Work, Play, Travel: What Gadgets to Pack for the Digital Nomad


When moving from place to place with not a lot of room for luggage, the right items to bring can be a daunting task for the digital nomad. What are considered essential and nonessential? First off, the biggest error one can make is to mistake the needs of a digital nomad with those of a typical backpacker.

Digital nomads need to bring portable devices that strike the right balance of work and play, and the best gear can vary depending on the nomad in question. With that said, almost every remote worker will have some sort of overlap on their essential gadgets.

Check out these items that every digital nomad should consider adding to their list of must-haves.

1. External Battery Pack

Smartphones are the lifeblood of every digital nomad or even everyone in this day and age. From catching a ride to finding the nearest lodgings and establishments, this source of instant information is practically irreplaceable. So what if it runs out of battery at the most inopportune moment?

It’s good to have a backup battery pack over 10,000 mAh for a quick phone charge whenever necessary. They’re portable, lightweight, and nowadays, not that expensive.

2. Backup Phone

Singing the same tune as the device above, having a backup phone can be helpful in the direst situations. Losing a phone can be a common occurrence for those who regularly travel. While there are some ways that can help lessen the chances, it’s still good to have an extra model that doesn’t have to be expensive. The important thing is it can provide the bare essentials.

3. USB Hub

Whenever nomads settle down a location and start setting up their workspace, things can become a hassle with limited connections. Some laptop models tend only to have one or two USB ports, which can be problematic for those who are on a deadline.

Consider getting a USB hub that features extra connections to provide power and convenient access to multiple devices at once.

4. External Hard Drive

Most people usually store their important data on their laptops, but what if the laptop breaks or gets stolen? Keep a hard drive with all the necessary files just in case the worst happens. It’s easy to get slim and light hard drives nowadays with one terabyte space.

Image source: Pixabay

5. Laptop

Laptops are probably the main source of income (and entertainment) for digital nomads. They need to be light, durable, and have a long battery charge in case there isn’t a plug nearby. It’s a good idea to buy a shock-absorbing and water-resistant laptop bag to protect one’s most precious digital asset.

6. International Adapter

Some nomads make the mistake of bringing cheap adaptors in every country they arrive in. To make things easier (and less messy), get a travel adapter that has plugs for every country. Many adapters nowadays feature USB-C charging, which is a lot faster.

7. Electronics Cables

Get good ones. electric cables can be hard to replace when traveling—especially while at night when there’s nothing open or in a country with a foreign language. USB-C cables, USB-A/USB-C cables, and micro-USB cables are an excellent trio to have the covers the needs of most nomads.

8. Laptop Stand

Hunching over a laptop for prolonged periods is a surefire way of getting a sore back and neck. This common issue can easily be remedied with a good laptop stand. While it’s definitely one of the bulkier items on this list, the comfort and convenience it can give far outweigh the cons. There are plenty of portable and lightweight options available in the market, anyway.

9. Noise-Canceling Headphones or Earplugs

These two perform differently depending on the environment. So while not really a necessity, it’s nice to have both. Noise blockers can help nomads keep focused on their work even in a place with many auditory distractions.

Start Making a List of Essentials Today

Those who are new to the digital nomad life have a tendency to forget about the essentials. Even veterans have a problem bringing everything they need. It’s not surprising considering how many plugs, cables, adapters, and devices one needs to bring their work everywhere.

Make a checklist of everything, from the necessities down to the nice-to-haves. This way, it’s easier to notice if something’s amiss.

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