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  • Writer's pictureKatrina Julia

How to Get an Apple Computer While Traveling Overseas

I think we will agree that life and travel bring us surprises all the time! When leaving Atlanta, GA in 2020, I didn't imagine during my travel to 7 Continents replacing my Apple in less than 6 months.

I love to travel. Before I even arrived here on earth, you may have heard me share I was conceived in Bulgaria, born in Poland, at a refugee camp in Italy at 6 months of age, and in the USA before two years old. By the time I was two years old, I had four stamps in my passport. Needless to say, casting a vision to travel to 7 Continents is not a surprise.

What did surprise me is when the things spiritually and practically aligned to have the vision become reality sooner, AND in a global pandemic!

My first three months of 2021 in Costa Rica flew by with no problems with my 2017 Apple MacBook Pro. I can't say the same for my next month and half in 2021 in Guatemala. While in Lake Atitlan, and watching Lifeway Women, I noticed my computer screen flickering and becoming almost all white. When I touched my computer, it was very hot. I immediately closed my computer.

On my iPhone, I Googled White Screen and MacBook Pro. I found various articles referencing a problem with the 2017 MacBooks on heating up and impacting the screen. With no recall on the computers, I felt it would be wise to replace the computer sooner rather than later. I immediately paid attention each time I used the computer to the heat. When it started to get hot, I would take a break and shut it down.

With researching options to trade-in my Mac and get a new one, I found no Apple Stores in Guatemala and in Quintana Roo in Mexico. I discovered all Best Buy Stores in Mexico closed due to the pandemic. I both messaged Office Depot and Apple Resellers in Guatemala and Mexico. While I could easily buy a new Apple, I could not trade-in my existing Apple. The only way I could do a trade-in would be at an Apple Store.

In researching flights to Florida, Houston, and Atlanta, I discovered it would cost me at least $500 round trip negating the cost of the trade-in. In comparison, flying to the Apple Store in Mexico City to trade-in my Mac and get a new one presented far more benefits.

Let's talk about how to get an Apple Computer while traveling overseas.

Apple Computer Overseas

Get An Apple Computer While Traveling

I discovered by going to the Apple Store at Antara Fashion Mall in Mexico City, I would be able to trade-in my MacBook and get a new one. When I Googled articles or guides to help me get an Apple Computer while overseas, I found nothing.

As a result, I decided to put this helpful step by step guide on

How to get an Apple Computer while Traveling Overseas!

1 Determine Trade In Value

If you have an existing Apple to trade-in, you may assess the trade in value estimate before you go to the store.

On the Apple Site, I found information on trade-ins including an estimate for my computer. I ended up getting exactly what they listed on the estimate on the site for my computer.

Keep in mind, entering your computer, serial #, and condition will impact the value. In addition, Apple's acceptance, policies, and valuation of trade-ins are all subject to change.

Apple Mac Trade In

2 Apple Computer Prices

You will want to know what the prices of the Apple Computer is. In my research, I found some countries prices for Apple computers are much higher. In comparison, in Mexico, I found the prices to be lower than the USA! I discovered Apple offers an educator discount I could ask for!

Another win!

*Prices and Promotions subject to change.

I am and we are not held responsible for changes in pricing, trade-ins, and promotions.

It is your responsibility to Check Apple Website for latest in pricing and promotions.

3 Apple Computer Back-Up

I backup my computer weekly regardless. If that is not how you operate, make sure you backup your computer to an external drive and/or iCloud prior to going to trade-in your computer and getting a new Apple.

I found the instructions on the Apple site are easy. If you need more help, chat or call their team. #notsponsored in case you are wondering. An authentic Apple lover since 2014!

Apple Back Up

4 Identify Any Country Specifics

I figured since I would be getting my Apple in a different country for the first time, the operating system and/or the keyboard may warrant additional research. I found since Apple is Global, it is easy to switch from Latin to USA on settings for your menu, displays, and operations.

In comparison, on inventory at the Apple Store, I noticed primarily Spanish keyboards and only English keyboards for shipping (which is very very unreliable in Mexico. I have learned with issues with two packages).

I did not want to chance shipping a computer, having it lost, and filing claims. Not to mention, being without a computer for at least 2 weeks. I figured worst case scenario I could either easily use the Latin keyboard if it is similar or get a keyboard cover with US keys.

I ended up getting the Latin American computer keyboard finding it very similar with a few extra keys I don't use.

5 Apple Computer Tax Receipts

By researching large international purchases, I found we may claim the Value Added Tax upon leaving the country. When you go to purchase your computer, make sure you ask for the itemized receipt for claiming VAT.

In my case with Mexico, it is about $200, and on average it is received within 3o to 45 days directly back to your credit card.

To claim your VAT tax, Google VAT refunds at the airport you will be leaving at.

Make sure you arrive an extra hour earlier or so to handle the claim with no stress!

Claiming VAT Tax Overseas

Now, that you have information on your trade-in, prices, backups, country specifics and taxes, you may make any logistical plans on getting your new Apple Computer while traveling overseas. In your case, you may be in a city or country with a nearby Apple Store.

In my case, I was not. I ended up flying from Cancun to Mexico City to visit the Apple Antara Fashion Mall store.

I researched flights via Volaris Air and found flight options to go with only my backpack for a day for less than $75. Since I stayed in Tulum, Mexico for about 3 months, I left my things at my Mayan Jungle Airbnb during my quick trip to Mexico City.


± $75 for Flights

± $65 for one night Airbnb

± $40 Food


± $350 Trade In

± 10% Educator discount

± 200 USD VAT Tax Refund 30 to 45 days later

My Computer ends up costing about $800 USD.

Even with the investments, I ended up netting about $350 USD.

Not to mention, the flight to Mexico City from Cancun is much faster than flying to the USA.

While unexpected things happen all the time, if you even think you may need a new computer soon, I recommend replacing it before you leave the country to make it easier all around.

Apple Computer Traveling Overseas

When going to travel part or full-time, life surprises us all the time. One of of those surprises may be needing to trade-in and/or get a new Apple Computer while traveling overseas.

Has this happened to you before? What did you do?

Do you wish you had a step by step guide like this to help you get your trade-in estimates, price on computer, back-up insights, country logistics, and tax refunds?

If this happens to you ever and this guide helps you,

Share with us. on social media via @katrinajuliafit and @fitlifecreation for a feature!


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