Traveling with a laptop can be challenging. 

They are bulky, heavy, and overall hard to pack and carry around.

Despite this, you may still want your laptop with you for work, keeping in touch, or just for entertainment.

Whatever the reason, finding the right laptop to travel with can be a struggle. But it doesn’t need to be.

Chromebooks are one of the best traveling laptops for a multitude of reasons and in this article, we’ll talk about 9 reasons why Chromebooks are great to take on trips.

And make sure you stick around until the end of the article, where we’ll be highlighting a couple of disadvantages to traveling with a Chromebook.

Chromebooks Are Lightweight

A man using his Chromebook while traveling

Most Chromebooks only weigh about 2-3 pounds, whereas your average laptop weighs around 5 pounds.

Because Chrome OS only requires lightweight hardware to run efficiently, Chromebooks can be built lighter and smaller than Windows or Mac laptops.

Though the weight difference may not seem like that noticeable of a difference, every pound counts when you are packing a bag.

If you’re traveling on an airline, this small weight discrepancy could be the difference between paying 30 dollars vs. 50 dollars for your checked bag.

Having a light laptop is also great to use in a cramped space or if you want to carry it around with you.

You can easily stash it in your backpack and it won’t weigh down on your shoulders or take up nearly as much space as a traditional laptop would.

This makes it easier to get out of your hotel room even if you still need to use your laptop.

They Have Long Battery Life

It can be hard to find a place to charge a laptop when you are traveling.

Sure, there are coffee shops here and there where you might be able to snag a power outlet, but there is no reliable source when you are on the go and it comes to charging devices. 

Many Chromebooks can last well in excess of 7 hours on a full charge, whereas many standard laptops can only last as little as 4 or 5 hours.

Since Chromebooks have a longer battery life, you won’t have to worry as much about where you will charge yours next.

One of the Chromebook champions of battery life is the HP Chromebook X360 14. It can last an impressive 12+ hours under normal usage.

Chromebooks Are Very Secure And Less Prone To Viruses

A lot of times, people will worry about getting viruses on their laptops or having their personal information hacked into when traveling.

This is more common when you are connecting to public WiFi networks such as in airports or hotels.

Luckily, Chromebooks are very secure out of the box and have a built-in system that works to prevent hackers from getting your information.

Most of the software your Chromebook will utilize will be stored and executed online.

This keeps your device largely free from locally stored, 3rd party software that can be hijacked by cybercriminals to steal your information.

Chrome OS also commands a very tiny percentage of the market compared to Windows and Mac operating systems, and this alone makes Chromebooks much less appealing for hackers to create malware for.

If you want even further protection, downloading a VPN to your Chromebook is really easy and will add that extra layer of safety so you can feel even more secure when traveling.

Chromebooks Are Fast

You might be queueing at a ticket desk and need quick access to your online accounts.

This can be a real pain if your laptop is really slow to start up and takes ages to load up drives and web pages.

It can take a lot longer to do a task if you are waiting for your laptop to load!

Chromebooks are optimized for web browsing and they run on the ultra-lightweight Chrome Operating System.

This makes them a lot faster than other laptops at powering on and loading up web pages, drives, and files stored locally.

And this speedy performance also applies to cheap Chromebooks.

They are also faster because you don’t install programs on Chromebooks as you would on laptops with Microsoft Windows and Mac OS.

The more programs that are on the laptop, the more things that it has to pay attention to and run in the background.

This causes a laptop to take longer to load, and the lack of these programs is a lot to do with why Chromebooks can load the information you’re looking for so much faster.

Related Article: Are Chromebooks Better Than Laptops? (All You Need To Know)

Access To Your Google Account And Information

If you are traveling abroad, Google will sometimes recognize that and lock you out of your accounts.

This is because they are trying to prevent hackers, and they don’t realize that it is actually you who is logging into the accounts from a different country.

With Chromebooks, you are much less likely to have this problem because they are set up with your Google Drive information.

Google should know that it’s you logging onto your accounts because you are doing so on your Chromebook.

This will prevent you from having issues logging in and it will make for a much smoother trip.

It also means that all of your data, emails, contacts, notes, calendar entries, reminders, documents, etc, will all be easily accessible under the umbrella of your Google account.

