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Digital Nomad Tools and Tips

The Only Digital Nomad Packing List You Need (2020)

Less is often more! That is definitely true for your nomad packing list. Here is a guide with essentials and super useful things to make your life on the road as comfy as possible.

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Packing for a trip can be a stressful experience for a lot of people. You have an idea of what you want to bring, but when it gets down to actually packing, you question everything. You either have too much or not enough stuff or have no idea where to begin.

If you’re a digital nomad, it can be even more stressful – you are carrying your whole life around with you. 

So what do you put on your digital nomad packing list? It may seem like a daunting task, but don’t worry! 

In this article, we will tell you what to pack as a digital nomad to ensure you have all the essentials and make your packing experience stress-free.


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Where to begin 

You’ve scored an online job, bought your plane ticket, and are almost ready to go, but you don’t have any digital nomad gear! 

Let’s start from the beginning.

Looking to get started as a digital nomad?  

Check out my Social Media Marketing Guide

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A great item to put on your digital nomad packing list – lightweight and super handy!

This ebook covers all the topics needed when starting out on social media or when you’re feeling stuck with your current strategy.


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Backpack vs. Carry on Suitcase

There is a great debate between using a backpack or a suitcase for travel. Depending on what kind of traveler you are, one will better suit your traveling style. However, if you’re unsure where your travels might take you, a backpack is a more comfortable option to travel with.

Having a digital nomad backpack makes it easier to travel from place to place, without the worry of lugging your suitcase along. Especially in countries where sidewalks are non-existent, and traffic is crazy, it’s easier to navigate the streets with a backpack. 

When traveling with a suitcase, you usually want to get to your destination right away to drop it off, so you can start exploring, hands-free. With a backpack, you’re able to take your time getting to your destination and not worry about your baggage – literally.

One of the best brands for a digital nomad backpack is Osprey. This is the best carry-on backpack for digital nomads, as it is the perfect size to fit everything you need for your trip, while also meeting the carry-on restrictions for most airlines. This bag is excellent for city breaks or exploring the countryside. It’s water-resistant, comfortable, and you can fit up to 40L.

Black backpack

Great, so you have your backpack (or suitcase), but now for the hard part, what do you need to bring?

Digital Nomad Packing List – Everyday Items

Clothes

One of the hardest parts of packing is thinking of what clothes to bring. Traveling light is always the way to go, so how can you keep to being a minimalist digital nomad while carrying everything you need? 

If you stick with the basics, you can’t go wrong! It can seem challenging to pack for different countries and climates, but one of the best tips I’ve received is you can always layer clothes! It’s recommended that you pack enough clothes for a week. You’re sure to pick up some new clothes on your travels!

Digital nomad fashion is what you want it to be. One great part about being a digital nomad is that you don’t have to go into an office every day, but instead, you get to choose where your office is for the day. Your outfits can range from loungewear to a bathing suit, or if you want to get dressed up, you can – it’s up to you!


Comfortable Walking Shoes

Whether you plan on walking a lot or not, most likely you will end up walking a lot. One of the best ways to explore a city is by foot, so make sure you bring comfortable walking shoes so your feet can keep up!

Flip Flop Sandals

If you’re planning to visit multiple climates and destinations, having a pair of flip flop sandals for warmer weather will make your life much easier! Flip flops are great for the beach, or if you are staying in hostels, having a pair of flip flops for showers is a necessity.

A pair of golden colored flip flop sandals

Day Bag

You might find yourself in an adventurous destination and need a bag to bring along for the day. This foldable day backpack is light to carry around and compact so that it won’t take up too much room. It folds into a zipped inner pocket that you can easily pack for your trip. You can unfold it from the pocket, into a backpack in seconds. The backpack has mesh shoulder straps with plenty of padding to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the day. 

It’s lightweight, water-resistant, and comfortable – what more do you need!

A green backpack and various colour options next to it.

Quick-dry towel

A quick-drying or microfiber towel is an excellent thing to have on your travels! First, it doesn’t take up much room – you can fold it down, so it takes up as much space as a t-shirt. Second, it really is quick-drying – you won’t have to worry about it getting the rest of your clothes wet.

Travel towel bag and rolled up travel towel underneath it.

Combination Lock

A combination lock is essential to keep everything safe. We recommend a combination lock (vs. a key lock), so it is one less thing to lose! Most hostels will have lockers, but it’s up to you to bring the lock. 

