Preparing for a remote working trip as a digital nomad can be an incredibly overwhelming experience. With everything from luggage solutions, clothing choices, tech set-ups, and organization all to plan—it’s not uncommon to become frustrated.
A packing list is one of the best places to start when getting everything ready for your next nomad trip. Of course, your list will be tailored to your needs, but taking a peek at how other nomads organize their chaos is a great way to help you get started. Nurall’s ultimate digital nomad packing list covers the top sticking points for remote workers.
Whether you’re already a full-time digital nomad, a part-time remote worker, or are looking to dip your toe into the lifestyle, we’ve got a packing list to help you sort out what you’ll be bringing with you. Hopefully, you’ll come away with an appreciation of just how simple (and minimalistic) packing as a digital nomad can be!
READ MORE: How to Pack for Long-Term Travel
Your luggage choices as a digital nomad dictate how you are able to travel and should be the first thing you think about when preparing for your trip. As a general rule, there are four main digital nomad packing solutions that every remote worker chooses from:
- Suitcase + daypack
- Travel backpack + daypack
- Daypack + travel backpack combination
- One-bag nomad backpack
Travelers are spoiled for choice with a huge number of luggage options available, each slotting into one of the four categories. From suitcases and daypacks to large rucksacks and combination packs, these are our top luggage picks for digital nomads.
Suitcase: Samsonite Hardside Suitcase
The Samsonite Hardside Suitcase is our top pick for a nomad-friendly wheeled suitcase. The Hardside, available in three different sizes, is an ultralight luggage solution that’s perfect for remote workers taking long trips. There’s a recessed TSA-approved combination lock, 360-degree double spinner wheels, a cross ribbon, and a mid-divider for easy packing. With a 10-year limited warranty, nomads can have confidence in their luggage, ensuring top quality from a trusted brand.
There is just one downside to our pick in the popularity of the brand—it may be easy to confuse at the airport with so many similar bags. In this case, we would also recommend unique luggage straps and luggage tags to help identify your bag in a sea of similar models.
Large Backpack: Tortuga OutBreaker 45L
If you’re interested in living the ultimate minimalist digital nomad lifestyle, it’s a single carry-on rucksack that proves the best choice. A good digital nomad backpack comes with plenty of both tech-friendly and travel-friendly features with hidden laptop sleeves, clever packing options, and a high level of comfort. Our top pick rucksack for a nomad-friendly carry-on is the Tortuga OutBreaker 45L.
The 45-liter pack is the maximum size for U.S. travel and fits easily into the overhead bins, avoiding baggage fees and the dreaded checked luggage issues. The rucksack is durable, water-resistant, adjustable, and offers both a dedicated laptop and tablet sleeve for additional protection.
Daypack: Osprey Arcane XL
Digital nomads choosing the checked bag lifestyle are typically still permitted to board flights with a small carry-on. This carry-on option is a lifesaver for digital nomads and ensures that all high-value technology avoids being checked (or broken) on a flight. Most small (20- to 30-liter) backpacks will be fit for purpose, but we would recommend a pack with plenty of organizational features to keep things in order.
The Osprey Arcane XL is our top pick, crafted with an outdoor heritage for a tough city pack that’s full of great features. Alongside its handsome looks, nomads will love the hidden laptop sleeve, built-in security hook, integrated water bottle pocket, and front pocket organizer.
Combination Backpack: Osprey Farpoint 70 / Fairview 70
A combination backpack combines both a large backpack and a daypack, zipping the pair together to create a single piece of luggage. Our favorite example of this type of pack is the Osprey Farpoint 70 (men’s) / Fairview 70 (women’s). These dedicated travel packs come with a 70L main pack alongside a small 13L daypack that can be separated when needed. The two are typically combined when in transit and separated after checking in at your accommodation.
The large 70-liter main pack is full of great features including internal compression straps, a flight-ready zippered harness, hip belt, and sternum strap for comfortable carrying. The daypack is a little on the small side but will easily fit daily essentials when traveling and remote working.
After personally traveling with the Farpoint 70 for 6 months, I can confirm that it is more than up to the task.
Packing Cubes: Bagsmart
Packing cubes should be high up on every traveler's packing list—providing some much-needed organization for travel bags and suitcases. These handy fabric cubes simply slip into your chosen luggage solution, separating different items for easy access. The top packing cubes are tough, well-made, and include features such as compression straps and different colors for optimal organization.
The Bagsmart packing cubes are our recommended pick for digital nomads, offering either a 4-piece or 6-piece packing set perfect for both wheeled suitcases and large rucksacks.
Clothing is the most personal packing choice when preparing for a remote working trip and heavily depends on both the location and time of year. There is a huge amount to consider when packing clothing for a trip from the expected climate (warm/cold/rain/snow) to the itinerary (hiking/trekking/city exploration/swimming). For the most part, digital nomads will have an idea of what clothing they are planning on taking with them, but they should be careful not to overpack.
