Greetings fellow travelers, this is Glen from 199flags dropping by to share with you the most essential nomad gear that’s steadily been in my suitcase while living the digital nomad life.
It all began for me back in 2014 when I took my first international solo trip to the Philippines and had the time of my life.
The following two years, I continued traveling for fun and eventually realized I didn’t want to stop.
That’s when I began investigating ways to make a living working online.
Traveling for fun and traveling while working are two very different scenarios.
You may think you can get away with a laptop and a stack of clothes, but the truth of the matter is that’s not going to cut it.
I’ll share with you my nomad gear essential list, and you decide if there’s anything missing from your digital nomad packing list.
Let’s dive right in!
1. Laptop Stand
A little over a year ago, I noticed that looking down at my laptop to write thousands of words every day couldn’t be counterbalanced by a solid strength building routine.
I began searching the internet while in Manila and came across the Nexstand portable laptop stand.
The reviews were all glowing, so I went ahead and picked one up.
It ended up being some of the best money I’ve ever spent in my life, and my neck and back have thanked me a thousand times over since I bought it.
There is also the Roost laptop stand that cost three times as much as the Nextstand, but I can’t justify the extra cost because the Nexstand gets the job done.
It also comes with a nice sack and is extremely lightweight. This is an essential minimalist travel gear!
2. Bluetooth Keyboard and Mouse
In my opinion, the cost is insignificant.
I’m able to get a ton more work done with my “portable office.”
Level of comfort plays a huge role when working on a laptop as a writer, marketer, or any field that requires you to be in front of a computer while on the road.
Unfortunately, the days of being able to throw up a website, write a few articles, and watch the money roll in are long over.
These days, it can take years to build a solid online reputation or online income stream, which equals more time in front of a computer.
I use a Mac, and this is the Bluetooth keyboard I’ve been using that’s treated me well.
As for the mouse, I prefer a slim mouse that offers both Bluetooth and a 2.4GHz connection option.
Click here for a universal mouse with a silent click feature.
3. Laptop Keyboard Cover
Here’s one of those nomad gear items I wish I had known about well before I began working online for a living.
I’ve gone through the pain of spilling beer on a MacBook keyboard not once, but twice.
The first time it occurred the computer was already a few years old, and I wasn’t working online at the time.
The second time it happened was a whole different story.
I had to make an impromptu trip to Bangkok to get it fixed for a reasonable price.
If I had spent less than $10 for a keyboard cover, I could have saved myself $100s and a ton of aggravation.
Click here to check out the one I use.
Seriously, I can’t recommend having one of these enough.
4. 100 – 240V Beard Trimmer
I made this mistake and ended up having to throw away my favorite trimmer of all time.
Finding a quality beard trimmer in Asia is no easy task since most guys can’t or don’t grow beards.
I recommend sticking with Philips Norelco, as they tend to manufacture trimmers that are universal.
My favorite brand is Remington, but I’ve found that most of their trimmers are 120V only.
5. Anker 40W 4-Port USB Wall Charger
This is one of my favorite Nomad gear on the list.
I’ve stopped using those square white USB adapters that come with iPhones and iPads.
The Anker wall charger charges any USB device at the highest possible speed.
When it detects a device that accepts fast charging, the light on the Anker turns green.
It charges my iPhone and Android phone lightning fast and has been dependable for years now.
You’ll save weight and space in your bag by ditching the USB wall chargers that come with your devices and opting for the Anker unit.
The best part is that you can safely charge four devices at once while at the airport.
6. Cheap Bluetooth Earbuds
Earbuds are easy to lose, and even before the AirPods, I never did like the sound quality of Apple headphones.
During my last stay in Manila, I picked up a couple pairs of the X2T headphones and have no complaints.
The battery life is great, and the sound quality is surprisingly powerful.
Click here to check out a pair with great reviews that are currently selling at a solid price.
Bluetooth earbuds are essential for me while traveling, walking around the city, or at the gym.
I can’t imagine going back to the hassle of wired headphones at this point.
7. Wallet Ninja
I came across this tool a few months ago and decided to add it to my nomadic gear collection.
Overall, I think it’s a great addition that can come in handy from time to time.
If you’re the kind of nomad who travels with a carry-on bag only, there’s a chance you may be able to sneak this through airport security.
The manufacturer claims that it’s TSA-friendly, but I haven’t tried packing it in my carry-on.
Every time I’ve needed it, I’ve been glad to have it, but it’s not something I use every day like the other items I’ve listed.
8. Bluetooth Speaker
I’ve been using JBL portable Bluetooth speakers for over four years, and I love their products.
The current JBL speaker is waterproof and comes with a sturdy hanging hook.
I can guarantee that the sound from the JBL Bluetooth speaker won’t let you down unless you’re a hardcore audiophile who knows a lot more about sound than I do.
Click here to check out the latest edition by JBL.
9. Hidden Money Belt
Every other person I’ve met who uses one loves theirs too.
If I’m in a rush while in the airport or commuting, I like knowing that my passport and other valuables are locked away in an RFID blocking compartment.
I also like to hide it under my shirt when I’m walking around a place where crime is more prevalent.
There are places in the world where pickpockets make a living off robbing tourists.
Another feature I like about this bag is that it clips in on the side of the bag instead of in the back.
Click here to check out the one I use.
Essential Digital Nomad Gear 2018 – Final Thoughts
When purchasing nomad gear the main points of focus should be comfort, safety, and cutting down on weight.
The longer I travel the lighter my bag gets.
Over the years, I’ve come to realize a lot of the items I thought were essential on my digital nomad packing list were overkill.
These days, I look for ways to cut down on weight by any means possible.
It makes travel days a lot less stressful.
With that, I wish you all the best on your travels, and I hope my digital nomad gear set enhances your journeys.