I have been living a digital nomad lifestyle for almost two years, and one thing that I have learned is quality over quantity. Picture this: you arrive at the airport for the second or third time that month and you have to haul 60 pounds of baggage. You get to your Airbnb and you are just absolutely exhausted. Um no, thanks. As a digital nomad, you probably spend a good amount of time packing and unpacking. The one thing I have learned is that packing light is the best way to go. With that being said, here are 6 pro packing tips from a digital nomad:
Chargers, Chargers, Chargers
Aside from energy, you will need a lot of battery fuel as a digital nomad! I learned this the hard way. Expect all technology to fail you during the most inconvenient time. Seriously. It is a guarantee that your phone will die on you at some point when you are lost in the middle of nowhere. Make sure you have a power bank, a second charger, and an extra battery! Besides, finding a charger for specific gear in some countries may be difficult. Make sure you are well equipped with lots of chargers for your laptops, cameras, and phones. You get the point. Even though I just preached packing as light as possible, with expensive electronic gear you will never regret being safe rather than sorry.
The last thing that you want to experience after long travels is leaked shampoo all over your clothes. Liquids are not only messy but can dramatically weigh down your suitcase. A great way to minimize your liquids is to replace them with comparable solids. Luckily there are a lot of solid options today to replace liquid options: bar soap, shampoo/ conditioner bars, toothpaste tablets, etc.
On a bright note, solids usually last longer than liquids, save your money and the mess. If you can’t get rid of liquids (like me with contact solution) make sure you have the cap taped shut and placed in a tightly sealed bag.
One day you might be trekking through Peru and the next day you may be in rainy England. As a digital nomad, your climate is constantly changing. Having versatile clothes that you can layer up or down is the best way to make sure you are always prepared without over-packing.
Think dress and tights, tees and cardigans, or even pants that turn into shorts– this way you will be covered (haha no pun intended) for warmer and colder climates. Fortunately, minimalist fashion is a huge trend right now that is perfect to partake in as a digital nomad. Packing light and smart is the best way to go!
As a digital nomad, you probably carry some pretty expensive devices on you. Whether it is a brand backpack or expensive camera gear– you want to make sure that your valuables are protected. WATERPROOF EVERYTHING. I have unfortunately experienced a lot of walking in the rain while in transit to a new location. Look at the best option to waterproof your phone if it isn’t already. Make sure your laptop is snuggled in a waterproof cover. There are also many waterproof drawstring bags you can find online to protect your chargers and batteries.
I also recommend packing a light raincoat. Almost every country experiences rainfall so having a handy raincoat can never hurt. If you are worried about getting your backpack wet, there are many waterproof covers to protect your little home on the go. And lastly, if possible, try to get your most expensive products insured.
Backup Money Plans
If you lose your card all the time, clap your hands. Just me? I am notorious for taking out cash out of an ATM and just walking away. After my first few experiences, I have learned to be prepared for the worst. I recommend carrying more than one debit/credit card, in addition to having a stash of dollars on you. That way if you lose your card, you can survive until you can get a new card. If you are a solo traveler, think about purchasing a secret stash that you can have on you in public that is hidden so if you get pick-pocketed you will not be empty-handed.
Side note, never take all forms of cash with you. Keep one form with you and keep the others locked away where you are staying.
Comfort is Key
Leave the heels at home. As a digital nomad, you have committed to the idea of being a full-time adventurer. Make sure you have quality shoes that will be kind to your feet. Think of this as a worthy investment.
Essentially your suitcase or backpack is your home, so your space is very limited. Since I have become a digital nomad, I have adopted a minimalist mindset. Therefore, uncomfortable clothing no longer has a place in my life. Do not bring any clothes that you will not want to haul around with you.
If you decide you want to be a backpacking nomad, make sure your backpack is comfortable and well fitted. Because so much weight is going on your back, if you are not careful it could be harmful in the long run. I recommend walking inside a store that can do customized fits, so you can ensure that your backpack is the right match. Even though it might be a pricey investment, it will save you a lot of money on doctoral care in the future.
One of the greatest lessons you learn as a digital nomad is that items that do not have a purpose do not deserve to have space. As a digital nomad, you have to be strategic with everything you are packing. With time and error, you will find the best way to pack that works for your lifestyle. What works for one nomad, might not be the best idea for another nomad. Remember to be mindful about what you pack, and if you will need it. Use these tips as a base, and get ready to kill your nomadic journey!