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I’ve tried many different gadgets and devices over my six years of travel and location independence, and it’s hard to keep up with the seemingly never-ending stream of new things. Here are some of the best digital nomad gadgets I personally use and recommend and have for quite some time. These gadgets and devices help me stay organised and be more efficient working remotely and make my travels easier and safer!
Best Digital Nomad Gadgets
Table of content:
- Work – Digital Nomad Gadgets
- Pleasure – Travel Essentials
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1. Work: Must-Have Digital Nomad Gadgets & Devices
It all starts with your laptop. There are for sure many great brands that offer travel laptops but my choice is a MacBook Air Laptop. I bought it years ago when I lived in Perth, Western Australia, and I’ve not regretted my buy. In fact, I would get the exact same one again only with a bigger screen as I think it makes a difference between 11″ and 13″ (mine is the smaller one). Other than that, I think it’s the best choice for people who work remotely and travel a lot.
It wouldn’t be possible for me to work remotely without my external hard disk. I use one from Toshiba that has 1TB of memory, but you’ll find a huge pool of different brands if you search for external hard drives. Make sure to backup your files to an online platform too in case your hard drive breaks or gets lost. For this, I use iCloud and Google Photos and try to save as many of my texts in Google drive.
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When you live out of your suitcase, you appreciate little things that help you stay organised and control the mess. An external hard drive organizer comes in really handy to protect your external hard drive and keep your cables and USB sticks all in one place.
Before I got mine, I used an old first aid kit bag to store my disk. People would make jokes about how I was always prepared for an emergency when they saw me sitting in a cafe with my laptop and the fire-red first aid kit next to me! LOL
Working while on the road can bring quite a few challenges. Finding good WIFI or a plug to recharge your devices are probably the two most common worries for digital nomads. So, if you want to stay on top of things you should get yourself a travel power bank to be able to recharge your phone, camera and laptop wherever and whenever you want.
There are plenty of options to choose from but not all power banks are actually suitable for travelling due to their weight or size. I chose this portable charger because it allows me to charge both your laptop and phone/camera. If you are looking for a smaller and less pricey option, I recommend the Anker PowerCore 10000, which doesn’t let you charge your laptop but is a great power bank for smartphones and tablets!
Working wherever you want is one of the best parts of being a digital nomad and I enjoy it every single day. However, I am guilty of not always choosing the smartest option for replacing a proper desk or table. Of course, you could stay in your apartment or hotel room but hammocks sometimes sound too tempting… 🙂
I suggest you opt for a healthier and more productive place to work though, in order to prevent neck or back pain! Whichever choice you make, with a small laptop like my tiny MacBook Air, a laptop stand helps big time to sit up straight. Trust me, I’ve worked in all sorts of different places all over the world, such as hotel lobbies, airports, bus stations, in cafes right by the beach or even in bed. But getting older (and wiser!?), I am choosing now co-working spaces over the above options whenever possible and bring my folding aluminium Macbook stand!
Also very handy and has been in use for quite a while: my world adapter! Wherever I go, I can put my plugs in any socket in the world and don’t have to get an adapter in every new country/continent! Really great!
Even though you can get very cheap travel adapters in supermarkets or your next door kiosk, I wouldn’t go too cheap because those ones break easily. And who wants to go shopping for a travel adapter the first thing after arriving at your new destination!? Boring!
As mentioned above good and reliable Internet is always a hot topic amongst digital nomads. For me, this was the number one pain in the arm before I got my mobile hotspot! I remember that on our trip from Cancun through Central and South America I spent hours waiting to upload pictures to my blog. And sometimes this wasn’t even possible due to a slow connection like for example on the Galapagos Islands.
This portable hotspot is SIM-card free and even comes with 1GB initial data. I think, it’s a big life saver or actually, a huge time saver!
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Oh, this one is one of my favourite little gadgets (perhaps the least necessary one, but I still love it!)! My backpack organizer:
This little helper I find equally useful like the above mentioned external hard drive organizer, but this one lets you literally fix everything small to the straps: from a lip balm, pens, cables to USB sticks or even a small camera. Goodbye, long searches for your stuff or messy carry-on luggage! Again, you’ll appreciate those type of things, even more, when you have lived out of your bag for quite a while.
Working anywhere other than an office (or perhaps your home) can mean a lot of noise and thus a lot of distraction. So, I recommend creating your own personal creative space by using these noise-cancelling headphones. Of course, headphones use up more space than earphones but I find it’s so worth it: my noise-cancelling headphones help me stay focused every time I work from a busy cafe, airport, hotel lobby etc. This is something every digital nomad should get!
If you prefer earphones instead, then you’ll find plenty of different types and it comes down to your personal taste which ones you like best. For me, I prefer the actual headphones over earphones. For some reason, the latter never stay in my ear and fall out as soon as I move…
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2. Pleasure: Travel Essentials
There are so many helpful things you could get to make your trips safer and more comfortable. Perhaps I’ll write another post for this category one day. But today, I share just a few basic things that I think are useful and necessary when travelling long-term.
This is the newest amongst my digital nomad gadgets and I am really excited to have this baby on board! For the past six years, I had been eying other people with their wide-angle zoom cameras… I wanted one too, but I always decided against one. Simply because I thought they are too big, too heavy and too nerve-wracking to carry along (considering their value!). But… now, since we have our little nomad baby in our lives, who is determining our pace and travel style, I thought it was time to upgrade our travel gear.
Before that, we would use a Nikon 1 J5 Mirrorless Digital Camera which is a great camera, especially for videos. In fact, according to the sales guy I remember, it is one of the best 4k cameras of that size!
I’d say, get a small camera at first and see if you like photography at all. And then, you can always get a bigger and more professional one later. It’s definitely a lot easier to travel with a small camera, for sure, the pictures’ quality increase a lot though! Ah, your call!
Honestly, get yourself a luggage weigher! You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to unpack and reorganise my luggage at the airport before I got one of these! Seriously, it’s a small tool that can save you a lot of time (and money!).
In the Philippines, for example, did we fly a lot in between the different islands and were travelling with only a carry-on bag! For some reason, I managed to get to the airport always with more stuff in my suitcase. Air Asia is very strict and lets you only take 7kg, which is NOT a lot, considering the weight of your beach towel alone! So each time, I had to get out some clothes to meet the 7kg (and then board the plane with 10 layers of extra clothes looking like a complete fool! 😀 )! Get a luggage weigher, seriously!
When you go on vacation, the last thing you think about is getting up early, I know. But as soon as travelling becomes part of your lifestyle, you’re back to ‘normal’ things like getting up early. True story! So, I’d say, get yourself a travel alarm clock to never miss a plane or train and which is also great if you need to save battery on your phone.
And to be honest, sleeping in when you’re in paradise spots like this one, would be a waste of time anyways!
What are your must-have digital nomad gadgets? I am sure, there are many more that are not on this list! Leave a comment and share your thoughts, thanks and happy travels!
You should def pin this!