One of the benefits of being a digital nomad is that your home office is wherever you open your laptop. But the reality is often a little less Instagram-able than typing with one hand and holding a fruity cocktail in the other on a virgin beach somewhere. There’s no office supply closet or I.T. department to visit when you’re in a noisy cafe in a foreign country. The supply closet is…whatever you can carry and you are the entire I.T. team.
Chances are you need to do actual work to finance this wandering lifestyle and that involves some necessary gear. To help you with that, we’ve rounded up some of the best gear that is road tested and verified from travelers who walk the talk.
The must-have gadget that every travel lover needs
It’s not the sexiest gadget on this list, but it’s definitely the most crucial.
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll need a good converter to charge your devices without blowing a fuse in that hostel or frying your laptop. This one from BESTEK, which costs $40, is a popular digital nomad option. It can charge seven devices at the same time, has four international adapters, and different voltage options.
Power converters aren’t sexy, but neither is blowing a fuse.
A means for charging your device on-the-go is essential for any traveler, but it’s especially useful for digital nomads who need to keep their devices juiced up for work even when there’s no outlet nearby.
J-Go Tech’s $85 USB-C power bank is a great option that offers fast charging and the ability to connect up to three devices at a time. Plus, it comes highly recommended from the community, too.
Because remote beaches don’t have outlets.
Credit: J-Go Tech
If you’re renting a private room in a hostel or an Airbnb room but not the whole house, a portable lock is a perfect solution to securing the door from the inside.
The Addalock became TikTok famous last year as an easy-to-use and inexpensive gadget for travel safety, especially for solo female travelers. For $17.95 a pop, it’s a no-brainer.
Easy to install and useful in hostels or Airbnbs.
Most smartphones can be bought unlocked these days, but some like the Google Pixel 6a ($300) have a convenient dual SIM card slot built-in. This is particularly handy for digital nomads because you can simply slot in an additional pay-as-you-go SIM from whatever country you’re in and use a local number to boot. The major upside? You won’t have to pay for roaming charges or an international plan with your domestic carrier.
Never worry about 2FA again.
Credit: Google Pixel
Everyone knows noise-canceling headphones aren’t cheap, but many digital nomads say they’re a crucial investment for working in noisy cafes or taking long flights.
Bose’s Noise Canceling Headphones 700 may cost $380, but that’s the price you pay for working in peace from the global hotspot of your choosing.
Best noise-canceling headphones for blocking out the outside world
Digital nomads say noise canceling headphones are worth the investment.
Any experienced digital nomad will tell you it’s not just what you pack, but how you pack. And there is nothing worse than having to untangle a nest of cables from the bottom of your bag.
Save yourself the mental strife and get an organizer that keeps every cable and accessory neatly tucked away in its own little compartment. This one from Bellroy is a bit more expensive than others at $60, but we like it because it’s made from a sturdy fabric that’s more protective than your typical nylon or soft cloth material.
Never worry about tangled cables again.
Reliable, secure WiFi is never a guarantee when you’re working as a digital nomad. That’s why many people opt for bringing their own mobile hotspot.
This one from GlocalMe receives top marks from the community for providing coverage in over 140 countries, not needing a SIM card, and having an easy visual interface. At $145, it’s a good mid-range option that gives you what you need.
Get WiFi wherever you go.
When you’re living a lifestyle on the go, the last thing you want to do is take up precious space in your pared down luggage with books. That’s where e-readers come into the picture as slim and portable libraries.
The Kindle Paperwhite can hold thousands of books and weighs a mere 7 ounces. It’s also waterproof, glare-free, and has 10 weeks of battery life. For $140, that’s a pretty good bang for your buck. Download your favorite books for leisurely downtime or work documents for maximizing productivity no matter where you are.
A must-have for book-loving travelers with limited space.
As a digital nomad, it’s likely you’ll be working in sub-optimal environments without the full setup of a stationary office. Thankfully, there are some great portable laptop stands so you don’t have to sacrifice your neck and back health to the traveling gods.
This one by Moft, which sells for $70, adjusts to multiple angles so you can use your laptop while sitting or standing, and it folds down to the size of a thin magazine or tablet.
Portable and versatile — two words digital nomads love to hear.
Lumbar support is another ergonomic necessity for logging long hours at your computer. With an inflatable pillow that packs down into a portable size, you can sit comfortably even if you don’t have an office chair at your convenience.
This one from TISHIJIE costs $33 and has a pump so you can adjust the support and straps that wrap around any kind of seat with a back.
It’s possible to achieve ergonomic harmony as a digital nomad.