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Tindog

What would you do? (Sending laptop to Australia)

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Hi everyone,

I've decided to go for a WHV to test the waters before considering PR (and to have a sabbatical!). Thank you to everyone who offered me advice earlier this year - it gave me a lot to think about before my circumstances changed.

My plan is to go backpacking(/flashpacking) in SE Asia for a month after Christmas, and land in Adelaide for the end of January to stay at my friends house for a bit.

Whilst I'm in Australia, I want to be able to do some programming/dev stuff (freelance IT consultant), so wanted to bring my laptop. Thing is, I don't want to take it backpacking as it's worth £1.2k and still fairly new.

I've thought of a few options:

1. Send the laptop to my friend in Adelaide via a courier (and insure it) before I leave the UK (I'm guessing customs charges would be around £150 on top of this? Would I need find the original invoice to prove its value?)
2. Take it to SE Asia and hope for the best (I could get a pacsafe or similar, but I'd still be anxious)
3. Buy a basic laptop out there and use a VM to complete my work (are laptops similar to UK prices?)

I'm leaning towards the last option. As much as I really want to take this specific laptop with me, it seems like an added expense and hassle.

What would you do?

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I'd think the courier cost would be high, the risk of damage significant and who knows what the customs charges would be.  

Taking it with you in backpacker hostels is a scary thought too.

Laptops are more expensive here, but you could buy a cheap one at your last stop in Asia.

Alternatively, how much programming are you thinking of doing?  What specialist programs do you need?   Most libraries in Australia offer free access to PC's.  Some have tablets and laptops you can use in the library (after paying a refundable deposit).  Usually you can use them for an hour or two hours a day, but if you're in a big city, you just go to suburb in the next library. The machines do vary - a small library will have old PC's but the Docklands library here in Melbourne has 3D printing etc.   You don't need to be a member of the library, you just request a visitor pass.


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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32 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

I'd think the courier cost would be high, the risk of damage significant and who knows what the customs charges would be.  

Taking it with you in backpacker hostels is a scary thought too.

Laptops are more expensive here, but you could buy a cheap one at your last stop in Asia.

Alternatively, how much programming are you thinking of doing?  What specialist programs do you need?   Most libraries in Australia offer free access to PC's.  Some have tablets and laptops you can use in the library (after paying a refundable deposit).  Usually you can use them for an hour or two hours a day, but if you're in a big city, you just go to suburb in the next library. The machines do vary - a small library will have old PC's but the Docklands library here in Melbourne has 3D printing etc.   You don't need to be a member of the library, you just request a visitor pass.

Hi Marisa,

Thanks for your reply.

Buying a cheap one in Asia is a very good idea and one I hadn't thought of - I'll be in Vietnam and Laos, then Singapore for a couple of days at a hotel before going to Australia. I'll start researching options - thank you for the suggestion.

Re: libraries - I need, at a minimum, the full Microsoft BI stack, which I don't think would be feasible at a library, although sounds like a good option if I ever get around to using Cloud services!

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34 minutes ago, Tindog said:

Buying a cheap one in Asia is a very good idea and one I hadn't thought of - I'll be in Vietnam and Laos, then Singapore for a couple of days at a hotel before going to Australia. I'll start researching options - thank you for the suggestion.

Re: libraries - I need, at a minimum, the full Microsoft BI stack, which I don't think would be feasible at a library, although sounds like a good option if I ever get around to using Cloud services!

Lots of people buy duty-free in Singapore while on holiday so that would be a good place to look.  

If you're going to be using hostels etc, even in Australia, I'd strongly suggest getting used to using Cloud services rather than keeping stuff on your laptop or even on a backup drive.  


Scot by birth, emigrated 1985 | Aussie husband applied UK spouse visa Jan 2015, granted March 2015, moved to UK May 2015 | Returned to Oz June 2016

"The stranger who comes home does not make himself at home but makes home itself strange." -- Rainer Maria Rilke

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2 minutes ago, Marisawright said:

Lots of people buy duty-free in Singapore while on holiday so that would be a good place to look.  

If you're going to be using hostels etc, even in Australia, I'd strongly suggest getting used to using Cloud services rather than keeping stuff on your laptop or even on a backup drive.  

Sounds great, I'll check it out!

Fortunately in Australia I'll be staying with friends or in hotels/airbnbs - but won't take any work with me when I'm outside of Adelaide anyway (using my friends pad as a base)

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