Last Updated: 7/7/2020 | July 7th, 2020

In this guest post, tech professional Dave Dean from as well lots of Adapters shares this ideas as well as tips to assist you choose which tech products are finest for you as well as your trip — as well as which you can leave at home.

“Should I bring a laptop, tablet, or smartphone?”

It’s a concern I’m commonly asked — and for great reason. There are pros as well as cons to every gadget and, with overlapping features, choosing the one that’s ideal for your trip can be confusing.

There are a great deal of problems to believe about with each device: size, weight, costs, insurance, as well as security. Striking the ideal balance between them all isn’t easy, however it is possible.

As a tech guy, I bring a great deal of gadgets (and a great deal of chargers) however for those not consumed with every new gadget on the market, you only requirement one device — you want to keep it basic on the road. right here are the pros as well as cons of bring a smartphone, laptop, or tablet with you on the road (as well as some gear suggestions).


Everyone travels with a smartphone these days. They’re our camera, our map, our translator, as well as our method to stay linked with good friends as well as household back home. They’re light, small, as well as best for minimalist travelers who want to keep things simple.

Unless you’re deliberately trying to travel unassisted by technology, you’ll most likely have a phone with you.

Not sure if you want to travel with only a phone? Here’s a breakdown of the pros as well as cons:


They replace several devices. There’s no longer a requirement to pack a separate flashlight, map, music player, or alarm clock.

It’s simple to get linked when you requirement to, even if you’re not utilizing cellular data. Cafés, airports, as well as train stations normally have complimentary Wi-Fi available.

There are numerous beneficial travel apps available that work both on the internet as well as offline. Currency converters, translation tools, navigation helpers, guide books, travel plan trackers, as well as a lot more can assist make your travels much easier (not to mention Netflix as well as other enjoyment apps).


The greatest con is battery life — it’s unusual to discover a smartphone that will last a lot more than a day of typical use. long flights, bus rides, as well as days of checking out commonly result in a dead phone before you get to your accommodation. With everybody else in your dorm space likewise wanting to fee their gadgets every night, even discovering a power socket isn’t always simple (this indicates you’ll likely want to get an outside battery charger).

Although phones are getting larger, a smartphone screen isn’t suitable for enjoyment — books as well as motion pictures aren’t so excellent on a little screen.

Websites without mobile-friendly versions get frustrating extremely quickly.

Typing on phones is fine for updating your Facebook condition or sending a quick message, however you’ll end up frustrated if you’re intending to do much more.

If you aren’t planning on utilizing your gadget for work, don’t mind a little screen, as well as just requirement to utilize fundamental apps like maps as well as translation, a phone is your finest choice. If you’re not picky, any type of fundamental smartphone will do. However, if you want something with an exceptional camera, think about a Google Pixel 4 or an iphone 11 (older Pixels will likewise suffice, as will any type of iphone from the 8 as well as up).

If you’re on a budget, Huawei as well as Motorola both make economical phones. The P wise from Huawei as well as the Moto One Macro are both under $150 USD.


Since the iPad came out a decade ago, tablets have exploded in popularity. They offer a larger screen than a smartphone as well as much better battery life too. however they are a lot more costly as well as take up a great deal a lot more area as well.

Tablets are a excellent ‘middle of the road’ choice for travelers who want a bigger screen (for motion pictures or books) or requirement to do a lot more computer-related tasks as well as want a larger keyboard — however who don’t want to carry around a laptop.

They’re likewise a excellent option for any individual traveling with youngsters considering that you can fill them with fun apps, games, as well as offline TV shows.


While you may not have common calling or texts, tools like WhatsApp as well as Skype can be great replacements if your Web speed is quick enough. all of the apps work also or much better than on a phone, as well as the larger screen makes lots of tasks a bit easier.

Battery life is normally longer than a smartphone, particularly when in flight mode or just utilizing Wi-Fi.

If your tablet does have a cellular data option, you’re in luck there, as well — tablets normally havean unlocked SIM card slot. pick up a local, data-only SIM as well as you’re great to go.


Size is an issue. even the smaller 7-8″ versions won’t truly in shape in your pocket unless you’re using a big jacket. They’re likewise heavier than smartphones, particularly if you have a full-size tablet.

Taking pictures with tablets is a pain. The situation gets in the way, the camera’s aren’t great, as well as they are just not practical to haul everywhere.

While the screens are bigger, the apps as well as input are normally precisely the exact same as a smartphone. That indicates typing is still slower than utilizing a appropriate keyboard, as well as software application choices for doing genuine work are limited. While you can utilize a Bluetooth keyboard to speed up your typing, that’s yet one more piece of innovation to buy, power, as well as bring around.

For those seeking to do a lot more with their device, particularly enjoy a great deal of movies, a tablet is a great deal much easier on the eyes. When it pertains to tablets, I suggest the Samsung Galaxy Tab S6 as well as the iPad Air.

Personally, I believe tablets work well in tandem with a smartphone. If you’re a carry-on only traveler, you can quickly pack both (and their cables as well as chargers) without getting as well weighed down.


