12 Digital Nomads Share How They Pack Their Bags and Live Nomadic

Digital nomads travel a lot and are always on the go. They work remotely from foreign countries, always seen working from coffee shops, co-working spaces or some other places that have a strong Internet connection.

To improve how we pack our bags and become more nomadic, we have talked with 12 experienced digital nomads and asked them to share their best advice.

Read on and learn from their best tips and tricks (all the digital nomads have lots of experience, so they know what they are talking about!).

Digital nomad working from a van in the nature

The 12 Experts

Tomas Laurinavicius
I am from Lithuania. Right now, I’m in Bali where I’ll spend the next four to five months. I became a digital nomad because I was fascinated by the idea of being able to work and travel at the same time. Once I built a somewhat predictable income stream, I decided to try it out and have been nomadic for four years now.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

I don’t really have much stuff. I think I prefer not to have many things and buy them at the place instead of carrying them with me. I do have two microphones that immensely improve audio quality when doing interviews or recording podcasts. Noise canceling headphones are something I can’t live without. Regarding the stuff people bring is just bringing too much. All the time.

How do you bring things with you?

I have been traveling only with a backpack for four years. The brand I use right now is Under Armour, it’s not the best option but serves me well at the moment. I feel like the bag size doesn’t matter, I tend to fill at all. It’s more about being mindful and intentional when packing. Having only so little space made me more mindful consumer because I only buy stuff I need and can carry with me.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

If you want traveling to be easy and enjoyable, you need to get rid of a big chunk of your physical belongings. It’s a lot about the mindset shift as you need to understand that owning too much stuff doesn’t provide you freedom and safety. It ties you up and makes you worry more. I have written a guide here

Visit Tomas Laurinavicius’ website

Chase Guttman
I am an award-winning travel journalist, drone photography expert, author, lecturer and social media influencer. I am the three-time recipient and first American to win Young Travel Photographer of the Year, a prestigious international competition judged by museum curators and magazine editors; was named a World’s Top Travel Photographer by Condé Nast Traveler and a Rising Star by Instagram; and won the 2017 Walter Cronkite Award for Excellence in Storytelling and Exploration—a lifetime achievement level honor. My recent book, The Handbook of Drone Photography, was one of the first written on the topic and received critical acclaim from publications such as Travel + Leisure, The Telegraph and Business Insider. I have been fortunate enough to travel to 75+ countries and all 50 U.S. states.

I am originally from New York City and I am traveling to Florida next week to cover the Kennedy Space Center. I became a travel photographer because I want to fit as many experiences as I can into the finite lifetime that I’ve been given.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

I typically pack pretty light so I can be flexible and comfortably travel longer distances. My drone is one of the most important things that I bring as it provides an entirely different perspective from the rest of my camera equipment. I also carry power bars to keep me going on long days and sometimes even pens to give as gifts to children in foreign villages.

How do you bring things with you?

I mostly work out of a Manfrotto backpack and I try to limit myself to the space that I have. Of course, you can always use more room but having less space forces you to make important decisions.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

Bring the essentials and don’t sweat the rest. Just get out and enjoy. There’s so much to explore from our backyards and beyond.

Visit Chase Guttman’s website

Sanne Wesselman
I am from The Netherlands but have been traveling the world and living abroad for more than 15 years now.

I became a digital nomad by accident, long before I had ever heard of the term. In 2008, I moved to the Caribbean because of a job offer but kept my small online marketing company going on the side. That is when I learnt that it’s actually quite easy to move to a new country and build a new life. And, more importantly, that I could keep my business going even while I was away from Spain, where I started the business.

So, after six months in the Caribbean I decided it was time for a new adventure, in a new country. Since then I have lived in over 10 countries and traveled to many more.

Before the digital nomad scene was as big as it is now, I often took on a local short term job or volunteer work to meet people and to feel part of local life a bit more. Over the years, that gave me some interesting experiences ranging from your typical hostel job to counting dolphins in Mauritius…

Right now, after a decade of living out of a suitcase almost non-stop, I call Valencia, Spain, home. I try to travel a bit less and to have more of a home base. That being said, I do have trips planned to four different countries within the next two months so I don’t know how successful I am at sticking to that new plan…

And hey, I do still need new content for my travel blog SpendLifeTraveling.com so I couldn’t stop traveling completely even if I wanted to! 😉

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

I try to bring as little as possible to be honest. I have often said, “all I need is my laptop, my passport and my credit card”. Ok, I wish I could actually travel that light, but really, you don’t need half as much as you think.

