Funky socks, breathable underwear, your go-to party shirt -- no, you don’t need tips on what to bring on a normal weekend getaway (unless you do). When you’re packing for a work weekend as a digital nomad, your packing list changes a bit. Things are more technical, more serious, and the consequences of slipping up are more dire. Here is our brief packing list on the 9 essential things to bring on your digital nomad weekend.
Without a traditional office, your digital nomad lifestyle probably forces you to work in some less-than-ideal locations. On busses, in loud cafes, on the floors of airports -- you know the drill. One key to blocking out distractions is a good pair of headphones. Ditch your flimsy buds and invest in a good pair of headphones with a built-in microphone. That way you can have meetings, join conferences, and listen to your favorite productivity playlists in peace.
Portable Power Bank
Again, working in unfavorable locations often times means without power. One item that absolutely needs to be on your digital nomad backpack checklist is a portable power bank. These devices run the gamut in terms of size and power, so make sure to pick the device that works best for you. Chapstick-sized banks like the Anker Powercore+ Mini will take care of your cellphone, while MaxOak 50,000 is the best option if you need lots of power.
A Go-to Travel Water Bottle/Coffee Mug
Not much to expound upon here. It's 2019, do your part and don’t mess around with plastic bottles and cups. Get yourself a go-to hydroflask that keeps cold things cold and warm things warm.
Padlock or Steel Cable
If you’re going to be spending your time bouncing between coworking spaces and budget-friendly hostels, make sure to get your hands on some equipment that will protect your most precious belongings. If your hostel has a locker, make use of it with a padlock. If your backpack has zippers, get a slim steel cable with a built-in dial lock. You can also go all-out with an anti-theft wire case that wraps around your entire bag. More tips on keeping your stuff safe here.
External Hard Drives
Even with all the cloud services out there, it doesn’t hurt to have your work backed up on a physical hard drive. Anything can happen to your laptop, computer, or phone, so make sure you bring along a hard drive.
A List of Potential Co-Working Places
Keep in mind that preparing for a trip involves more than just packing physical items. One great thing to ‘pack’ is a list of potential co-working places in your destination. This should go hand-in-hand with your accommodation. For a great resource, check out Croissant, a resource and app that helps freelancers access coworking spaces in their particular city.
One inconvenience associated with the nomad lifestyle is the lack of WiFi. Until governments and private companies get onboard with free WiFi everywhere, we’ll have to fend for ourselves. Packing a mobile hotspot is a great way to circumvent any potential spotty WiFi problems. You can also select a data plan with your service provider that includes a mobile hotspot package. One less thing to pack!
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Just because you’re traveling for work doesn’t mean you can’t get social with a portable speaker. Depending on the vibe of your coworking space, breaking out a speaker and slapping on some good productivity music is a good way to make conversation.
List of Events Happening While You’re in Town
In that same vein, consider doing some research on things happening in the city while you’re in town. One recommendation is to join the ‘digital nomads’ Facebook group for your destination. Most major cities have a tight network of expats who are active on Facebook. Find out about concerts, festivals, language exchanges, and more.
Written by: Dillon Dubois