A Little Adrift

A Little Question… Should You Travel With a Laptop?

Working with a wifi dongle on my laptop from the middle of the Jordan desert!

This is one of those ever-present questions for new travelers — do you bring a laptop on your round the world trip? And you may be wondering if you should start your own travel blog? If you opt for full-scale travel blog then it’s a no-brainer, you need a laptop with you. Likewise if you are a freelancer working from the road. But if you’re somewhere in between, this post will help you consider the pros and cons. It can be incredibly liberating to free yourself from technology, and a RTW trip is the perfect opportunity.

I brought my computer with me RTW and I cannot imagine traveling without it (my heart stutters at the thought). But I did not take a traditional RTW trip. I have worked as a freelancer as I travel for years now (8+ at least count as I update this post in 2016). If you’re prepping for a traditional trip around the world, or if traveling abroad for a few months, consider these pros and cons of bringing a laptop.

Disadvantages to Traveling with a Laptop

A 55L Pacsafe on my backpack and attached to the bedpost so I could go hiking with a bit of an easier mind about my laptop that was inside my backpack.

Benefits of Bringing Your Laptop While Traveling

My poor broken laptop after about eight months on the road on my RTW trip

Laptop Alternatives for Travel

If you’re still torn about the laptop issue, you have a couple other options:

If you’ve already started your travel blog and you’re looking for great resources to get your blog off the ground, I share companies I use and love for developing this very travel blog. And if you’re planning to start a travel blog, I have a how-to primer here. 

Suggested Reading for Working While Traveling

  • Ergonomic Travel System: This is the fully portable system I use to travel and work from the road. It includes detailed information on how to prevent injury when you are working online from cafes around the world.
  • The End of Jobs: An essential book for anyone who wants to work as an expat or digital nomad; speaking to why MBAs and JDs can’t get jobs, research on integrated living, and more.
  • Four Hour Work Week: No doubt you’ve seen it for years, but if you haven’t read it yet, you should. Some of Tim Ferris’ viewpoints are very counter to how I live my life, but I will give him this: his book changed my perception about what is possible in building an online business. It’s still a primer read for a reason, it’s worth having that knowledge and perspective in your head as you move forward.
  • The 80/20 Principle: A good companion to the Four Hour Work Week, this book talks about how 20% of your efforts will generate 80% of your results. As an expat or digital nomad working smarter, not harder, is key and this book provides a good base.
  • Content Machine: Use Content Marketing to Build a 7-figure Business with Zero Advertising: While this business model is not going to work for everyone, Dan makes some excellent points about content creation and marketing.