les with my yuppie, zombie-like ways. Heaven forbid.

I find this board to be such a love-hate relationship. I come here almost everyday and read what is going on and dream about my upcoming trip with others who love to travel. I am always amazed at the lack of civility some have for complete strangers. Trolls are one thing, but if I met you on the sidewalk and asked a simple question, would you respond with the same candor you display on the board? I doubt it.

The fact remains -- as much as you might detest gadgets on vacation, you still found time to use one to respond to my sincere question with a rude response. It is disappointing.

But again, many thanks to those of you who offered responses I could use.

 
Sep 20th, 2002, 03:33 PM
  #19  
tip
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GeeGirl:
Instead of buying extra memory cards, check if any friends have the same type of memory cards and ask to borrow them for your trip. A simple favor, which you can return when they travel.
 
Sep 20th, 2002, 03:56 PM
  #20  
tip
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GeeGirl:
Instead of buying extra memory cards, check if any friends have the same type of memory cards and ask to borrow them for your trip. A simple favor, which you can return when they travel.
 

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