I recently went to Colombia for five weeks and when I arrived the airline had lost my suitcase. Of course, I was annoyed, but a quick visit to a local department store got me the few basic items I really needed. When my suitcase reappeared a few days later, my first thought was, “oh, I was actually fine with just those few items, why did I pack 20kg worth of stuff?!”

So I now try to travel with only carry-on for any trip that’s less than one month and not to a particularly cold destination (those winter clothes just take up too much space!). Not having to drag around a big suitcase or heavy backpack just makes my travels so much more comfortable.

Women tend to bring more ‘useless’ things than men. You really don’t need five pairs of shoes (ok, I admit I have often carried five pairs of shoes) or seven different dresses… Focus on things that can be combined and are practical in different situations.

Oh and a great thing me and many of my (female) digital nomad friends like: clothes swaps! Yes, after a month or so of wearing just the items that fit into your suitcase, you do get tired of them. So, get together with friends (whether digital nomads or not), open a bottle of wine, bring out some snacks and swap some clothes!

How do you bring things with you?

I always use a suitcase. I never liked backpacks much and when I recently took a backpack instead of a suitcase again I instantly regretted it.

Unless I plan to do an awful lot of walking with my luggage on sand, mud or grass where I really couldn’t drag my suitcase along, I don’t see the benefits of carrying a heavy backpack. But, that’s just my personal preference.

Because I travel so much I often replace my suitcases. What new suitcase I buy then mainly depends on where in the world I happen to find myself and what they offer there. Consequently, I am not very brand loyal.

I always roll my clothes instead of folding them because I feel that keeps things a bit more organized and they say it saves space (I am not entirely convinced). Vacuum compression bags and packing cubes are also great options for saving space and keeping things organized.

When traveling somewhere, I always try to either leave some space in my suitcase or bring some items I don’t mind throwing out at the end of my trip. I just know I will end up buying things that I will want to bring back and I can’t stand the idea of paying for extra luggage, so this way I try to plan for that.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

My first tip for digital nomads is to not pack too much. Especially when you are staying in one place longer you can easily buy things locally. You support the local community this way and, if you are anything like me, you will pack some completely wrong things every time (why did I think high heels were a good idea when moving to a European city where we walk everywhere?!) so you will have to buy things anyway to make your stay comfortable. So, better only pack the basics and find out once your are there what else you really need.

My second tip is for any traveler: Always put some essential items in your carry-on! I have lost my suitcase a couple of times now and both times I didn’t have underwear, a toothbrush, etc., packed in my carry-on. And believe me, it’s incredibly annoying having to find these items right as you arrive at your destination.

Visit Sanne’s travel blog SpendLifeTraveling.com

Michelle Wintersteen
I am from San Diego, California and am actually back home for a month or so before I take off on my next trip. I have been a digital nomad for a little more than a year, and have spent time with WiFi Tribe in Costa Rica, Cape Town and Split.

I always knew I wanted to travel, but I also really enjoyed living in San Diego after graduating from university. I couldn’t financially justify paying Southern California rent AND traveling. After totaling my car on the 5 Freeway in bumper to bumper traffic, I felt like I had a reason to not get a new car and try something different. Last April, I decided to move out of my apartment, move my things into storage, and commit to six weeks in Costa Rica.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • My Passport External Hard Drive – It’s small and has tons of storage. When I am running Illustrator, Photoshop and other Creative Cloud programs, my computer can get really backed up by big design files. Having a hard drive for back ups and just to work from is super helpful while I travel. Whenever I am back stateside, I make sure to backup those back ups to MyBook hard drive;
  • HATS! And other hair accessories – I started to develop a bit of a reputation on the Split chapter for having what some would call a ‘strong hat game.’ Hats (and also loving silk scarves) are great for when your really don’t want to do your hair of face, and make you look way more polished and put together in pictures. I love to pick up hats in the places I travel instead of other trinkets that sit on shelves;/li>
  • Mario Badescu Rosewater Spray – I am OBSESSED with this Rose Water spray especially when I travel because it makes me feel super fresh and clean. It’s the perfect refresher after a long travel day that will make you feel like a new person.

I think that people tend to overpack when they travel… Too many shoes, too many impractical gizmos and gadgets. Keep in mind where you are going, and what will be available for purchase once you get there to save you space in your suitcase and backpack.

