Packing List Feature Image- Travel Essentials List
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Best Travel Essentials List for a Digital Nomad

In this article I will go over my Travel Essentials as a digital nomad. Packing while constantly on the go can be a little challenging. The more I travel the more I realize how many of my belongings never get used. Since I’m location independent now, I don’t exactly have an address I can ship items back to. The cost of shipping internationally can also be more expensive than the items I would need to ship back. I have had to sell or donate items I no longer use for this very reason. Also saving on baggage space and overweight fees give me incentive to travel light. Hopefully this list on what to pack will give you some helpful ideas of things you might need to bring when starting a digital nomad lifestyle, or at the very least ideas for traveling essentials to pack for minimal travel.

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Saunorch Universal Power Adapter

travel essentials power adapter

Use

This adapter works worldwide in over 150 countries on just about every type of plug imaginable.

Function

The ability to slide in the plug prongs comes in handy when packing. Also you can charge multiple devices with the added USB ports.

Why It's Essential

Keeps my power and plug adapters to a minimum. I will rarely use any other adapters, making this an essential item to travel with.

Tesalate Beach Towel

Tesalate Beach Towel - Travel Essentials List

Use

Every traveller needs a beach towel so why not pick a great one to add to your travel essential list.

Function

This towel is not only stylish it has some great functionality. It's made of material that sand doesn't stick to. It's very absorbent, packs light, and self wicking.

Why It's Essential

I travel with a lot of camera gear, so having a towel that keeps the sand away is why it's a travel essential.

Sea to Summit Dry Bags

sea-sumit-dry-bag-travel-essentials

Use

To keep my electronics and camera gear dry from rain and large bodies of water.

Function

When I am out taking photos or videos I keep a dry bag handy to protect my gear from the elements.

Why It's Essential

These particular dry bags are so much lighter and compact than the thicker pvc ones. Although not to be used when fully submerging, they will save you in monsoon weather.

Sony A6300

Sony A6300 Camera Body

Use

Photos and video for blog, stock photography, and Youtube.

Function

Although outdated by now as newer models are out. It's still a great camera that is easy to carry and minimal in weight and form factor.

Why It's Essential

Just an all around good camera that doesn't draw to much attention. Good street photography camera that is versatile, and great for packing in carry-on luggage.

DJI Osmo Pocket

Osmo Pocket and Accessories

Use

I use the Osmo to get steady gimbal like video shots in 4K, timelapses, and hyperlapse videos.

Function

DJI has great intuitive software thats easy to use and understand. Pair that with a large assortment of attachments.

Why It's Essential

Sometimes I like to film videos without having to lug along extra camera gear. The ability to just throw the Osmo in my pocket and capture steady footage makes it essential for my needs.

Peak Design Everyday Sling Bag

Peak Everyday Bag

Use

I have the first generation 5L everyday sling bag. It's a great small bag I can throw over my shoulder and hit the road.

Function

With velcro dividers making organization easy Peak Design has really thought things through. Water resistant zippers and shell make it great for rain season. I can easily pack my A6300 a zoom lens, Osmo, and some accessories.

Why It's Essential

I don't always like shooting photos with a lot of gear, so having a smaller bag is convenient. Plus you can loop the zippers around each other to deter pickpockets.

TSA Combination Travel Locks

TSA Combination Lock Travel Essentials

Use

These luggage locks are TSA approved, meaning TSA has a way of opening them without cutting them.

Function

Having a code to remember is way better than having a key I could potentially lose. So this makes them essential for deterring praying hands.

Why It's Essential

These locks are small enough to fit through most zippers allowing you to lock the zippers together on your backpack, and they also work on most hostel lockers.

Sony WH1000XM3 Wireless Headphones

Sone WH 1000XM3 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Use

Probably the most expensive headphones I have ever bought, but I could never go back to regular headphones.

Function

Bluetooth noise canceling headphones allow you to wirelessly listen to audio from any bluetooth device, and also cancel out noise on a plane.​

Why It's Essential

Wireless is the way to go, less cords to deal with. Also comes with an airplane adapter which is a plus.

Travel Space Saver Bags

Space Saving Bags - Travel Essentials List

Use

A must need to save space in your luggage allowing you to pack in more clothing.

Function

These are literally like large ziplock bags you can put clothes in. After sealing the ziplock you can roll out all the air which compresses your clothes to a bare minimum.

Why It's Essential

Having a space saving bag while not having to carry an extra vaccuum device is why this makes my travel essentials list.

