It’s time to get packing! We’re going to help you by giving you the ultimate list of what digital nomads should bring with them when they go traveling. There are a few things on this list that might be surprising, but we’ve got your back and will tell you why these items are essentials for any traveler. This article will give you everything from clothes to tech accessories – so read on and pack wisely!
1. A laptop
While this one may seem fairly obvious, but as a digital nomad, it’s very likely that you’ll be doing much of your work online. Bringing a desktop PC and screen isn’t a likely option when traveling overseas, but bringing a laptop is a good idea as it’s far more mobile than a traditional desktop.
Keep in mind that you’ll want to find out if your chosen country has any restrictions on bringing electronics into the country, many countries have bans or heavy taxes on imported laptops and tablets.
Although you may not need high end graphics, it can be well worth your while to spend a bit more on a fairly powerful laptop that includes an additional graphics card, this can be really useful if you’re going to be editing videos for YouTube and need to use applications like Adobe Premiere Pro.
If you’re planning on using a MacBook then you will likely need to splash the extra cash as Apple have, over the past few years, inhibited the ability for users to upgrade storage and memory levels in their machines. While this may initially may not seem to be a problem, as time goes on you’ll find that you’re not able to upgrade the hard drive storage on the machine or the amount of RAM / memory.
Some people prefer Macs, which is fair enough, it comes down to personal preference, but I generally find that you will get better value for money with Windows machines, they will also give you the option to do more with the laptop than just work.
Laptop tech has made great strides in recent years, you can pick up what is essentially a powerful gaming PC in laptop form for a reasonable amount of money now, this will allow you to play games or do video editing that require more powerful graphics processors if you wish without having to upgrade your laptop.
The Acer Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is a powerful, portable and durable device. The 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core processor combined with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card delivers smooth frame rates for immersive gaming and video editing experiences.
Acer’s Predator Helios 300 gaming laptop is an incredibly powerful, portable and durable device that makes it easy to game anywhere. The 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H 6-Core processor combined with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, this will let you play most new games on high graphics settings and will also give you the ability to use powerful video editing software if you plan on vlogging during your digital nomad adventures.
It comes with a 1TB M.2 SSD which really helps with processing 4K video footage, there is also a spare slot in the machine so you can fit a standard laptop sized HDD or SSD, you can use this for regular data storage for things like completed videos or image storage.
2. An external hard drive to back up your work and photos
This can be an extremely useful tool to have, although not quite as important as it was in the past as cloud storage has come on in leaps and bounds in recent years, it’s still really good to have one with you.
You can use it as local storage to keep a copy of your files but can also use it to run backups of your laptop to. This is extremely useful if you need to replace your laptop or if you drop it and the hard drive breaks.
Additionally, an external hard drive can be used as a backup for any photos that are taken on your digital camera while traveling so people who travel with their laptops don’t have to worry about carrying around bulky memory cards in order to make sure they always have copies of their work with them at all times.
A lot of photographers will also use this technique as well in order to back up their images from one card onto another more frequently than is possible through traditional methods.
This way even if a card gets corrupted they still have multiple backups for every photo they’ve taken which isn’t something most other professionals enjoy but having redundant systems really helps when trying not to be caught flat footed and lose all your important data.
You can install a free version of Veeam Backup and have it run daily on your laptop to create backup snapshots of your laptop to the external hard drive. This really is handy if your laptop’s hard drive fails and you have to replace it, you can basically just restore the backup snapshot from the external hard drive to the new drive in the laptop and it will restore the system as it was at the point of backup.
The WD 5TB Elements Portable External Hard Drive is the easy way to add extra storage space to your computer or other compatible devices. The drive features a sleek, brushed metal design with an LED activity light for maximum compatibility across PC, Mac, and Xbox One platforms, making it great for storing videos, music and photos. With USB 3.0 technology you can quickly access files on this hard drive from your computer
3. A portable printer, if you plan on doing any printing while traveling (optional)
This one really is optional, printing for the most part is becoming less important, although some industries still use it extensively. I’d be curious to see what you would require a portable printer for in your new location, especially considering there are generally many shared workspaces available for you to print in.
Having the printer with you may be useful to you if you need to print some documents or pictures and want them for the trip.
It’s definitely not something I’d focus on bringing with you but some people do like the ability to print on demand, if that describes you then it may be something you could consider taking with you on your travels.
The HP OfficeJet 200 portable printer makes it easy to print from anywhere. Print from your smartphone or tablet with the free HP ePrint app, without a network using Wireless Direct printing. The compact design is perfect for small spaces and the 5-page Automatic Document Feeder lets you quickly scan or copy multipage documents. Plus, save energy with Instant-on Technology that powers up fast and prints right away—perfect for quick jobs like shopping lists, packing slips, and more.
