Drinking margaritas on a sunny beach while checking messages on Slack and scheduling meetings for the afternoon: the life of a digital nomad. Well, not really, though! Most of us have that image when picturing digital nomads, and despite some working on beautiful beaches, most of them work on Airbnb’s or coworking spaces while traveling because, at the end of the day, work is work. If you’re pursuing the digital nomad lifestyle, it’s essential that you have the right tools to succeed.
What is a Digital Nomad Lifestyle?
Digital nomads, technically speaking, are defined according to Investopedia as: ‘’The people who are location-independent and use technology to perform their job. Digital nomads work remotely, telecommuting rather than being physically present at a company’s headquarters or office.’’
As remote work keeps rising and more companies are offering flexible arrangements, the digital nomad lifestyle has increased. People are more attracted to packing their things up and traveling the world instead of keeping up with the traditional life scheme of working from 9-5 at a cubicle and suffering 2-hour commutes.
However, as the saying goes ‘’not everything that glitters is gold’’; the digital nomad lifestyle has certain important aspects to keep in mind. If you want to travel the world while working, you need specific tools that will guarantee that you’ll be able to keep up with your job despite the worst-case scenario.
This means that, if for some reason, your hotel room has terrible Wi-Fi or your flight gets canceled last minute, you still have the right tools to continue your work.
Must-have Digital Nomad Lifestyle Tools
If you’re wondering about what tools nomads use, you’re in the right place. This article is the basic guide of the must-have tools to consider when pursuing the digital nomad lifestyle.
5 Basic Digital Nomad Lifestyle Tools
1. A Laptop
A laptop is literally the most important tool you’ll need as a digital nomad. So, if you’re planning to go on this new adventure, make sure you have the right laptop. Consider aspects such as weight, RAM, and battery life. Being a traveler means you’ll be moving a lot around different places. Therefore, having a weighty laptop that takes up much of your backpack or suitcase space is not a good idea.
Light devices tend to be expensive but considering this is your work tool, they are worth the investment. Here are the top laptops in terms of lightness and endurance you should consider purchasing:
Laptop brand Weight RAM Battery life MacBook Air M1 2.8 pounds 8GB 15 hours Dell XPS 13 2.7 pounds 8 to 16GB 19 hours Acer Spin 3 3.3 pounds 8GB 11 hours Microsoft Surface Go 2 1.2 pounds 8GB 10 hours Asus Zenbook 13 2.5 pounds 16GB 8 hours Lenovo Yoga c940 3 pounds 12GB 15 hours
It’s worth mentioning that despite your laptop being your primary work tool and the one you’ll be using the most, you should also consider purchasing a smartphone with all the necessary features that will help you perform efficiently. As a digital nomad, one of the keys is to always have a plan B (or even C). If, for some reason, your laptop dies (crossing fingers it doesn’t happen), having a smartphone will save your life.
2. WI-FI Solution
Without a doubt, one of the must-have tools for your digital nomad lifestyle is the internet. There are many places, whether it’s restaurants, cafes, hostels, or apartments, that have a terrible Wi-Fi connection. So, it’s much better if you’re prepared for this! Even if you are in the middle of the jungle, with the right Wi-Fi solution, you’ll be able to work smoothly.
The best WI-FI solution to travel around the world and work efficiently is to purchase a mobile hotspot.
Mobile hotspots products are basically pocket-sized routers you can take everywhere you go. These are some well-known brands:
- Skyroam Mobile Hotspot is capable of providing WI-FI in over 100 countries without using a SIM card.
- Huawei 4G LTE E5577Cs-321 allows you to connect 10 devices simultaneously, it is lightweight, and it provides global coverage.
- GlocalMe G4 Pro 4G LTE has coverage in approximately 100 countries and it has flexible data options.
When it comes to mobile internet, which is always a good idea for emergencies, you can consider purchasing an international roaming plan; however, this tends to be more expensive. Another cheaper and easier solution to ensure you have Wi-Fi on your phone is by buying a local SIM card in the country you’re visiting. Just make sure they allow foreigners to purchase them (some countries forbid this) and have your phone unlocked.
3. Laptop Stand and Portable Keypad
There are many gadgets that are useful for digital nomads. However, when it comes down to essential gear, these products will make your work and travel life much easier and comfortable.
Being a digital nomad is not only about working on a crappy hostel you find last minute, but it’s also about working in the most comfortable way possible while getting to know unique places. You can create your own personal office everywhere you go by having the right tools.
A laptop stand ensures that you’ll not be breaking your back while working. Ergonomics is a big deal for remote workers because, unfortunately, not all of them have the best chairs to work from home. And digital nomads can’t go carrying around an office chair everywhere they go. So let’s say you are forced to work a place with regular chairs; if you have a laptop stand, you can make sure your back doesn’t pay the consequences from your digital nomad lifestyle.
Looking for the best laptop stands to travel? Here are some great options:
- Roost Laptop Stand
- AOOU Laptop Stand
- Nextstand Laptop Stand
- MeFee Adjustable Adjustable Laptop Stand
- Jubor Laptop Stand
A portable keypad is also a great gadget, and it has the same purpose as a laptop stand: protecting your health. It sounds crazy, but working on the road can have significant consequences if you don’t prioritize your posture. While a laptop stand helps you raise your laptop to eye-level, this makes it uncomfortable for your hands to type. And a portable keypad is the perfect complementary accessory that can help you keep straight and comfortable.
Here are some great options to consider when looking for an ergonomic keyboard:
- Logitech Ergo K860
- Microsoft Ergonomic Keyboard
- Omoton Ultra-Slim Keyboard
- Microsoft Surface Keyboard
- iClever Foldable BK03 Keyboard
Besides laptop stands and portable keypads, standing desks are another great way to improve your posture. And at Think Remote, we have great news for you – If you want to win a free-standing desk, sign up for our newsletter!
4. Universal Plug Adapter
If you’re planning to be a digital nomad in only one country, visiting different cities and places, then a universal adaptor plug doesn’t make sense. However, if you plan to visit many countries, this tool is, without a doubt, a must-have.
Chances are that you’ll visit countries with the weirdest plug sockets, completely different from the ones in your home country. Therefore, a universal adaptor will enable you to keep all your devices charged up.
The best thing is that this tool is cheap, and you’ll be able to find great options in Amazon or any tech store near you.
5. Noise Cancelling Headphones
Last but not least are the noise-canceling headphones. One of the best things about working remotely, whether at home or a café, is that you don’t hear the office buzz and all the usual distracting noises. However, this doesn’t mean there’s no noise at all.
When you’re a digital nomad, you will sometimes have to work at a café with a great WI-FI connection but with loud people around or terrible music. The solution to this is to connect your noise-canceling headphones, forget about everything surrounding you, put on a great music playlist, and focus on your tasks.
Think about this item as a productivity tool for digital nomads! These are some of the best-rated noise-canceling headphones:
- Samsung Galaxy Buds
- Apple Air Pods Pro
- Sony WH1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones
- Bose QuietComfort 35 II
- Audeze LCD-3
Go in-depth on this topic with this video
Ready for Your New Nomadic Lifestyle?
Being a digital nomad has its challenges, but everything becomes much easier with the right tools by your side. And as fun as it seems to hit the road and work from anywhere your want, keep in mind that this amazing experience can turn into a nightmare without the right strategies. Before embracing this lifestyle, make sure you have all it takes to be a digital nomad.
For more related content, stay tuned! At Think Remote, we have the latest news and information about the remote work world.