I was traveling out of the city for a few days the other week, and it occurred to me that it was one of the first times I’ve traveled without a laptop. I had to think it over before leaving, of course — to travel without a laptop is not a spontaneous decision. But I realized for the weekend, I could probably make do with just an iPad and didn’t want to cart around a laptop. It worked out fine, but it made me wonder about how many other people are traveling without their computers.
For the most part, there’s not really much of a reason to carry around a laptop for travel anymore. I can do just about everything I need from a mobile device. Access to maps being the primary tool, but I also use a notes application to write things I’ll want to move over later to actual documents kept on my laptop. Web browsing works the same. Naturally, I’m not doing anything too intensive in my browser during a trip other than unsubscribing to email newsletters and updating Twitter with news about what my dog found on the beach and decided was “good enough to eat.”
The only real pain points previously were that my laptop had all my data, like saved passwords, stored in the browser or keychain and that the mobile keyboard is still not quite so charming to use for more than two or three lines of text. Luckily now there’s this app called Dashlane (maybe you’ve heard of it mentioned here before) that solves that. I no longer have to say “I’ll just update my Tumblr blog of animated cat gifs when I get home” because I can’t remember my password. If I need to order some Seamless delivery, Dashlane can take away the frustration of using the iPhone’s keyboard too much.
Actually, for some trips the pain points of a laptop are just as much as any that a mobile device would carry. I’m going to visit my elderly grandfather next month and can already imagine that I’m not going to find a wireless network in his house. “Does this thing have Wi-Fi?” I’ll ask, gesturing towards his iron lung.
I’m sure I’m not the only one these days. I wonder how many people are leaving their laptops behind when they travel, and what are the remaining hurdles that need to be jumped to make the transition between laptop and mobile seem seamless?