I’ve been living abroad for more than two years out of a 32L backpack and a carry on suitcase. Many people have asked me what they should think about buying when embarking on long-term travel so I’ve consolidated my favorite items for living and traveling as a digital nomad.
Many of the recommendation lists online are packed with high-ticket items that get a high affiliate fee. I’m a bit too lazy to investigate all that but have dropped some Amazon links below (I think Bezos will be fine giving me a small cut). All of the items I’ve listed I like and use regularly!
While the electronics are a bit pricey, most of the other things I travel with are budget items like the must-have ear plugs.
This is the laptop stand I have – I bought this via a e-commerce site in Taiwan pre-pandemic for $5 but it appears on Amazon its going for over $90!? I like this one because it folded up easily and was easy to pack, but I imagine you can find a good comparable option. It’s been vital for making sure I’m working on my posture as I work.
Camera: Sony a6400
I initially had the Sony Alpha a6000 but it didn’t have an external microphone and the video recording capabilities were a bit annoying (cut off videos at 30 minutes) so I upgraded to the a6400. Both of them took awesome photos but go with the a6400 if you want video as well.
Logitech C922 Pro
This is a great camera for Zoom meetings and video recordings. I used this camera for recordings for an online course as well. I am not a perfectionist when it comes to video and equipment so this was good enough for me. I know there have been a lot of new kick-ass webcams released since the Pandemic so you may want to shop around.
Rode SmartLav+ Microphones
These are great mics for recording on your computer, to your camera or into your Zoom recorder (you do need special attachments). A high quality lav mic for under $100.
Macally full-size keyboard
I shipped 7 or 8 keyboards to myself and this is the one I landed on. I was looking for light & slim, full-size keyboard with numpad and durable for travel. The default layout and mapping is a bit weird on a PC but you get used to it fast. It slides easily in my Osprey backpack for travel.
M330 Silent Wireless Mouse
I travel with an extra one of these because the mouse is that good. It is silent, smooth and easy to carry around.
ATR-2100X – Microphone
This is my podcast and video chat mic. It has USB/USB-C and XLR inputs. It Its a great entry-level podcast microphone that sounds great. Add a pop filter for even better sound.
Mobile Charger Anker
A mobile charger is a must have for the traveling digital nomad. This one packs a lot of power but can be a bit clunky. It works for me but I might recommend a slightly smaller one.
TRX Fitness System
The TRX is probably the best bang for the buck of something I’ve ever bought. My wife and I use this for home workouts everywhere we go and is a great backup option if we can’t find a gym.
Budget: Water bottles & a stick
One of the best “hacks” while traveling is to buy two water jugs and find a wooden stick to create your own squat and deadlift barbell.
Eddie Bauer Daypack
A foldable daypack is a must-have for traveling. This is something I use for a pillow on trains and airplanes and as my day-to-day backpack once I’ve landed in a place. There are tons of options, but I’ve been happy with this one from Eddie Bauer.
I highly recommend ordering a bunch of packing cubes. It really helps to separate different items out and use them as buckets for day-to-day living.
Ear plugs – My #1 Travel Item!
These ear plugs are one of the best “investments” I’ve ever made. I now use earplugs every night no matter what and its dramatically helped to improve my sleep. When you are traveling around the world, its almost impossible to avoid noise, so these are vital when flying, checking into a new place or trying to grab some sleep in the middle of the day.
I like this eye mask because it comes with a nice little pouch and is comfortable on my skin at night. I’ve become a nightly face mask user and think this combined with the earplugs has really helped me sleep well in many locations across the world.
Uniqlo Foldable Light Rain & Fluffy Jackets
Since traveling, I’ve mostly stayed in warm weather locations which means I don’t need that many jackets. I travel with one heavy Patagonia jacket and then have a light rain jacket and a light bubble jacket (pictured above) from Uniqlo. There are Uniqlo’s in many countries around the world and they have a bunch of great foldable or collapsible items that pack well for travel.
Just published! The Pathless Path is Paul's book about walking away from a "perfect" job with a promising future and starting over again. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries, and a deep dive into the history of our work beliefs, Paul pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to what he calls "the pathless path" - a new story for thinking about work in our lives. Learn More & Buy The Book Here