How do you bring things with you?

I am actually in the market for a new suitcase since my last one broke. I am looking into Away bags because of their lifetime warranty, and because everyone I’ve talked to about them has been super impressed with the quality.

For now, the backpack I am using is a North Face Backpack that fits my 15″ laptop and my DJI Spark Drone. It’s not the best use of space, so I am looking for different options there as well.

I swear by packing cubes, and use them religiously for long, multicity trips. I have found that cloth cubes hold up better than plastic. I also bring along a hanging toiletries bag, that I can hook to a shower, or mirror that lets me see everything I’ve got on hand instead of a bottomless dark pit.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

I think Digital Nomads for the most parts are great packers. They are smart and resourceful, interested in only bringing items with multiple functions. I definitely verge on the edge of an overpacker (I like having options!) and really enjoy shopping while I travel, bringing back interesting clothing, shoes and accessories from the places I visit.

However, I think one mistake travelers make is that they hold onto EVERYTHING while they travel…books, unneccessary clothing, broken tech… I am definitely guilty of this, too. I would love to get better about eliminating the things that no longer serve me.

As far as traveling as a whole, my biggest suggestion for nomads and newbies to the travel lifestyle is to set realistic expectations for yourself, your work, and your clients. Cut out the clients that need a lot of hand holding if you can. Network locally and make connections with other travelers that have products or services that are different than what you provide. The world is a crazy place, and waiting to see it only when you’re on vacation is a tragedy.

Visit Michelle Wintersteen’s website

Nikki Scott
Hi there, I’m Nikki!

I’m originally from the UK. I left home to go backpacking at the age of 23, starting in Nepal and then moving on to South East Asia for six months of solo travel and adventures. In 2009, I decided I didn’t want to stop travelling and I founded a printed magazine called, ‘South East Asia Backpacker’ in order to turn my passion into a business! This was back in the days when the travel blog was just starting and I had no idea about how to build a website!

Today, the magazine has grown to become a huge digital resource for backpackers all over the world and I run websites for travellers to South America and Europe too. I run the website with my partner, Dave, and together we’re a digital nomad couple making a home wherever we find ourselves. We are currently based in Spain where we are catching up with family and friends on this side of the world.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • My Diary and Coloured Pens – One of my most treasured items, when I travel, is my diary. I know you can do EVERYTHING digital these days, but I find that writing my thoughts down clears my head and allows me to process the things that I see when I travel on a daily basis. I write lists about how I feel, I draw pictures and doodle and I make plans for new ideas I have every day. Travel can be very inspiring and it’s good to have a way to express yourself!
  • My Yoga Mat – It’s hard to keep up with exercise on the road and your body gets achy and stiff from too much time spent on buses, trains and planes in cramped positions. I love to pop out my yoga mat whenever I get chance (usually first thing in the morning) and have a stretch. It’s a great way to start the day.
  • Moka Pot – This is one my boyfriend suggested as he’s a coffee addict! He takes a small Italian coffee making machine with him wherever he goes so that he can always make a cup of coffee on the road! When you travel for a living it’s good to have access to those home comforts that you miss, especially in parts of Asia.

Most useless things I’ve heard people bring with them: High heeled shoes, hair straighteners, a beach towel (too bulky!), inline skates! The most common mistake travellers make is just packing too many clothes when they only need a few t-shirts, shorts, etc. Travelling light is the best!

How do you bring things with you?

The most recommended backpack brand around is the Osprey brand. They have amazing durable bags in all sizes from 40-70 litre and they even have wheeled backpacks. I would highly recommend them.

I’d also recommend a bag that not only opens at the top like a traditional backpack but opens at the side so that you have easy access to all of your stuff.

Packing cubes are also a great idea for organising your backpack. You put all of your t-shirts in one bag, your shorts in a different bag and your toiletries in another. It stops you pulling everything out of your bag and making it a complete mess as you try to locate something that you need! They are cheap to buy and make your life much easier on the road.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

My top tip for packing light is to take fewer shoes! You literally need one sturdy pair of walking shoes and one pair of flip-flops, that’s it! I’ve carried hiking boots around in the past and regretted it as they are so heavy and bulky and take up a lot of space in your bag. I see lots of travellers making this same mistake.

