In this post, I am telling you what are the 5 most important gears in my digital nomad equipment.
If you are planning to leave soon for a new destination, or if it is your first time leaving your country to work abroad, you will find this information useful.
What is essential to me as a digital nomad? What type of gears do I need? And what do I still need to get?
1. A really good laptop
To me, the most crucial element is to have a really good laptop. And by really good, what I mean is the best laptop for my digital needs:
I never really know where I will be working from. My office of the week could be on the beach, by the hotel’s swimming pool, in a café, or my Airbnb apartment. On some days, it could even be several of these types of locations.
This is why I need a laptop which has a very high screen brightness. Anything above 400 nits should be enough.
I use a Dell XPS 13 7390 from 2019, and it is just great. You should still be able to find one online for less than 800 USD as this is the price I paid for it.
My girlfriend uses a Macbook Air. She just transitioned from the 2017 model to the one from 2021, and the gap is huge.
She was able to work outside with the old one but not without facing some screen brightness issues. We the new one, she can work from anywhere, even under the sun. I believe that any Macbook air or pro that came out after 2019 will have a good enough screen brightness.
The second most important element, for me, is the battery capacity. This is quite obvious but if you wish to work from the most comfortable spots, if you wish to work from cafés, if you wish to work from your hotel’s garden, you will need a robust battery.
My dell laptop is doing pretty well. I’m not a designer nor a gamer, but still, I require a lot from my laptop. Without paying too much attention to the battery usage settings, I can work for more than three hours.
My girlfriend’s MacBook is doing much better than my Dell. However, the type of work she is doing does not need as many resources as mine.
In addition to the battery capacity, I believe it is very important to travel with a laptop that is not brand new. The last thing I want is to buy a laptop that will have manufacturing shall. I prefer buying a laptop that has been launched one or two years earlier so I can read a decent amount of reviews from people who bought and used it.
Go check my article listing the most important tips for digital nomads.
2. Cloud data storage solution
This is quite an important point. You need to be able to store all your files in the clouds.
I no longer have a single file stored on a physical drive. Everything is online.
At the moment I use both Dropbox and Google Drive, but in the next coming weeks, I will get rid of Dropbox. It takes time to migrate all my files there with my current internet speed :).
The reason why I prefer using Google Drive is that it works better for me, as a digital marketer, to use Google Drive and all its tools (Google doc, sheet, presentation etc). Also, Google Photos is much better at synchronising all media files from my phone.
I haven’t met any long-time traveller that at some point did not lose personal and important data. Whether it was pictures, videos, academic documents. It just happens to everybody. You can’t protect yourself from this. It will happen to you as well at some point.
That’s why, in my opinion, you need to get yourself a cloud data storage solution that will work on your laptop and your mobile.
3. A power bank
Having a power bank is not crucial for me, however, it makes my life much more comfortable while travelling.
To be honest, I mostly use my power bank to be able to charge my phone from the bed of my hotel room.
Because, quite often in hotels rooms, you won’t have electrical plugs next to your bed. Or, you will have one only on one side of the bed. And for some reasons, it is always my girlfriend who is sleeping on that side 🙂
If you wish to get yourself one, this is what I believe is important to consider.
- 5000 mAh should be the minimum. Anything below won’t be very helpful. With this type of capacity, you will be able to charge your phone at least once.
- 10000 mAh power banks are not ideal, because of their size. If you can easily carry one in a bag, you will be fine. I would suggest choosing a bigger one though.
- 15000+ mAh power banks are even bigger, however, you can use them to recharge your laptop in addition to your phone.
- Anything above 27000mAh or 100Wh is forbidden in planes.
My power bank has a 5000 mAh capacity. It is now a bit old and I believe I will soon get myself a Dell BAttery Companion which has an 18000 mAh capacity.
Not all power banks allow fast charging. I highly recommend you ger yourself a fast-charging device.
Unfortunately, there are still power banks that can’t charge and be charged at the same time.
Make sure to pick a power bank that will pass the charge to the connected device.
This way, you will be able for example, to charge your phone and your power bank while you are sleeping.
If you have USB-C devices (laptop and phone), make sure to get yourself a power bank that will be compatible.
This way you will need only one cable to charge the power bank or to use the power bank to charge your phone.
4. A really big bag
Most people will probably travel with a backpack. It has been trendy for a while. It makes you feel like you are going on a big adventure. I even used to have a big backpack. But most backpacks are just too small to carry enough equipment.
To travel light and for the bravest, I could recommend a small backpack. Most digital nomads won’t find this solution ideal though.
I decided to travel with a 200L travel bag. I now have plenty of room to store all my clothes, shoes, and souvenirs.
I use probably only 70L over the 200L bag capacity. And this is what I like about my bag. I never have to think about how I will pack every single item. I simply stuff the bag, close it and head for the next destination.
5. Bluetooth headset
If you do conference calls regularly, you will need a decent Bluetooth headset.
I use this SENNHEISER HD 4.40BT headset.
It works well with my phone and my laptop. The microphone is great. According to Rtrings.com, the noise-cancelling feature can reach a speech-to-noise ratio of 20dB.
I have been using it for three years now, and the battery is still working very well. I can use it for several days before charging it.
I highly recommend it!