Please sign in to post.

Taking a laptop on our trip???

We are wrestling with the decision of whether or not to take our laptop on our 3 week trip to Italy. We are kind of computer oriented and use it a lot on most trips. We have never taken it on an international trip. We will be 6 days in Rome then 4 days in Florence a week in a villa in Greve then Cinque de Terre for 3 days. We will be on the train from the airport to Rome and then again to Florence and after Florence will have a rent car till we leave.

Posted by
45 posts

If you take it make sure you can lock it in a safe in your room. Depends what you want to do with it, and if where you are staying has internet access. Will you use it to download pictures from your digital camera or surf the web for further ideas as you continue to travel? Then prehaps OK. If you want it to check personal e-mail, log into work, play video games, etc. then I'd say no. Personally, I leave mine behind. When I am going on vacation abroad I want to be on vacation. For current events, I try to catch CNN World News in the hotel and for pictures, I have an extra SD card for my camera. If you leave it behind, it is one less thing to worry about when you go through airport screening too. I find that it can be very addictive to surf the web or play games in the hotel room...so instead I go out and stay out and enjoy the night life, people watch. Really, it is not so terrible to be off a computer for 3 weeks. You find out how much more time there is in a day! Boun viaggio!

Posted by
4555 posts

Kathi....like you, I am tied to my computer by an umbilical cord...I work on them every day and use them for research (personal and business) when I'm at home. I tried taking a laptop with me a few years ago, and found the hassle just wasn't worth it. First, I'm so busy seeing the sights, there's little time left to be on the computer. Second, there are internet cafes in most places, an easy and inexpensive way to check messages. Third, wireless access was (and is still) difficult in many places...and the costs can be high. Fourth...it gets to be a pain lugging them around and, with carry-on restrictions getting tigher, they can be a problem. Fifth...I actually found I liked it when I wasn't in constant touch with everyone else..it was a nice, relaxing break! I do carry a wireless PDA with which I can access the Web and make Skype calls....but even then, I hardly use it.

Posted by
5640 posts

Think about how you will use your laptop. Also, do your hotels have internet access? I've seen people enjoy having a laptop to upload pictures, keep a journal, etc. On the other hand, I prefer not to carry a laptop and just stop every couple of days in an internet cafe to check my mail or research upcoming stops.

Posted by
359 posts

Isn't the whole idea of a vacation such as this to break free of the drudgery that connects us to our everyday lives? Leave the computer at home and allow yourself to actually take that vacation. Unless you need it for professional reasons (photographer, writing about travle, etc...) you don't need it. There are plenty of internet cafes available that will get you access to your email. And even with that, you don't need to do it every day.
Like most, I'm attached to my computer all day and have one running at home whenever I'm there. When I travel in the US, it's usually business related and I feel that I need it with me. But when I'm truly on vacation, it would just be another thing anchoring me to home.

Posted by
32244 posts

Kathi, I have to agree with the others. Unless you're travelling for business and need a Laptop, leave it at home! I find that travel with Laptops has a high "worry factor". Some reasons I don't travel with one:

Not all of Hotels will likely have places to secure Laptops, so the're often accessible to some extent.
They're a hassle going through airport security
I like to travel as light as possible. Having the weight of the Laptop, Battery, Chargers, accessories, etc. is NOT something I want to haul around Europe in my Backpack.
Internet access (wireless) is probably going to be somewhat random. Especially in Italy, those accessing the net must be "registered".
While it would be useful for storing photos, I have a small PHD that's much easier to pack.
For E-mail access there are lots of Internet Cafes in most large cities. I use a Cell phone & SMS for keeping in touch with family.

I sometimes travel locally by air with a Laptop, but not international.

Have fun in Italy!

Posted by
32244 posts

One other thing (I ran out of room).

If you have a Laptop, you might be tempted by habits at home to spend some amount of time on it. I feel that if I've spent a small fortune to travel to another country, I want to see and experience as much as possible.

Posted by
705 posts

When I travel to Europe I do so for work and so always take my laptop. I generally tack a couple of days onto the trip for a short vacation. I deliberately got the lightest and most compact one I could find knowing I would be lugging it around the world. I find that I use if for work and then it stays locked in my hotel room for the rest of my stay. It is a hassle having to unpack it all the time for security and it's just another thing to carry. The main times I use it is in airport lounges to access my emails and kill time. Really with the ease of finding internet cafes all over Europe I wouldn't bother taking a laptop unless I really had to.

Posted by
1127 posts

Add to the list of reasons you should leave the laptop at home: thieves LOVE laptops because they are a big ticket item. You increase your chances of being a target whenever you have the laptop with you.

Posted by
683 posts

In 3 trips to Europe totalling about 9 months, we have used computers often. We have never brought one. There are internet cafes all over the place and there are often computers in hotels, hostels and B&Bs. Carrying oone with you is more hassle than help for a variety oof reasons. Leave it behind and enjoy