Do You Need a Laptop With You While on Vacation?

Weinstein888, a member of the LockerGnome community, asked, “How do I convince my parents to let me take my laptop to Europe?” This is a good question, and one that begs an even larger discussion of whether or not you really need a laptop with you while on vacation.

First, I would have to side with the parents on this one. While you’re in Europe, enjoy the sights and sounds of a new continent. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for most people, and a chance to really enjoy something away from the keyboard. Trust me, the regret of spending your time in Europe glued to a keyboard and monitor instead of taking in what that amazing part of the world has to offer will stick with you for a very long time.

Plus, do you really want to lug this thing around Europe? A laptop, even if it is small and lightweight, can become a giant hinderance when traveling. Lugging this thing around will quickly become a bigger problem than it’s worth. A mobile device such as a smartphone or iPod Touch, will be much more manageable and cause you less heartache during your journey.

Another thing to keep in mind when bringing plug-in electronics overseas is the difference in how things are powered. Wall plugs in the United States are different than the ones you might find overseas. Unless you have the right adapters and/or power converters, these plugs will either not connect or could actually damage your laptop. This means you’ll be lugging around an additional piece of equipment just to be able to plug it in.

With mobile devices being as powerful as they are today, the need for bringing a full-fledged laptop with you when traveling is dwindling. Battery life, portability, and extras like convenient on-board cameras are all big advantages that you won’t find with a laptop.

All-in-all, nothing digital can ever truly replace the experience you can have by letting yourself enjoy the environment around you. Europe is an amazing place, and can be an experience that you will probably cherish for the rest of your life.

Tom Bihn Carry-On Luggage for Travel


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Traveling is fun – and also a pain in the ass. You know I’m right. Packing is the worst. If you only want to take a carry-on bag (to save on those baggage fees!), you’re stuck figuring out how to possibly fit everything you’ll need into one small bag. You need to have your personal hygiene items, your clothing and all of your various geeky items in one tiny little duffel. Jake is a minimalist when it comes to traveling, but he’s found what he feels is the perfect bag.

The Tom Bihn product line is not only well constructed, it’s also made right here in Seattle. They make it easy to cram as much as possible into the smallest space available. In this video, Jake is using the Tri-Star, which looks like the perfect solution for my traveling needs.

On the front-right of this pack is a curved zipper pocket. If you unzip it partially, it can easily hold your boarding passes. Unzip it all the way and you can stick your water bottle or soda pop into it.

On the left side of the bag, you’ll find three more zippered pockets. These are awesomely designed, folks. The top one is the same length as the bag itself and can easily hold a book or even a Kindle. The middle one is about half that length, and works well to store your laptop charger or phone accessories. The smallest of the three is still large enough to keep your wallet and sunglasses safe.

You can add Packing Cubes to any of the bags offered in this line. These will help keep different items separate from each other, and make all of your stuff easier to find when you’re on the road. The Freudian Slip features eleven compartments to keep files and small items organized within your main luggage.

The Tri-Star is not only durable, it also comes with several different carry methods. You can use it as a backpack, a cross-shoulder strap or even a normal over-the-shoulder strap concoction. Jake has been using these particular bags since 2006, and reports that he has never had any issues with wear and tear. They stand the test of time while saving you space. That, my friends, is what the perfect carry-on should be doing.

Apple Restricting Employee Vacations

This is a guest post written by community member Craighton.

In wake of the New Year, Apple is quietly prohibiting vacation days for retail employees for three weeks later this month. If this isn’t raising the red flag, I don’t know what will. Apple is planning something big – and it is coming sooner than you think.

Some people with knowledge about the company’s retail plans explain Apple has issued a blackout spanning three upcoming weeks, during which time employees without high level ranking will not be allowed vacation time.

This blackout period is due to begin the last week of January and continue for three weeks into the weeks of February.

This much time without vacation is a big indicator that a new product is going to launch, like a new iPad or Verizon iPhone. Although, we must warn that the latest rumor posts about what Apple is gearing up for is not confirmed.

Apple is also said to have retained their holiday employees at many of the major retail stores around the nation that see the most high yield traffic. With the major shopping season over and everything returning back to normal the employee count still remains high. It appears the company is keeping staff on-hand at some stores, perhaps in preparation for a new product launch.

Just like any other launch, Apple retail employees have no idea what is going on or what may be launched in the upcoming weeks. Though there are a number of products due to be updated, including the MacBook Pro and iPad.

Considering the multiple reports of an impending CDMA iPhone and iPad 2, it is up in the air on to what Apple has hidden under their veil of mystery. Although, the late January early February time-frame could coincide with the introduction of some new Mac products.