A huge part of the digital nomad lifestyle is knowing what to pack and when to pack it. Pack too heavy and you’ll regret your oversized bag. Pack too light and you’ll be frustrated at your general lack of clothes and constant laundry runs.
Minimalism is often the name of the game and it’s a low-volume, high-quality philosophy that we always recommend when packing for a remote working trip. This is just as true for your clothes and toiletries as it is for your technology and remote working set-up. From laptops and tablets to travel adapters and portable chargers, check out our recommendations for every piece of digital nomad tech you should take on your next workation.
READ MORE: The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing List
Computers, Tablets & Hard Drives
Whether we like it or not, digital nomads are tied to their laptops and tablets with the devices integral to working remotely. The last thing you need on a remote work deadline is for your computer to enter hypersleep with the nearest tech store 50+ miles away. Investment in quality technology that can really be relied on is so important for digital nomads, especially when traveling internationally. These are our top recommendations for reliable computing solutions for your next remote workation below.
Laptop (Apple): MacBook Pro
The Apple MacBook Pro is the reliable staple chosen by countless digital nomads, remote workers, and entrepreneurs globally. Available in 13”, 14”, and 16” and in a number of different configurations, it’s easy to find the perfect laptop when the Apple logo is stamped on the case. A long battery life, powerful processing power, large SSD memory, and a high-quality retina display make these laptops unbeatable for digital nomads.
The MacBook Pro does, however, have one downside in the purchasing process—the price. A high price tag may be enough to put some people off investing in the high-powered PC, but with so much on offer, the Pro really is worth every penny.
Laptop (Windows): Dell XPS 13 Plus
If you’re not a fan of the products offered by Apple (there are plenty of people who aren’t) there are just as good, if not better, Windows-powered options out there for digital nomads. Our top pick comes in the form of the Dell XPS 13 Plus, a Windows laptop at a similar price point to the MacBook Pro. For your money, nomads are able to spec up their device exactly how they like it.
RAM options allow for 8GB, 16GB, or 32GB of the good stuff, processing power can be done with either a 12th Gen Intel i5-1240P, i7-1260P, or i7-1280P, and hard drive sizes range between 512GB, 1TB, and 2TB. No matter what you aim to use the device for, there’s a way to spec the PC for exactly what you want.
Tablet (Apple): iPad Air
The Apple iPad is the classic choice for a good, reliable tablet for digital nomad use and it’s our top recommendation for remote workers on the go. Tablets are a fantastic tool when wanting to use another screen on your working set-up, taking digital notes on a call, or even catching a movie in your hotel or apartment. The iPad Air is the latest iteration of the famous tablet and offers a lightweight, slim screen that can be used when a computer is just a little too bulky. Available in five different colors (space gray, pink, purple, blue, and starlight), remote workers can choose the design that fits their style the best. The Air is supercharged with the famous Apple M1 Chip, meaning the device isn’t just great looking, but fast too!
Tablet (Android): Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra
The Apple iPad isn’t the only choice out there for portable tablets and there is now a wide range of top-quality Android-powered selections to choose from. Our favorite iPad alternative is the Samsung Galaxy Tab S8 Ultra, a powerful device with configuration options to rival Apple’s tablet king. Digital nomads are able to choose whether they would prefer their Galaxy Tab with WiFi or 5G capabilities and the size of the capacity that they’re searching for (128GB, 256GB, 512GB).
Unlike the latest iteration of the iPad, the S8 Tab Ultra is only available in one color (graphite) but this isn’t something that should sway your decision either way. The tablet is a fantastic choice for digital nomads that have decided on picking up an extra screen when on the go.
External Hard Drive: LaCie Rugged
Backing up your devices is incredibly important regardless of how you spend your time, but it’s crucial for digital nomads. Important work files, personal photos, and project back-ups are so important for digital nomads and with a powerful, reliable hard drive, this can be a super quick and easy process. Our top pick for an external hard drive is the LaCie Rugged external hard drive.
The inexpensive options are fantastic for storing everything from photos to files and offer a rugged exterior with impact protection. The hard drives are available in increments between 1TB and 5TB, offering massive storage space in a super small package.
Getting the right working set-up is vital for not only an enjoyable time as a digital nomad but a successful one. A good remote work desk set-up shouldn’t take up too much space, but nomads shouldn’t compromise on an ergonomic position when sitting at their daily hot desk. A carefully selected remote work set-up is the perfect way to avoid neckaches, backaches, and headaches, no matter the destination. Check out our top recommendations for laptop stands, keyboards, and more in our workstation solutions for digital nomads below.
Roost Laptop Stand V3
The latest iteration of the Roost Laptop Stand, the 3, is the latest and greatest from the Kickstarter success story. The Roost V3 laptop stand offers a height-adjustable construction offering between 6 and 14 inches of lift with locking limbs—ideal for retaining an ergonomic posture in constantly changing workspaces. The stand fits all laptop sizes, including the 16” Apple M1 with its state-of-the-art, lightweight design.