It wasn’t so long back that if you wished to get on the internet when you traveled, your only option was to bring a laptop or discover a dirty Web café. Those days are long gone now, of program — so are there still reasons to pack a laptop at all?


The greatest advantage of a laptop is versatility. There’s software application to do quite much anything a traveler might need, as well as web sites always work finest on a computer. storage area is seldom an issue, as well as it’s simple to backup pictures from a separate camera/phone.

Laptops are much a lot more powerful than any type of tablet or phone as well as integrated with the larger screen as well as appropriate keyboard, getting things done will be quicker as well as easier. That’s a lot more time enjoying delighted hour, less time in front of a screen.

Hybrid tablet/laptops are ending up being a lot more common, which, if you get a great one, provides the finest of both worlds without bring separate devices.

If you work from the road, a laptop is necessary. Anything else will end up costing you far a lot more in time as well as irritation than you ever save in weight as well as cost.


Weight. While laptops are getting lighter all the time, you’re still not going to be slipping it in your pocket as you head out the door. add in the weight of the charger, as well as you’ll absolutely be trying to find reasons to leave it in your dorm or hotel space when you can.

Price. The cost identify can be considerable — depending on what you need, expect to pay anything from $500-$2,000 USD — or more. bring a device that useful ensures additional concern about theft or damage, as well as travel insurance coverage normally either won’t cover the full expense or will need an additional premium to do so.

They’re vulnerable as well as difficult to replace overseas.

They have a great deal of power — power you won’t use. Laptops are excellent for travelers running an on the internet business, however your daily traveler seldom needs all the difficult drive space, computing power, as well as apps.

If you’re running an on the internet business, a laptop is a must. However, if you’re just a routine traveler as well as you have a respectable smartphone or tablet, you likely don’t likewise requirement to bring a laptop.

If you’re a long-lasting traveler who’s going to be on the road for +6 months, a laptop may be worth bringing considering that you will have great deals of time to utilize it. However, if you’re just traveling for a few weeks or a couple of months, you can likely get by with just a phone or tablet.

If you do want to bring a laptop, the Dell XPS 13 or Macbook Air are my suggestions. They’re light as well as can do quite much whatever you’ll need!

If you do bring a laptop, make sure that you likewise invest in a long lasting situation for it. possibilities it’s going to get beat up sitting in your bag for weeks as well as months at a time. spend the additional money to keep it safe.

What must You Use?

For a lot of laid-back travelers, a smartphone is the very best choice. It replaces a lots or a lot more other gadgets, fits into a pocket, and, with a bit of patience, can be utilized for a lot of on the internet tasks. If it has an unlocked SIM slot, getting mobile data is fairly affordable as well as simple — and provided exactly how lots of locations offer complimentary or affordable Wi-Fi, you might select to just utilize that instead. finest of all, completely usable phones can be gotten for under $200 USD.

If you like a tablet, by all means, take one with you instead — or in tandem with a smartphone. For the huge majority of people, a phone/tablet combination will cover whatever you requirement as well as then some. The improved battery life as well as larger screen of a tablet comprise for its disadvantages. You’ll be checking out $250-$600+ USD, depending upon the tablet model/brand.

Unless you work online, there’s bit requirement for a laptop on your next trip. While they supply utmost power as well as flexibility, the size, weight, as well as expense of a lot of laptops indicate they aren’t worth the trade-off.

Another thing to keep in mind is that travel insurance coverage only uses restricted protection for electronics (unless you upgrade your plan). Make sure that, no matter what innovation you bring, you save the receipts for it in situation you requirement to make a claim.

In the end, we are all going to have our own needs as well as preferences (as well as our own budget). however as long as the innovation you bring works for you as well as isn’t slowing you down or limiting your enjoyment, then that’s all that matters.

Just make sure you set your gadgets down from time to time to experience the world with your own two eyes.

Dave runs Too lots of Adapters, a site dedicated to innovation for travelers. A geek as long as he can remember, he worked in IT for 15 years. Now based out of a backpack long term, Dave composes about travel as well as tech from anywhere with half-decent Web as well as a excellent view. You can likewise discover him speaking about the life of a long-lasting traveller at What’s Dave Doing?

Book Your Trip: Logistical ideas as well as Tricks
Book Your Flight
Find a affordable flight by utilizing Skyscanner. It’s my preferred browse engine since it searches web sites as well as airlines around the globe so you always understand no stone is left unturned.

Book Your Accommodation
You can book your hostel with Hostelworld. If you want to stay somewhere other than a hostel, utilize as they consistently return the least expensive rates for guesthouses as well as hotels.

Don’t fail to remember travel Insurance
Travel insurance coverage will secure you against illness, injury, theft, as well as cancellations. It’s detailed security in situation anything goes wrong. I never go on a trip without it as I’ve had to utilize it lots of times in the past. My preferred business that offer the very best service as well as value are:

SafetyWing (best for everyone)

Insure My trip (for those over 70)

Medjet (for extra evacuation coverage)

Ready to book Your Trip?
Check out my resource page for the very best business to utilize when you travel. I listing all the ones I utilize when I travel. They are the very best in class as well as you can’t go wrong utilizing them on your trip.

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