9 Tips to Become a Digital Minimalist Nomad

minimalist digital nomad

Do you remember ‘Into the wild’? In the movie, the main character, Alexander Supertramp,  gets rid of money and material things to be free in his nomadic life. Is this the same dream for a minimalist digital nomad? 

Well, not exactly. A nomad minimalist doesn’t get rid of all money and possessions – you can’t really travel without cash or working, can you?  

As Cal Newport’s book explained, Digital Minimalism is a philosophy related to technology use. The idea is to optimize items and activities focussing on the essentials. Rather than rejecting material things, it’s all about finding out what is necessary for you and what is not. 

But, how to start being a minimalist digital nomad?

Minimalist Philosophy For Digital Nomads: What Is It About?

When we talk about minimalist philosophy, we refer to a state of mind instead of physical reality. Being a minimalist digital nomad is different from owning nothing. It’s more about understanding what you truly need and getting rid of what is unnecessary. 

Inspired by the Japanese Zen philosophy, a nomad minimalist focuses on the essential. Besides the spiritual aspect, nomad minimalism also has its practical reasons. Working and traveling as a digital nomad means carrying with you all your possessions. And material objects have a weight – right on your shoulders. 

So, let’s have a look at the must-have for a minimalist digital nomad!

Nomadic Minimalist Lifestyle for Digital Nomads: How Does It Look Like?

To put it simply, nomadic minimalism works around simple principles. Instead of constantly buying new things (that won’t fit in your bag), you put together the essentials to survive in any possible situation. 

So, when you prepare your back, check if any item is:

  • Durable
  • Good quality
  • Multi-functional
  • Light-weight 
  • Compact

For example, instead of packing an umbrella, get a waterproof bag and a light rain jacket that you can use on different occasions. Or, rather than extra blankets, you can bring warmth-retaining clothing. 

In addition, being a minimalist digital nomad means finding an essential routine. Instead of spending money on expensive rooms or entertainment, you can live in the city working in different cafes and meeting locals. Or, you can explore the food market to learn more about local meals and eat healthily. 

In short, a nomadic minimalist lifestyle combines a spiritual and practical attitude to: 
  • Travel lighter 
  • Cut unnecessary expenses 
  • Long-stay instead of short holidays in 5 stars hotels 
  • Eat local instead of international restaurants

Advantages and Disadvantages for Minimalist Digital Nomads 

However, becoming a minimalist digital nomad has risks and cons – like everything in life. Let’s have a look at how to transform disadvantages into advantages taking the full potential of this lifestyle: 

nomadic minimalist

9 Tips To Become A Minimalist Digital Nomad 

nomadic minimalist

1. Food

We all need to eat. And there is nothing worse than traveling all day and getting to your next destination when all the food shops are closed. So, always keep some space for basic food and ensure a meal in any situation. 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring With You

If you are flying to your destination, the most convenient option is to book a day flight and shop at your arrival. However, when you are traveling by train, moving through different hostels, it’s worth including the food you can carry and cook easily everywhere. From late arrivals to different opening hours, you can ensure a healthy meal without spending a fortune (especially accumulating leftovers!). Here are some ideas for your minimalist backpack: 

  • Pack of pasta 
  • Tomato sauce 
  • 3 cans (beans, tuna, corn)
  • Onion and garlic 
  • Pack of bread 
  • Peanut butter, Nutella, or jam (you can even collect the small ones at free breakfast!)

2. Technology

For digital nomads, electronics are essential as food. Besides connecting with family and friends, you need tech equipment to work. Your work tools have priority when you pack! 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • Laptop (Who can live without one?)
  • Smartphone
  • Tablet, Kindle, second phone (Optional)
  • Headphones, Noise-canceling earphones
  • Two universal adapters
  • Chargers and cables
  • Portable Hard Drive
  • Multi-socket extension
  • Camera (Optional)
  • Portable Speakers (Optional)

3. Shoes 

Now, you need to walk around. And shoes are a complex matter – especially for women. Depending on where you are going, you will need different shoes. If you move to Portugal in August, you don’t want boots or sandals traveling in Prague in February. However, you still need to pack a pair of shoes for any weather and circumstances.

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • Flip-flops 
  • Sandals 
  • Hiking shoes, boots 
  • A good pair of sneakers 

4. Clothes

When it comes to clothing, it’s always personal what you need. Some people prefer different outfits, while others are fine with a few items. On a general level, consider how often you are likely to do laundry when traveling. And try to pack clothes to survive two weeks, bringing functional clothing that you can use on multiple occasions. Finally, invest in good clothes to make them last as long as you can. For example, brands like Columbia or NorthFace are more expensive, but you gain in quality and durability. 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • 10/12 T-shirts
  • 3/5  tank tops
  • 1/2 long sleeve T-shirts
  • 2/4 Sweaters/Hoodies
  • 4 Pants
  • 4 Shorts or Skirts 
  • Light raincoat or a poncho
  • Heavy jacket 
  • Nice jacket for fancy nights
  • 5/7 pairs of socks and 2 pairs of formal socks (Try Smartwool, they are great for traveling!)
  • 7-12 Underwear (Try WAMA)

PS. Of course, you can add wherever you want, or leave space to buy clothes on the way. It’s up to you! 

5. Accessories

In addition, you can add extra accessories for each season. For example, in a hot country, you will need sunglasses or gloves in a cold one. Finally, always bring a couple of extra towels – not every hostel or accommodation provides one! 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • Swimwear
  • Dry towels
  • Sunglasses
  • Hats
  • Gym clothing 

6. Toiletries

Toiletries are also essentials when traveling. Once again, you need to bring everything you might need, instead of buying new things every time.

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • Haircare (Shampoo, conditioner, oil, cream – you can even try the solid ones! They are better for the environment and take less space.)
  • Body wash
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Nail clipper and nail file
  • Razors
  • Deodorant
  • Skincare (Facewash, makeup remover, tonic, moisture cream) 
  • Sun cream
  • Make-up items
  • Tampon or moon cup (Consider the type of journey you want to do, and if you have access to running water. In case, bring a few tampons for emergencies)

7. Useful Extra tools

Again, you can add to your bag extra tools to be ready for any challenge. This section is very personal and strongly depends on the type of traveling and remote job you have. 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • Sleeping kit (Eye mask, ear-plugs, and a neck pillow)
  • Water bottle
  • Thermos 
  • Power bank 
  • Spare laptop battery
  • Bluetooth shutter remote
  • Internet extension 

8. Medicines

Wherever happens, bring with you essential medicine. Especially traveling in exotic places, it’s good to have all the necessary treatment just in case. 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

  • First aid kit (Bandages, antiseptic, painkillers, antibiotics) 
  • Paracetamol, Buscopan 
  • Extra medications you may be taking

9. Packing objects

Finally, bring packing objects to be organized. Most backpacks already have zips and separated bags. However, based on what you will carry with you, organize each section separately to simplify the access when traveling. 

Minimalist Digital Nomad Packing List: What To Bring in Your Backpack

ProTips: If you are working and traveling, you need to organize your tech items. Here is a list of the best bag for electronics for digital nomads and travelers: 


To recap, a minimalist digital nomad knows how to pack the essentials to survive in any situation. More than a spiritual attitude, it’s a style of life that transforms your way of thinking and acting – while lightening up your luggage! 


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