Chromebooks Are Cheaper Than Traditional Laptops

It can be expensive to travel, and if you are trying to do it for cheap it makes sense that your gear should be cheap as well.

Because Chromebooks can run on lightweight hardware, they can be manufactured at a low cost.

Good Chromebooks are oftentimes $200 or less, whereas most capable laptops will be at least $500 if you want good quality.

And the lightweight Chrome OS will ensure that your cheap Chromebook will still have speedy performance.

So if you are looking to buy a new laptop for traveling but don’t want to spend too much money, Chromebooks are a great option.

Furthermore, traveling with any item will increase the chances of it getting stolen or left behind.

If you are taking your laptop with you when you travel and it does happen to get lost or stolen, it’s better that the laptop is cheaper.

So if your Chromebook got stolen, you would only be out around $200, whereas getting a different laptop stolen would probably mean you lost a lot more money.

Parental Controls

Parental controls allow you to block certain websites of your choosing.

This can be helpful if you don’t want to get caught up in social media when traveling and want to get some work done.

If you are just using it for work, you can block any websites that would be distracting such as YouTube or Netflix.

If you are traveling with kids, parental controls can also be good if you want to hand your Chromebook off to a child while blocking them from certain websites, making purchases, or downloading apps.

You can create a Google account for your child and use the Family Link app to control what they can do on your Chromebook if your version of Chrome OS is 71 or higher.

Traveling is all about seeing the world around you, so getting kids off of the electronics can help with the experience.

They Sync Your Accounts And Passwords

Synced accounts and passwords mean an easier sign-in process.

If everything is synced, you will be able to sign in a lot faster and won’t have trouble remembering all your different passwords, which can really stop you in your tracks.

Having synced accounts means that you will be able to get things done quicker, and you will have a lot more time to sit back and enjoy the location that you are traveling through.

Newer Chromebooks Can Download Apps And Games From The Google Play Store

If you do want to relax and play a few games after a long day of travel, it’s very easy with Chromebooks.

Just like with an Android phone, all you have to do is go to the Google Play Store and download whatever games or apps you want, and you can immediately begin playing them.

No browser extensions or extra downloads are needed; it’s much more simple than a lot of other laptops.

And if your Chromebook is a 3-in-1, you can flip it into tent or tablet mode for easy gameplay.

The Disadvantages Of Traveling With A Chromebook

We’ve talked a lot about how Chromebooks are great for traveling but it’s not fair to leave it at that because there are also a few disadvantages that you should be aware of.

Not All Chromebooks Are Lightweight With Great Battery Life

Just like other laptops, Chromebooks come at both lower and higher-end price points.

Many higher-end Chromebooks come with larger screens that have much higher resolutions than what you will find on lower-end models.

If you opt for a screen that’s 15 inches or larger, your Chromebook is going to be on the heavy side, probably somewhere in the region of 2 kg.

Likewise, if you opt for a Chromebook that has a 4K resolution screen, it is going to result in much shorter battery life compared to a device with a 720p or 1080p screen.

I’m writing this article on a high-end Lenovo Yoga Chromebook C630.

It has a 15.6 inch, ultra HD screen, an Intel Core i7 processor, and 16 GB of RAM – total overkill for a Chromebook, but it is so blazingly fast that I just love using it.

It weighs about 1.9 kg and gets around 5 to 8 hours of battery life, depending on what I’m doing and how bright I have the screen turned up.

For me, this would be a bit too big and heavy to take traveling, but a smaller Chromebook in the 200 to 400 dollar range would be much more suitable and offer the type of battery life that Chromebooks are famous for.

The Lenovo Duet is a really good option for under $300.

Printing Isn’t Always Easy

Printing from a Chromebook can be a challenge.

Compared to Windows, Chrome OS does not support that many printer models.

And it can be more than a little frustrating if you need to get a document printed but your Chromebook won’t connect to the only available printer.

Gmail Is Not The Most Intuitive Email Client

Gmail, when accessed on the web, is pretty awkward to use as a mail client.

It’s not very organized and can make it difficult to locate a very specific email when you are in a hurry.

There are better email clients out there, but when you use a Chromebook, Gmail is always going to be front and center.

But as long as you choose the right type of Chromebook, these are minor gripes, and all in all, a Chromebook is an excellent option to take with you on your travels.