I am halfway through a two-week hiking trip around rural Mexico. My base camp is a small city with one grocery store and a handful of restaurants. Outside the staples (food, water, toilet paper, and soap) there aren’t a lot of shopping options.
Which is why I was especially worried when my laptop broke down at 3 AM one night.
There was nowhere to get a replacement. And, it was unlikely I’d find someone to fix the problem. At best, I’d have to take a 5-hour bus trip and overpay for whatever crummy laptop was available at the nearest Wal-Mart.
But, after calming down, I remembered something.
I’ve always kept an old Google Chromebook in my luggage.
I’ve had this backup since 2014 — now it mostly exists as a decoy in case somebody tries to steal my real computer — but I pulled the Chromebook out, plugged it in, and fired it up…
Saved from a lengthy trip and expensive purchase.
If you plan to live abroad or work remotely, you need a second laptop.
Buying A Second Laptop Is Cheap
Trying to write an article on your phone sucks. And more complex tasks, like graphic design, are near impossible. Not to mention the sheer number of websites and platforms that don’t even load properly if you open them in a mobile browser.
A basic, backup laptop can save you a lot of time and frustration.
You can get a Google Chromebook for under $100.
Even a decent, mid-range laptop costs $300–$500.
That’s pennies per day over the course of 2–3 years. It’s also a huge ROI if your main laptop breaks, because many countries have exorbitant tariffs on computers and cellphones.
When people think about risk, they think about long-shot events like societal collapse or nuclear war.
At the same time, mundane-but-likely dangers get ignored.
It’s risky to build an online business that revolves entirely around the functionality of one device. If you’re going to start an Internet business, or work remotely, get a second laptop.
Disclaimer: I am not a computer salesman and this article does not contain any affiliate links.