Entrepreneurship

Essential Tech Tools For Digital Nomads

Some of my readers don’t know this about me, but I know a little bit about being a digital nomad. I’ve traveled a LOT. I’ve lived, worked, and studied in six different countries across three different continents (so far). Several years ago my husband and I decided to take our two kids out of school, travel the world and ‘homeschool’ them (even though we technically didn’t have a home – a model more commonly known as ‘world schooling’ – that is surprisingly common).

We thought we’d travel for a year. It was actually five years before we were fully settled back in a proper house in our home country (although we weren’t constantly ‘on the road’ – we regularly spent weeks or even months in one place). I’ve proved to myself that taking my online business on the road is possible, and that being location independent is something that suits me. I fully intend to do it again, once my two teenagers have finished up their education.

Whether you want to be a full-time digital nomad, or simply want to build up a freedom based business that allows you to work remotely for part of the year, there are a few indespensible tech tools that will make life easier.

Tech tools for digital nomads

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Mac Book Air

I’m unreasonably attached to my Mac Book Air. It’s a dream to work on, super light, holds a charge for a long time, and seems to be able to grab onto weak wifi signals better than any of the other devices we own as a family. It syncs with my iPhone, allows me to back everything up to iCloud, lets me to listen to all my fave podcasts on iTunes, and means that chatting with clients and colleagues who happen to be other Apple product owners easy (and free) via Facetime. And if they’re not Apple product owners, Skype works fine on Mac too.

iPhone

I have the iPhone 6 plus right now, which I love as the screen is big enough for me to work on anywhere, it takes great pics to accompany my articles, and, again, holds a charge for a reasonable time. I’m NOT one of those people who is constantly on my phone, even when I’m traveling, but a decent phone definitely makes the digital nomad life easier.

Laptop bag

Not really a tech tool, but this is what you’ll be working out of a lot of the time, so get a good one. Mine is backpack style with a compartment for my laptop, and pockets for chargers, cables, flash drives, pens and notebooks. A backpack style laptop bag is easy to carry, and doesn’t invite the extra attention that a more obvious laptop bag does. I’ve had very few ‘incidents’ while traveling, considering how much I’ve done it, but they do happen. Bags can go missing in busy tourist areas, especially if they look like they probably have an expensive laptop inside.

Flash drives

Wifi can be unreliable, so when I’m working on something super important, I don’t always assume that everything is syncing to my cloud storage, even if it’s supposed to. I stay doubly safe by saving to external flash drives too.

Wifi booster

Speaking of unreliable Wifi, I have so far never had the good fortune (or should that be good sense) to invest in a Wifi booster, but intend to rectify that. I’ve had this portable travel router/range extender recommended to me. It can be used to extend existing Wifi to improve signal strength and maximise coverage, or to create a secure Wifi hotspot.

Dropbox

For extra cloud storage – the first 4.25 gigabytes is free. Dropbox is also a very convenient way to share large files with clients and team members, no matter what device they’re using.

Adapters

I really wish countries all ran on similar electrical systems, but they don’t. If you spend time in lots of different countries, this multi way adapter is a good choice, and remember you can always charge your phone off of your laptop with a USB cable, when you need to charge both at once. This may be obvious to most people, but I used to forget and even carry two adapters so I could charge both at the same time.

Kindle Paperwhite

I do most of my research from my Kindle. It’s easy to carry hundreds of books with me everywhere I go and you can send documents to it as well. You don’t need a Kindle of course. In fact you can easily read Kindle books from almost any device with the free Kindle reading app, but I like mine as it has Paperwhite technology so it feels (to your eyes) as though you’re reading a regular book. Important when you spend so much time working on screens. Plus it’s much easier than other devices to read poolside, on the beach or anywhere where’s there’s sunlight!

Kindle Unlimited Subscription

My KU subscription is essential for me, as a writer, so I have an endless supply of Kindle books for research, inspiration and (let’s be honest) entertainment during my downtime.

Other nice-to-have tech tools include a decent camera, for when your phone just isn’t enough, a Go-Pro, for action shots and underwater filming, shock-proof, water-proof cases for your tech (especially your phone). A mini phone tripod if you shoot a lot of videos on your phone, and a great pair of noise-cancelling headphones for when you’re working in busy coffee shops and other public places.

See all my essential tech tools for digital nomads over at my Amazon Influencer store.

Tech tools for digital nomads

Just be aware that I’m part of the Amazon associate and Amazon influencer programs, so I may receive a small commission if you make an Amazon purchase after clicking through my links. Thanks in advance if you decide to do so.

10 thoughts on “Essential Tech Tools For Digital Nomads

    1. Hi Pamela. I actually don’t offer blogging classes. Maybe I should! What I do offer is a couple of mini-coaching packages for writers/bloggers. They include critiquing both your writing and your blog itself, and offering custom feedback and advice on how to proceed. I try to bring all my experience in different areas (writing, marketing and blogging) together to help you put together a plan. Details are over at my freelance writing site, here: https://karenbanes.com/coaching-for-writers/

      Let me know if you’re interested, or just ask any specific questions that require a quick answer right here in the comments. I love to try and help other bloggers whenever I can.
      Karen recently posted…How to Find the Best Dropshipping Supplier For Your BusinessMy Profile

  1. Karen, I can see myself leaning more towards being a digital nomad after my daughter graduates high school in a couple of years. I don’t travel a lot right now, but we will pulling up our roots where we are now and moving into the mountains. Then I can see my husband and I traveling a lot thereafter. I still use a PC/laptop, but may move into using a Mac at some point. I have the iPhone 8 Plus and love it! It’s basically my mobile office when I’m out and about. Like all those before me say…you do have a great blog! I’m glad you are taking advantage of the blog challenge. I can already seeing it being a big advantage for your own business. 🙂
    Aletha McManama recently posted…Who doesn’t like digging in the dirt?My Profile

  2. I was Android and PC until a couple of years ago, Rob, and was considering a Microsoft surface when my husband surprised me with a MacBook Air for my birthday (having asked a writer friend of his what would be the very best laptop to buy a writer). Two years on and I’m an iEverything convert, but I guess it could easily have gone the other way!
    Karen recently posted…Use Pinterest Group Boards to Drive Traffic To Your BlogMy Profile

  3. Most of my traveling is within the states and I still use many of the tools you have here. I have an unlimited data plan via my iPhone which is wonderful!

    Thanks for sharing your list.

    1. That certainly makes things easier Paul. I didn’t even go into international data plans. I think that’s probably a whole post on it’s own, and complicated enough that many digital nomads NEED those wifi boosters, because we don’t want to be relying on phone data too much once we leave our home country. That can get expensive real fast! As a UK resident, my data plan works throughout the EU at least, but who knows what will happen if our government ever sort out the mess that is Brexit? The phone companies don’t. I’ve already asked.
      Karen recently posted…8 Counter-Intuitive Things That Can Contribute to SuccessMy Profile

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