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Amazon Kindle - Bring It Or Leave It At Home

This is a question for you folks out there who are avid readers. When you travel do you bring your Kindle (or tablet) with you? Or do you leave it at home? I know a lot of you may be the physical book reader as well so y’all could chime in too.
I ask because I have a kindle and it’s uploaded lots of books from Amazon. I go through maybe one book a month unlike my wife who goes through two books a week. The thing is when I’m traveling with the wife I don’t find myself reading much because I’m either distracted or entertaining myself with other things. However, I do love the downtime we do create for ourselves from the hustle and bustle of the day. So, I do appreciate a good read to occupy my brain.
How do you guys juggle the time to read amidst the other things in your travels?

Posted by
344 posts

I’m an avid reader and couldn’t bear to be without lots to read. I got a Kindle when they first came out, but for years I’ve just used Kindle for iPad/iPhone. As I always travel with both my iPad mini and iPhone, I can use either one of them to read on, and they co-ordinate, so both of them know what page I’m on. Couldn’t do without the Kindle app.

Posted by
7033 posts

Hi, Guy, and welcome to the forum.

I love to read. I'm more like your wife, so I always bring my Kindle. Before Kindle, when I traveled to Europe, I would tote along 7-8 paperbacks so I always had something to read. If I ran out of books while traveling, I would find a bookstore with English books and buy more. They were expensive, though. Needless to say, I was happy as a lark when Kindles were introduced and I immediately bought one.

In answer to your question about finding the time to read, I read on trains, buses and planes. I read sometimes when I'm eating (or write in my journal). I also read before bed, and at breakfast in the morning. And I read on days that are vacations from my vacation. :-) Of course, I almost always travel solo so usually don't have the distraction of a travel partner, but even when I did travel with someone, I read a lot.

Posted by
498 posts

My iPad mini comes along because I download movies on it for the flight and because of all the books that are on my kindle app. Travel reference, mysteries, art reference, novels and history books, all there in one small package. Plus editing all your photos; much easier than on my phone. I would hate to be without it, solo travel or otherwise.

Posted by
5146 posts

I don't use a Kindle, but always travel with my tablet. It has downloaded books, movies from Netflix, and music. So there's always something to pass the time on planes, trains and buses. Or to relax with in a park on a lazy afternoon. Or before bed at night.

Posted by
4483 posts

In the past I have used my Kindle on the plane(I don't watch movies) but on my last trip I had not downloaded the books I wanted to read and couldn't get my Kindle to connect to Wifi, so used my phone instead. However, the Kindle takes up so little space that I will probably continue to take it. Also, my husband spends a lot of time working while on trips so I read then.

Posted by
1884 posts

I am an obsessive book reader and I love my Kindle. I got it after a trip to Europe in 2010 I think. I had packed 5 books & I read them all which required me to buy more and I vowed never again to carry that much weight. I read before I go to sleep every night and I do that when traveling also. Sometimes I also need daytime downtime and coming back to the hotel, putting up my feet and reading is the perfect refresher, especially if it becomes a short nap!

Posted by
267 posts

My wife has a smart phone and my old 7" tablet. That tablet is loaded with books, videos & music. I use a GSM phablet and buy a data sim for travels. Lots of books, etc PLUS the appropriate maps for use during travel - domestic or foreign. There is usually slack time waiting in terminals, on night train or bus, on long flights, and when the SO is doing intense shopping. I don't travel without it.

Posted by
1244 posts

Hi. I am a heavy reader. I do bring a tablet, but mostly for internet connections. I usually have something loaded on it, but really, I need my physical book to read comfortably. I read at night before bed and on the plane.

I am often happily surprised by hotel library book shelves where other visitors leave books they are done with for free consumption by others. Bring and take.

I had one bad experience without sufficient reading material and it was in a tour of the West of Ireland. We stayed in Galway and returned each day AFTER the stores closed. No book after I finished the one I had with me - horrors! So yes to the backup on the tablet!

