The Digital Nomads Ultimate Packing List: What to Pack and What Not to Pack

digital nomads

Digital nomad. You’ve heard this term before, right? Lately, the concept of a digital nomad has been getting a lot of hype because it sounds like the ultimate dream – traveling the world working from anywhere you want. But unlike any regular traveler, these are often on the road for weeks, months, or even years, so they have to make sure they cover everything in their digital nomad packing list before they leave. 

So now, stop for a moment and picture yourself in this situation. 

Imagine you are living in Thailand. You’re experiencing digital nomadism for the first time, and you have had the best experience so far. Beach, sun, work, new friends, it all seems perfect. But suddenly, in the middle of your workday, just before joining a virtual meeting, your computer runs out of battery, and you don’t have a universal travel adapter. It’s terrible! So, what can you do? 

The solution is simple. Five words: a digital nomad packing list. That’s all you need before you leave your home and start an adventure as a digital nomad. With it, all unexpected traveler problems will disappear, and you’ll be able to live the digital nomad experience to its fullest. 

The digital nomad way of living is one of the fastest-growing lifestyles in the world today. According to Forbes, by 2035, there will be 1 billion digital nomads on this planet. With high-quality technology and the help of the internet, they can bring their jobs with them wherever they go. They can work from libraries, coffee shops, coworking spaces, or hotel rooms. But as perfect as this lifestyle may seem, it can also present some difficulties if you don’t plan things right. 

A digital nomad packing list will save your life. It will help you get out of any troubled situation you find yourself in as a traveler. A packing list will allow you to strategically plan any item you may need during your time away from home. In addition, this list will help you save yourself from your boss’s reprehending phrases, like: “why weren’t you in today’s team meeting? Or “why wasn’t your task delivered on time?”. 

But before packing, you may want to consider these three essentials that will help you determine your luggage.

What are the Things You Should Consider Before Packing? 

1. Point of Destination

It’s not the same to pack to visit the cultural city of Berlin, where you’ll be visiting museums and having an urban experience than to prepare the luggage for a heavenly experience on the beaches of Mexico. 

The destination of your trip will be the key to determine the luggage you’ll take. It can be tough to find electronic device stores if you are outside the city. So, if you plan to work remotely beside the beach under a coconut tree, you might need to pack light clothing options and the most necessary backup for your devices. 

Winter clothing takes up more space, and you cannot risk yourself buying coats during the trip because you’ll have to carry them everywhere you go. So the best strategy is to pack various clothes that suit all the temperatures you’re facing during the visit. And only consider stores in emergencies. 

Determining the different destinations you expect to visit will help you decide the luggage you’ll take. So, in case you extend the trip more than planned, you’ll already be sort of prepared. 

2. Length of Stay

You are visiting some nearby beaches during the weekend to surf. Camping for a week in the outskirts of the city you’re in. Or even changing the location each month to know the whole country. All of this is possible when you are a digital nomad. But what about the packing list for these? 

The problem with this question is that it’s hard to answer. Digital nomads aren’t used to planning the length of stay because traveling leads you to reach millions of opportunities and activities you never thought possible. One place takes you to another, and suddenly, you’ve been away for a year, moving all around the world.

So, try to estimate the length of stay before you leave – though it’s pretty hard – it will help you prepare the luggage you’ll need. 

3. Available Budget

Research. It’s likely that for every country you visit, you’ll have a different budget. So before purchasing, plane tickets make sure you have a solid financial foundation and have an estimated budget.

Explore your destination before you leave, make a list of the places and lodgings you want to visit. All these will help you determine your budget. Plus, you may wish to designate the coffee shops you’ll like to see since they’ll cost you quite a bit.

If you’re going to an island or a paradisiac beach, your budget won’t be costly since you’ll be spending much of your free time swimming on the beach. So all you’ll need is to invest in surfing classes and large amounts of sunscreen. But if you’re visiting a city, you’ll need a higher budget since you’ll want to see every cultural attraction and urban activity there is. 

Here are some hacks that will help you budget your travel better.

Digital Nomad Packing List and Travel Must-Haves

You did the research, you know your destination, and you can estimate the time you’re staying. Now it’s time to start packing. 

Packing as a digital nomad isn’t the most fun thing to do; sometimes, it can be pretty stressful. But if you know what you need, it shouldn’t be that hard. So what digital nomad essentials do you need to pack before leaving? 

What to Pack

1. Traveling Wallet

Your passport, your boarding tickets, your Visa or special permits, and now your vaccination certificates. Where would you put all these? Of course, you can have them in your bag. But you’ll probably need these documents in those times when you have an endless row of tourists behind you. So, avoid the trouble – that airports have thousands of – and keep all the essential documents in one place. 

2. Padlock 

Though most commendable hostels provide lockers, not all of them have locks, so you’ll better have your own. A padlock won’t take space in your bag, and it assures you to keep all your belongings safe while you’re out. 

So, if you’re planning on staying in hostels or sharing a space with strangers, make sure you include several of these in your packing list. 