Another tip is not to worry too much about toiletries as you can always replenish when you get to your destination. However, there are some things that I would always recommend packing as they can be harder to find, particularly in Asia:

  • A strong insect repellent. I’m not sure why, but it can be harder to buy insect repellent with DEET in some tropical countries. This seems crazy as these are the countries where you are most likely to need it! Stock up on a strong insect repellent before you go;
  • Sunscreen – Sun cream can be much more expensive in Asia than back in Europe or the states, so it’s wise to take some with you;
  • Female Items – Ladies! Tampons are not common in Asia. If you use them, make sure you bring them.

Visit Nikki Scott’s website

Jessica Buck
I’m originally from Texas, went to college in Georgia and am now based in LA. I received my degree in print journalism and spent the next five years after college trying to figure out how to sustain myself solely on my writing. I went from working in restaurants to being a personal assistant in tv/film production, to working in the staffing industry where I gained so much knowledge on what people do wrong when applying for positions. From there, I decided I wanted to take my freelance business full time (I had been spending my nights and weekends writing articles since college, but nothing that could pay my rent). I had been wanting to travel through Latin America for years, did a Google search on working remotely, found an amazing travel company called WiFi Tribe that brings other digital nomads together in different countries, linked up with them, gave my job my notice, sold almost all of my belongings and purchased a one way ticket out of the country. Two months later I was on a beach in Brazil meeting people from all over the world that had been doing the digital nomad thing for years!

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • A portable speaker is KEY. I listen to music almost 24/7, while I’m working, meditating, chilling at the park/beach, etc. A good portable speaker helps to set an atmosphere wherever you are. It can change the vibe of a hostel or air bnb and can make you feel more like at home when trying to re create your workspace all over the world;
  • Essential oils – it’s good beause essential oils are normally packaged in small bottles, so no issues when going through airports, you can always have it on you. I always carry a lavender to put on my pillows wherever I’m staying, and different essential oils are good to use when your’e stressed, overwhelmed or just need a mood adjustment;
  • A journal – I’ve carried a journal almost all my life, so that includes when I travel. I write down my dreams, ideas about my novel and important notes when necessary. It helps me to stay grounded in who I am when I write down things that affect me in both good and bad ways. Instead of holding all of these thoughts in my head, it helps to write them down so I can sort them out.

I don’t know if I’ve seen so much useless things people pack, but just that they OVER pack. For like a three-week trip, they’ll have a giant 50 lb suitcase with four pairs of heels, three outfit changes per day and an excess of make up. This isn’t a photoshoot, it’s hot as balls outside and we’re not walking any red carpets, sis. LOL

How do you bring things with you?

I have an Osprey full suitcase, as well as one of their backpacking packs. I like the brand a lot because they are super sturdy and come with a lifetime warranty, so you can’t go wrong! Also, packing cubes are SUPER helpful. It makes it way easier because you can label them to easily grab the correct packing cube so you don’t have to keep packing and re packing just to find out the thing that you need is now in the bottom of the bag. I also always carry a backpack as well (Herschel is the brand I’m using right now), so I can keep most immediate things like my computer, meds, etc. close to me while traveling, just in case something happens to my larger pack.

I also like to leave some room if possible so I can buy things along the way for family/friends, or if I’m traveling for awhile, I’ll pack for the weather that I’m going to, and purchase things along the way if it gets colder & mail things home if necessary.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

If you truly want to take your work remote so you can travel, do the work it takes in order to make that happen. Study the market, apply for fully remote positions, grow your freelance clientele and save save save! When just starting out, if you’re new to the freelance business, I would pick a country that has a lower cost of living that what you are used to, so that your money can stretch further while you’re trying to get your book of business in order. Cut corners where ever you can, but you’ll find out pretty quickly that it’s not as hard as it looks. If you do the research and put in the work it takes to sustain yourself, you can definitely do this remote thing. Get flight alerts sent to your email to see where you can fly for the cheapest, or take buses through each country when possible. Be aware of your surroundings and belongings (using common sense), but most importantly, have fun! Enjoy this freedom of travel, you’ll be amazed at the amount of things you can do and see for little to no money at all.

Visit Jessica Buck’s website

Charish Badzinski
I was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in northern Minnesota, but these days I call Arizona home.

