While traveling light is a very common notion among travelers. So as other hype words like minimalist packing, zen packing, etc… That doesn’t always apply to real traveling, visiting multiple countries for up to years at a time. Especially if you are a Digital Nomad.
You have to consider things like Laptops, and other gadgets for work. Most of which are not exactly small or light.
Go for the ones with a screen at 13 to 14 inches in size (diagonally measured, if you need to know). It will support reasonable resolutions to view your spreadsheets or even play some games while on the go. Anything larger will only add bulk with minimal added benefits, choose smaller then you can even browse some websites. Also, when traveling, you need to squeeze as much life as possible from your batteries.
Do not carry bulky headsets or keyboards. a simple full sized mouse and any noise cancelling earphones will be enough. Wireless if possible, we still have not figured out the mysteries of how cables magically manage to have themselves tangled in our bags. Cable management will be discussed further below.
This is essential. But what is often overlooked are small things. Like sim card holders, for your growing or about to grow collection of sim cards from all those countries you have visited. Another is a power bank or 2 when you are on the go. A tripod can also be useful as a phone stand whenever you are working in a cafe.
Cables, adapters, hubs, and power strips
Now when it comes to cables, we are on our way to better standardization, but for now – choose your devices wisely by cable types, USB-C is becoming more dominant. When traveling, you also need 2 cables for each type – one long and another one short. Long when you are at hotels or private places where you can and plan to move around. Yes you need to take your little strolls. Short is for when space is of the essence, you could however, bring cable ties to make your long cables shorter #hack.
International travel has one really huge issue, power adapters. While you can bring an all in one, sometimes it is too big to cram into an outlet behind the hotel TV or under the bed. A good solution is to buy a smaller country based adapter when you arrive and always bring a power strip with you. Your power strip will act as an adapter for your devices and you only need to buy one small adapter when needed. Plus, it keeps your cables organized and you can even win some friends by letting them plug in.
Cable management, there are those cool gadget bags, some with fancy brand names. What you really need is a toiletry bag, it has many pockets and folds really small and most of the time waterproof. A twist tie, yes from the gardening isle, is the cheapest you can be when you need some additional cable management. Rubber Bands can get sticky, those packaging ties from when you bought your gadgets will work ok too.
It would be awesome to bring a huge DSLR or even a drone while you visit tourist spots in your cool new folding electric scooter. It would be fun to carry 3 phones, maybe a spare laptop just in case, hard drives, bright mechanical keyboards. Here’s a short answer; NO.
Most of these are either unnecessary or can already be done by your phone and/or laptop. Unless you are a professional photographer, then thin about carrying expensive cameras and even more expensive lenses next time you travel to a remote place. You only need essentials and mostly for work – as a digital nomad, you are not on full vacation mode, you still need to work to survive.
Click here for 5 tips for getting the most out of your vacation.
Have fun exploring the world!