Posted by
201 posts

Like many of the other posters, I love to read. My Kindle always comes with me, preloaded with more library books than I will actually have time to read on the trip. I usually read on flights, during other downtime, and to relax a bit in the evenings. I don't stress if I have a super busy travel day without much time for reading. I love just knowing I have the Kindle for when time allows. (Full disclosure - my husband refers to my Kindle as my "woobie", like the little boy's security blanket from the movie Mr. Mom. That may be more true than I'd like to admit!)

Posted by
3252 posts

Another heavy reader here.
I read all the time at home, three or four books a week…..but on vacation I barely get through one or two books in the 2-3 weeks!
I think it’s because I’m too busy then, and in the evenings I just crash out as soon as I lie down for the night.
I do bring my IPad Mini, and it will have 10 to 12 books loaded onto it, as well as magazines through our local library app.
Also a few episodes of a Netflix series.
I bring one paperback novel to read on the plane, then donate it when I’m done or leave it in my rental apartment.
I don’t really like reading on a screen, so it’s just for a reading emergency!

Posted by
160 posts

There is no way I would go on a trip without my Kindle! Heck, I had it with me today when I went to get the oil changed on my car :)

Posted by
25 posts

I love my Kindle. The fact I can download all the books I want before I leave (plus re-read my favorites if I run out of new books) and read it while sitting in the sun makes it a must on trips. I've just returned from Africa and used my phone for all texting, photography, etc. and used the Kindle for reading. Came in handy when flights were delayed (nothing like delays of 6+ hours on flights). Also it has a long battery life compared to other gadgets - I didn't have to recharge once in three weeks.

Posted by
4311 posts

I don't have a kindle but use my tablet to read books on my local public library app (Libby). I'm a book a week guy, but but probably only a book every 2 weeks while away. I read and sleep more than watch movies on the plane, but on some flights the planes no longer have screens built in the seats, and so I need my tablet to log into the airlines's app to get the in-flight entertainment.

Posted by
3267 posts

I definitely bring my kindle. I'm a constant reader. I used to have to have books with me so this is a great improvement. I found the iPad and iPhone are too damaging to my eyes for reading books on them. Plus, reading is the best use of my time on the flight. Six hours of reading with no interruptions. Wonderful! Besides, it's light and small so bring it!

Posted by
102 posts

I use the Kindle app on my IPad mini, unless it’s a beach vacation where I’ll be in the sun a lot. It’s too hard to read the iPad screen in full sun. For those trips I take both.

Posted by
28 posts

It seem to be a 70% Kindle, 25% Tablet,
5% other.
Btw I have the Kindle Oasis in champagne. Now I must upload Audible.

Posted by
313 posts

Not Kindle, but I always bring my iPad Mini. It has my books and I can download videos as well. I also use it for some social media and other apps like news, weather, etc.

Posted by
883 posts

Always travel with the Samsung tablet - which has the Kindle app and others that support e- books downloaded from the library.

Primary use is planning the next day's activities, usually in conjunction with a RS guidebook, which is typically the hard copy, unless it's massive.

But for reading, I often have a physical book along. For one thing, I try to avoid blue light exposure too late into the evening - this may especially be a concern when adjusting to a new time zone.

Posted by
595 posts

Another vote for a Kindle, paperwhite version only to minimize blue light exposure. Always loaded with 3 to 4 books from the library before heading out on trips. And a must have for any appts to while away waiting time.

Posted by
386 posts

I have an iPad Mini, and always bring it. Have books from Nook, Kindle, and via Libby (online library). Read on the plane, any longer-distance train rides, and in the hotel room at the end of the day. Sometimes at breakfast (mostly news), if we are not scrambling to get out the door somewhere. It's not big enough to make my "take it or leave it" packing list lol.

