What to Pack? - The Best Digital Nomad Tools & Apps For 2018
Does the internet need another digital nomad packing list? That’s debatable - but I'm throwing my hat in the ring, anyway, because there are SO MANY useful tools and apps that I use on a daily basis. I can't contain my excitement and love for them, hence I feel compelled to share with the world and I stand by my decision :)
After more than a decade as a digital nomad, it's mind blowing how many cool gadgets and apps we have now to make our collective lives easier.
What are your favorite DIGITAL NOMAD GADGETS?
Have any good DIGITAL NOMAD TOOLS to share?
Let me know in the comments BELOW.
(Disclaimer: This is NOT a sponsored post but some of the products can be purchased through my affiliate links below.)
PART 1 - TECHY STUFF
If you’re going to be working from around the world on your laptop, you need a good one. Get the fastest, most badass laptop you can afford. Your laptop is your office, your world - your center of being. Trust me, it’s worth the investment.
This mouse works, well - anywhere - even on glass. It only needs to be charged once every 6 months. Get one. I rest my case.
If you have a new MacBook, get this instead of 12 different dongles. It’s the only port you need, honestly.
Back up your stuff! In the cloud and on hard drives.
This is great to have for presentations or just connecting your computer to a hotel or Airbnb TV.
If you don’t have a Hyper Drive, you might need this adaptor.
Or this one… sometimes (usually) connecting to wired internet is more stable than wifi.
Never find yourself without the right travel adapter. Or 2 or 3. In a pinch you can buy them in the airport, but they’re more expensive.
Charging things is annoying, but this thing makes it a more pleasant and cohesive experience. Then you only need 1 travel adapter!
If you don’t have noise cancelling headphones in your life, then baby what is you doin’??????
If I had to add up all the time I’ve spent untangling cables, I’d be very annoyed. Some things are better left not knowing. Buy some version of cable organizers and thank me later.
If you’ve ever asked yourself, “Do I need to bring an extra cell phone charger with me?” - the answer is always an emphatic YES.
PART 2 - MOBILE INTERNET
The cheapest, fastest and most reliable mobile wifi in any country is with a local SIM card. Invest $100 in one of these and you can use it with any SIM in any country.
A back-up for your back-up, it’s good to have a TEP wireless or SkyRoam mobile wifi device. These devices can be activated on a per-day basis and work in 100-200 different countries. Just in case you don’t have the opportunity to pick up a local SIM for your unlocked device above, or if you run out of data.
SkyRoam just enhanced their product offering, and now their global wifi is cheaper, faster and more plentiful. I travel with all THREE of the different mobile wifi devices you see here. Better safe than sorry.
PART 3 - TRAVEL TOOLS, GADGETS, & ACCESSORIES
We live in an era of mentally-taxing work, so take care of your brain with MCT oil in your daily coffee!
This thing is so cool (thanks, mom!). It’s pepper spray for your wrist. While pepper spray is banned in some countries, you can wear this thing out where it’s legal and feel a little bit safer - just in case. We all know your pepper spray expired 10 years ago and is somewhere under your bed or in your suitcase. This is practical pepper spray you could actually use if you needed it.
Good for planes, trains, boats, buses, and even hangovers (allegedly).
This thing is the best.
To go with your laptop stand and Anywhere Mouse.
This is the best laptop desk I’ve ever found. It’s very compact and great to set up shop at an airport, in bed, or on a couch
This thing has saved 4 MacBooks from death by: water, wine, green smoothies, coffee, and juice. As well as dust. Love it.
Having a reusable water bottle will save you a ton of money, while saving the planet a ton in useless plastic waste.
Everyone needs a collapsible down travel jacket. So warm and so light!
This is the one I have, by BCBG:
Packing cubes are life-changing. I heartily recommend using them.
You should always travel with one full-sized travel towel, and one hand towel. They are quick-drying, light weight, and super useful.
For coffee snobs like myself, you’ll appreciate this classy, portable, travel-friendly french press.
I use mostly Osprey Packs but there are plenty of cool, techy digital nomad backpacks out there. Which one do you prefer?
PART 4 - DIGITAL NOMAD APPS
Best Time Zone App:
World Time Buddy - I've tried all the time zone websites and apps and this one is my favorite for the clear, simple, visual layout. There are free and paid versions with extras.
They also have a https://www.worldtimebuddy.com/mobile-app!
Best WiFi Map App:
OpenSignal: Finding reliable WiFi is a MAJOR pain point for digital nomads. OpenSignal helps solve that by providing coverage maps of the 4G LTE signal in your area across multiple providers, plus it has a free WiFi map as well! You can even scope out a country or city destination before you arrive. This app is free on iPhone and Android.
Here are some examples of how it works (L to R): Free WiFi Map, Cell Phone Coverage Map, Cell Phone Towers in Your Area
Best Trip Organizing App:
Google Trips - Even as a relocation consultant, I use this thing religiously to make my travel stress-free.
How to Book the Cheapest Flights as a Digital Nomad:
1) Google Flights - The best flight booking site with the most route combinations, airlines, and variations.
2) Kiwi.com - 1st runner up - only economy flights are available with this site, but they have competitive pricing.
3) Momondo - Just in case, you can search and compare cheap flights on this site but it’s not my favorite.
Best Productivity Apps:
1) Hipster Sound - try it and you’ll be addicted immediately. Free and premium versions.
2) Coffitivity - like Hipster Sound but with less customization. Free and premium versions.
3) Any notes app you like, such as Evernote, Workflowy or even just plain Apple Notes
4) Some type of communication like Skype or Slack or both.
PART 5 - DOCUMENTS & DIGITAL NOMAD TRAVEL INSURANCE
Travel & Medical Insurance: World Nomads
I’ve been using them for years and have had many claims filled in a timely and hassle-free manner.
Be a hero and save the day. Be the only person you know with an international drivers license!