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Bringing Laptop on Trip?

What do you do when traveling with a laptop at the hotels? Do you keep it in a safe, carry it with you or just feel comfortable enough leaving it at the hotel all day? Wondering if we should bring ours to Italy or not? Thanks

Posted by
2081 posts



IF you need it, then bring it. If not, its extra garbage to lug.

If you can swing it, look at a notebook/pad or something. they are less bulky and easier to carry if needbe.

I personally havent used any safe in any hotel due to the fact if its valuable it can be carried on me. I just bought a smartphone/note to bring/use on my next trip so i plan on using it only in the hotel rooms and in transit. I will have the ability to carry it with me, but for now i plan on leaving it in the room. If there is a safe in there, im not sure i will use it.

I think its a personal pref for one to use the safe. Ive left my one camera on the desk/table in my room many times and ive also left small amounts of $$$ out in the open too. So far no one has taken anything. knock on wood.

Happy trails.

Posted by
182 posts

Hi Whitney,

As Ray has mentioned, if you don't plan on using it, there really is no need to bring it. I've gotten to the point where I only carry my Samsung tablet with me versus my laptop, it's smaller and more light weight, which is way more convenient especially when going through security. As for leaving it in the hotel, I place it along with any other electronics (mainly phone) in my suitcase. There have been times I've left it on a side table in the room, but I find it more helpful to the staff if I put it away. It keeps it out of their way when cleaning and removes the risk of it being dropped while maneuvering around it. I've never worried about my items being stolen, that's not to say it doesn't happen, but luckily I've yet to run into that issue.

Happy travels!

Posted by
8239 posts

I've been lugging a heavy 17" laptop around with me. No more.

My smartphone can do just about anything I need it to, and my T Mobile account has unlimited text and data and $.20 per minute voice calls.

Most hotels have desktops in their lobbies if you really need to do something on a computer.

I actually enjoy having a break from this one eyed monster I spend too much time on.

Posted by
2765 posts

I took one to France a few years ago because I had to deal with work issues. Mine did fit in the safe. Most of them also can be locked up using a cable lock which I would suggest if you don't have a safe (or you are afraid your's won't fit in a safe)

I generally don't bring one. I have started carrying my iPad which does everything I need on my trips.

Posted by
1890 posts

Ipad....the best invention for travel yet. Or go for a mini iPad, spending a little less money. Buy the photo adapter if you take lots of photos and want to download to share immediately on Facebook or social media, or just to email to family at home.

Never took a computer with me, unless it was for work...for a 2 week vacation there is nothing like a great iPad to keep you connected to home. No more Internet Cafés...

I usually just lock my iPad in my suitcase each morning before we headed out to tour.

Worst case, most hotels have a public computer if you just want to email home...but I'd rather have my contacts, some movies, music and my facebook page on my personal computer device..(my iPad2)

Posted by
833 posts

I don't even bring my iPad these days. An iPod touch or my phone over wifi is enough for me typically. That way I don't have to worry about a dropped bag and the laptop/iPad breaking, it getting stolen or lost. If you think you need one, bring it. But overall I don't think it's typically worth it.

Posted by
1599 posts

I my case a laptop is an essential part of my gear. I am an amateur photographer and can easily fill up a 16 gig memory card in one day (some days 32 gig). No way can I get "cloud" space for a 28 day trip and uploading 16 gig per night would take forever, especially with poor wifi in many hotels/B&Bs. I need a laptop with at least a 500 gig hard drive. I do a lot of culling as I go along for which I also need a decent screen to make those decisions.

Posted by
92 posts

I carted my original iPad with me to Australia and New Zealand, and that was a pain. I promptly bought an iPad mini when the price dropped last summer! My usual approach is to lock it in my suitcase, unless I'm planning to use it immediately. Several years ago, I traveled with a netbook and would either use a cable lock to attach it to a desk or I'd lock it in a bag or the safe.

Posted by
32268 posts


I normally travel with a Netbook, which is a bit of a compromise but it's so light and easy to travel with compared to my 15" MacBook Pro. It's somewhat inexpensive compared to a Laptop so if it's stolen or damaged, it won't be a huge hit on my budget. I normally just leave it locked inside my luggage when out touring for the day, and have never had a problem with that method.

I've thought of trying an iPad however the virtual keyboard is a problem for me as I prefer a "normal" keyboard. While there are accessory keyboards available, that's one more thing to haul around so I prefer to stay with the Netbook.