Think Tank Photo Airport Advantage Carry-On

Think Tank Airport Travel Carry One

Use

Carry on luggage for camera gear. Small and compact will fit in most airplane stow away compartments.

Function

Multiple compartments for a good amount of camera gear. The form factor is sleek and sized great for carry-on.

Why It's Essential

With airlines constantly reducing carry-on size and weight, this bag can hold all my camera gear essentials that I would rather keep with me onboard than putting in check in luggage. All while being able to fit in even the small regional plane overhead bins.

Timbuk2 Rogue Laptop Backpack

Timbuktu Backpack - Travel Essentials List

Use

A laptop backpack you can bring on a plane to fit under your seat.

Function

Obviously any good backpack or briefcase would work. I just happen to be a fan of Timbuk2 Bags.

Why It's Essential

Using a TSA Combination Lock I can lock the front zipper to the loops on the bag.

iPhone XS (Unlocked)

Use

Obviously any decent unlocked smart phone will do, I just happen to be in the Apple ecosystem. Just make sure it will work in all countries.

Function

Last minute travel arrangements, finding your way around, the list goes on. But having an unlocked phone that works in any country gives you the ability to buy prepaid data sim cards in the countries you are visiting. You can even port your current cell number to Google Voice and cancel your bill saving you money.

Why It's Essential

Being in a foriegn country means there will be languagge barriers. Did you know theres an app for that.

15inch Mackbook Pro

Macbook 15

Use

This should be an obvious need for a digital nomad. A laptop is essential to be able to work remotely.

Function

For me I just personally like the Apple ecosystem and I already have a lot of graphic applications that I use on the mac. So this is more about preference.

Why It's Essential

All of my work relies on me having a computer, and have you ever tried to travel with a desktop?

11inch iPad Pro & Apple Pencil 2

iPad Pro

Use

Sketching out ideas and designing art to put on print on demand items to sell.

Function

I use the Ipad mostly for drawing in Procreate and Adobe Fresco. This allows me to create design for print on demand with a more natural feel.

Why It's Essential

I use print on demand as a means to make some extra money. The ipad also acts as a second monitor, and like a wacom tablet in photoshop for easier photo editing.

Portable Hardrive

Segate Portable HD

Use

A good reliable portable HD. I have a Seagate that is ready for an upgrade. I also like Sandisk, Lacie, and G-Tech brands. If you can afford to, look for an SSD drive as the no moving parts would be better.

Function

Backing up all your data is essential for the digital nomad. Cloud storage is also an option but there is nothing like having a hard copy backup for times when internet is slow.

Why It's Essential

I take a lot of photos and videos which eat up a lot of hard drive space on my laptop. This allows me to clear space on my laptop for files I want to archive.

Silicone Swimmers Ear Plugs

Swimmers Silicone Earplugs - Travel Essentials List

Use

When you have to share a dorm room in a hostel with loud noises and heavy snorers.

Function

These silicone earplugs form to your ears shape for a tight fit. Washable and reusable.

Why It's Essential

They can be hard to find while traveling abroad so it's essential you bring your own. They also block out sound better than the foam kind, and less prone to falling out while your asleep.

RFID Blocking Wallet with Passport Holder

RFID blocking wallet Travel Essentials

Use

Protect your credit cards with a RFID blocking wallet. With contactless credit cards being more common you might as well take measures to protect against data theft.

Function

RFID blocking wallets protect your contactless payment credit cards with a shield that block thieves from wirelessly skimming your information.

Why It's Essential

When travelling in crowded airports, train stations and dense cities it's smart to factor in a RFID blocking wallet to your travel essentials list.

Lipo Lithium Ion Battery Bags

Lipo Battery Storage Bag Travel Essentials

Use

Keeping lithium ion batteries safe by storing them in these fire resistant bags are ideal for travel.

Function

Keep yourself, others, and your electronics safer by storing them in these Lipo bags while traveling. Look for ones that also say explosion proof.

Why It's Essential

Accidents can happen, and when storing your batteries in these bag your are less likely to get hassled by TSA. Great for drone and camera batteries.

Rode VideoMicro Compact Microphone

Rode MicroMic - Travel Essentials List

Use

I use the Rode VideoMicro Compact microphone to get clean audio for Youtube videos.

Function

This compact microphone can easily mount to my Sony A6300 with the wind sock. Allows me to get pretty decent voice audio and ambient sounds.

Why It's Essential

For me personally I need a way to record decent audio without spending a lot of money all while keeping it compact for traveling.