For years, I tried to shoehorn myself into standard corporate environments, but it always felt like I was wearing knickers a size too small: it wasn’t the right fit. Luckily as a writer, technology enables me to work from anywhere these days, and I’ve found that bopping happily around the globe fits my personality perfectly, as I have an insatiable curiosity about the world. I am fortunate to have clients who entrust me with their communications needs, so that I’m able to explore the world while I’m helping clients achieve their goals. That, in turn, helps me work toward my personal goal of seeing 100 countries, which is about half of the world.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • I bring a stash of plastic baggies in various sizes wherever I go. They come in really handy when I have a wet bathing suit and have to board a plane, or when I need lunch on the go and have to pick up something at the market to eat later. They also help me stay organized, so if I have receipts I need to keep for expenses, it corrals them so they don’t take over my bag. I also bring a dry bag along, which comes in handy when caught in the rain or in a kayak.
  • I try to pack super light but I think it’s important to bring a few comforts that you might not be able to find when on the road. The truth is, traveling long-term can be really trying at times. For me, just having refreshing facial wipes to use in the midst of a long-haul flight or after a long day can help me feel rooted and relaxed. My advice is to identify a couple of those little comforts you enjoy at home, and to bring them along for the ride.
  • I pack scented dryer sheets in a sandwich bag in my luggage. Every week or so I take one out of the plastic bag so it can freshen my clothes. When it’s time to do the wash, I throw it in the dryer.

These days I travel with a carry-on size backpack, which is far less than I see the majority of other travelers schlepping around. I’m stunned at the amount of stuff people carry with them–sometimes a huge pack on their backs and another on the front. I’m not even sure what they’re putting in there!

I find a 40L pack is enough for a week’s worth of clothes, and I love that I don’t have to deal with waiting at the luggage carrousel at the end of a trip. I’m never sorry when I pack light, in fact, I love the challenge of paring down to the minimum essentials, and after so many years of travel I have a pretty good handle on what I need and what I don’t.

Packing light is a journey in itself. It requires constantly evaluating what you need, and eliminating the items that no longer serve you. It also means finding the most compact, lightweight solutions to your tech needs as possible.

On my latest trip, I brought a power bank along thinking it would be really handy. What I quickly realized is that it was an inconvenience. Screening at many airports now requires you to remove any power banks from your luggage, so it slowed things down at the airport for me. In addition, I found that outlets were plentiful enough, even in developing nations and on trains, that I didn’t need it. Next time I’ll save myself the additional weight and space and leave the power bank at home.

How do you bring things with you?

Sometimes I travel with a rollerbag, but lately I’ve been using an Osprey 40L backpack and a Baggalinni purse. The purse is roomy enough for a daypack (I’ve found it fits two bottles of wine!) and it collapses for easy stashing in the backpack, while the pack is small enough that I can carry it onboard most flights. In addition, I use a few Eagle Creek packing cubes to keep things organized–otherwise my pack explodes when I open it. It adds a little weight, but it’s worth it. And I bring along a Sea to Summit dry bag or two. The little ones are great for keeping devices dry and the large ones have multiple uses–including as a laundry bag.

I always feel like I have enough room in my bag, even though it’s relatively small. And the convenience and speed that come with packing light are invaluable. I start by carefully considering what I’m packing, and choosing items that can be worn together in several different ways. (Packing only items with multiple uses is next-level.) There’s a lot of black in my travel wardrobe! I choose lightweight fabrics that can be layered if need be. I recently found a wicking Columbia dress that might be the ideal travel dress: it takes up little space, it’s super lightweight, and it doesn’t wrinkle, so I’m in love with it. In addition, I try to bring just two pairs of shoes, both suitable for walking or hiking, and one appropriate for getting wet in the shower or on a riverbed. Any leftover space in my bag comes in handy if I need to carry water and food for a day on the trains, or if I find a must-have souvenir.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

My best tip for would-be digital nomads is to be sure to make space for the unexpected, so that you don’t disappoint clients. Wifi can be undependable, technology can fail and transportation delays are common. Make sure you have a plan B and enough wiggle room in your schedule, so if you have an online meeting at a set time and your flight is delayed or the wifi at your hotel is out, you still have a way to reach the people who are depending on you. Building and maintaining that trust with your clients is essential to the sustainability of your digital nomad dreams.

