Digital Nomad Packing List [January 2020]
If you are a Digital Nomad, the truth is that packing comes with its own unique set of challenges.
How much tech stuff should you bring? What sort of clothes should you pack? What sort of Digital Nomad Gear do you need?
Fear not Digital Nomad! This is exactly why we wrote this epic Digital Nomad Packing list for 2020!
Written by Digital Nomad, this list will show you the things you need, the things that you might not need (but are awesome) and most importantly, will recommend a few things you can leave at home.
Let’s jump right into it!
What’s the key to organisational success as a Digital Nomad? Packing smart!
But seriously this is literally impossible to do unless you’ve got: a) a great backpack; and b) additional packing accessories for extra gear segregation. Stuff like:
#1 - Nomatic Travel Bag
Why it’s awesome… The Nomatic Travel Bags come with a ton of cool features like Vented Shoe Compartments, Tech Storage and Water Proof Bottle Holders. They’re also insanely Durable, Stylish plus made of Water Resistant Material.
With three types available – the Nomatic Backpack, Nomatic Travel Pack and Nomatic Travel Bag (in 30L and 40L), there is something for every length of trip. (For more info, check out our Epic Guide on Choosing the Right Nomatic Pack).
You should pack this if… You want a reliable, Digital Nomad friendly Backpack, that is extremely easy to be organised from and can be lived out of for up to 7 days.
Check out the coolest backpacks for Digital Nomads.
Why it’s awesome… Slings are hip – but not without good reason!
The Bellroy Sling is a great example of why slings are both cool, and a must have while traveling the world.
Slings draw less attention, are more manageable, and are just as durable as backpacks. Plus they are just lighter and more fun.
Out of all of the slings we’ve tried, the Bellroy is our favorite.
You should pack this if… you want a simple, yet durable sling, that you can use in your day to day travels. Slings help streamline your daily travel experience, and this is one of the best. Check out our full Bellroy Sling Review or if you want a sling for tech gear, have a read of our Peak Design Everyday Sling review.
Why it’s awesome…These Packing Cubes are the perfect way to simultaneously segregate clothing as well as compress it down to save packing space.
The soft mesh wont damage delicate fabrics and there’s also a webbing handle making each packing cube convenient to carry alone.
You should pack this if…. If you don’t have a packing cube included in your backpack, you should definitely make sure you have one because they both help save space and keep your clothing clean and neatly folded.
Of course, having more than one makes clothing segregation even. easier – even…breezier.
Why it’s awesome… This should probably be #1 on the list.
Easy. As Digital Nomads you have TONS of electronics and tech stuff, and the Peak Design Tech Pouch gives you and easy, and secure way or organising everything.
It’s kindof a miracle.
You should pack this if… You have tech accessories that you want to keep organised, but no tech storage section in your bag.
That said, even if you do have a backpack with tech storage (like the Nomatics), this gives you yet another dedicated area for things like cables, chargers, SD Cards, earpods and other small – medium sized tech.
Why it’s awesome… 99% of toiletry bags are lame and poorly designed. But Peak Design takes their products seriously, and have created one of the coolest and most efficient toiletry bags we’ve seen. And the amount of stuff you can fit in it is fairly mind-blowing…
You should pack this if…. You are travelling with any toiletries whatsoever…which…we really hope you are.
Digital Nomad Tech
Digital. Nomad. Let’s focus on that first word there for a second. Digi-tal. Sounds pretty cool right? But if you’re gonna talk the talk, you better be able to type the type.
Excelling in the online work sphere doesn’t just mean having a good laptop. Nowadays, there’s so much more essential kit that’s required for work efficiency – especially for when you’re on the go.
Without it, you’ll be several steps behind the rest. With it, you could be a leap ahead. And by it, we mean:
#6 - Macbook Pro 15 Inch
Why it’s awesome… With an excellent user interface as well as rapid loading speed, it’s little surprise why the Macbook Pro’s are currently the number one laptop for digital nomads.
To list just some of it’s features, it includes an inbuilt cam and mic for video calls, slide mouse and traditional keyboard layout and displays what is truly a crystal clear image on the screen.
You should pack this if… You want an extremely work efficient laptop that is also light and compact. The Macbook Pro is insanely space efficient and feels about as light as a thin, hardback book of it’s size.
