As a digital nomad who works and travels simultaneously, my electronics gear is some of my most valued possessions in life. Well, maybe behind my trad climbing gear. But that doesn’t usually come with me on my trips.
This stuff does, and every bit of it makes my life on the road way easier:
Roost Laptop Stand
Spending your life hunched over a laptop or looking down at a smartphone screen isn’t natural. Our bodies aren’t designed for it, and long-term use of these gadgets can result in permanent neck and posture problems. Are you reading this article on a laptop or a smartphone? Take a moment to register your posture. You are probably bending your neck and looking down.
The Roost Laptop stand is designed to bring your laptop monitor up to eye level, thus reducing the strain on your neck. While to most of us used to working on laptops this might seem silly and unnecessary at first, this gadget has changed my life. You WILL notice a difference, and your body WILL thank you for it.
The reason digital nomads should use the Roost over other laptop stands? It’s light, and folds down into a very slim, packable form-factor, which makes it easy to carry in a messenger bag or briefcase.
BONUS: The Roost is built in Denver, Colorado, so it’s supporting (my) local businesses.
Wireless Mouse and Keyboard
Unfortunate downside to the Roost is that you need a wireless mouse and keyboard to really get the most out of it. Amazon has all sorts of these gadgets, ranging from the super-basic to the obscenely high-end. Whatever one appeals to you, they’re well worth it—especially paired with the Roost.
I use this keyboard and this mouse (pictured above).
When you’re spending months or even years living out of a backpack, you don’t have much space to spare for books. The Kindle is lighter and smaller than any paperback, and you can load an almost unlimited amount of books on there. The basic, ad-supported Kindle is cheap and a real workhorse—you don’t need to treat it delicately and you hardly ever have to charge it. Plus, it works great in direct sunlight, which is perfect for reading on the beach.
Buy it from $79.99 on Amazon (I recommend the basic version over the Paperwhite)
Universal Travel Adaptor
One of these babies is indispensible while on the road—especially if you don’t have a firm itinerary. Nothing worse than showing up in a new country and discovering that you don’t have the proper type of plugs. A universal travel adaptor helps to keep that anxiety at bay.
The gold-standard in digital nomad and long-term travel packs. Tortuga make great products that stand the test of time. Mine’s been to 20 countries and looks almost as good as new. The only downside is the lack of an included rainfly— I suggest you purchase one off Amazon or from your local REI. Getting trapped in a downpour between the bus station and the hostel sucks. Don’t be caught unprepared.
Of course, if you already have a suitable backpack, it’s silly to go buy a new one. If you’re in the market though, this is a great option. I’ve carried it on every single flight I’ve taken since I got it—including multiple RyanAir and Frontier flights.
Buy it on Amazon for $149 (this is the version I have)
Buy a newer version on Tortuga’s website for $249 (I cannot speak to this design)
A VPN Service
A VPN (virtual private network) is a tool which routes your Internet traffic through a foreign country, making it appear as if you are logging in from somewhere other than your actual location. They are primarily used as a privacy, security, and anti-censorship tool. When you are traveling and using unknown networks, they provide an added level of security.
I have used ExpressVPN in the past, which is a pay service, but there are plenty of free VPN services as well. Since every country will block some random website, this is a good thing to have “just in case” you find yourself the victim of Internet censorship. Also useful for not getting locked out of your online banking for logging in from Serbia or whatever.
A High-Capacity Power Bank
I swear by my 15,000 maH power brick. Yes, it’s a little heavy. But there’s nothing like being able to charge all your electronics, multiple times, without having to track down a power outlet. If you travel enough, you will undoubtedly find yourself in a situation where this gadget saves your bacon.
There are also smaller power banks with less capacity, if you want to travel lighter. I’ve used this 3,500 maH Anker power bank with few problems. The only real issue is it sometimes rolls off tables due to the tubular design!
Is there any item you can’t live without on the road? Share it in the comments!
This post contains affiliate links. Affiliate links help support this blog.
6 thoughts on “Seven Tools to Make Your Digital Nomad Life Easier”
Hey dude — perfect content. I’m working to put into place those affiliate links you were talking about.
A suggestion for your website, is have a contact button man, I’d have loved to just send you an email.
Also, I was thinking, and I’d love to write a guest post for you by the way. My blog is taking a new direction to help kids with the information required to take gap years. If you’d be interested in a guest post, email me back — firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ok, no I know what is Anker and I feel kind of silly 🙂
Neat. I’m wanting to downsize what I take on trips, but is it possible to wash clothes and such?
Yeah of course. Hostels offer this service if you’re going that route, or you can use a laundromat or an express laundry service.
Good to know! I’m wanting to do a trip with a minimalist wardrobe, yet still have what I need. I love that backpack. When I was a flight attendant years ago I managed with a small back and relied on accessories to change out the wardrobe. Somewhere along the way I forgot how to do that, so the one bag is ideal. Thanks!
Where is the GoPro for sports/underwater videos? 😛