You may be surprised by just how little is really needed when traveling as a remote worker and the original clothing packing list can quite easily be cut in half. An example packing list for a digital nomad traveling in a warm country could be:
- 1x Sneakers
- 1x Sandals / Flip Flops
- 1x Waterproof jacket
- 1x Jeans/Trousers
- 1x Shorts
- 1x Swimming Shorts
- 1x Mid-weight Sweater
- 4x T-shirts
- 1x Smart shirt
- 5x Underwear
- 3x Socks
The emphasis when packing for a long trip is to focus on quality over quantity. A small number of good-quality, sustainable items will be of far greater value than a suitcase brimmed with fast fashion.
When trial-packing before a trip, ask yourself with every piece of clothing “is this something that I really need to take?”. If the answer is no, pop it to one side to see just how little you’re able to pack for a remote working trip.
Best Fabrics for Digital Nomads
Clothing may be a highly personal choice, but from a purely practical point of view, there are some types of fabrics that are far more suited to the digital nomad lifestyle than others. Merino wool is the elite tier fabric for, well, just about everything. It’s moisture-wicking, comfortable, and regulates the body temperature in a way that cotton could never dream of. The fabric is also easy to look after, simple to wash, and looks great too.
Remote workers planning long periods away from civilization (and showers) will find another key benefit of merino wool—its odor resistance. Merino wool clothing can be worn for longer without washing which, when necessary, is a feature that both you and your friends will be relieved about.
The wonder fabric may be the best in class for its impressive characteristics, but all of these features do come at a price. Merino wool won’t exactly break the bank, but nomads should definitely expect to pay a little over average for the specialist clothing.
Technology and Productivity
Whether we like it or not, life as a digital nomad does revolve around technology with WiFi signals often dictating where we can and can’t go. Whether it’s tapping away at a keyboard, logging onto meetings via Zoom, or snapping images on a DSLR, the tech carried by digital nomads is among the most important items in the luggage. Reliable, robust, and high-quality technology is the way forward—the last thing you want is to run into quality issues in remote locations. Cover all your bases with our recommended tech with everything from quality laptops to clever remote working set-ups with our technology and productivity must-haves.
Laptop: Apple MacBook Pro
The Apple MacBook Pro is our recommendation for the top laptop for digital nomads. The current iteration is available in 13”, 14”, and 16”. Although most nomads tend to opt for the smallest, lightest option when traveling, it’s all down to personal preference and how much processing power you need to get your work done.
Laptop Case: tomtoc 360
The laptop is the most important tool in the digital nomad arsenal and how you keep it safe is just as important as what kind of model you buy. The reliable tomtoc 360 laptop case offers a highly resilient laptop sleeve available in 13”, 14”, and 16” sizes, perfect for tucking away the MacBook Pro. Corner armor prevents impact damage when dropped and with four colors available, there’s a style for every digital nomad.
Laptop Stand: Roost V3
Creating an ergonomic workstation with nothing more than a laptop is one of the trickiest parts of the digital nomad lifestyle. A laptop stand is a fantastic way to level up a remote workstation, reducing neck strain and creating an ergonomic set-up wherever you may find yourself. The Roost V3 is one of the top picks for remote workers because it’s an uber-compact, sturdy laptop stand that has really stood the test of time.
Roost has learned and adapted from its previous iterations and the latest design, the Roost V3, is the best yet. With a lightweight and incredibly portable height-adjustable structure, remote workers can customize their dynamic workstations in seconds.
Although the majority of digital nomads are content with a laptop as their sole screen when traveling, an additional tablet can be a fantastic upgrade your work experience. Tablets are great for global travelers and offer more flexibility in areas that a typical laptop may struggle with. Remote workers will love the option of an additional screen and—when clocked off for the day—tablets are great for catching up on TV shows or watching a movie in comfort.
Our recommended tablet is the 2022 Apple iPad Air, available in five different colors and a handful of different configurations. Nomads can choose whether they would prefer the WiFi or WiFi + Cellular options alongside the memory choices of either 64GB or 256GB.
If you’re looking for recommendations, we’d choose the 256GB memory (these Apple devices seem to fill themselves quickly) and the WiFi-only choice for international travel.
Keyboard (Mac): Apple Magic Keyboard
A small dedicated keyboard should be next on the list when building a reliable, portable workstation–perfect for use with a laptop stand. The Apple Magic Keyboard is our device of choice if you have a Mac, offering a reliable wireless solution that not only looks great but performs wonderfully. A USB-C to lighting cable is also included, allowing for efficient charging on the go.
Keyboard (PC): Logitech K380
For Windows users, the Logitech K380 is our keyboard of choice, offering a reliable, sturdy design that’s perfect for remote workers. The keyboard, which can be connected to either Mac or Windows devices, allows for comfortable, quiet typing with a wireless connection. The robust design, offered with a one-Year hardware warranty, makes the K380 a fantastic choice for all digital nomads.
