Top 30 Digital Nomad Essentials To Bring Before You Travel

guy preparing for journey

It’s safe to say that remote work has become more popular today than at any other time in history. Numerous professionals across the world have decided to chase their travel goals while earning on the go. If you’ve been fantasizing about working from a beach using your trusty laptop, we’ve got the guide for you. This digital nomad essentials list should help ensure you won’t forget anything important as you hit the road.

The first thing to remember: most digital nomads are minimalists. Given that, you have to learn how to pack smartly. You can’t afford to pack as you typically would for a short business trip or a typical vacation. Remember, you’ll be living out of a suitcase as you move from one location to another.

The challenge is indeed to strike a good balance between having what you need without overpacking at the same time.    

So, how do you do exactly that? Well in addition to basic clothing and documents, here’s a list of other important items you should have.   

Read on before you start packing your bags!  

Digital nomad essentials: a beginner’s guide

Gadgets and tech accessories

1. Laptop

The laptop is a digital nomad’s main work tool and money-making machine.

While you don’t need to have a top-of-the-line laptop, you should invest in one that matches your work requirements. For example, a video editor will need a unit with higher specs than, say, a content writer would.

In any case, get a work laptop that’s durable and lightweight at the same time. Keep in mind that you will constantly be traveling so it’s crucial that your laptop can stand that.

2. An unlocked smartphone

You want to stay in touch not only with your clients, but also with your loved ones.

You’ll need a reliable smartphone you can use anywhere to call, text, and access the internet. It’s a good idea to have an unlocked phone equipped with a local SIM card. That way, contacting clients and loved ones won’t be as expensive compared with roaming rates.

Check out what plans are available in your area to find out which ones fit your needs and budget.

3. Mobile power bank

A mobile power bank is another important addition to your list of digital nomad essentials.

It can be frustrating to watch your devices run out of juice as you travel from place to place. Buy one that’s powerful, portable, and has the capacity to charge both your laptop and smartphone.

4. Universal travel adapter

Obviously, a universal travel adapter is a wise investment. Countries vary in electrical plug socket styles, which is why you need a flexible adapter. With the right one, you won’t have to bring several individual adapters with you.

5. Portable WiFi

A pocket WiFi or a mobile hotspot is a must for any digital nomad. Sure, smartphones these days have hotspot capabilities but it’s still better to have a separate device. Ensuring connectivity can be challenging in some areas. You want to overcome that obstacle to be a dependable freelancer (or employee) on the go. 

With this hardware, you should be able to stay online, regardless of your destination.

6. External hard drive

In addition to your laptop’s built-in hard drive, a portable hard drive can give you extra storage space. It can definitely be a convenient tool to keep backups of your important data.

7. Noise-canceling earbuds

High quality noise-canceling earbuds can help you minimize distractions when you’re working in a public place. You get to focus on your tasks and achieve greater productivity. You can also enjoy better Zoom calls with a good pair of earbuds.

Moreover, earbuds make leisure time much more enjoyable when you’re simply enjoying some music.

8. Adjustable laptop stand

A good laptop stand can be extremely useful for anyone living the nomadic lifestyle. You’ll be spending a lot of time in front of your laptop. So you want to be as comfortable as possible.

A portable stand allows you to adjust your laptop’s height based on your preference. This will help you avoid experiencing neck, back and shoulder pain while working.

9. Small Bluetooth speakers

It can get lonely if you’re all alone in your airbnb or hotel room. A small, portable speaker can break the silence. You can use it for listening to audiobooks while cooking. Or maybe even for watching some shows and movies on Netflix.

10. E-reader

Bringing bulky books while traveling is never practical. Needless to say, it’s always better to use an e-reader. This lightweight device allows you to easily access thousands of books at the tip of your fingers. It can be pretty handy if you want to read while you’re at the coffee shop or bus station.  

11. Tripod

Love taking travel photos? A simple tripod can be a valuable item for you. Any digital nomad will surely benefit from this item, especially if they want to document their trips. Make sure it’s lightweight and can be folded down to fit into a small space!

12. Camera

If you’re looking for better quality images than your phone can provide, a camera is an essential part of your list. Bring a small, decent one or maybe a GoPro. The goal is simply to have a reliable camera you can use whenever you need to capture great images or videos.

13. Electronics & cable organizer

Since you’re bringing several devices with you, it’s best to have your cables and electronic essentials in one place. An organizer with Velcro straps and multiple pockets can save you from accidentally losing your earphones or charging cables.

14. Clamshell backpack

Of course, you will need a spacious and sturdy bag to carry your stuff around. A clamshell backpack can make your life much easier. In fact, it can be a lifesaver. The right one easily has enough storage space for your laptop and other belongings.