Posted by
107 posts

I have a Kindle Paperwhite that I bring on all my trips. I also download the e-version of Rick's guidebooks to take with me wherever I go, which has worked well for me.

Posted by
8667 posts

Yes. It's like having a whole library with you. And you can read when it's dark without disturbing anyone.

Posted by
70 posts

Love to read myself and I always bring my iPad. I make sure to download many books before travel. TBH, I'm not traveling now and just downloaded 5 books. I always read before bed and sometimes when we head back to the hotel for some downtime during the day.

Posted by
8 posts

I always pack my Kindle paperwhite. The screen and adjustable font is easier on tired eyes. It also lets me avoid turning on the overhead light on planes. I am normally a heavy reader at home, but on a trip it's only an hour or so in the evenings and during long transit connections.

Posted by
14293 posts

"There is no way I would go on a trip without my Kindle! Heck, I had it with me today when I went to get the oil changed on my car :)"

THIS made me laugh because it is so me!

I'm another reader who can't stand to be without books. I use the Kindle app on my iPad Mini at home, when I'm out and about and when I travel. I'm a solo traveler so I always like to have it with me to read at meals unless the people watching is stellar,lol. I can't NOT read at bedtime. And now, since I'm a grownup, I don't have to read under the sheets with a flashlight, hahaha!

I also download ebooks from the Libby app from my library onto the Kindle app where that is possible. I'm headed to Yellowstone tomorrow and need to finish a library e-book before I go. It's a new release (The Situation Room by George Stephanopolous about THE Situation Room in the White House and I know there are people on hold for it.) and I want to be able to return it while I have a good wifi connection.

And audiobooks for the car but I don't use them as much on my European travels.

BTW, long ago and far away when my Kindle died, this forum convinced me to go with the iPad Mini and it's been awesome. Best advice ever!

Posted by
947 posts

I always take my Kindle with many books loaded on. I generally have started a book already so that I know I like it and can immediately immerse myself in it. I read mine on the train to Newark Airport and back having taken a Bonine or I'll get motion sickness. The Bonine lasts 24-hours so I'm good for reading on the flight and for the taxi into our destination.
The Kindle is also wonderful in the airport while waiting for my flights. I almost always read at least a few minutes at bedtime.

I do confess to missing dog-earring pages (yes, you can do that on a Kindle book, but it's not the same). I many times cannot remember the name of the book I'm reading or the author because it's not like a book where those are seen each time it's picked up. I don't miss the weight of physical books or the immense amount of space they can take.

Posted by
860 posts

I bring a tablet with books and movies downloaded, and also it's attached to my email, FB, and airline apps, so just in case my phone is incapacitated, I can get home!

Posted by
4710 posts

Avid reader but a luddite (I like paper);
I mainly read at bedtime, but when traveling, I am generally exhausted or spending quality time with my spouse, plus I try to limit the weight and value of things I pack. So, I'd only take a paperback for just in case.
if I had a trip beyond two weeks in length, I would probably reconsider.

Posted by
75 posts

I keep my kindle with me on international travel. I load new books the month before we leave and start on them the moment I am seated on the plane. I even buy some while we are gone if I run out.

Posted by
2532 posts

I bring an Amazon Fire tablet which is Kindle+tablet combo. I bring Kindle books to read, plus Kindle guide books (no longer take paper ones), and download movies/tv shows. The only down side is it does not have an anti-glare screen. Last trip I barely used it though other than some limited web surfing and reviewing the guide books, and those I actually accessed mostly on my phone. I didn't read any of my downloaded books until my last flight home and didn't watch any of the downloaded entertainment (plenty of choices on the airplane system). My post-trip notes to myself say "reconsider the tablet or get a lighter one" so I guess I'll do some evaluating before my next trip. :)

Posted by
147 posts

Another Kindle fan and reader of many books...I find I just can't fall asleep, no matter how tired I am from the day - home or way, to NOT read before bed. Kindle is lighter weigh than iPad and can be read in the sunshine so much easier! I too purchased when they first came out as a way to not have to bring an extra suitcase of books with me! I think I am on my 6th one now LOL

Posted by
16143 posts

O the shame....I am still a lover of the paper page. :O(
I've read paper pages every night of my life since I first learned to read some 66 years ago. When we travel, I pack paper books that I may or may not finish, and leave them behind for others if I do reach the final pages. Books have been my dearest companions since I was a little girl, and they just don't have the same feel for me on a screen. I know, i'm an embarrassing Luddite but there's just something the heft and feel of a paper book that's so comfortingly familiar.