Visit Charish Badzinski’s website

Dustin Main
I’m Canadian, from a city in Saskatchewan called, Saskatoon. Somewhere along the line, someone nicknamed it the “Paris of the Prairies.” Jury is still out on that…

Currently, I’m back in Saskatoon, which is where I tend to spend my summers. In 2009, I took a one year sabbatical from my technology services company to travel the world. This was early digital nomad territory, when WiFi often wasn’t an option still, and there were even some dial-up connections. Thankfully, technology allowed me to oversee that company from ~40 countries, and start several new ones along the way.

For the last six years, I’ve been working on a documentary photography project in Myanmar called, “This Myanmar Life” that is about the changes that have been happening in the country, and how those changes have been affecting the stories of peoples’ lives. Since 2016, I have been running the “Un-Tour to Myanmar,” a unique small-group tour based on my photography work in the country.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

I prioritize good quality earphones, and I carry a pair of sound isolating Shure SE425s. They’re small, require no batteries, and help block out crying babies on planes and honking from crazy traffic. They sounds great too. Take them to the next level with a set of Comply foam tips for the best fit and sounds quality.

I also never travel without a good eye mask. I like the ones from Bucky (40 Blinks or Chevron). They block out all the light without pressing on your eyes.

Notice a pattern? Sometimes you need to take a break from the hustle-and-bustle of the outside world so you’re refreshed when you need to be on the top of your game. Self care, folks!

How do you bring things with you?

A couple of years back, I moved away from an ultralight Gregory 55L backpack to something that was easier to pack and that I didn’t have to lift. For trips within North America, I have an excellent 45L Ozone wheeled bag from Osprey. It’s the perfect size to work as a carry on in North America.

For those longer trips abroad that are measured in months, I take a 60L Osprey Sojourn. It’s a tad bit taller, and more heavy duty. It can also convert into a backpack, but that does not seem like a good time with me.

I chose these two because they are really well built, with durable frames and heavy duty wheels, and that’s awesome for all of the busted-up roads I need to pull them through.

The Sojourn 60 is my checked bag, and I put clothes, books, and misc electronics that aren’t critical. No lenses, cameras, or laptops go in here (they’re always on me), but it does fit my tripod which is excellent.

I carry a backpack with me, often a Deuter backpack. Nothing fancy, just with a sleeve for my laptop and a little understated. No need to attract attention, that’s why I don’t have a camera backpack from a company such as Lowepro or Thinktank. They scream “$10000 in gear in here!”

Finally, I carry a traditional Shan bag from Myanmar. This “side bag” has a wide, cross-body strap and is perfect for my camera, and water bottle. I’ve had it modified to add padding for the camera, and a zip pocket inside. It doesn’t look like a camera bag, and doesn’t peg me as a photographer as I walk around, and that’s just how I like it.

h4>What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

When it comes to clothes, I travel and wear mostly light merino wool. They are quick-drying, warm when wet, and antibacterial. That means I need less clothes, and it also means less laundry.

For technology, invest in the equipment that helps you do your job and won’t slow you down. Often for me, that means paying a bit more for something that is a bit smaller, a bit faster, and a bit more durable. That’s paid off several times over for me in terms of personal productivity and reliability of the gear. In my experience, you get what you pay for.

I’m often checking to see if a new gadget is going to require a new charger, a new cable or adapter. I’m also at the point that I won’t add any near gear or clothing unless it’s replacing something else. Well… unless it’s a nice lens…

I also don’t mind picking up things like a monitor if I’ll be in a location working/editing for a month or two. I’ve always found they are easy to sell, particularly in digital nomad hotspots.

Visit Dustin Main’s website

Christina Voll
I am 23 years old and I’m from a city near Toronto, Canada. The past five years I was living in Toronto finishing my Bachelors of Commerce degree with a double major in Global Management and Marketing.

During school, when I was 18 I got my first social media client, which then snowballed into me becoming a digital marketer. I have worked with brands in North America, Europe and the Middle East in which I provide content marketing, Facebook advertising, lead generation and email campaigns for. I also have a strong focus on growth and business development for startups. I just put myself out there, gained experience and knowledge and ended up getting quite a few clients. I am thinking of opening an agency very soon in this field.

I became a digital nomad because I love to travel (I haven’t been more than three months in the same country for the past two years) and I love the freedom that comes with being an entrepreneur. I truly believe the remote life is a way to achieve freedom in all aspects of life, and eventually, I’d like to help more people to do so! Currently, I am in Lisbon, Portugal to visit some friends and surf at nearby beaches (I used to live in Lisbon, so it’s like a second home), and tomorrow I fly to Greece to meet my nephew for the very first time! My brother and his wife live in Greece. After that, I will travel to Turkey and some other countries in that general area.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

Top 3 things:

  • Portable chargers, extra adapters and headphones. Definitely extra headphones.