AT 15 inches, it’s compatible with the laptop sleeve provided by most travel backpacks for work, such as the Nomatic packs.
Feeling the need to compare the macbook pro to some other travel laptops first? No problem – check out our comprehensive article on the Best Laptops for Digital Nomads.
#7- Roost Laptop Stand
Why it’s awesome… Neck, shoulder and back pain plus repetitive wrist strain are common occurrences amongst frequent laptop users – and they cause major discomfort, mkay?
But that needn’t be the case.. The solution is so simple – use a laptop stand!
The Roost Laptop Stand is highly adjustable, allowing you to tailor it specifically for your height and chair type – plus it can fold down and is extremely light, making it great for travel.
You should pack this if… You want to maintain good posture and rid yourself of unnecessary physical tension and discomfort. You have minimal space in your backpack.
#8 - Satechi Type-C 75W Travel Charger
Why it’s awesome… The Satechi Type-C 75W Travel Charger provides spectacularly fast charging – you can wham up your iPhone’s charger by 50% in just 30 minutes with this bad boy!
It’s also highly compact, plus the AC Plug is Removable for easy Storage – both of which make this a great charger to have with you on the road.
You should pack this if… You plan on using your laptop to work outside of home anywhere, ever.
Seriously; being able to charge your electronic tech without access to a power socket can mean the difference between continuing to work somewhere or having to call it a day.
#9- Chafon Multi USB Cable
Why it’s awesome…The Chafon Multi USB Cable includes all the major USB Cable alternates and keeps them together in one place.
Add to that the fact each cord is just 5.3 inches, making tangling an impossibility…and it’s easy to see why this is hands down the most organised, space efficient and cheapest way to keep your USB Cable Alternates.
You should pack this if… You need to connect different kinds of tech. Take the Satechi Travel Charger: it requires a USB-C Cable to connect to and charge a laptop.
Even if you have all the USB Cables, it’s always a good idea to have a spare – and what better a way to group your spare USBs then to have them in one place where they’re literally attached to eachother.
#10 - Pac2Go Universal Travel Adaptor
Why it’s awesome… With adjustable voltage, it’s own handy storage bag, an ergonomic rubberised oil surface for grip, retractable pins to minimise bulkiness, virtually full global usability and the ability to charge up to five devices….
…the Pac2Go has an absolutely insane range of great features for one little Travel Adaptor! You’re going to love it like a dog loves bones.
You should pack this if…Honestly, a Universal Travel Adaptor is probably the most essential piece of kit for a Digital Nomad after a laptop.
You will be 100% unable to work, if you’re in a country that doesn’t have power sockets which are compatible with your power chargers.
Why it’s awesome… Despite being extremely affordable, the Nikon Coolpix B700 is loaded with incredible features for user experience and snapping great pictures – oh and footage to, since it also films in 4K.
It has a vari-angle screen so you can see what you’re shooting, a 60x Optical Zoom lense; plus 18 scene modes – or easy auto mode if that’s more your jam ;).
You should pack this if… You are serious about snapping great pictures and film footage whilst on the go…but don’t have a degree or even necessarily much experience in photography.
Honestly, we found the Nikon CoolPix B700 extremely easy to use, both because it’s uncomplicated and thanks to features like the vibration reduction and auto easy mode.
For further cam reviews and comparisons, you can check out our entire piece on the 11 Best Cameras for Digital Nomads.
Why it’s awesome…These things are super convenient. The case easily fits in your pocket and when connected to your phone, the airpods automatically switch to an incoming call when someone rings you.
As far as music is concerned, these babies produce rich, high quality sound. With a charge of over 24 hours and the ability to recharge them in the case…that’s a lot of music to enjoy.
You should pack this if… You love listening to music but often forget to charge your tech! You can charge the earpods three times from the case wirelessly.
You love listening to music at work – these things are great for taking calls, ordering Siri (just say “hey Siri” with them in!) and stop playing the moment you remove one.
Why it’s awesome… The curvature design allows 360 HD sound – combine that with dualbass double subwoofers and the fact you can pair two of these bad boys together – and for one little speaker the Treblab HD77 packs a serious bass wobble.
It’s also virtually indestructible. Waterproof? Check. Kickproof? Check. Sandproof? Check. Terminator Proof? We’ll get back to you. This isn’t Sarah O’ freakin Connor ok!