MPOW Waterproof Phone Pouch

MPOW Waterproof Phone Pouch Travel Essentials

Use

Keeping your phone in these waterproof bags will come in handy when you do any water activities.

Function

These ziplock like waterproof bags keep your mobile phones safe when your kayaking, paddle boarding and other activities that you may want to pull out your phone and snap a picture. Be sure to test them first for any leaks.

Why It's Essential

Though not meant for deep water submerging, I was able to take photos underwater of a whale shark while snorkeling, that makes them essential for me.

Anker Portable Battery Bank

Anker Battery Bank

Use

Charing usb devices like your mobile phone when there isn't an outlet nearby.

Function

These portable battery banks allow you to charge your devices when you need to the most, and they fit nicely in your pocket.

Why It's Essential

Chances are you will be in remote areas that drain your phone without any power outlets. Keeping one of these handy will be a life saver.

Other Travel Related Essentials

So these travel related essential will not take up any space in your luggage but I feel are very much indeed travel essentials. Most of the below are services that can save you in a bind, help you gain access, or save you are little extra money. 

Travel Insurance

Sure you can go without travel insurance. But some countries actually require you have it. Although I have never been asked to prove I have travel insurance to enter a country, it is essential you have it. Within one year of travelling I got bit by a stray dog in Bali, had to get rabies shots. Fractured a rib in Malaysia, had to see a doctor and get pain killers. And all of these accidents happened while doing normal everyday things. Just the reimbursement for the rabies shots was more than what I paid for a year of travel insurance with Allianz (My insurance provider at that time). 

Just be sure to check the fine print on what sort of things are covered. In most cases things like drones will not be covered and you may need a special insurance provider to cover specialty gear separately.

Safety Wings logo

A good happy medium with coverage, price, and flexibility. Covid coverage is a plus, check website for details. One caveat is some electronics are not covered. 

  • *Covid Coverage
  • Multi-Trip
  • Monthly Plans
  • Can purchase abroad
  • Economical
  • Annual coverage

Allianz Travel Insurance

Allianz Insurance

Good amount of coverage with a good price point. Not as thorough coverage as some other companies. Good choice for travellers who aren’t too adventure seeking.

  • Multiple Plans 
  • Single Trip
  • Annual coverage
  • Multi-Trip
  • 24 Assistance
  •  Economical

World Nomads

Wide coverage in terms of specific options. *Check website for what is covered under pandemic. Best for an adventure travellers that may want some added insurances.

  • Pandemic coverage*
  • Trip Protection
  • Emergency Medical
  • Emergency Evacuation
  • Gear
  • Even more options

VPN

So you miss binge watching Netflix while you are overseas, right? Well, with a VPN you can mimic that you are logging in from another country bypassing regional restrictions. But thats not the only reason to have a VPN, some website may give you trouble logging in.This is usually because they might think it is suspicious that you are logging in from a different country than you normally log in from. A lot of times this can be resolved by logging in thru a VPN.

A VPN stands for Virtual Private Network, and is a service that allows you to connect to a website using a server located in another location than you are currently in. Most VPN services come with an app that lets you choose which server to connect through. VPNs also add an extra layer of security when you are connecting on public internet access points.

Nord VPN

NordVPN Icon

Nord VPN is a stand alone service that has monthly subscription plans. Log into your Netflix, HBO, Amazon Prime Video and more while abroad and watch your favorite shows. Check out their website for current prices.

Opera Web Browser

Opera is a free web browser that has a built in VPN. Not as robust as a dedicated VPN service like Nord VPN, and unfortunately you will not be able to watch your Netflix. You should be able to access most restricted sites. 

Banking

International ATM fees, foreign transaction fees, and sending and receiving money with exchange rates can really add up. So having a bank that is travel friendly is essential. I use Charles Schwab and couldn’t be happier.

Charles Schwab Checking

Charles Schwab Logo

Charles Schwab has unlimited  ATM fee reimbursements even for ATMs worldwide. No foreign transaction fees, and $0 service fees or account minimums.

Transferwise

Transferwise Icon

One of the cheapest ways to send money abroad. Not only can you send money in different currencies, you can receive different currencies. No hidden fees.

Travel Essentials Final Thoughts

While everyone’s travel essential needs may be a little bit different. It’s important to factor in what you might actually need that you can’t live without. I was prone to overthinking what I needed to bring and in reality after travelling a couple of months I started to shed away things I never used that was just costing me more money in overweight baggage fees. 

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