4. Headphones or earbuds for listening to music or watching movies on flights and buses
If you’ve never used noise cancelling headphones then you will be astonished when you finally do get to try them, especially when on a flight or public transport, they are the best invention EVER!
I recommend the Sony WH-1000XM4 series they are expensive but well worth the investment. You get what you pay for in this case and these things will last years with heavy use. I have had mine (the previous model) for over three years so that is saying something!
Sony’s WH-1000XM4 wireless noise-canceling headphones deliver the best sound quality and noise cancellation in its class. With a new, lighter design, up to 30 hours of battery life for all-day listening, touch sensor controls to pause/play/skip tracks, control volume, activate your voice assistant, and answer phone calls. Sony’s industry-leading noise canceling with dual sensors is even better. It uses two microphones on each side of the headphones to identify and cancel out ambient noise twice as effectively as before.
The other thing to mention about headphones or earbuds is how important it can be when using them on a flight or bus ride (or any time really) to make sure you get ones that fit your ears correctly otherwise you’ll end up feeling quite uncomfortable after only a short while of wearing them. There’s nothing worse than having sore ears from poorly fitting headphones which then makes it impossible to sleep even if one does manage to doze off whilst wearing them.
5. Power adapters for different countries (if needed)
Depending on where you are planning to visit and your country of origin, you may have completely different power plug layouts, it’s well worth your while to pick up some adjustable power adaptors and probably bring a power strip with you which you can connect to the power adaptor so you can power or charge multiple devices at once.
I’d definitely recommend that you bring a couple of these with you as you never know when you might need them and price wise, they tend to be pretty reasonable.
The EPICKA universal travel adapter supports more than 150 countries, it can be used in countries that have compatible power sockets to USA, UK, AU and EU. This adapter is made of high quality material to ensure it’s safety and reliability when using. With 4 USB 2.0 ports and 1 USB Type-C port, you can charge multiple devices simultaneously with high speed. You no longer have to worry about running out of power when traveling!
The body of this universal travel charger has 8A overload dual fuse and safety shutters to help protect the device. The plug lock system prevents the adapter from being pulled out by force while charging so this ensures an added layer of safety.
6. Power banks or extra batteries in case your electronics run out of power when you’re not near an outlet
Power banks can be really useful when traveling, especially if you are out on a day excursion or vlogging outdoors. Power banks can help you stay connected, up-to-date, and charged for longer periods of time. If your electronic devices are running low on power or if the electricity is out at night, packing a backup battery will be worth it in these situations.
Power bank chargers have become more affordable over the past few years so they’re now accessible to people who don’t want to worry about their device’s charge levels while traveling.
There are many different styles of power banks, from small portable ones that only offer enough juice for smartphones to larger models designed exclusively for laptops which may cost considerably more but give much better value when fully charged since they’ll last significantly longer than smaller options!
The Anker PowerCore Essential 20000 PD is a travel-friendly Power Delivery portable charger that offers high-speed charging to virtually any mobile device and thanks to the huge 20 000mAh cell capacity you can keep your devices charged for days no matter where you are.
The PowerCore 20000 is a sleek and powerful USB charging device that holds enough juice to charge an iPhone almost five times or an iPad Air once. It’s so small it fits in your pocket, but it packs enough power to give most smartphones a few full charges.
In regards to power banks for laptops, you’re going to need something a bit more powerful than one you’d use for a smartphone or tablet.
For this, we recommend something like the HALO Bolt 58830 mWh Portable Phone & Laptop Charger is a universal laptop and phone charger that can be used to charge your devices when you are traveling or as a backup during a storm.
This portable power bank comes with two USB ports, so you can charge two devices at once. It also features an AC outlet that allows you to use it as a wall charger for your laptop. The AC outlet will provide 7 hours of battery life for a 13” Macbook Pro, 8 hours of surfing on the iPad Air, 19 hours on an iPad Mini.
7. An Android phone with dual SIM card slots
Although quite a few potential digital nomads are staunch Apple and iPhone fans, it’s well worth your while to pick up an Android dual SIM phone before you begin your overseas journey. There are quite a few very reasonably priced dual SIM slot phones which are surprisingly powerful, they may not have all the bells and whistles of the latest iPhone or high end Android models, but they are still very powerful.