Personal travel gear

15. Filtered water bottle

Health experts have often emphasized the importance of consuming adequate water daily. On top of that, you want to ensure you are drinking clean water.

A filtered bottle can eliminate chemicals and microbiological contaminants in your drinking water.  

16. Footwear

digital nomad essentials

Comfy footwear is key to a fun travel experience. As such, you want to pack a pair of sandals (or flip flops) for your beach trips, along with lightweight walking shoes and dress shoes. In summary, you need appropriate footwear for different purposes and occasions.  

17. Neck pillow

According to Web MD, using a good travel pillow “can help relieve neck pain and improve rest.” If you’re someone who usually catches up on sleep during long trips, make sure you have this.

18. Sleep mask

Sleep masks may be among the most underrated digital nomad essentials. However, they make perfect travel companions for those who can’t doze off unless artificial light is completely blocked out.

19. Hygiene kit

When traveling, it’s ideal to bring travel-size hygiene products such as shampoo, soap, deodorant, tissues, toothbrush, and toothpaste.

Similarly, you’ll want to bring your hand sanitizers and face masks. These are standard Covid prevention tools in most countries.

20. First aid kit

digital nomad essentials

Having a medical kit on hand can always be to your advantage. You will be able to avoid emergency trips to the pharmacy (or the doctor) if you have this in your bag.   

Pack anti-allergy medicine along with some loperamide, paracetamol, and rehydration sachets, among others. Include bandaids, bandages, eye drops, mosquito repellent, safety pins, and tweezers.

Also, don’t forget to bring your vitamins and supplements.

21. Laundry bag

When it comes to your clothes, you need to keep clean and dirty ones separated. A portable mesh laundry bag effectively gets the job done. Laundry day will not be as hard if you avoid mixing your clothes.

22. Contact lenses

If you use contact lenses, make sure to keep them in a secure container. Additionally, you may want to bring extra contact solution as it can be hard to find in some areas.

23. Pens

Believe it or not, you will be asked to sign a lot of things during your travels. So aside from making sure you have your IDs and documents within easy reach, you also need a pen. Put some pens in your bag (or in your organizer) so you don’t lose them.

24. Padlock

You may need a padlock with you if you’re staying in different places. This can help keep your valuables safe while you’re on the go.

25. Decoy wallet and phone

digital nomad essentials

Speaking of safety, carrying a decoy wallet and cellphone can be a good way to prevent losing the real deal. Fill up a wallet with expired cards, receipts, plus a little cash. Bring an old phone with you. So in case you encounter a robber, you can give them the decoys instead. You won’t have to worry about calling the bank to cancel your cards and to get ID replacements.  

26. Wristwatch

This may seem like a trivial tip but: use a wristwatch. Checking out what time it is will be much easier. Plus you will be able to avoid pulling your smartphone out, which could alert nearby pickpockets.

Other digital nomad essentials

27. A travel-friendly bank account

According to Forbes, digital nomads need bank accounts that “go the distance.”

“Foreign transaction and ATM withdrawal fees can seriously add up after a few months,” the site warned. “Switching to a travel-friendly bank can provide financial peace of mind when you’re hopping between cities.” 

28. VPN subscription

A premium virtual private network (VPN) protects you from hackers by concealing your personal information. With it, you can likewise browse the internet easily. You will be able to open websites you frequently use, regardless of your location.

29. Coworking contacts

Flexible coworking workspaces combine the functionality of a traditional office with the coziness of a coffee shop. It’s definitely a great place to boost productivity.

Maintaining a list of coworking contacts is highly recommended for any frequent traveler.

If you happen to be in New York City, The Farm SoHo can provide you with the best coworking solutions. Whatever your budget and need, we have the right package to offer. We have plans such as day pass, hot desk, and dedicated desk for individual users. With a Farm SoHo membership, you also get 24/7 access to our spaces, free B&W printing, unlimited tea and coffee, plus many other perks. Meanwhile, companies and teams may also want to avail of our enterprise and private office in NYC.

30. Virtual mailbox

Managing your physical mail can be a challenge if you do not have a permanent address. With a virtual mailbox subscription, you get to solve that problem right away.

Important letters and parcels will be forwarded to your location upon your request. Other than that, you can ask for scanned versions of important business mail.

For more information, check out our virtual mailbox services here at The Farm SoHo. We’d be glad to answer any inquiries you may have.

Conclusion

We hope this list of digital nomad essentials has been helpful. If you’re traveling for the first time, allow us to remind you to keep your backpack under 10 kg. This is the typical free weight limit for carry-ons. Otherwise, you can put everything else in your luggage.

Have a safe, wonderful trip ahead!

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