I'm considering/planning an extended personal visit to the UK for tourism purposes, with spouse. 2-4 months, on a standard "non visa" arrangement. Goal is to live in a rented apartment while spending much/most of the time seeing interesting things in London and throughout the country.

But lovely as the place is, with museums, stately country homes, cathedrals, remnants of Roman and earlier peoples, beautiful country, places to walk, ice cream shops, etc., I can't spent all of my time seeing sights. (My wife can, but not me.) So I'm bringing along other stuff to do. In fact, for me it will be like a busman's holiday: I'm a programmer, and I also program for fun.

So I want to bring two high-end professional "workstation" laptops, my standard development environment, strictly for personal purposes. Not-for-income programming. I mean, don't we all do that? Sure we do.

One is relatively recent, the other not, and they will be going back to the US with me, pos-def. But they are still high-end, and, there are two of them. (I know from experience I can bring one such machine with no problem. But two seems like it might be mistaken for something for work. Especially since I am, in fact, a software "engineer", and generally working for my own business, at that.)

So: Can I just bring them? Is this a job for a Carnet? (Why isn't there a Carnet tag, BTW?) Or, is something else involved?

  • 1
    In theory you should probably use an ATA Carnet for this, though I’m not sure there is a matching reason for your case. In practice, I don’t expect anyone to bat an eyelid over that, unless they have other reasons to suspect something.
    – jcaron
    Mar 6, 2022 at 0:31
  • Why are you bringing two computers? Even if you intend to program for fun, it seems excessive to me, as a programmer, to bring two? Mar 7, 2022 at 0:07
  • Put lots of green lights and decals on them and pretend they're gaming rigs?
    – Stuart F
    Mar 7, 2022 at 13:10
  • Since you're going with your wife, why not get her to carry one of them? I've certainly had no issues travelling with a smartphone, a computer and an iPad. I don't think another screen would be much different, but I guess two massive 17" i9 computers with 240W power supplies might raise eyebrows. Mar 8, 2022 at 22:05
  • 1
    #@SpehroPefhany - she's got her chromebook ... but not a bad idea in general ... and yes, the power bricks for my Lenovos are ... big ... and (sadly) heavy ....
    – davidbak
    Mar 8, 2022 at 23:36


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