Welcome to the Travel Forums

Why join TravelBlog?

  • Membership is Free and Easy
  • Your travel questions answered in minutes!
  • Become part of the friendliest online travel community.
Join Now! Join TravelBlog* today and meet thousands of friendly travelers. Don't wait! Join today and make your adventures even more enjoyable.

* Blogging is not required to participate in the forums

Safety when carrying electronic equipment.

How safe is it taking a laptop and DSLR traveling?
13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 1 Msg: #31553  
This may have already been covered so I'm sorry if it has.

I'm planning to leave on my trip around the world in the next few months and I'm considering taking a laptop and DSLR.

Currently I use a macbook pro which i will be downgrading to a cheaper second hand ibook or laptop.
Also I plan to buy a DSLR for my travels....

Can I just have some opinions as to how safe it is to take this kind of equipment traveling?
Some times these items are likely to be out of my sight... any advice on keeping them safe?

Thanks! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 2 Msg: #31567  
Hello Adam 😊

Personally I wouldnt take them unless you have a reason to besides sending a few emails and looking up a few things on the internet. Internet is available and affordable in most places around the world.

If you are travelling to Europe for example and staying in hostels there will be lockers in most of them. Leaving them out of sight and not locked up is not such a great idea in my opinion and more unadvisable in some places than others. If I travelled with computer equipment I would look after it in the same way as I would look after my wallet.

Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 3 Msg: #31569  
Thanks Mel 😊

To be honest its pretty much just for research... staying in touch with friends/family (which is a very important factor when im traveling).

I will be taking a daypack which has a laptop compartment so it would be with me the majority of the time. But obviously when I'm out some nights or doing more adventurous things it wouldnt be possible...

Any body have advice that currently or previous has traveled with laptops and DSLR's? Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 4 Msg: #31573  
I am currently travelling with a DSLR with laptop. The bag which contains both comes with me everywhere (and that means absolutely everywhere) and in some places where it is prohibited (such as some museums) - I carry a lock to secure the bag's only entry point. I never leave it behind in a hotel, and if I did, I have one of those wire mesh bag covers that can be chained to an unmoveable object.

For me the negative is the weight of all the equipment - but the benefits are super photos and the ability to upload the photos onto the computer and then keep a copy of the best ones on a 16GB USB Flash Drive - this Drive stays in my money belt, where, even if the bag and camera are stolen or lost, the photos are still safe with me. The other benefit is being able to write this from my hotel room instead of continually searching for Internet cafes.

However, the computer screen can be a delicate thing, and I've already noticed some damaged pixels on my screen from the pressure exerted on it whilst it was packed away.

Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 5 Msg: #31577  
B Posts: 5,195
If you are committed to travelling with a DSLR - then taking a laptop is actually very worth while. Burn copies of your photos to DVD to send home, do a little post processing while on the road, watch movies when rainy days force you indoors - and updating your travelblog.

Depending where you travel you'll have different risks to consider. Another thing to consider is that insurance for equipment on extended trips is very expensive - sometimes almost as much as the item itself. My equipment is uninsured because of this - and therefore - if lost/stolen I have the cost of replacing it.

I'm more relaxed with my bags than Shane - I leave in hotel rooms - but locked and if uneasy about the place wire-meshed to an unmovable object.

I choose where I use my equipment carefully - I don't go out shooting night shots in unsafe areas - and in safer ones - I try not to be alone.

I try not to use the laptop in very public places, I prefer hostel and hotels - you'll be surprised by the number of people carrying laptops (stereotype - but nearly every Japanese guy I meet has one - about 1/4 the size of this laptop too).

But I love travelling without it 😊 - it's about what is the priority for your travels - light fast adventurous - or slower careful photography trip?

Reply to this

13 years ago, April 3rd 2008 No: 6 Msg: #31604  
On my last trip, I took a Nikon DSLR and 3 lenses. It sat in the bottom of my day pack with no troubles. We covered around 8km a day on foot for about 35 days.

On our next trip, we are taking my new DSLR with one 18-250 lens and a laptop with a 12 inch screen. We are basing ourselves in England, and will be leaving the laptop with friends/family when we go on our trips into Europe and surrounding areas.

I personally couldn't imaging trying to carrying a DSLR 1kg, LENS 0.8kg, 2kg Laptop, a Litre of water 1kg, etc etc, around with me each day. Once you add all the other things one 'needs' in a backpack, it would start to weigh you down.

If your gonna take a laptop, take one that is small and light. 12 inch screen or smaller maybe?
Reply to this

13 years ago, April 4th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #31670  
B Posts: 71
This really depends on where you are going. Most place around the first world are safe enough, North America, Australasia, Europe (although never get complacent) Unsafe places are obviously more of a concern. I've found taking photos pretty hard in Rio de Janeiro with my DSLR because you never know whos watching. I guess it comes down to using it when you feel comfortable. Keeping both your laptop and DSLR locked up when not in use is totally advisable. Sometimes in hostels I just leave it under my bed but lock it closed with a little padlock.