It’s also surprisingly small, making it incredibly easy to pack whilst taking up minimal space.
You should pack this if… You like DJ’ing during social occasions and want to do so without the tinny sound of music playing off someone’s phone.
You want a speaker that will survive the test of every location you use it – meaning you can use it anywhere!
Why it’s awesome… Jeez, does this really need an explanation? The GlocalMe lets you access WiFi any time, anywhere; without a local SIM or roaming charges. Game. Changer.
You can download movies, music and reading with it as well as share connection with your friends on up to 5 separate devices!
It’s also multifunctional, working as a traditional unlocked WI-FI Hotspot, with two SIM Card slots or even serving as a power bank able to charge a phone three times.
You should pack this if… You are rapidly passing through many different countries and you don’t have a Global Data Package. In the long term, it will be cheaper than constantly buying new local SIM’s.
Why it’s awesome… SD Memory Cards are crucial for seamless file transfer between devices. Whether it’s HD Video, Photographs or Documentation Files, an SD Memory Card makes file sharing quick, easy and breezy.
You should pack this if… You ever need to share files with coworkers, or between multiple devices (having a macbook and camera counts as two!). You want another place to back up files.
Why it’s awesome… Because it’s completely retractable, this is the perfect travelling HDMI Cable – it’s compact, lightweight and tangle free, plus extremely easy to pack away.
You should pack this if… There’s times when you need to connect your laptop to a monitor, projector, HDTV – this could come in handy for meetings or simply being able to watch that Netflix on the Big Screen, rather just your laptop. Mind = Blown.
Why it’s awesome…With a wide range of functions the Nombargo Adaptor combines the function of what would normally be several items…down into one. Abrah-ko-fucking-dabra.
You should pack this if… You ever need to connect multiple devices to one another, share files, and/or have other multiple pieces of tech that require an adaptor to interconnect them.
Why it’s awesome… The Hero7 intelligently applies HDR, Local Tone Mapping and Noise Reduction to help you catch the perfect shot. It even automatically chooses the best shots for you!
Combine this a Super Compact Design…seriously, it barely takes up more space than iphone (!) and this is the ultimate travel friendly, all situational camera of choice for Digital Nomads.
You should pack this if… You love snapping HD photos and videos in a variety of settings, some of which would break daintier cameras – like underwater, cliff jumping and motorcycle riding!
You want an extremely user friendly camera that takes up virtually no space whatsoever.
Why it’s awesome… Moleskin Notebooks are critically acclaimed among digital nomads. That’s because despite their beautiful yet tough cover and slick ivory pages, they’re very affordable.
For organising your off screen notes they’re great – an elastic band keeps them shut and they have paper wallets at the back for document storage!
You should pack this if… You have any kind of information that you want to record on paper – simply choose a notebook with the page type that best suits your needs.
Why it’s awesome…In addition to it’s insane range of other uses, the 2CL Direct Pen is made of strong anti-rust aluminium and features an ergonomic handle that’ll make it extremely handy to take notes in that Moleskin Notebook.
You should pack this if…. In between writing, you want a pen to impress your friends with, fight crime (even in the dark) and open hard earned bottles of beer.
Digital Nomad Packing List for On-the-Go
Travelling between destinations- whether by plane, train, automobile or dragon can be an arduous process.
Just when you’d settled into one location, it’s very easy to fuck up your body clock and energy levels from a long uncomfortable ride to your next destination.
It happened to the original nomads when they trekked mighty distances across vast deserts on scroungy camels and it can happen to you on the bus listening to Bob Marley to. Unless you arm yourself properly:
Why it’s awesome…Trtl Neck Supports are formidably comfortable and thanks to their hidden internal support and cushty fleece cushioning keeps your head in a better position as you sleep. Compact and weighing only half a pound, it’s a travellers dream.
You should pack this if…. You’ll be embarking on transport routes where you need to catch some shut eye. Let’s face it: conventional neck supports, in addiction to being bulky aren’t all that effective. The Trtl, however, is.
Why it’s awesome… You’re never going to find a water bottle that takes up less space than this one. It’s shatter proof silicon body makes it insanely durable and it can also loop around your waist for easy carrying – as well as effortlessly attach to your bag.