    There were so many times where my phone lost it’s charge while I was using google maps to find my accommodation or I lost an adapter and needed to charge my electronics for a 9-hour bus ride the next day. Bringing extras so you can ensure your electronics are always charged makes your life easier. Especially if you’re someone who works on the go at airports or on buses with wifi, then you really depend on a full charge. Portable chargers are also super important if you’re camping or hiking for 12 hours. And headphones? Always bring extra headphones. You never want to have to take a client call with a noisy background.

  • Pens and paper – you know, it’s not ALL digital.

    Besides my personal journal I keep, I also keep a notebook and a pen in my bag with my laptop. Often, if I need to remember a number, or a name, or even some copy for an email or post, I scribble it down on my paper and it ends up being a very quick reference. Also in meetings, I prefer to handwrite notes so I can quickly make tables and group thoughts together. It’s a very simple thing to bring, but it’s also made my life a lot easier.

  • Tote bags and fold up backpacks

    These are great for doing groceries, day trips or to store food in on a travel day. The best part about them is that they fold up to next to nothing in your bag, so when you fly, the bags that you’re not using aren’t taking up a big chunk of your space.

The most useless thing I’ve seen someone bring is their own pillow. I understand that it’s a total personal preference, but usually, it takes up a lot of space and ends up getting dirty, which is worse off than using the pillow at your accommodation.

How do you bring things with you?

I have a 70L backpack from Mec ( I know it’s really big!) that I take as my checked luggage when I go away for more than 1-2 months. I love this backpack because it opens like a suitcase and has a really great way of distributing the weight. Currently, I am at the beginning of a year-long trip, so I also brought a carryon size backpack to take when I travel for 1-2 months in a different area.

In Europe, I tend to keep one country as my base ( in the case, it’s Lisbon) and I keep my checked bag there as often as I can so I do not have to always pay to add extra luggage. In my case, after I travel in Greece and Turkey, I will return to Lisbon before going to an apartment that I booked in the Canary Islands. This way, I only paid for checked luggage twice. The method takes some organization since I am packing for different climates (i.e. hot weather day in and out – Greece and Turkey, cold weather and mountain hikes – Romania), but it saves you time and money, plus you don’t have to always lug around a huge bag. I always pack my valuables ( like money, chargers, camera, etc.) in unusual places. If I have $200.00+ cash on me, I roll up some bills and put them in socks in my suitcase. This way, if I am robbed I don’t lose everything ( I am talking from experience since I was robbed in Latin America).

Another great thing to bring (and they are coming back in style) is a body cross bag/fanny pack. This way, your passport is always on you and you don’t have to worry about pickpocketers or someone taking your whole bag. Talking from experience – you REALLY don’t want to lose your passport in the foreign country – so it’s always better to be safe.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

When I stay places, such as small surf towns or little villages I run into that typical “traveller.” Usually, if you sit down with them and talk, they’re super cool and you can relate to a lot of experiences. But, halfway through the conversation, you get a little whiff of body odour, and you realize that they’ve been wearing that same outfit for the last five days. Don’t be that person. Sometimes, people go for months with only three t-shirts and a pair of shorts and pants. I admire them because minimalism is definitely very important, but nothing beats having a hot shower and putting on some clean clothes after one month of living out of a small backpack and showers so cold it is a commitment to actually shave your legs, or wash your hair.

When you travel, you end up appreciating the small stuff so much – just like a clean pair of socks or comfortable, clean, sweater. It’s important to pack light, but also important to practice some self-care when you’re on the road, especially since you can get run down pretty fast.

As for tips about getting out the door – just go and do it! Pack your favourite items that make you feel good and are super comfortable and buy that plane ticket and go. It’s honestly not that complicated!

Visit Christina Voll’s website

Fabio Virgi
I’m a Portuguese guy who has lived in London since childhood. I initially decided to travel the world and work as a digital nomad because I realised my skill set was something I could monetise from anywhere. That gave me flexibility to travel wherever I wanted to while earning my income.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • A mobile router or MiFi device. Being able to pop in a local data only SIM card so that I can stay connected has been super helpful!
  • A portable power bank for my laptop so that I can keep working wherever I am.
  • Smartphone gimbal: a big part of my travels is documenting what I get up to. A smartphone gimbal allows me to create silky smooth video without taking up huge amounts of space!

