Last Updated on 17 February 2022 by Brittany
We’ve said before that all you really need to be a digital nomad is a passport, laptop, and a remote job you can do from anywhere. But what about all of the other digital nomad gear you need to work remotely while traveling successfully?
Of course, there are more items and gadgets you need to work comfortably and productively as a digital nomad. While we encourage digital nomads to practice minimalism while packing for their life of full-time travel, sometimes you just can’t live without this digital nomad gear.
In this article, we’re sharing the essential digital nomad gear and tech gadgets that you’ll need to be productive, always have connection, and stay charged while you travel the world and earn an income from your laptop.
Essential Digital Nomad Gear & Tech Gadgets
The items on the list below are also included on our ultimate digital nomad packing list, which you may also find helpful when preparing for your journey. However, we’re really diving into the importance of having the right tech gadgets with you so you can continue your remote work from anywhere in the world without any hiccups.
While you may find you need some extra gadgets for your specific role or preferences, below is a list of the items every remote worker should pack for nomadic travel.
The most important item you’ll have with you (other than your passport) is your laptop. You should make sure your laptop is easy to travel with and extremely reliable. You never want to be stuck in a situation where your laptop isn’t working and you have an important task due soon.
I have a Macbook Pro, and a Macbook Air before it, and absolutely love traveling with it! It’s fairly lightweight and extremely reliable. Plus, there are Apple stores worldwide so if anything does happen, I know I can get professional support.
If you’re looking for a new computer, you might want to check out our previous article about the best laptops for digital nomads.
Noise Cancelling Bluetooth Headphones
As you travel the world while working remotely, you’re going to spend a lot of time on airplanes, crowded buses, or sitting in busy cafes or coworking spaces. The best way to help you concentrate on your work or get some sleep while traveling is to purchase a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to block out conversations.
For an affordable pair of Bluetooth headphones that shuts out the rest of the world, we suggest the Anker Soundcore Life Q20 Hybrid headphones. The memory foam cushions are comfortable so you can wear them for hours and the battery lasts for 40 hours of playtime.
If you’re anything like me, you love to read as many books as possible. However, when you’re a digital nomad, this can prove to be difficult since traveling with multiple books is burdensome and not realistic.
So, to keep you entertained and reading new books, you’ll need to invest in an e-reader. With just a small tablet, you can have thousands of books at your fingertips.
My personal favorite is the Kindle Paperwhite because it’s lighter than a book, water-resistant, and the battery lasts for weeks. Plus, I find awesome Kindle book deals online constantly.
Most digital nomads have a smartphone, either an iPhone or something else. You’re probably thinking that this digital nomad tech gear item is a no-brainer. However, I’m going to let you in on a little secret.
Not all smartphones are unlocked when you first purchase them. Why does this matter? If you want to put another sim card other than the one from your carrier, you won’t be able to unless the phone is unlocked. This is mostly a problem for digital nomads from the United States, but it could happen elsewhere.
So, before you leave on your digital nomad journey, check that your phone is unlocked and that you can put an international sim in there. This will save you a ton of money and give you access to more data.
Global WiFi Hotspot
The absolute worst situation a digital nomad can find themselves in is being without a reliable wifi connection. No matter how careful and diligent you are when booking your accommodations, there’s always a chance that the wifi will be spotty.
Your solution is to avoid this problem is to pack a global wifi hotspot. These nifty little tech gadgets allow you to have a wifi connection no matter where you are in the world. So, whether you’re camping on the beach or simply in a hotel that lacks decent wifi, you’ll be grateful that you added this gadget to your digital nomad packing list.
Our favorite hotspot is the GlocalMe G4 Pro Mobile Hotspot. With a 5-inch touchscreen display, it’s super easy to use and fits right in your pocket thanks to the ultra-slim design. Plus, it’s sim-free!
If you plan on connecting your laptop to a public wifi network like in a cafe or airport, then you absolutely need to use a VPN. Fortunately, purchasing a VPN service won’t take up any extra space in your luggage because it’s completely digital.
VPNs hides your personal data such as your IP address, passwords, and more from hackers. We underestimate just how dangerous connecting to a public network can be until you experience the consequences.
My favorite VPN service is Surfshark. I’ve been using it for almost two years now and can’t be more grateful for how easy it is to use and the connection speeds. Plus, it’s essential for when I need to access certain websites for work that are blocked in some parts of the world.
Universal Outlet Adapter
When you first travel abroad, you may be shocked to learn that different parts of the world have different outlets and plugs for electronics. To keep using your electronics from home, you’ll need to pack a universal travel adapter.
You definitely don’t want to be caught without one of these handy little gadgets. They can sometimes be difficult to find, so it’s best to purchase one before you leave for your first digital nomad destination.
I highly recommend the Ceptics World Travel Adapter Kit. It comes with six different outlet plugs for Europe, Japan, China, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the USA. It also has two USB ports and surge protection for your devices.
Lightweight Power Bank
It’s a scary moment for a digital nomad to be without a phone charger or an outlet and a dying phone while in the middle of a foreign city. Well, what if you could prevent from ever being in this situation?
With the Anker Powercore Portable Charger, you’ll always have the chance to charge your phone while on the go. It’s so powerful that it holds five full charges. Whether you’ve been using your phone to take photos all day or simply forgot to charge it the night before, this slim and lightweight portable charger will be a lifesaver.
External Hard Drive
You always have to take precautions as a digital nomad when it comes to your laptop and the data you have stored on it. If one day your laptop is stolen or you spill a cup of coffee on it, you could lose all of your work and important files. Oftentimes, there’s nothing you can do about it.
Well, when you have an external storage drive, you can keep full backups of your computer so you never lose anything ever again. A hard drive is more powerful than a flash drive and more reliable.
I bought myself a Seagate Portable 2TB External Drive about a year ago and can’t imagine my life without it again. Each week I update it with a new backup of my computer so I know that if anything happens to my laptop, I have everything I need. It’s also super lightweight and easy to pack.
International SIM Card
We spoke earlier about the importance of bringing an unlocked smartphone on your digital nomad journey so you can use local mobile plans where you’re traveling. But what if you could skip the process of finding a new mobile provider, filling out paperwork, and always switching phone numbers?
With Drimsim you can keep your phone number and have service in 170 countries. This means you’ll almost never have to switch out your SIM. It’s a pay-as-you-go payment structure, so you only pay for what you’ve used. It’s also great for digital nomads who need to receive confirmation texts or calls from banks, PayPal, and more.
What we love about Drimsim is that you can have an eSIM if your phone is eligible. This means the company can send you the virtual eSIM in minutes right to your phone. There’s no need to switch the physical card.
Portable Bluetooth Speaker
This may or may not be a controversial item to add to your digital nomad packing list, but I strongly believe you should make room for it if possible. A portable Bluetooth speaker is almost essential whether you’re traveling alone or with company.
You never know when you’ll have to pull out a small speaker to put on some music. Maybe you made some friends and want to have a small hangout and set the ambiance. Or if you’re like me and traveled alone for a while, you just want to fill the silence with some background sounds while working or cooking in your accommodations.
My favorite speaker option is the Sony SRS-XB13 Wireless Compact Speaker. It has an awesome sound and the bass hits just a bit more compared to other portable speakers. It’s also super lightweight and fits easily into any digital nomad backpack.
See What Other Gadgets Digital Nomads Swear By
The best way to know which items you should add to your packing list is to get recommendations from others living the nomadic lifestyle. From finding the best packing cubes to the most spacious day pack, you can find the most essential digital nomad items from members in our exclusive online community.
Plus, we share life-saving tips and hacks for digital nomads each week when you sign up for our newsletter.