You should pack this if…. You want a health friendly water bottle that takes up minimal space and is easy to carry even when you don’t have a backpack to stick it in.
Why it’s awesome… This – thing- rules! In addition to being a sleeping mask with noise cancelling headphones…which connect to any bluetooth device to play music or receive incoming calls…it can be worn as a headband.
It’s made from washable, super breathable and soft material that’ll fit any size head.
You should pack this if…. You struggle to sleep, but find headphones either fall out or uncomfortable when lying on your side. You want a headband/earphone set that does so much more and will also play sleeping tracks, music or meditation apps.
Digital Nomad Toileteries
You definitely want to stay fresh on the road. It’s pretty major for making a good first impression, being bearable to be around for your work partners and having any chance whatsoever of getting laid.
But how can you segregate your various toiletries and what are some must have items that’ll save a shit ton of space? Well:
Why it’s awesome… The Gotubb is an airplane carry on approved, Food Safe Container that’s perfect for storing Pills, Snacks, Vitamins and Knick Knacks.
It easily pops open with one hand – although because it’s see-through you can easily view the contents without having to open it.
You should pack this if…. You want to store those small but abundant items like vitamins and pills in a health concious and convenient way.
Why it’s awesome… The Quip Electric Toothbrush really is as compact as electric toothbrushes get! It’s also waterproof, lightweight and comes with a travel cover…that doubles as a stand and mirror mount! Hot DAYUM!
You should pack this if…. You want to keep yo’ peggies flashy and white by using a toohbrush that is far superior to one of those primitive caveman NON-electric toothbrushes…but which doesn’t take up any more space than one.
Why it’s awesome… It keeps your gooey soap bar separate from your other items – no more opening your toiletries bag and thinking a snail has crawled over everything!
You should pack this if…. You want to use a bar of soap instead of a bottle of bodywash. Seriously, have you tried travelling with soap bars after the first time they’ve been used? It’s slimy, messy and rank. No more. Thanks to this.
Why it’s awesome… Besides being extremely compact, the Youphoria microfibre towel also has a quick snap hook for easy hanging, it’s own travel bag and the microfibre from which it is made is super soft and highly absorbant.
You should pack this if…. You’ll be making any water themed excursions on your travels; this is way more efficient and light to pack than a regular towel. Also if you just want your own towel at a hotel – the same reasons apply.
Digital Nomad Apparel
Look – you’re an adult. Well, either that or some kind of evil baby genius cackling manically as you shit in your diaper. If you’re the latter, we don’t know what to say…”Where’s the Serprankings? There they are”! Maybe…?
But if you’re the former…well we’re not going to tell you how to dress. You’ve got this. We believe in you!
That said we do want to give one piece of essential digital nomad apparel recommendation to both guys and gals. Ladies first:
Why it’s awesome…Besides it’s stylish slim fit and the plush comfort offered by a 60% cotton / 40% polyester material ratio; the Bombax Womens Travel Hoodie is exceptionally ergonomic.
It has 10 pockets for gear storage, including a heavy duty, internal zip pocket for your tablet, plus storage for phone, powerbank, sunnies, water bottle and more.
You should pack this if…. You are a digital chica who craves a hoodie suitable for the workplace, on the go travel and transport and has easy access storage for your main digital weapons of choice.
Why it’s awesome…Insanely Stylish, Comfortable and shockingly affordable, this is the ultimate travel jacket for men.
Made from Water Resistant Material and featuring inbuilt Fingerless Gloves, plus pockets for sunglasses, phone, passport, water bottle, power bank, blanket, tablet and earphones…you can almost fit all your entire digital nomads packing list in it! Nice.
You should pack this if…. You get chilly in those god damn working spaces but want an extra layer that is also suitable for outdoor wear and even sleep. You frequently try and store your gear on your physical person. You want to look like a bomber pilot.
Digital Nomad Packing - Misc
Some Digital Nomad Essentials, just don’t fit in a category. They’re the misfits of the. digital nomad gear world – the Malcovichs and the Pink Panthers.
But they’re still useful and make for great viewing, so here they are:
Why it’s awesome… Air Deck Cards are resistant to tearing, staining and bend, as well as being waterproof and washable! Their thin dimensions mean they fit in your pocket very easily and the exceptionally cool designs are sure to be a conversation starter.
