I love my Macbook Pro. I really do. Sure, it’s not the newest model (but it has DVI, ExpressCard 34 and a removable battery), and sure it’s not in mint condition (but the Apple Geniuses did do a pretty good job of trying to un-bend the case near my DVD drive), and sure it’s had its share of problems (I believe it’s on its fourth DVD±RW/DL drive, second hard disk, second logic board, and second battery, all replaced under my extended AppleCare warranty), but I wouldn’t give it up. But it’s not the greatest traveling companion ever either. Sure, at 15 inches, diagonally, it’s a great compromise between functionality and portability, but traveling with it means bringing an A/C adapter with me where ever I go, and means worrying about damaging it, and means an extra bag.
Today, I leave for a six day trip in New Jersey to see my friends’ wedding. In fact, by the time you read this I’m in the air. Before leaving, I thought long and hard about leaving my laptop behind. The Wired Travel Optimizer suggested this, and I’ve decided to compromise: bring the laptop, but don’t use it. My ultimate goal is to leave my laptop in its bag for the entire trip (except, possibly, for Netflix viewing in a hotel room). It’s coming along because I want it as a safety net. I know for a fact that there are some things I can’t do inside of mobile apps, like managing Facebook events, but I may be able to do them from inside the mobile browser. And it’s possible that I may run into one or two other things I simply can’t handle on my Nexus S. There also are likely things I just won’t feel like handling on my phone, but I could probably manage on my phone more easily if I spent some money. But I don’t exactly feel like spending $60+ on a Bluetooth travel keyboard that I may not ever use.
But in any event, the goal will be to see if traveling without a laptop would be realistic for me. I realize that for some people it isn’t, and for some people it isn’t even a question. But for me, this is a question that I haven’t been able to settle. The last half dozen times I’ve been flying, I’ve been going from one place to another for, typically, one to nine months at a time, and working in video while there. This meant that not only was my laptop required, but so were auxiliary disks. Now that they aren’t necessary… we’ll see.