Girl Gone Abroad’s Top 10 Digital Nomad Travel Essentials
Life as a digital nomad often means packing for trips with no set end date, and let me tell you- this is not easily accomplished. I travel for up to one year at a time with the same stuff, and more often than not, I choose my destinations as I go. It should be no surprise then that after 4.5 years of traveling, I’ve come to learn what I can and cannot live without. Now, I’m sharing those items with you in this list of my top 10 digital nomad travel essentials. They’re the cannot and will not live without products that comfortably and happily get me from one country to the next!
Trtl Travel Pillow
If you’re one of those lucky people that can sleep on a plane…good for you. But if you’re anything like me and those precious Zzz’s can only be caught with the help of Benadryl or five glasses of wine- allow me to introduce the Trtl Travel Pillow. If you can get over how funny you’re going to look in favor of quality sleep, this is your new best friend. We all look like idiots with our heads tossed back and mouths wide open on a plane anyway, so really, this is an improvement. The pillow has built-in supports that fit perfectly between your shoulder, neck and jaw, with a Velcro wrap that keeps your head comfortably supported at a tilt. The fabric is fleece, so it’s super cozy, and best of all- it weighs less than 5 ounces. Long bus/train/car ride coming up? Whenever you’re forced to sleep vertically, you can dream about that horizontal life with a Trtl pillow until you reach your destination.
Skross Travel Adapter
When I’m constantly moving between countries, it’s impossible to keep track of which country uses which outlet. Even if I did, traveling around with numerous little adapters sounds about as fun as a floor full of LEGOS. Solution? I bought a world travel adapter from Skross. It works in over 220 countries, and has two USB ports so that I can easily charge my phone (or any other USB powered device) while also using the main plug.
Canon DSLR Camera
My Canon 70D is my baby, and we’ve been through a lot together. This camera has seen 45+ countries at this point, and has captured all of my travel images between 2012 and the present. I’ll be honest, I’m very much ready for an upgrade- but for anyone that is interested in getting into DSLR photography, this camera is now very reasonably priced and great to learn with. It takes 20.2 MP photos and records video in 1080p, so your content is always high-quality. But my favorite feature of all is the built-in Wi-Fi. Not only can I send images straight from the camera to my phone, I can also use my phone as a remote with the Canon CameraConnect app. It’s just one of the many secrets to getting photos of yourself when you’re traveling solo!
Don’t get me wrong, I prefer the touch, the smell, and the visible progress of reading a real book. But books can be bulky and heavy, and luggage weight and space are very precious in the life of a traveler. This is where my Kindle comes in. It’s thin, it’s super light, and the 6” in glare-free screen means I can read it anywhere- even on the beach. The battery lasts for a small eternity on a single charge, and it can hold thousands of books. I dream of having a library, but for now, while I’m on the move, my Kindle will have to do.
Apple Macbook Pro
My computer is 100% the most important thing I own. Because my full-time job requires it, having something dependable and functional is of the utmost importance. I picked up a 15” Macbook Pro in October 2018 after owning a Macbook Air for 4 years. A lot of what I do day to day doesn’t require much outside of basic internet, but I take A LOT of photos and do daily photo and video editing for my Instagram and blog. That’s when having a computer with a lot of memory and a fast processor is EVERYTHING.
External Hard Drive
Back to the topic of taking loads and loads of pictures- I could easily fill up a computer’s hard drive in no time. This is why having an external hard drive around is handy. I can offload thousands of pictures and keep my computer uncluttered. That said, don’t rely on an external hard drive as your only back up. I learned this lesson the hard way when a forced eject caused mine to crash- with many gigabytes worth of photos on it. This is why I’ll be going from a Seagate to a shock, dust and water resistant HD like the LaCie Rugged RAID. Even still, throw those precious pics up on the cloud while you’re at it!
I don’t know about you, but my average screen time on my phone is something ridiculous, and therefore I drain phone battery like it’s nobody’s business. That is why a battery pack is one of my top travel items. I kill my battery fast on a normal day, but carrying a power bank around is particularly helpful if I’m going out exploring for an extended period of time, taking a long bus or plane ride, etc. An ultra-high capacity power bank like the Anker can charge an iPhone more than 5 times over. Even I can’t use up that much battery in a day.
Makeup Remover Wipes
For the ladies- traveling with 18 million beauty products is not realistic. When you’re limited on space, and especially if you’re doing carry on bags, having a bottle of face wash and a bottle of eye makeup remover are two things that you can easily eliminate with a good ol’ fashioned makeup wipe. My personal favorite is Neutrogena. I’ve used some others that quite literally burn my eyeballs anytime I go to remove my eye makeup, but these are gentle, and one pack will last you about a month (25 days). The nice thing is that you can find them in many other countries (I picked some up in Brazil!) so you may not have to stockpile them in your luggage if it’s a long trip.
My world fits into one big suitcase and a standard backpack. I only go home once a year on average and I’m not really one to plan ahead, so I’m traveling around with four seasons of clothing. Travel days can be rough, and my luggage absolutely destroys my back/mind/soul/entire being. Having an empty weekender bag takes up little to no space and is super helpful when I plan a side trip and don’t want to bring everything I own. Many cities have luggage storage services- so pack a small bag, go off on an adventure, and come back and get the rest of your loot later! I currently travel with an obnoxious, bright purple Coach duffle that was gifted to me many years ago. It’s now covered in stains, so my next purchase is going to be something like this classy leather trim canvas duffle.
TAZO Awake Tea
And last but not least, my favorite black tea from Tazo- Awake English Breakfast! While this may seem trivial to some, it’s something that’s small, light and transportable that makes me feel at home no matter where I am. I swear I have an English soul- because not only do I drink my tea with milk and sugar, I also have to have it every day. Morning and/or night, it puts me completely at ease and has become a huge part of my daily routine. So whether it’s tea, coffee, or something else your tastebuds crave, traveling with your favorite treat will always add some comfort and familiarity to a new place.
So there you have it! Are any of these items on your essentials list, too? If not, what can’t you live without? Let me know in the comments!
To shop all of my recommended travel essentials, check out my Travel Essentials storefront on Amazon. Happy Travels!