Why We Purchased an Ipad

This past weekend was tax free (on school supplies, clothes, and the like) in Georgia, so Justin and I did the unthinkable -- purchased an ipad. It seemed like a crazy unthought out, unplanned purchase decision, but in the end it was actually a very well thought out and planned purchase. The thought process began when we started thinking about our upcoming trip overseas to Germany.

Since I have only flown once in my entire life, one particular thing I am worried about is that of luggage weight. When I purchased luggage many many years ago, this was not a concern to me. It didn't matter how heavy the luggage was so long as it held my clothing and had wheels. Now that I'm following travel blogs it occurs to me that the weight of the luggage itself can make a big difference in how much you are allowed to carry on a plane.

The past few months I have been trying to figure out how to make all of my own carry-on luggage work even without adding anything Justin may want to have with him. A laptop bag, a camera bag, and a few clothes, just in case, was adding up to a lot of bags. None of which are light either.

To add to our decision-making process, Justin's computer died about a year ago. It had been on life support for far too long. He had abused it (spilled water on it) and misused it (as computer engineers do). Basically, even though it was an Apple, it's time had come to an end. 

Knowing that we were down to one computer and had to share made the impromptu purchase of an ipad even more of a necessity. Yes, Justin was able to frequently bring home and use his work computer, but unfortunately, that meant he didn't really have any computing device of his own. For the past year, he has lived his computing life off of dropbox, Gmail, and Google Reader (now Feedly). Giving him a "home" of sorts definitely helped in making the decision to purchase a tablet.

While it seemed like a good idea to purchase the ipad for travel and to provide Justin with a computing home, we still faced two issues that needed to be addressed.

1. Money -- Did we have it? And could we afford to hold off on the purchase? We were looking at 10 months of paying down credit cards, the possibility of replacing my car's transmission, and a trip to Germany in the near future. $3000 for a new computer was as much a problem as $15000 for a new car. It wasn't in the cards for at least a year ... probably two. $700 for the 64gb ipad mini including a camera hook-up cord and insurance for the next two years seemed like a much easier pill to swallow especially if it would get us down to one bag (ipad mini + hard drive in camera case) as a carry-on. We also liked that with the tax free weekend, we were essentially keeping $100 that would have been spent on taxes if we had waited to buy closer to our trip.

2. Worthiness -- Obviously, as mentioned above, we were looking at taking two heavy carry-on bags and turning it into just one (+ a small bag for clothes). Not having traveled much via plane, this seemed like a good idea. Fewer bags to carry equals happier shoulders and lower cost for traveling. Saving money in the long run and the possibility of being able to travel more often in the future makes me happy. :)

To make owning an ipad even more worthwhile, we discovered this awesome device called iUSBPortCamera that allows you to connect your camera to your ipad quickly and easily. Within a few hours after buying the ipad mini (and confirming Apple's 14 day return policy), we were sold on the idea of using the ipad mini to make photographing the world as easy as pie. (Is pie easy to make? Where did that phrase come from?) I would describe the many great features iUSBPortCamera has to offer, but perhaps you should go check it out for yourself. Having not actually owned it yet, I cannot give it a review or state how awesome it is or isn't. It just looks awesome, and if it makes photographing even easier then it must clearly be awesome. Apparently, it even allows you to connect to your hard drive through your ipad.

So now, two days after buying an ipad with a bunch of research regarding our questions and issues completed, we are quite content with our purchase. We still need to find a quick and easy way to transfer photos from the camera to a hard drive (or dropbox), but overall we feel that the ipad mini will make traveling easier and cheaper in the long run providing me with more photographic opportunities I didn't know even existed and Justin with a computing "home".

Have you purchased an ipad or tablet to make traveling easier? Do you have any awesome recommendations or stories to tell regarding traveling, ipads or both? I'd love to hear them!

As it is, when and if we purchase the iUSBPortCamera, I will definitely come back and update you all on it's usefulness and helpfulness in capturing and sharing images.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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