The laptop stand is fantastic for digital nomads, packing down to a compact package, and avoiding taking up too much valuable backpack space. A carry case is even included with the stand, protecting your belongings from the patented pivoting grips.
Wireless Mouse (Apple): Magic Mouse 2
A wireless mouse should be in the backpack (or the tech pouch) of every remote worker–offering maximum flexibility when controlling Mac or PC. For the former, it’s hard to beat the classics and our recommendation lies in the Apple Magic Mouse 2. The wireless mouse is a fantastic tool for any digital nomad looking to invest in an ergonomic working setup. The mouse is rechargeable and can be plugged directly into a laptop with the included woven USB-C to Lightning Cable for a near-endless supply of power.
Wireless Mouse (Windows): Logitech M510 Mouse
Windows users looking to invest in a wireless mouse to complete their remote working set-up can find a great alternative to the Magic Mouse in the Logitech M510 wireless mouse. The mouse is compatible with both Apple and Windows devices and connects via a Bluetooth USB link, offering a seamless connection to any laptop. The mouse does use batteries to power up but with a maximum life of 24 months, these are only required to be changed once every two years. The M510 is a fantastic inexpensive option for all digital nomads looking for a great wireless set-up to take around the world.
Wireless Keyboard (Apple): Magic Keyboard
Next up on the list is a portable, wireless keyboard to complete the basics of any good remote working set-up. For Apple users, it’s the small and mighty Magic Keyboard that sits as our top pick for digital nomads. The Magic Keyboard transfers the familiar Apple keyboard found on the MacBook to a portable, Bluetooth-enabled device that’s great in any situation.
The device is rechargeable via the included woven USB-C to Lightning Cable and should be charged approximately every month, depending on the amount of usage. The keyboard connects directly to almost any Apple Device, from iPads and MacBooks to the iPhone and humble iPod for reliable typing on the go.
Wireless Keyboard (Windows) - Logitech Keyboard K380
A reliable keyboard is just as important for Windows users and the Logitech K380 is both small in size and highly dependable–perfect for the nomad lifestyle. The keyboard, which can be used both on Windows and Apple devices, is one of the top picks for remote workers thanks to its inexpensive price tag and impressive results. The K380 can be effortlessly switched between any three devices at once with an impressive 10-meter wireless range.
The battery-powered keyboard is non-rechargeable but offers a 24-month battery life before new batteries are required. There’s also a one-year hardware warranty included in every purchase of the K380.
Organization and Protection
Organizing and, more importantly, protecting your technology should be a priority for every digital nomad searching to stay on the road. If you’re frequently enjoying (or simply enduring) travel days, the potential for damage to your high-value tech is a very real risk. Instead of worrying about your laptop, tablet, and phone on travel days, it’s best practice to ensure they’re all packed away safely in their dedicated protective sleeves.
Protective sleeves and hard-shelled cases are just the first steps and nomads can pack smart with top-quality, nomad-focused backpacks and luggage solutions that feature padded tech sleeves and handy components. Find everything from tech pouches to laptop sleeves in our top recommendations for device protection and organization below.
Peak Design Tech Pouch
The Peak Design Tech Pouch is the ultimate backpack organizer for digital nomads, remote workers, students, and professionals. The handy storage 2L storage pouch is great for those small loose items that we just can’t do without on a day-to-day basis. Headphones, chargers, cables, USB drives, SD cards, hard drives, travel adapters—whatever tech you have sloshing from side-to-side can be easily stored in a dedicated pocket of the Tech Pouch. Thanks to the clever guys at Peak Design, the pouch can also be used as a standalone sling by attaching one of the straps offered by the brand. It’s a seriously smart design that’s perfect for the small stuff.
Laptop Sleeve: Thule Gauntlet
Looking after your personal computer is just as important as investing in the perfect model. The easiest way to keep your computer nicely protected is by investing in a protective laptop case. Laptop cases come in all shapes and sizes, but digital nomads should look for those slimline, tough, lightweight models to keep the weight and volume of their backpacks down.
Our top pick for ultimate protection is the Thule Gauntlet—a rigid laptop sleeve with enhanced corner protection to support those unexpected impacts. The Gauntlet, available in the most popular screen sizes, is a fantastic choice for keeping laptops protected no matter what it is that you (literally) throw at them.
Roost Keyboard Sleeve
The high-quality neoprene Keyboard Sleeve is another ingenious piece of design from the guys over at Roost. The sleeve fits the majority of the top-rated and recommended Bluetooth and portable keyboards with both our top pics (Apple Magic Keyboard and Logitech K380) compatible with the protective sleeve. A lightweight design with tapered elastic prevents the keyboard from slipping away and ensures protection when traveling with the portable keyboard.
