Why We Travel With a Laptop and Printer

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February 26, 2014

Crop Laptop 176525452In this day and age, it’s easy to have devices that allow you to stay in contact with your family and friends as you travel. Think of all the tablets and cellular phones used throughout North America and you’ll know what I’m talking about. However, in this blog post, I will share the advantages of having a laptop as well as a small printer available in the RV when you are on vacation.

What? You might wonder why I’d like to bring a laptop and a printer with us when we travel. Well, it’s true that we are business owners and having such a device will help us if a client contacts us. But apart from the business side of things, I seriously think that traveling with a computer and a small printer has advantages.

The main reason why we have a laptop with us is for the ability to watch movies—without relying on shaky Internet connections—when the kids are in bed. How can we do this?  It is quite simple, really—with the help of headphones and the DVD player included in the laptop. That way we insure that our kids can safely fall asleep without having to listen to whatever is happening in the movie and we can watch something that is more geared toward adults.

Crop Printer 176525452The next advantage I have is the tethering capability via the cell phone of my husband. Most campsites offer free Wi-Fi, or you might have to pay a small amount for it. But if you are parked at a campsite that doesn’t have Internet availability, you can access it via tethering.  What is tethering?  Tethering enables you to establish an Internet connection on a computer with the use of a smart phone. Mind you, it isn’t as fast as a regular Wi-Fi, but it can do the job and help you meet deadlines without problem. Since I mostly blog using my laptop, it’s nice to be able to access the internet without worrying about having an internet connection or not.

Now, you might be thinking that yes, it’s nice to have a laptop, but why the printer? The printer can be really useful when you want to print coupons for discounts to attractions or retail goods. For example, you might stumble on a great reduced price for a zoo in the town you are visiting, but you have to bring the printed coupon with you. Well, having a printer will allow you to print the coupon and use it the day you decide to go. Same goes for shopping. As a Canadian, I like going to the Outlet Malls when we visit the U.S. Sometimes, on the website of the Outlet Mall, you can find special coupons that can be used in specific stores. The printer will permit you to take advantage of this coupon in a matter of seconds.

The printer can also be used for extracurricular activities when you visit a special place with your family, whether its a zoo, an aquarium, a museum or an historical place. On many websites, you can access an educational section where activities are available for free. All you have to do is download and print them as you go. You can also use the printer to print extra activities needed for long drive if you haven’t planned accordingly (see my post on Pinterest). Some of you might think that vacation is vacation and there is no way that you will make your kids do some learning activities while traveling, but I personally think that learning is done-year round and if you keep your kids busy while on the road, chances are the trip will be more enjoyable.

And this computer/printer for your RV doesn’t have to be extremely expensive. All you need is a decent laptop that you can easily purchase at BestBuy or Wal-Mart. We tend to have a preference for ACER, so check what is available at the closest store near you to see what you can get for a low price. As for the printer, we prefer the Canon brand for various reasons, and we saw recently that decent Canons sell for less than $50. Bottom line: you can get a laptop and printer for less than $400, both can be very useful on your travels in the future.

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