The biggest problem with travelling with both of these, which I have many times, is the hassle. It all starts when you get to the airport and have to take out your laptop to go through security. However if you're flying out of the UK you're (STRICTLY) only allowed one piece of hand luggage which means somehow stuffing your DSLR bag in your laptop bag and slinging your camera around your neck. (I never put either my laptop or DSLR in the check in luggage for obvious reasons) The weight, the bulk, the room they take up can get annoying and it always preys on your mind if they are safe when you're not near them. To be honest if you could really do without at least the laptop I would advise it. For me its just a downright pain and like Mell said, internet is usually cheap and ubiquitous enough to do without. However it is really convenient as Ali said to keep copies of your pics, free wireless and entertainment when you just want to kick back on rainy days.
Still I try to avoid it.

I guess you just have to weigh up the pros and cons.. good luck! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 4th 2008 No: 8 Msg: #31700  
Hi Adam,
Whilst I was away I carried a DSLR with 1 lens (18-125mm). I sent home the 100-300mm lens which I found to be too heavy - swings and roundabouts, I guess as there were inevitably some occasions when it would have been useful, but the lens I did carry with me covered most situations (and I do take a lot of pictures). I didn't have a laptop as I didn't want the hassle of extra weight and risk of theft, but instead had a portable 80Gb hard drive onto which I backed up all my pictures (50Gb in a year), as well as loads of 1-2Gb memory cards. Even in the middle of nowhere in Asia (including Tibet and Mongolia), I never seemed to be far from a place where I could burn CDs - internet cafes and the like, never formatting the cards until the CDs had arrived home.
Anyway, I hope that all of these opinions help you make a decision! Happy travels,
Andy Reply to this

13 years ago, April 5th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #31734  
Hi Im travelling now..... I only have a small lumix FX-30 so no big deals in weight there but I could not be without my laptop....its 12" Novotec and light. It has been a god send. From Mexico to Bolivia-most hostals & hotels had Wifi and it was free and fast so internet was easy. Thailand though to Vietnam so far....sparodic wifi-free & charged but still cheap and connections available for LT in the Internet shops.

I edit photos, write alot, DL music, watch alot of the cheap dvds & check banking stuff in private and email. I use it all the time.

my insurance only covers £150 per item...which is rubbish. But I knew someone who paid £230 to insure there state of the art laptop...it went missing in a train station in India, the insurers were pigs at refunding the full amount and the argument went on for ages, he only got 1/3rd of its value back in the end, so buy a cheapish model. Novatec UK has been reliable and its light to carry.

Saftey, I dont parade it around on buses, trainsm ect, I keep it with me wrapped in a black thin case in a secret slot in my black shoulder bag on my back or by my feet (while travelling) the whole time, neither do I advertise I have it in regular cafes, unless im inside and many have theres out. I put a big black surfing sticker on mine which helps disguise its a laptop strangly enough....if I need to connect in a internet shop I find a cubbby hole somewhere hidden, then get it out the bag. I double lock my big backpack in the days when I go out for the day, never leavelaying around for cleaners to see.

I have now met many travellers who didnt bring theres and really wish they had, due to the amount of photos they need to store, edit and upload to a shops PC then copy, alot have been given duff cds or its just taken ages to do on slow public pcs. Hope this helps. Good Luck!! Reply to this

13 years ago, April 5th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #31757  
Seems to be all about personal preference so here's mine. I don't want the hassle of carrying around a computer but wouldn't go on a trip without taking a DSLR. For me it's about mobility rather than worry over theft. I just don't want the inconvenience of responsibility for a laptop. A camera, especially a DSLR w/multiple 2G memory cards is not inconvenient to me. Especially considering how much I no longer have to carry w/my older film SLR.
And this is related more to the other thread about hand written journals, but I do all of my writing in a traditional journal and then use that when I sit down to write a blog. So I can just use internet cafe's and hostel computers to transfer anything I want to the net. Reply to this

13 years ago, April 5th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #31778  
B Posts: 29
Can live without the laptop, but not without the DSLR. When I travel I take with me my DSLR plus my point and shoot digital. I love to record my trip and while I don't see it all through a lens, the photography is important to me. I take it everywhere with me or lock it up and slip my small cameral in my bag if I'm going out for the night.

Nothing worse than getting home from a trip, printing out some photos and thinking ... if only I had my good camera with me!

Cheers Jane x Reply to this

13 years ago, April 6th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #31869  
Many thanks everyone for their replies... I think im going to take one, just get a cheap model though so if it happens to go missing then it wont be too much of a disappointment.

Reply to this

13 years ago, April 10th 2008 No: 13 Msg: #32235  
B Posts: 38
I take my digital camera while traveling. For the storage of photos I use my 80GB iPod. Then I burn the images onto a DVD/CD in a cyber cafe. Using this system, taking of a notebook computer is unnecessary.
Reply to this

Tot: 0.105s; Tpl: 0.012s; cc: 6; qc: 108; dbt: 0.0587s; 1; m:saturn w:www (; sld: 1; ; mem: 1.3mb