The idea of travelling sparks so much excitement for many people. Imagine exploring new places, getting to know people you haven’t met before, eating various types of cuisine, immersing yourself in culture after culture…
And then you think about packing your stuff.
If there’s one thing travellers dread when it comes to preparing for a trip, it’s packing. You have to stress out thinking of what you should put in your suitcase, what to leave behind, how to fit all those in your luggage.
Now imagine the situation for digital nomads.
While the idea of working while travelling around the world sounds cool, digital nomads also have to think about sustaining the lifestyle — this means setting up an online business, working remote jobs, and the like. And on top of that is packing, and packing, and packing… all the time.
That’s why we’ve made things easier for you by crafting the ultimate packing guide for digital nomads.
A Four-Step Digital Nomad Packing Checklist
Travel documents are the most important things to pack. Without your passport, travel insurance, credit/debit cards, you wouldn’t be able to travel.
Keep your travel documents in a sturdy waterproof envelope so they’re all in one place, and put it in your hand-carry bag so it’s always with you. Your travel documents must all be within your reach in case of emergencies.
Also, be sure to have multiple copies of your documents, including electronic copies stored in the cloud for easy access.
The digital nomad lifestyle relies heavily on technology — so gadgets are a must.
If you are a writer or an online marketing manager, a laptop and a stable internet connection are pretty much all you need. Photographers, designers, and other creatives take gadgets like cameras and drawing tablets.
To stay connected all the time, pack up devices to sustain your gadgets’ power, like a charger, power bank, and spare batteries. The last two are especially useful for instances when you can’t find a power outlet in your area.
Lastly, to make room for all your important data, bring external hard drives and memory cards with you.
As a digital nomad, the world is your home as much as it is your office. Aside from the things you need to work, you have to pack up the things you need to live.
But obviously, you can’t pack up your entire house in one luggage. You can only bring the essentials that are enough to fit in your suitcase and, at the same time, to sustain you in the long run.
So what are they?
- Travel jacket for cold weather and during flights. Choose a jacket with many pockets to store your handy belongings.
- Swimsuit, for your exciting beach trips and other water-based activities.
- Pants for occasions that call for smart-casual wear. Opt for two to three pairs of pants with quick-drying fabric and versatile design.
- Shorts to wear in warmer places. Two pairs will do.
- Shirts, from a couple of t-shirts for casual activities to a couple of smart-casual ones.
- Dresses with versatile design, so you can wear them on various occasions.
- Running shoes, because travelling involves walking around places a lot.
- Smarter shoes to pair with smart attires.
- Travel towel, when your accommodation has fewer amenities than expected. Go for a microfiber towel — it is lighter, so it packs small and dries fast.
- First aid kit, for incidents that happen in faraway locations.
- Multi-tool, such as the Swiss Army knife. From the name itself, it will be useful for multiple situations.
- Pen and notebook for taking some notes. Filling out forms is also inevitable while travelling.
- Padlocks, for times when you live in dorm rooms and need to keep your belongings safe and secure.
- Protective gear, as you’ll be travelling from place to place with varying environments. Bring protective cases and bags to make sure your belongings — especially your gadgets — are not damaged in the course of your travels.
- Other personal essentials that cater to your other needs and interests. For example, if you like hiking in your travels, hiking shoes are a must-have.
You don’t just need to pack up your luggage — you need to fill your mobile devices with essentials, too.
As mentioned, technology is where the digital nomad lifestyle thrives. Aside from gadgets, there are apps that can simplify your work and life as a digital nomad — from planning your next trip, booking flights and accommodations, learning a new language, or managing your work and business.
There are many apps every digital nomad must have — we even made a list of them.
Being a digital nomad means breaking free from the constricting clutches of a traditional office, but that doesn’t mean any semblance of organisation should be ignored. You are, after all, still working.
Know your must-haves as a digital nomad and be on your way to fulfilling travels ahead. Bon voyage!