Should I bring my laptop???
This question has been getting asked a lot, so I figured I would write a tip on this.
I took both my laptop and my iPhone with me when I went to Europe, because I wanted to research what kind of connectivity was available to budget travelers. Here are my recommendations…
In general I do not recommend bringing your laptop. Here are the reasons why:
- It adds about 6 pounds to your bag.
- It is something that you don’t want to get stolen.
- If you are backpacking you probably don’t need to be connected all the time.
- Hostels usually have computers with internet access you can use.
The only situations where I think it may be realistic to bring a laptop are:
- If you are going to be writing more than 30 minutes a day and you are not used to European keyboards.
- If you are going to be taking a LOT of pictures and you need to get them off your camera (there are other better options for this situations, but they do cost money).
- If you do not have a WiFi enabled cell phone.
I would recommend:
- A WiFi enabled phone or device (iPhone, iTouch or the like).
There is one major draw back to the iPhone in Europe for travelers coming from North America. The iPhone is locked to your North American carriers SIM card, so you will NOT be able to buy pre paid SIM cards while in Europe and use them in your iPhone.
Most places that offer internet make you use their machines, so your laptop is useless.
This link can help you find WiFi hotspots in Europe.
I know other people have very good advice in regards to the best option for phones in Europe, so hopefully I will be able to add that to this tip later…