The Samsung Galaxy A21s is a dual SIM phone with a large 6.5-inch screen, and it’s equipped with super-fast charging technology for extended use on the go! It has a main camera that’s 48 MP with a selfie camera: that’s 13 MP
It features Android 10, an Exynos 850 CPU and a Mali-G52 GPU. The CPU is an Octa-core (4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55 & 4×2.0 GHz Cortex-A55)
The Galaxy A21s has 64GB internal storage but will allow you to use an additional storage card (however, this will take up one of the SIM card slots).
You could very easily buy a decent large-capacity microSD card and a local SIM card to fit into this phone, meaning your local communication needs are covered and if you mount the phone onto a gimbal then your mobile vlogging needs could also be dealt with.
8. A slash proof backpack
A slash-proof backpack may sound like a bit of an odd suggestion but it can be extremely useful depending on which destination you intend on visiting, made from a slash-proof fabric that will protect the contents of your bag from thieves.
The reason I recommend this is because it can be quite common to see people walking around big cities carrying their belongings on their back and there are always some unsavory characters looking for an opportunity to steal something if they had the chance. A slash resistant backpack may not deter them, but at least you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your stuff is safe!
The Travelon Anti-Theft Classic Backpack is the ultimate in anti-theft technology. With its 5-Point Anti-Theft Security System, this backpack will help keep your stuff safe and secure. The back of the bag features a locking compartment that helps prevent pickpockets from getting into your bag, while slash-resistant straps help prevent theft with stainless steel wire inside the strap. It also includes locking zippers to prevent thieves from opening pockets or compartments, and an RFID blocking pocket to protect your personal information.
This classic backpack also has plenty of storage including a lockable main compartment with internal organizer pockets, padded shoulder straps and a top grab handle.
9. Lots of spare clothes (if you’re large and visiting South East Asia)
Although I’m sure you’re probably already planning on bringing a good amount of clothes with you if you are intending on relocating overseas for an extended amount of time as a digital nomad, however, something I can tell you from personal experience, if you intend on relocating to South East Asia and currently wear T-Shirts sized Medium or above then bring quite a few spares with you!
Asian people in general tend to be smaller and much thinner than us Westerners, a 2XL shirt in Asia is about equivalent to or slightly smaller than a Large in the West, and not every clothing store will sell 2XL sizes.
So my recommendation is to bring quite a few spares with you, particularly T-Shirts, shorts and maybe a couple of pairs of jeans and slacks. To be honest, with the level of heat in South East Asia and generally healthier foods on offer when compared to the Western diet, it won’t take you a huge amount of time to start losing weight, then hopefully the local sized clothing will fit you just fine.
10. Camera, tripod, or gimbal (optional)
As indicated, this one is optional, it’s very possible that you already have this equipment, especially if you are vlogging. If not then I’ll give my recommendations on which items I think would be pretty useful for you:
The Canon EOS M50 Mirrorless Vlogging Camera Kit is a versatile, compact mirrorless camera that allows you to shoot beautiful images and videos in any setting.
The EOS M50 has a 24.1 Megapixel APS-C CMOS sensor and the DIGIC 8 Image Processor which work together to produce high quality imagery with notable clarity, rich color, and low noise throughout the ISO range. The processing power of the DIGIC 8 Image Processor also helps provide fast performance for both stills and video shooting.
The Joby GorillaPod 3K Kit is a lightweight, flexible and versatile tripod that can wrap around objects or be set up in a multitude of positions. The legs are made from anodized aluminum and feature rubberized feet for added grip.
Additionally, the legs are wrapped with elastomeric bands which allow them to be securely fastened together at any angle and length combination. The included ballhead provides 360 degrees panning movement as well as 90 degrees of tilt, allowing you to get the exact position you desire.
The Joby Gorillapod is the ultimate tripod alternative. Flexible legs wrap around objects for stable shooting or grip it, wrap it or stand it on any surface. Use the included ball head to position your camera at virtually any angle. The Joby Gorillapod has been used in over 80 countries by leading photographers and filmmakers including National Geographic, Outside Magazine, BBC and more.
The DJI Osmo Mobile 3 is a handheld stabilizer that enables you to capture smooth, steady footage of yourself or your surroundings in motion. From the park to the streets and everywhere in between, the Osmo Mobile 3 will help you create professional-quality videos with ease.
The advanced camera stabilization technology helps ensure that all of your shots are free from distracting shakiness, even while moving at high speeds. You can also use it for selfies, group photos and more!
The Osmo Mobile 3 is designed for use with the DJI Mavic Air, Spark and Mavic Pro series of drones but can be used with any smartphone up to 80 mm wide and weighing up to 7 ounces. This new version delivers enhanced tracking capabilities thanks to an upgraded camera control algorithm. It also has a built-in battery that lasts for several hours on a single charge.