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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.