Keyboard Sleeve: Hermitshell
A wireless keyboard is, unfortunately, another piece of tech to take care of, but this can be a simple task with a dedicated keyboard sleeve. The Hermitshell is our best overall pick, offering a hard travel case that’s perfect for storing a wireless keyboard and other loose tech accessories.
Mouse (Mac): Magic Mouse
The final piece of the remote working set-up for digital nomads is the humble mouse - removing the need to use the touchpad when the laptop is perched on a stand. For Mac users, the choice is an obvious one. The Apple Magic Mouse is our recommended top pick, offering Apple design and reliability to complement any MacBook. The Magic Mouse is rechargeable and comes with a USB to Lightning cable for efficient charging.
Mouse (PC): Logitech
For Windows users, it’s the Logitech M510 wireless mouse that we’ve selected as our overall top pick. The wireless mouse, powered by batteries with a two-year lifetime, can be quickly and easily connected with a simple USB receiver. When not in use, this USB receiver can either be left in the device or stored inside of the mouse–preventing loss.
Headphones: Apple AirPods Pro
A pair of headphones is a great way to block out your surroundings really focus on your work when in busy environments including cafes and coworking spaces. Our top choice for a pair of headphones is the Apple AirPods Pro. These top-level earphones offer a range of impressive features with active noise cancellation, an additional transparency mode to hear the world around you, and sweat and water resistance so you can use them in many different scenarios.
Camera: Canon M50 MKII
Whether you’re searching for a new hobby, way to document your travels, or are simply looking to capture crisper images, the Canon M50 MKII is a fantastic camera choice. The mirrorless camera is one of the most exciting options in the current Canon line-up, offering DSLR quality with point-and-shoot sizing for a versatile photography tool. You can even use a range of different Canon lenses, with or without an adapter.
External Hard Drive: Lacie Rugged
An external hard drive should be on the list of must-haves for every remote worker when digital data is important. Everything from documents and files to images and videos should be backed up on an external hard drive, which offers protection against computer failures and memory corruption. Our recommended hard drive is the LaCie rugged external hard drive. The rugged design and large SSD memory options are perfect for remote workers looking to store their digital data. Protection against impact, dust, and water make these a robust choice for digital nomads traveling the world.
Portable Charger: Anker PowerCore 26800
Getting caught with low phone battery in unfamiliar territory is never a good thing. With everything from contact options to navigation available from our phones—having a backup power supply on hand can be a lifesaver when running low on juice. For digital nomads working away from home, we would recommend the Anker PowerCore 26800 as the best portable power bank for emergency situations.
The handy power bank has enough power to fully recharge a standard iPhone 8 nine times before needing to be recharged. There are three USB ports allowing multiple device charging and weighing in at less than 500g it’s the perfect travel companion.
Travel Adapter: EPICKA Universal Travel Adapter
If you’re a digital nomad looking to travel outside of your home country, a travel adapter may be required to keep your electronics powered up. The universal global travel adapter from EPICKA is our recommendation, offering global coverage from the small travel device. Whether you’re looking to work in Europe, Asia, or anywhere in-between, this adapter is ready for the job.
Alongside the essentials, there are many other bits and pieces that digital nomads either pick up along the way or should pack up before heading out. From Apple AirTags and travel towels to first aid kits and more—here are our must-have miscellaneous items for digital nomads.
The Apple AirTag is one of our overall top must-have items for digital nomads looking to travel around the world. The device can be used to track your items by using the iOS “Find My” app. This makes the AirTag great for keeping track of your luggage alongside any high-value personal items (laptop, keys, etc.). It’s both a simple and great way to ensure that your bags are never lost again.
A travel towel is one of the commonly forgotten travel essentials by digital nomads and remote workers. Although most hotels and Airbnbs offer towels, a travel towel is great for those one-off situations, when visiting a hostel or when taking a trip to the beach or pool. A microfiber towel, such as the Rainleaf travel towel, is lightweight and quick-drying, allowing it to be repacked super quickly.
First Aid Kit
A first aid kit always feels like a cumbersome item to pack, right up until the moment somebody needs medical attention—then you’ll be glad you have it. Keeping a first-aid tucked away at the bottom of your bag is good practice, preparing for the worst when traveling away from home. A good first aid kit doesn’t need to be extravagant, any kit that covers the basics should be plenty for most remote workers. This mini 100-piece first aid kit is our top pick for traveling remote workers, adding a small but very capable first aid kit to the packing list in case of emergency.
We hope that our ultimate digital nomad packing list has given you a little more direction in packing for your next remote working trip.
Deciding what to pack and what to leave can be seriously stressful. By taking the time to trial packing your bags a couple of weeks in advance, you can build a better picture of exactly what volume you’re planning to take away with you. After that, it’s a case of putting your personal packing list on a diet.
For remote workers, there isn’t a huge amount of compromise that can be made with their technology. However, clothing choices, luggage configurations, and toiletries can all be reduced for a streamlined nomad lifestyle that will help you travel the world more efficiently and with less stress, knowing that you’ve got everything you need to work productively and enjoy your travels at the same time.