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Having the best digital nomad gear and technology can make location independent life so much easier! In this ultimate technology digital nomad packing list, we’ll look at some of the best tech and travel essentials for your remote work setup!
Let’s face it, no one likes carrying enough digital nomad tech gear on their back to stock an entire Best Buy. Thankfully with some careful planning, it’s totally possible to pare down your digital nomad packing list to just the essentials.
What to Pack for Digital Nomads: The Essentials
In this section, we’ll look at the most essential gear for digital nomads.
There are so many online job opportunities these days, and it’s amazing that so many people can make a living from their laptops. Since your laptop is going to be where you make your income, this is a piece of gear for digital nomad travelers that you don’t want to skimp on.
Unlocked Smart Phone
While traveling, you might find yourself in a situation where you don’t have great WiFi. If this happens, having an unlocked smartphone with a local SIM card is a game-changer.
Any smartphone can be unlocked as long as it is paid off. Call your mobile carrier and ask them to unlock the device before you travel, then when you arrive at your destination you can pick up a SIM card in the airport. This will allow you to use mobile data on your phone and tether your phone to your computer in a bind.
World Travel Adapter Kit
Your travel adapter is definitely essential digital nomad gear because you can’t use any of the technology you brought if it’s not charged. Make sure you bring a travel adapter that allows you to use your plugs in any socket.
If you’re from the States, this adapter set will let you use grounded plugs or USB cables anywhere. This is especially helpful if outlets are scarce.
Optional But Helpful Digital Nomad Gear
In this section, we’ll look at other tech items that digital nomads might find useful. Not all this gear will be required for every job, so pick and choose what you’ll need for your specific situation.
iPad or Tablet
If you rely on your laptop for your job, things could get really tricky if your computer got damaged. That’s why it’s a great idea to bring along a tablet or iPad as a backup.
Portable External Hard Drive
Pictures, videos, and documents will fill up your computer fast. I filled up my new MacBook Pro in under a year and 90% of the storage was pictures and videos. One day I got an alert that my storage was full and my computer started running painfully slow.
And that same annoying alert blasted across my computer about five times a day from then on until I finally ordered an external hard drive. After offloading some of my files, videos, and pictures to the hard drive, my computer was much happier!
Save yourself a headache. Keep your computer running quickly by storing your pictures and important information on an external hard drive.
Compare Prices on Portable Hard Drives Here!
If you are a creative digital nomad, a GoPro is an awesome little device to have in your back pocket. Literally. These things are so tiny these days there’s no reason not to toss it in your bag everywhere you go.
I held out on getting one for a long time, but when I was heading to a tropical destination with lots of snorkeling, I knew it would be worthwhile!
The latest HERO GoPros great pictures and videos on land and underwater. Unlike the earlier models, the newer ones are waterproof and don’t need a special casing.
I love to unwind with a good book. But carry-on travel means I don’t have space or extra weight for heavy books. Enter, Kindle.
Kindles nowadays can hold thousands of books and they weigh almost nothing. Mine is small enough to throw in my little day bag, just in case I stumble upon a hammock strung between two palm trees. A kindle is an essential addition to any digital nomad backpacking list.
Pro Tip: if you want tons of books for your kindle but don’t want to spend a million dollars, check out BookBub. BookBub sends you an email with free and discounted books every day. I’ve gotten most of the books on my kindle for under $2.
When I’m home, I use a 100-foot long ethernet cord because I’m extra like that. If you don’t know how long a 100-foot ethernet cord is, it’s pretty much long enough to connect your computer to a router on the other side of the planet, if needed. It’s probably the same ethernet cord Magellan used to stay connected to his friends and family back in Portugal while he sailed the seven seas
For traveling, 100 feet is probably excessive. But it’s still a good idea to travel with an ethernet cord if you need a fast internet connection for your job. Grab my cord (or a shorter version because you’re reasonable) here.
If you’re using a newer Mac laptop, they don’t have ethernet ports anymore. You’ll need an ethernet adapter to connect your ethernet cord. If you’re using a MacBook Pro, this cord will plug your ethernet cable into one of the thunderbolt ports.
Blue Light-Blocking Protective Glasses
Too much screen time can be hard on your eyes. Protect them from harmful blue light by wearing blue-light blocking glasses like these. I finally caved and bought a pair and now I wear them every time I’m on the computer.
These glasses from Amazon are super lightweight with an amber tint. They feel a bit flimsy but since I only wear them while I’m sitting at the computer, it hasn’t been a problem.
Earphones/Earbuds with Microphone
A good set of headphones with a microphone attachment can be helpful for many remote jobs. I like using the small apple earbuds that came with my phone. They are tiny to pack and hard to damage.
Compact Portable Power Bank
While traveling, a portable power bank can save the day. Grab one of these small portable power banks to give your devices some extra juice while on the road!
Selfie Ring Light
If you need to be on camera for your job, a selfie ring light can make a big difference in the video quality. This ring light clips right onto your computer and gives you lots of light, even if you don’t have good lighting in your accommodation.
Roost Laptop Stand
Spending a lot of time on a computer can be painful. This Roost Laptop Stand helps put the laptop up at a higher level so you’ll have better posture and won’t get so sore.
This stand is one of my top products for digital nomads and it improves your health – win win!
Wireless Folding Keyboard
I got this wireless folding keyboard to use with the laptop stand. Long hours of bad posture started wearing on my back and shoulders. So I knew I needed a keyboard that I could use with my laptop stand and it’s definitely a good investment if you write often.
Since it can connect with Bluetooth, I also use it with my iPad for taking notes.
Again with the back pain! Having a wireless mouse was the final piece of the posture puzzle. With the laptop stand, wireless keyboard, and mouse, it’s possible to elevate the laptop and sit with good posture without hurting your back.
Best Digital Nomad Gear Organizer Bag
Now that you have everything you need on your digital nomad packing list, it’s time to pack it up. I am a huge fan of using a technology organizer.
My smaller pieces of technology fit in this handy electronics travel organizer bag. All the cords stay in one place, nicely organized. No more knotted cords hopelessly tangled in the bottom of my backpack.
Read a review of my favorite Travel Technology Organizer Bag here!
What’s on your digital nomad packing list?