Phone Case: Casetify
A phone case, just like a laptop sleeve, is vital for keeping your portable device protected at all times. Smartphones are by far the number 1 problematic item when it comes to losses and breakages and although we can’t do much about our forgetful habits, we can prevent smashed screens and busted mobiles. Our recommendation for a top-quality phone case is to opt for your favorite design from Casetify.
Mobile phones aren’t meant for being boring—the design of your phone case says a lot about you as a person and choosing a design that you love can transform your phone for the better. Whether it’s a fun dog case, a trippy rainbow design, or a tattoo-inspired case that catches your eye, your phone can match your personality.
Power Banks and Adapters
Connecting to power on-the-go is one of the first hurdles digital nomads face when traveling internationally. Depending on your start and finish destination, changes in voltage and, more problematically, plug configuration can stop your devices in their tracks. Thankfully, there are countless gadgets and gizmos that can be used by remote workers to ensure they’re never short of power when on the move. From portable power banks and international plug adapters to surge-protected power strips—here’s everything you need to worry about when charging your devices on your next workcation.
International Travel Plug Adapter
An international travel plug adapter is a must-have device for every global traveler and allows nomads to freely travel without worrying about a travel adapter. We recommend the Epicka universal travel adapter, offering coverage for all different forms of international plug styles. The device can be simply used to select the required outlet from the EU, AUS/USA, and the UK to connect your home power from wherever in the world you may be.
The Epicka universal adapter has the additional benefit of four built-in USB ports, allowing for multiple devices to be charged at once. We would, however, recommend taking this just one step further and investing in a compatible power strip for your own personal charging station when working away from home.
Surge-Protected Power Strip
You really can never have enough power outlets—especially when traveling internationally. Where once it may have been easy to charge your phone, laptop, tablet, and camera at one time, this quickly becomes an issue when traveling as a nomad with a single travel adapter. It’s for this reason that we always recommend that nomads travel with a surge-protected power strip for those times when all your devices need charging.
For a lightweight, compact power strip device, we recommend the 6-in-1 Anker cube power strip. The cube design offers three standard US outlets alongside a trio of USB outlets allowing charge for three devices at once. Available in both black and white and in a variety of different sizes, the Anker device is one of the best power strip devices we’ve found for nomad life.
Portable Powerbank: Anker 313
A portable power bank is one of the ultimate must-haves for any digital nomad or global traveler. Whether your plane has been delayed, your phone failed to charge overnight or you’re in desperate need of directions from Google Maps, the power bank is one of the most valuable items in the nomad rucksack.
Our pick is the Anker 313 portable charger, offering a 10000mAh battery pack with high-speed PowerIQ charging enabled. The slim and compact charger has enough power to provide 2.25 charges for an iPhone 12, 1.6 charges for a Samsung Galaxy S20, and a total of 1.2 charges for an iPad mini 5. It’s the perfect size for that extra bit of charge when you need it most.
Not all of our tech fits neatly into one or more categories and there’s some stuff in our bags that’s simply great for exactly what it does. Everything that we’ve struggled to pop a label on can be found below in our miscellaneous technology.
Amazon Kindle Paperwhite
Digital nomads that love reading are, unfortunately, in for a rude awakening when traveling internationally with their favorite library because, well, books are heavy. Seriously heavy.
Thankfully, there is a simple solution to avoid carting around a series of books at one time—the Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. The Kindle, now featuring a great 6.8" display and adjustable warm light, is a must-have for any book lover with a passion for international travel. The device has up to 10 weeks of battery life between charges, waterproof construction, and a screen that’s easy on the eyes–just like reading a real book. Well, almost anyway.
The travel hack that so many digital nomads have caught onto is the Apple AirTag. Using Apple’s “Find My” technology, the Apple AirTag can be used to track anything from your car or bike to your wallet or backpack. We would always recommend packing one of these suckers in each of the bags that you’re taking on a trip—especially if you’re checking bags on an international flight.
The AirTag works via the enormous iPhone network with every phone owner tracking individual AirTags as they move around the world. If your bags go missing—or even if they don't—nomads can open the app to take a peek at exactly where their belongings are.
A Bluetooth speaker is an item that we didn’t feel totally necessary, right up until we wanted to relax with some music in our Airbnb. Not all apartments, Airbnbs, and hotels are equipped with speakers. It may not be an issue for a short break or infrequent stay, but for the digital nomad lifestyle, the lack of a sound system can prove a frustrating experience.
To combat the apartment silence, we would recommend investing in a good, long-lasting, and high-quality Bluetooth speaker in the Bose SoundLink Flex. The speaker is designed with travel in mind from the audio giants over at Bose, resulting in a small, lightweight, tough speaker that you can really rely on.
Available in four different colors (black, red, white, and blue), the device not only looks great but functions beautifully. The waterproof design offers a high-level sound perfect for any remote working destination.
Everything from computing and workstation solutions to device organization and protection, our top digital nomad technology suggestions for your next workation. If there’s something that you use every day that you think we’ve missed, don’t sit there in silence, let us know! We’re always pleased to learn about new products perfect for digital nomads”