Posted by
15684 posts

I always traveled with a laptop, then bought an MSI notebook, smaller, lighter, but does everything. I use it to back up photos, stay in touch, write a travel diary, store all my planning notes, and now that I have an iPod Touch, I'm using it to upload stuff to Dropbox so I have the bits I need for a day or so in my pocket. I always leave it in my hotel, either in the safe, if it fits, or tucked away in my (usually) locked suitcase. I love having it on hand for train rides, when I have time to review photos and write letters. I can't imagine traveling without it.

I don't have a smart phone or iPad, so I don't know if that would make a difference.

Posted by
33335 posts

The original poster has never come back in the 3 weeks this thread has been active, so we may all be talking in an empty room. She does have 10 other posts though so maybe she's around.

BTW- I think she wins the prize for the longest avatar name?

Posted by
1446 posts


I am seriously considering an iPad mini... you mentioned buying a photo adapter, can you please tell me more about this? I've seen card readers/USB for the iPad mini, but was wondering if there would also be a way to do a quick edit of the photos.

Posted by
224 posts

Unless on business, I would not bring a laptop even though it can probably be kept in the safe. Too much to lug around. I'd consider an ipad, but my smartphone does everything I need.

Posted by
69 posts

The last 4 times I went to Europe, I was there on business, but was able to make time for sightseeing as well. I would never carry a laptop on a true vacation trip (or even a tablet, I find my smartphone on wifi good enough for what I need to do), but I had to have it on those work trips. I just left it in the hotel when I went out sightseeing. I put it at the bottom of my suitcase, which I zipped up and locked before I left, but honestly that was just in case of a rare chance of a break in at my hotel. Really, hotel workers are a lot less likely to steal from people staying in hotels than many assume, since they know they'd be the first suspects. I have had cars broken into, but never anything stolen from my hotel in 10 trips to Europe.

Posted by
3941 posts

I love my ipad mini. Had travelled over to Europe with a netbook a few years back (and an ipod) but didn't carry it while sightseeing. The ipad (which hasn't been to Europe yet, but has been to Cali) fits nicely in my messenger bag and I love using it for maps (City Maps 2 Go Pro - awesome app) and guidebooks. When I had the netbook, I'd just leave it in my luggage at the hotel.

Posted by
10 posts

Traveling in Italy, where Rick warns of pickpockets. Any worries from seasoned Italian travelers regarding carrying a MacBook in a backpack? What about a tablet on day trips in a backpack? I'm on board with the idea that a smartphone can do almost anything but that's a long flight from the states to Italy and I am primarily bringing my tablet for entertainment on the flights.

Posted by
19170 posts

In addition to several desktop computers, I own a netbook, a full sized pad (not an iPad, but similar), and a mini-pad. I bought the two pads at special prices just to see if they would be usable for the way I use a computer, and, I feel I basically wasted my money. When I am in Europe, I do a lot of typing, posting on this website, writing in my journal, and posting my travels to my webpage for my friend to read. The phoney keyboards on a pad are a joke! I learned to touch type when I was in high school, and I'm good at it. I can type much faster on a real keyboard with tactile feel, looking at what I am typing, not at my fingers. And I really miss the Arrow Keys which somehow seem to have been left out on pads. Writing in HTML on a pad is a particular pain, what with switching keyboard.

Everything I take with me is on my computer - spreadsheets with rail schedules, addresses of accommodations, maps - and I keep a business type spreadsheet with my expenses, planned, current, and projected.

I first took a laptop with me to Europe in 2000 primarily as storage for my pictures. In those days a 16 MB memory stick cost about $50, so I knew I needed somewhere to download pictures. I found that there were so many good uses for the laptop, but it weighed 7½# which, after two weeks, felt like 75#. Now I carry a 2# netbook that weighs less than the books I used to carry before.

Posted by
8651 posts

My e-book has wifi connectivity and that gives me all the computer I need when travelling. Small footprint. No great loss if lost or stolen.

Posted by
191 posts

I would never pack a full sized laptop unless I was on a business trip and it was essential. We do take our iPad to back up our photos, check on reservations, and connect with the family while we travel. We don't carry it with us during the day, but do lock it into a safe if we have one. I'd rather leave valuables in the safe than to be sorry later. If we have anything to print, we can email it to the business center. Just remember that you need an international data plan if you are leaving the country. Be sure you don't have to sign up for a full year, and make sure you cancel it as soon as you get home, unless you leave the country often.