You should pack this if…. You want to make friends. (“Ooh card fwiends”!). Cards always have and always will be a great ice breaker between new acquaintances and a fun way to pass the time.
Why it’s awesome…Whereas regular carabiners only work in one way (as a clip) Heroclip allows users to both hook and clip gear; in a single, all-encompassing solution built to go the extra mile and made from tough, quality materials.
You should pack this if…. If you like to maximise organisation, fastening and keeping products secured – this one’s for you. The Heroclip can be used for connecting bags to luggage, hanging gym gear off the floor and more.
Why it’s awesome…The Earth-Pak is 100% waterproof and extremely durable, lasting for years! The wide range of sizes (10 – 55L) means you can choose one that best matches your requirements. When not in use, it compresses down for easy packing.
You should pack this if…. If you’ll be embarking on any water related activities where you need to bring gear with you that has to stay dry.
10 Digital Nomad Packing Tips
It aint easy being cheesy. No wait, wrong opening line. Dammit, my backspace key is broken. Oh well, better keep on typing. Ok, Packing Tips for Digital Nomads. Let’s go:
- Expect to do more Laundry at Home – Yes Laundry’s a bore but what’s worse is looking like a hobo or having to pack extra clothes for the sake of not doing it. More frequent Laundry = Less Clothes needed = More Packing Space.
- Avoid White – Speaking of clean – white don’t stay it. Sticking to dark clothes means you won’t need to wash them so frequently because it’ll be harder for people to make out the stains of dust, food, the blood of your enemies, etc…
- Practice living out your backpack for a week – This is a great way to get a feel for what you do and don’t need. Not using something you packed? Ditch it like you would a drunken mistakes feelings. Wishing you still had something? Acquire it. At all costs…like a monkey would do to a banana. Yeah.
- Minimise Electronic Charging Cords – Do make sure to check the style of charging cords that your electronics require. It may be that some will work for multiple devices and you can avoid tangles and mess by leaving them.
- Buy shit on the go – if you’re low on space, leave out any easy to buy, cheap items and acquire them at a later destination.
- Consider Smart Digital Nomad Attire – If your favourite shirt only looks good when it’s pristine and wrinkle free – choose something else. When you do pack smart clothes aim to go for ones that won’t just be suitable for fancy dinner parties and can be used for other purposes to.
- Shoe Type is Important, mkay? – Are you gonna be climbing up a mountain? Frequenting the classiest bars? Fighting crime with hidden blades in your shoes? Consider this carefully before you decide on your footwear! If you can find multi-functional footwear, all the better!
- Be Consistent with the order in which you Pack Gear – That way, you’ll remember where stuff is as well as hone the art of packing and unpacking it in record speed.
- Consider your backpack size – if you’re only going for a short trip, chances are you won’t need a huge stonking backpack. Taking a smaller one will mean less carrying weight and it’ll encourage you to pack in a more minimal fashion.
- Refer back to this article! Look you’re only human…we think. You ain’t gonna remember all the information on this article, after reading it just once. So do yourself a favour and bookmark this page now. By returning here during your packing bouts and gear acquisition, you’ll ensure you don’t miss or forget anything.
What is a Digital Nomad?
Digital Nomad: Someone who is location independent and who uses technology to perform their job.
The Digital Nomad lifestyle was made possible through a number of innovations, including cheap internet access, smartphones and voice over internet protocol.
That’s the official definition you get on google and it’s pretty damn accurate. Note the emphasis on technology being a required necessity to being a Digital Nomad.
But as we’ve seen throughout this article – you need more than good technology for optimal organisation, travel efficiency and staying comfortable!
You need the right packing gear, super toiletries, suitable attire and a range of other stuff to. All of which has been covered in this article.
Wubalub – to the – dubdub! You did it! You finished this article. Give yourself a digital pat on your digital back (pack).
We really hope you’ve enjoyed this read and more importantly that it’ll help you stay fresh, organised and ecstatic for your next digital nomad adventure.
Looking for more epic Digital Nomad life hacks, tips and stories – stay on the site a little while, look around. Don’t. Ever. Leave.
Looking for more great Digital Nomad content?
- Click on over here to read about the best places to live in south africa.
- Have you got your Digital Nomad Insurance?
- Find out more about the best hostels near Amsterdam airport.
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