Traveling with Electronics: Necessity or Nuisance?

The desk in my London hotel room; iPhone not pictured (because it is how I took the picture!)

I’ve spent a lot of time over the past few weeks pricing and comparing dSLR cameras.  I’d really like one and feel as though I can almost justify the cost based on how much traveling I’ll be doing this coming year.

Speaking of traveling, I’ll also be doing a lot more writing this year from places other than home.  Which means I need (want?) a better computer.  I currently travel with a little Toshiba netbook I purchased for our Europe trip last summer.  Do I want to write my whole book on that piece of crap?  Not really.

So let’s say I purchase a camera (which I will do) and a macbook (which I may do.)  Problem solved, right?

Now I need a way to carry all of that crap, often on a plane.  Additionally, I get to worry about bumping, breaking, scratching, or otherwise harming said expensive equipment.  Add to that the fear of having any of it stolen and I’ve just created three new problems!

I’m not arguing that travel should be free and unfettered by technology.  I’m perfectly happy being fettered by technology.  You’d have to pry my iPhone from my cold, dead hands (that would also be clutching my passport and my Visa card, the only other two things a person needs when traveling!)  I’ve just never had big, heavy, expensive technology.  Sure, losing my iPhone would really suck.  But would it suck as much as losing a thousand dollar camera?  No.  No it would not.  If my Toshiba netbook is stolen…well…then that robber just got a really crappy netbook.  Congratulations!  Do I worry about it as much as I would a Macbook Pro?  Of course not.

So the question is–is it worth the work and worry?  What do you think?




5 responses to “Traveling with Electronics: Necessity or Nuisance?

  1. Hi Tracy, my daughter is a professional photographer who also teaches photography. She told me when I was looking to buy a DSLR, that a person who isn’t a professional doesn’t really need to spend a thousands on a camera to get fantastic pictures. She recommended a Nikon D60 or D90, there is alot of bells and whistles that you have to learn to use. Also remember that you will probably need to buy larger lense which will be at least another $250 or higher. It is worth the trouble to take it when you travel. As for computers, a Mac is much better for photography but I’m not sure if I would travel with it.

  2. With the writing you’ll be doing, you will NEED a REALLY GOOD laptop. I’d also invest in 1 or 2 large capacity thumb drives to backup your work. Since Macs are good for photos (and you’ll be doing alot of that, too), and you sound comfortable with them, go with that. Get a good, padded “sleeve” type cover so you can slip it into your carryon. DON’T take into the parks with you- leave it at the place you are renting. Just lock it up! You won’t have to carry it everywhere- on short trips just take the crappy netbook.
    I’ll have to leave the camaera recs to others- I don’t do much and hubby (who is a wonderful amature photographer with a great eye) only uses a point and shoot.

    • I decided to rule out the possibility of a new laptop–because what I really need is a Macbook and I can’t deal with the stress of financing something that expensive when we have so many other things we are spending money on this summer. Plus the whole not working thing…yeah…I really should have worked for TWO years saving up before taking one year off! Duh. Instead I installed MS Office on my netbook, and so far not so good. It’s now REALLY painfully slow. I’m kind of bummed. I did get a new camera–see my reply to the comment below this one for details on that!

  3. I would say it’s definitely is worth it. We have one lap top each, a Mac Book Pro for all the video editing, and a small Eee Pc for the writing.

    Depending on what you will be doing on the computer, the size and price will differ. Personally I think the smaller lap top is fine for the blogging itself, but the Mac Book Pro does make a difference.

    As for a camera, also definitely purchase in a good camera, you will LOVE taking photos! We carry a Canon 550D with a Wide angle lens (from SIGMA). Make sure you get a good lens, that makes all the difference!

    Hope this helps a little in the jungle of technology 😉

    • Thanks for the input! I do want a Macbook Pro, but as you can see from my response to the comment above, I can’t manage to make myself spend the money on it (mainly because I don’t HAVE the money, and financing something when taking a year off from work seems irresponsible at best…) Though I did finance a ‘new’ camera–new in quotes because I went with a (much) older model to, again, save money. I talked it over with my husband, and he agreed that if I like photography AND I’m any good at it, I can buy a new nicer one in a few years. I’m going to play with it for a few weeks with the lens it came with and then consider upgrading. I’ll let you know how it goes! Wish me luck!

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