A blue combination lock with numbers.

Toiletries 

You should pack the essential toiletries for your travels such as a toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, a brush, and anything else you will need! 

Keep in mind that you can purchase most toiletries on your travels, so don’t worry about bringing enough for your whole trip.

However, you should pack anything special you use, such as hair products or makeup, as you might not be able to find the same ones abroad!

What to Pack – Technology

As a digital nomad, you will be carrying some tech with you, but what is essential to bring? Of course, you will need your laptop and phone but outside of those, let’s look at what digital nomad gadgets and accessories to bring along.

World Travel Adapter

Wherever your travels might take you, you always need to be plugged in! With this world travel adapter, you will be ready to work from anywhere. This travel adapter accepts plugs from more than 150 countries. It also contains USB ports so you can charge more than one device at once. 

A black travel adapter.

Noise-canceling Headphones

As a digital nomad, you will be working from different places on your journey. Some will definitely be noisier than others, so it’s essential to have all the tools to be as productive as possible! Whether you are working from the airport, a coffee shop, or a coworking space, all the new noises will get distracting. 

Noise-cancelling headphones will keep you focused and in the zone. Over the ear, headphones take up more space than traditional headphones, but it’s worth it to keep you productive!

Black headphones.

Portable Battery Charger

As a digital nomad, you need to make sure you can work to keep living your lifestyle. Having a portable battery charger on hand will help ensure this. It’s light and compact, so you won’t even notice it’s there, and you will always be prepared and able to use your devices. 

Black portable battery charger by Anker.

Electronic Organizer

Between all your gadgets, your electronics can get tangled or damaged if they are free in your bag. An electronic organizer will keep all your devices in place and safe! This organizer is waterproof, secure, and easy to access.

An open bag to organise electronics with various color options on the side.

What to pack – Extra room

If you have extra room in your bag, here are some additional items that will make your digital nomad journey easier.

Kindle

It can be hard to find time to sit down with a good book between work and life. Traveling is a great time to indulge in all those books on your booklist. A Kindle is a great way to have your choice of books on the go.

It’s great to unwind on the beach or to keep you entertained during your flights.

A Kindle from back and front.

Classic Notebook 

A writing notebook is always handy when working online. You can use it to document your trip or to make a digital nomad checklist for your work or travels. It’s a great way to keep track of everything that happens during your digital nomad journey.

Turquoise classic writing notebook.

Reusable Water Bottle

A reusable water bottle keeps you hydrated and is an excellent alternative to buying plastic water bottles (the environment will thank you). Not every place you visit will have drinkable tap water, but when you do refill it, the insulated bottle will keep your water fresh and cool.  

Eight reusable drinking bottles in different colors.

Leave It At Home

External Hard Drive

While having a physical backup of your work can feel safer, you are able to back up your work in so many different ways these days – iCloud, Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. An external hard drive is just another thing to lose, and most likely, you’re already backing up your work online, so it’s just added space!

Guidebooks

It’s always fun and exciting to buy a guidebook about your next destination but leave those bulky books at home! Everything is at the tip of your fingertips on the internet so you can research your destination as you go (and document everything in your new notebook).


Packing Tips

  • If you run out of space while packing, bring items that would be expensive to replace on your trip
  • Make a copy of your passport and any other important travel documents and keep them in a different location to the real ones
  • Don’t carry a lot of cash at once. You will be able to take out money from your destination
  • You can download a map of a city in Google Maps, and use it when you are offline, without data or internet

What else is on your digital nomad packing list?


Are you interested in becoming a digital nomad, but not sure where to begin? 

Check out the ultimate guide for online success, Kickin’ It On Social Media, to help you start your digital nomad journey.


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By Julia

Julia is the founder and chief editor of Jey Jetter, a site that showcases the option of working remotely and travel as much as you like. Julia is a former PR/marketing consultant who turned into a remote working social media manager, travel writer and public speaker living location independently since 2011. She has been to 86 countries on all 6 continents and lived in several different countries for more than six months. Her laptop is her office and the label 'digital nomad' fits best to describe her lifestyle. On this site, she writes about personal freedom, remote work and her passion for travelling.

10 replies on “The Only Digital Nomad Packing List You Need (2020)”

Thank you so much for this detailed list. I added a few things to my own packing list for the next trip!

Great packing tips! I always end up forgetting my adapter so have to buy a new one in every location.

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