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Overseas travel with laptop

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I'll be spending several weeks in China this Summer.  Any advice on traveling with a laptop?  Is it worth taking or just stick to iPads and iPhones?  What can I expect at customs going and coming?  Thanks in advance.

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prepare your Mac for traveling. make a backup either with Time Machine, Carbon Copy Cloner, or SuperDuper. then you won’t care if it gets stolen.
delete anything that might get you arrested or questioned by customs. movies, BiG DMGs or ISOs, naughty JPGs or MPGs. even MP3s. the less you have the better.
consider not traveling with the forever history that is email.
even better. just make a new USER account. make it auto log into. and make it look like you work there. then if need your other life you can log into it.
now ask yourself… can I live with without what is on this machine if it is stolen or taken away from me?
I was traveling in Mexico earlier this year. there was a moment when I thought I had lost my phone. it is connected to Twitter, instagram, Lüber, four different email accounts, ONEdrive, and work related stuff. I had this moment of… how do I fix this problem. and then I found that I had put my “life” in a different part of my bag. phew… still. made me realize how open I had made myself.
coming back into the US. the conversation was: 


what is on your Mac? 
work stuff and the picture backups from the trip. 
what do you do? 
I take care of servers. 
as in SSH into boxes? 
yes. how did you know to ask that question?
it is what my brother does. you look like him.
okay, you can go.


entering a different country was weird. the customs agent was very curious about my Staedtler pens. as if the pens were not pens but a smuggling device. I opened each one and drew a doodle to prove they were pens. she oddly did not believe me until I made her draw in my notebook as well. I guess it felt like a pen to her. “you an artist?” as she leafed through my sketch book. “yes.” “okay. follow him.” and I was guided to a short line for passport inspection and stamping.

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