A Digital Nomad's Packing List
Location Independence, Packing Lists

Digital Nomad Packing List: Tech & Accessories I Can’t Travel Without

When you’re constantly on the move AND working from the road, having your packing game down is absolutely essential!  This digital nomad packing list took me a few years and a lot of trial and error to get just right, but now I know exactly what I need with me at all times to work efficiently–and look chic while doing it!

While obviously, every digital nomad will have their own needs and specific packing list depending on the type of work they’re doing, their personal preferences, and so on, these are the items that I have found to be absolutely essential for me.

As a location independent blogger, photographer, writer, and social media consultant, these things help me run my business no matter where I happen to be working and no matter the circumstances.  Are you a digital nomad?  Add these items to your packing list ASAP!
The digital nomad packing list--the tech and accessories I need to work efficiently from the road (and look chic while doing it!)

The Digital Nomad Packing List

A notebook

Call me old fashioned, but I don’t think I’ll ever be able to give up writing down my daily to-do’s with pen and paper.  There’s something ever-so-satisfying about crossing things off one by one and seeing the pages fill up with notes, scribbles, reminders, and the occasional doodle.  For a creative type like me, no digital notepad app could ever compare to a real notebook, especially one with a beautiful floral design!  The classic Moleskine notebooks are a close second.

Lo & Sons OMG Bag

This gorgeous carry-on, the OMG bag by Lo & Sons, is my new favorite accessory.  Complete with padded laptop compartment, a back panel that slides over a suitcase handle, multiple straps to carry it whichever way feels most comfortable, and plenty of extra pockets for documents, small accessories, and even a pair of shoes, it truly is the perfect accessory for the digital nomad. It’s large enough to fit my bulky camera on days when I’m out exploring a new city but small enough that it doesn’t completely overwhelm my petite frame.  It’s my cabin bag on every flight, my carry-all bag for day outings, and my computer bag when I’m heading to a cafe or coworking space to do some work.The OMG bag by Lo & Sons, the most important accessory in my digital nomad packing list.

iPhone

Yes, yes, I’m sure there are plenty of Android phones out there that are just as powerful as the iPhone, if not more so.  But for some of us, well, once you go Apple, you never go backle.  I make sure mine is factory unlocked so I can use it with any SIM card from any country in the world, and I get as much storage space as possible so I’m not left constantly deleting old files and apps to make room for new ones.  I also stick with a month-to-month phone plan with T-Mobile so I can take advantage of unlimited international data in over 140 countries and free text messages when I’m abroad.

Lifeproof phone case

Friends who know me well know that I really shouldn’t have nice things.  I regularly drop, sit on, step on, or lose things of value, and if it weren’t for the saving grace of my iPhone case by Lifeproof, my phone would have been dead and gone a long time ago. The name Lifeproof is no misnomer–it’s shockproof, waterproof, freezeproof, and dustproof–and so far it has even proven Leahproof (just the other day I dropped my phone face down in the sand right before stepping on it, I kid you not, and it lived to see another day without so much as a scratch).

Finally, we can take our phones poolside, to the beach, under a waterfall, or any other whacky places us nomads like to set up shop for a day of work, without worrying about an unforeseen catastrophe.  Add Lifeproof to your digital nomad packing list–the price is well worth it.

Canon Rebel + Lenses + SD cards

For travel, and especially if you like to travel light, you can’t do much better than the Canon Rebel SL1.  It’s the most compact DSLR on the market, and it produces high-quality images that are more than Insta-worthy.  With the stock lens or something even smaller like a nifty fifty, you’ll be able to take it anywhere with ease.

I’ve recently upgraded lenses to a 24-70mm f/2.8, which is quite a lot bulkier and MUCH heavier, but I’m enamored with the crisp images it produces and its versatility for both landscapes and portraits.  Lastly, because I shoot in RAW, I need lots of storage space, so I always carry one or two 64 GB SD cards.  My Canon Rebel SL1 and 24-70mm f/2.8 are my go-to camera and lens as a travel blogging digital nomad!

Megan Kathleen Photography

GoPro

While I typically prefer taking my travel photos with the DSLR I just mentioned, a GoPro also comes in handy in plenty of situations.  The compact size allows me to take it anywhere and is great for those moments when I don’t want to look quite so conspicuous with an enormous camera setup.  And of course, anytime I am near water (or underwater) it’s the GoPro’s time to shine.  Check out my comprehensive list of tips for great GoPro travel photos and see some of my favorite shots from around the world!

13″ Macbook Air

No digital nomad packing list would be complete without a computer. Apple’s lightest Macbook is perfect for someone like me, or anyone who likes to travel light, for that matter.  It’s slim and easy to pack, and perhaps my favorite feature is built-in SD card reader.  If I ever get into video, I may need a bigger, better hard drive, but for my purposes, storing all my important files on an external hard drive works just fine.