3. Waterproof Backpack Covers

No matter the destination nor the season, there is always a chance you might find yourself stuck in the rain, and you don’t want to have your belongings damaged, right? 

So, avoid being caught off guard and add a rain cover that fits and protects your whole bag to make sure you’ll keep away from any critical damage the rain may cause to your gadgets. 

4. Quick-dry Towel

You have limited space in your bag, so priorities are all you’ll need. A quick-dry towel will prevent you from staying wet for a whole afternoon after a shower or a dip in the pool.

Remember to always carry one of these with you, since several places don’t include towels in the accommodation. Plus, if you’re visiting the beach, you’ll probably need more than one!

5. Toiletries

Group all these: a razor, blade, toothbrush, toothpaste, sunscreen, and any other thing you need to take care of your face and body. It’s essential to include a small bag of this in your packing list to stay fresh and clean.

6. Universal Travel Adapter and Battery Pack

You’ll never know when you’ll need these, but when you do, they will save your life. A universal adapter and battery pack will assure you that you can stay plugged in regardless of where you are. Plus, if you are on a more extended trip or don’t have access to a store, you’ll be able to charge all your devices whenever you need them.

7. Noise-canceling Headphones

Has it ever happened to you that you need to work and you can’t concentrate because everyone in your house is talking, singing, dancing, screaming, etc? ? With noise-canceling headphones, this problem is gone. Whether you’re in a crowded coffee shop or a noisy co-working space, you won’t have any trouble if you’re wearing these. You’ll have the freedom to work anywhere you want. 

8. Camera and Tripod

Got to your destination and forgot your camera? It has happened to almost every traveler, and if you’re short on budget, you won’t be able to get one. So, pack it right now.

Plus, you don’t want to come back from this trip and have all the landscape pictures, right? A tripod will help you take photos of yourself at every fantastic location you visit. 

9. Cable Organizer

Do you spend hours untangling the cables you carry in your bag? As a digital nomad, this will save you several headaches. So, try to gey a cable organizer to avoid that kind of situation. It’ll help you organize and keep track of your chargers for all your essential devices. 

10. Portable Hard Drive

Save everything you work on! 

Where? A portable hard drive. Your files are your most valuable thing as a digital nomad, so avoid losing them and always carry one of these. 

11. A Pen 

Immigration processes are always long and tedious, and you always need to fill a lot of forms. Pens are a universal right, but sometimes you can’t find someone to lend it to you, especially during pandemic times where everyone is a bit more paranoid. So keep a pen in your bag. Then, you’ll be able to fill out the documents before landing and run through immigration with no tourists annoying you.

12. Reusable Water Bottle

Remember that time you were dying of thirst at the airport, and all you had was a $10 bottle of water? We’ve all been through these situations, and you know how frustrating it can be. Plus, who would pay $10 for water? 

So, carry a reusable water bottle with you, and you’ll never have to overpay for water at the airport or at any expensive location you visit. 

What Not to Pack

1. Big Shoes

Be honest. Nobody needs more than two pairs of shoes to travel. As long as you take the comfortable ones to walk – and some kind of flip-flops- in case you’re going to the beach – you’ll be fine. And you’ll save tons of space in your suitcase.

2. Books

Reading is one of the most beautiful things to do when you’re on a trip, but you won’t be able to take from home all the books you’ll read. Imagine how much a suitcase full of books can weigh! 

If you love to read, consider buying a Kindle or downloading your favorite books on your laptop or iPad. It’ll save you a lot of trouble when packing. If not, you can pick one or two books to carry while you travel, and when you finish with them, start buying some new ones. 

3. Excessive Coats

Though it’s nice to feel fashionable, it’s tough for a digital nomad. When you pack, take one coat – only if you know it can get cold while you’re there – and one rain cover. These two will prevent you from any unpredictable weather.  

4. Hairdryer

Think about the utility of this item. Do you need it? 

If you tie your hair back or let it air dry, you’ll save space for other items, and you won’t have to worry about blowing a fuse in a foreign country if you don’t have a suitable converter. 

But if you still insist on having a hairdryer, consider buying a cheap and small one in the destination you’ll stay longer, so at least you’re sure to have the correct voltage. 

5. Soap and Shampoo

Don’t waste luggage space on soap and shampoo; you can get them wherever you go. 

Basic toiletries like these tend to be available in accommodations. However, if that’s not the case, you can always get some in a nearby grocery store. And visiting other countries’ shops is an enchanting activity!

Digital Nomad: The Ultimate Packing Checklist

All Things Packed?

You know all the must-have items for a digital nomad now. So, are you ready to set the luggage? 

Preferences will always vary when you’re packing, depending on the destination you’re visiting and the digital nomad you want to become. But one thing is for sure; you have to travel comfortably. 

Avoid those annoying items you never use when you visit a foreign country and prioritize the essential ones. Plus, as a digital nomad, you won’t be able to afford to miss electronic devices or hygiene items. You never know when you can be caught off guard!

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