More and more work involves travel, and while you travel you need to work! With Internet access and mobile phone data speeds improving all the time, it’s easier than ever to keep up with clients and the home office from the road, or air, while you travel. If your work isn’t tied to a traditional office, there are no rules saying you have to stay in one place!
Traveling, seeing the world, sitting with clients in another state or country, and still being able to work definitely has its benefits. With the right gear, having an office in a backpack isn’t as hard as it sounds.
It goes without saying you need a computer to do your work. A sturdy well built laptop with the software you need and feel comfortable using is the ideal choice. Also, consider a battery-powered portable mouse if you hate trackpads and a spare HDMI cable to hook up to larger screens or a second screen.
Running out of plugs is a common issue even in an office setting. A digital nomad doesn’t always have direct control of their surroundings. Take along a power strip with a built-in surge protector. The surge protector guards your computer in places where the electrical current is unsteady. A power strip guarantees you’ll always have enough outlets for all your devices and maybe even one to share with the locals.
A simple wall charger allows you to charge 3 USB powered devices with a single outlet. The longer cables also prevent accidents and make your items easier to use when they’re charging.
A portable charger can keep your smartphone working on longer outings. Portable chargers can even be solar powered if you’re really out of reach. Consider a phone case with a battery built in to lengthen the time between charges. Also, some larger portable chargers can power a laptop which can be useful in an emergency.
One of the challenges of being a digital nomad is keeping your equipment charged and ready to use. Simply being able to charge your equipment as you drive from place to place is both useful and practical.
I’ve found that my phone battery charges quickly in my car.
As you travel it's fun to see the sights but it can get loud when you’re focusing on work. Headphones let you listen to any needed audio without distractions and a built-in microphone is useful for both business and general communication needs. Combining these features all-in-one with noise cancelling headphones can be a smart move. Choosing to buy a premium headphone that features microphones that block out background noise is a convenience on audio-related work like taking calls and participating on meetings.
Laptops often have a sizeable amount of memory but they still don’t have the terabytes of storage space often found with a desktop. A good sized memory stick allows you to carry more data and access it from a different computer if needed. Consider a 2TB portable external hard drive if you need a lot of storage. Backup your devices to the portable external hard drive for additional safety.
Easy accessibility is a good thing when you’re on the move. Cloud storage is accessible from any device connected to the internet. It’s protected by redundant backups making it an ideal place to keep important files and backup your devices.
Portable internet is something you’ll definitely want. While it’s a time saver, the sheer variety of cellular technology worldwide can make this a challenge. There is not a single solution that works everywhere in the world so you’ll need to do some research to find the best option for your location.
Different countries use different types of plugs. If you go to a lot of different locations the wall plugs can vary greatly. Having the proper adapters on hand protects you from being unable to work because you can't plug in.
Don’t forget to buy a durable backpack. Look for one specifically designed to carry laptops and devices. The last thing you want is to buy a computer in a foreign country because of a cracked screen or damaged equipment. Computers in Japan are loaded with Japanese. If English is your first language the keyboard won’t even look similar.
Being a digital nomad can be exciting and adventurous. If you plan ahead you can avoid the small work issues that being “out of the office” bring. Just be careful of your devices at the beach or by the pool!