Bluetooth headphones

When I was offered the chance to try out a set of earbuds from Sudio Sweden, I was ecstatic!  I chose the wireless Vasa Blå earbuds in white and rose gold, and these beauties are the newest addition to my digital nomad packing list.  Not only are they chic and stylish, but the sound quality is incredible and the feeling of being wireless is divinely liberating!  The battery life is exceptional, and they can be connected to any device with Bluetooth capabilities.  I’ve used them for everything from Skype calls to workout sessions, and it’s safe to say I’ll never go back!

Sudio Sweden has even generously offered The Sweetest Way readers 15% off when they check out using the code “thesweetestway.”  Sounds pretty sweet to me!Bluetooth headphones by Sudio Sweden, an essential item on my digital nomad packing list

External hard drive

My philosophy here is, go BIG or go home.  My current external hard drive, My Passport Ultra by Western Digital, stores a whopping 2 terabytes of data and is much sturdier than my previous hard drive (which crapped out on me after I dropped it a few too many times.  Did I mention I’m clumsy?).  I know this one will serve me just fine for a long time to come.

Wristwatch

Knowing the time–at ALL times–is super important when I’m on a tight travel schedule, meeting with clients, or just trying to make it to the wine shop before they close.  If I don’t have a watch on, my wrist simply feels naked.  I love the simple and elegant style of Daniel Wellington watches–so much so that I own two different ones!  The Sheffield with black band (pictured below) and the Classy St. Mawes with a brown band.  The men’s watches are just as sexy!Watch by Daniel Wellington, an essential item on my digital nomad packing list

Megan Kathleen Photography

Universal power adapter

Every traveler, digital nomad or not, needs to carry a universal power adapter to ensure they are always able to charge the things they need, no matter what country they may be in.  After so many years of travel, I’ve accrued a handful of items with different power plugs, so it’s absolutely essential for me to have universal plugs AND sockets.  I will never understand why the Apple store in Cambodia sold me a British plug…

It’s not a bad idea to carry more than one of these in the event that you have multiple items that need charging simultaneously (which is bound to happen).  A power strip with multiple sockets is also something worth adding to your digital nomad packing list.

Microfiber lens cloth + cleaning spray

Keep your glasses, electronics screens, and camera lenses smudge and scratch free by cleaning them with a microfiber cloth and anti-reflective cleaning spray for those really stubborn marks.  I love how versatile and handy this stuff is; it’s a good idea to have multiple cloths, too, since they hardly take up any space and if you lose one you’ll have a backup.

Want more packing lists?  Check out these related posts: 

What’s on YOUR digital nomad packing list?  Any essentials you think I should add to mine?


This post contains affiliate links, meaning I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase, at no extra cost to you.  Thank you to Lo & Sons and Sudio Sweden for providing me with their beautiful products to review.  All opinions are my own.

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12 Comments

  • Reply Denise August 11, 2016 at 9:42 am

    Great tips, thank you! I especially love the idea of having wireless headphones! Really love your blog, keep at it, you’re doing a wonderful job! 🙂

    • Reply Leah Davis August 13, 2016 at 8:10 am

      You’re too kind, Denise! Thank you! Yeah, I couldn’t believe I had never considered wireless headphones until now!

  • Reply Eva Casey August 13, 2016 at 7:17 am

    Oh, I love this post! I have most of these items, but am always looking to streamline my packing a bit more. I think next on my list is getting a wheelie carry-on instead of carrying two backpacks. Now that I’m a digital nomad, the strain of all that technology is NOT good for my back. Yikes.
    Eva Casey recently posted…How to Love Los Angeles as a First Time VisitorMy Profile

  • Reply Courtney Jones August 13, 2016 at 1:50 pm

    Great list! I love the bag and the wireless headphones!

    Oh, and I also always carry a notebook travelling!

  • Reply Penelope Bielckus August 13, 2016 at 7:11 pm

    Ooh I’m loving the bag!

  • Reply valerie hansen August 13, 2016 at 7:59 pm

    this is a fabulous post! I sure could’ve used that phone case today, I am horrible with dropping and breaking things. I was at Banff National park and broke my phone today …on top of it my laptop screen is cracked from another trip and I forgot my dslr camera..Not a good day trying to photograph one of th most scenic places in the world

    thanks for sharing I need all of this stuff!

  • Reply Mani @ A New Life Wandering August 16, 2016 at 10:11 am

    Ah! Those headphones! Look and sound incredible. I wish for them upon a star…
    That bag sounds great too.
    Mani @ A New Life Wandering recently posted…4 Careers That Will Allow You To TravelMy Profile

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