As a digital nomad, gadgets and devices can make your life so much easier. Of course, you’re also limited to space, so you need to pick digital gadgets carefully and cleverly.
I’ve tried many different gadgets and devices over my nine years of travel and location independence, and it’s hard to keep up with the seemingly never-ending stream of new things. So I’ve listed some of the best digital nomad gadgets I personally use and recommend and have for quite some time now.
This is a list of gadgets and devices that help me stay organised and be more efficient while working remotely. As well as making my travels easier and safer!
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Digital Nomad Gear to Improve Your Work Productivity
First, some best gadgets for work. You should have all of these in your nomad gear pack if you’d like to work and travel with ease. These digital nomad must-haves are all gadgets that I can’t live without!
The Best Laptop for a Digital Nomad
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 this 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.
External Hard Drive To Keep Your Content Safe
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.[clear-line]
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An External Hard Drive Organizer
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
Stay Charged with a Power Bank
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. Power banks definitely fall into the must-have electronics category for digital nomads.
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!
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Digital Nomad Laptop Stand For When You Feel Like Working With a View
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 now choosing co-working spaces over the above options whenever possible, and bringing my folding aluminium Macbook stand!
Travel Anywhere With a World Travel Adapter
Also very high on my list of digital nomad must-haves, and something that 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; those ones break easily. And who wants to go shopping for a travel adapter the first thing after arriving at your new destination!? Boring!
Pocket WIFI – So You Never Lose Connection
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.
Finding good WiFi gadgets is the mission of most people working remotely. For a digital nomad, WiFi is essential to get work done.
This portable hotspot is SIM-card free and even comes with 1GB initial data. I think it’s a big lifesaver or actually, a huge time saver!
A Backpack Organizer
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 this noise-cancelling gadget.
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. Digital Nomad Essentials for Travel
There are so many helpful things you could get to make your trips safer and more comfortable. Perhaps I’ll write another post for nomad travel gear one day. But today, I share just a few great travel gadgets that I think are useful and necessary when travelling long-term.
Add these items to your digital nomad packing list for a smoother, stress-free travel experience.
A Camera to Capture Your Adventures
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. It’s become a gadget I can’t live without.
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!
Luggage Scale So There Won’t Be Any Surprises at the Airport
Honestly, get yourself a luggage weigher! It’s possibly the best travel gadget. You wouldn’t believe how many times I’ve had to unpack and re-organise 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 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!
Stay on Time with a Travel Alarm Clock
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!
29 replies on “Best Digital Nomad Gadgets”
Great post Jey! – So many cool gadgets you’ve got there! – Love the pocket Wifi! – I used one once when I was staying in The Italian Alps and it was an absolute lifesaver! — For some reason, since then I haven’t used one – but after reading this it reminded me! – Thanks so much
Aww, thanks so much! Glad you find them useful 🙂
This is a very great post with super information. Thank you for the tips!
Excellent list Julia. Way beyond the usual fluff you get in this type of article.
The luggage scale and backpack organiser are both pure genius!
So good I added a link to your post on our latest blog. Hope it’s OK and keep up the good work.
Thank you, Enrico, glad you find it useful! And sure, it’s totally ok to link to it from your site! 🙂
This is a very useful guide! I usually travel with my laptop and with one external hard drive. I had no idea I could get an external hard drive organizer – it looks neat.
Thank you, Violeta! I know, there are so many great tools – even the smallest ones are often a big helper!
Wow! Each of these gadgets seems so useful and practical, Julia! I will have to get the world adapter as I seem to stay without battery when I need it the most. Plus, that luggage weigher seems so convenient as I tend to overpack! 🙂
Aww thanks Lydia, thats nice of you to say! I’m glad you find them useful, the luggage weigher and the adapter are really big helpers, you’ll see!
I’ve always been meaning to get a backpack organizer but never really got to get one! Sigh. It’s one of those things that you realize you wish you had when you are looking for something in your bag and you just can’t get your hands on it.
I hear you, Karla! It’s sometimes the obvious things we ignore for too long but would make our lives sooo much easier 😉
Fantastic! I don’t have all of those things, but I do have a lot of them. I’ve been contemplating bag organizers. Maybe I will get some of them. I hate when my stuff gets lost in my backpack.
Yes, I used to spend ages to find things in my backpack – which would drive me and especially my partner nuts, such a waste of time lol
These are the things that I always carry in my travel bag. Although, I am yet to buy the laptop stand. That is something missing from my gadgets.
The laptop stand is so helpful, I find!
The luggage scale is a big help, especially taking so many AirAsia trips like we do! They are sticklers for too-heavy bags. Noise cancelling headphones are a great idea to get away from it all while you’re getting away from it all. I should really get a backpack organizer, that would save a lot of time asking where the heck the phone chargers are! Thanks for sharing!
I hear you! AirAsia is a tough one! Thanks for reading and commenting! Happy travels 🙂
I’m with you! I don’t think I can travel without any of those things – especially my laptop and extra chargers and power banks. What did we ever do without all these electronics?!
Was there a time before electronics???
I definitely need to invest in a good power bank — thanks for the tip! I’m always guilty of never fully charging everything because I’m desperately trying to rotate all my electronics out of the single plug in the room.
Glad it helped! A power bank is a real game changer, you’ll see!
I couldn’t live without my external hard drive! I am storing everyting on that one, and lately I’m thinking of getting another one just to keep a double copy of the most important files! The pocket wi-fi is also very useful if you travel in countries where you can’t find a wifi connection everywhere!
I have the same thought, I might get a second hard drive just in case! The other day, I read a comment from someone else who explained that he keeps one external hard drive in a safe… this made me think that mine is really exposed to potential destruction A LOT! Gotta do something about this rather sooner than later!
The back organiser is a good one, I need to add it to my collection. The scale is another useful one.
Thank you, Indrani, glad you find it useful!
I have pretty much everything on this list…except the backpack organizer. Will definitely need to look into getting on of those now!
Ha, then I’d say you are perfectly equipped, I’d say! 😀 How long have you been a digital nomad?
I like it Julia. Big time fan of the Chromebook here; definitely need it during my digital nomad travels. Light, fast, basic, and if you have any issues with it, most times a full powerwash hands Malware and other nasties that are not supposed to leak in, but may just do so. Fab list buddy!
Thanks for your comment, Ryan, and this addition to my digital nomad gadgets! Can’t beat a light, fast and good working laptop! 🙂