How do you bring things with you?

Nothing too exciting in this department! A standard wheelie suitcase and a backpack does it for me.

The backpack I use is the STM Drifter. It has so many compartments and fantastic storage capacity!

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

Honestly, it’s the advice everyone has heard a million times: Stop dreaming and start doing. If there’s something you want to do or achieve, get off your butt and make it happen! Whether that’s relocating, starting that new business idea or whatever else.

Visit Fabio Virgi’s website

Stefanie Faceira
I’m a 33-year-old woman from Germany who became semi-nomadic when we moved to Haiti three years ago due to the job change of my husband. Due to the high unemployment rate (40%) in Haiti, the inconvenient work situation (low salary in NGOs with non-family friendly US work contracts) I decided to start my own business as virtual assistant. This allows me to be flexible and arrange my work schedule around the vacation time of my husband and daughter. This way we are traveling regularly in Haiti, to the US, and to Europe (France and Germany especially).

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

I wonder what the “common stuff” is that all nomads bring along ;-). I personally cannot do without my laptop to work from anywhere and for flights, I would never ever again fly without my Parrot headphones which keep all noises away from me. Other than that, I love my kindle as it allows me to bring along as many books as possible. One thing that I always bring and which has improved traveling is a reusable water bottle which I can refill everywhere and which keeps us hydrated. Last but not least, always bring a sweater (you never know how cold it can get!) and some comfy shoes.

To add, I always bring along a foldable bag to collect some trash and leave a clean “footprint”. AND always bring your bathing suit – you never know what cascade, lake, river or swimming pool you’ll encounter.

How do you bring things with you?

I usually have a backpack to transport my flight and work equipment plus a trolley bag for clothes (a small one for hand luggage). The backpack is a 20-liter Quechua hiking backpack (with a laptop pocket, several other small pockets inside plus a rain cover) and the trolley bag is a grey Travel Pro. Moreover, I’ve just bought a foldable Longchamps purse which fits everywhere, is really resistant and chic, in case I’d like to go out just with a purse.

With all that, I feel that I have enough space for everything vital.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

Stop dreaming about being a digital nomad, just do it. Don’t do a world trip right away if this is not for you but maybe start with small city trips and just pack a minimum of what you need for a couple of days. You will soon realize that it’s easier than you thought and that you’ll start sorting through your stuff and saying goodbye to a lot of things. Step by step you’ll become more minimalist and in the end, only the necessary and important things will stay with you.

Don’t do it because everybody else is doing it. Do it the way, you feel comfortable with. That’s the most important part about traveling: Be you and have fun! Don’t let any material things stop you from your dreams.

Visit Stefanie Faceira’s website

Julie Cao
I am Julie, the travel blogger behind Always On The Way. I was born and raised in China and I am now living in Toronto, Canada. Two years ago, I quit my job and started to run a travel blog and work on freelance project. I won’t call myself a full-time digital nomad as I still keep a part-time day job, but it would be great to turn my passion of travel and writing into a profession in the future and have a flexible schedule.

What top 3 things do you bring besides the common stuff all digital nomads bring?

  • Perishable Asian food like instant noodles, dry pickles and miso soup base. I miss Asian food like crazy when I traveled long-term in South America. It was great to have them once in a while;
  • Foldable travel bags in case I need to take more things home;
  • A jacket or a parka because I will never know what to expect weather-wise.

It is not necessary to pack lots of clothes, shoes, and makeup. For six months in South America, I only brought four T-shirts and two pairs of jeans with me and I was totally fine.

How do you bring things with you?

I usually bring my valuables like travel documents and money with me in a small purse and pack the extra in an American Tourister carry-on suitcase. How much spare room left in my suitcase depends on the length of my travel and the season. If I travel long-term, my suitcase is fully filled and if it is too much stuff, I will start to take unimportant thing out.

What are your top tips for other digital nomads?

I would say for packing, just bring less possessions and more money. I’ve found no matter how much you pack, you still need to purchase new things when you arrive at a destination. And if you want to become digital nomad, just get out of the fears and take action. Do not afraid of making mistakes and failure, it would be better to try it than just dream about it.

Visit Julie Cao ‘s website

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