I still have some of my father's favorites. At the end of his life he couldn't remember what he had for breakfast but could haul out the volume that described Hannibal and his elephants marching across the Alps. I also have his beloved 1907 printing of Rudyard Kipling's "Just so Stories" that he read to us when we were small. Then there's "Under the Silver Umbrella"....

Posted by
7 posts

I was one of those who travels with a large book. I also traveled with a Kindle, not to read, but I have all my music for the flights and bored times stored on the Kindle.

I finally downloaded some books to the Kindle to see if I can get comfortable using it before my next trip. I am beginning to get used to it.

It may just be me, but the Kindle seems wonky to use to access the net. I'm trying to get used to that because I'm tired of lugging my Surface and its charging cord around.

Posted by
23 posts

I bought my first Kindle because of travel; my mom scolded me for being unable to fit my bag into the overhead bin because the outer pockets were filled with so many books! I spend a lot of my trips active and sightseeing, but it's nice to take breaks at cafes, bars, or parks and read to recharge. As far as the journey there? Air travel nowadays stinks. If I'm not sleeping, I'm immersed in a book and trying to dissociate from the cramped, noisy, smelly plane.

One last thing: I used to be a road warrior and travel weekly around the US. I'd sleep or work while flying to my clients' offices. But that Thursday evening flight home? Always reading for pleasure.

Posted by
155 posts

I love my Kindle and always bring it when I travel, even if I bring a tablet. It's so much easier on the eyes.
If you download books from the library, and then put in airplane mode, the books will not disappear, even if the checkout time period is over. This is great for longer trips, especially if you have a check put time period of two weeks.
I also have a library card to many different libraries in my area, so I can download a series of books (my favorite thing to do). I usually can get all the books in a sequence with 3-4 libraries. Authors I have done this with include Faye Kellerman, Jonathan Kellerman, Charles Finch, Charles Todd, Katherine Hall Paige and Elizabeth Peters, to name a few.

Posted by
907 posts

Always bring my Kindle Paperwhite. Lightweight, holds a charge for a long time on airplane mode. I read mostly before going to sleep on dark night mode. I also read it onn shorter flights or long layovers.

Some of the books loaded are ones I've bought on Amazon but I also download some from our local library for free. If you keep the Kindle on airplane mode you can keep reading library books even after the loan period is done.

I also buy some of my Rick Steves guidebooks in Kindle format.

Posted by
996 posts

Take your electronic book reader or tablet computer with you. You will wish you had it if you leave it at home. It doesn't weigh that much.

Posted by
4483 posts

I agree with Mike L. It takes up so little space and weight that I don't think there's any reason not to take it.

Posted by
359 posts

I like to read as well but find on vacation I'm too distracted, like you. Having said that, I travel with a small Windows Surface with a detachable keyboard with the Kindle app. I find the iPhone is just too small to read from, and it helps having a somewhat larger device for travel requirements, reading, playing games, etc. It doesn't weight very much and my husband and I both use it. I guess you could call it my 'luxury' item. The only time I have a paper back book on vacation is at the beach. No need to (potentially) ruin a computer plus it's hard to see the screen anyway.

Posted by
1884 posts

I've been on vacation in CA the past 10 days, but in catching up with the Forum I note we all love to read & we all love coffee (Frank II's discussion.) I think this means we tend to be smart and full of energy!