7 Essentials for the Digital Nomad

All they need is a laptop and a mobile phone and they are set to work from anywhere. Digital nomads work while they travel and live a life that sure seems attractive and fun. Writers, photographers, marketers, designers, web developers and many other similar occupations are great for those who want to take up a nomadic life without the constraints of working in a cubical office space. Technology, such as a smartphone and Wi-Fi, facilitates them to earn while they travel.

As a digital nomad, you will spend a lot of time away from home. Hence, you’d need to take care of a few logistics and other aspects before you leave for your work cum leisure travel.

1. Setting up your mail service

With everything and everyone going online, it’s really simple to do this. Register for every bill or email to be delivered to you on your email address, so that it reaches you irrespective of your location. However, for those that need to be delivered in an envelope, one would need to figure out an address to ensure the message reaches on time.

2. Communication tools

This one is important for both the places – the one you are leaving and your next destination. With Skype, email and other messengers, it is not as difficult. Getting a local number of the place you are staying ensures connectivity at times when the Internet may not seem to work.

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3. Equipment

Your laptop, hard drive, camera, Kindle and iPod – these pretty much complete the list unless you want to carry something else along. It’s important to ensure that all updates and antivirus protection is updated on your laptop and it gives you a hassle-free and smooth experience.

The hard disk is important to take back up of your data. A light and easy-to-carry hard drive will prove ideal. Camera is another must-have as it doubles up as a scanner. You’d not need to bother about carrying receipts and other small titbits. Just take a picture and keep it with you. Kindle helps carry all your important travel guides, language translators and books in an electronic format without having to bother about the weight and space that hard copies take.

4. Accommodation and Travel

Here again there are two aspects. The first would be your home, which you can decide to sublet for the duration you are away. For the destination you are off to, a thorough research may be necessary to find out the lodging options in the place. If it’s a short stay and one has a friend in the place, then that can be an option. However, for a longer duration, taking an apartment for rent is advisable. Of course, better information and options about these are available through local resources of the town you stay at. Another important aspect is travel, It’s always prudent to get an economical airline ticket for your journey.

5. Banking, Cash and Credit Cards

Set up Internet banking before you embark on your travel. This will help manage your accounts and finance from wherever you are. Though there are ATMs available everywhere now, yet higher banking fees at certain places makes it important to have cards that reimburse those fees. Moreover, it is a good idea to carry cash for things that credit and debit cards will not cover.

6. Good Luggage and Backpacks

The best of the lot are carry-on size backpacks as they are easy to carry. They are faster to get scrutinised at security checks and are safer as you can keep them with you everywhere. Additionally, there’d be no need for a laptop bag as that can be carried in the same backpack. Storage pockets, pouches, zippered sections and ergonomically designed shoulder straps are a must.

7. Websites and Software

Your occupation may require special software on your laptop, so make sure you have those in place. Moreover, register for services like Paypal to get your payments with no worries.

To sum up, it’s not difficult to organise the logistics on having a precise and sorted to-do list with you. Packing and unpacking may sound tedious, the sheer joy of working at exotic places compensates for it.

4 thoughts on “7 Essentials for the Digital Nomad”

  1. Having a hard drive back up is important, but is still prone to theft while traveling. While internet connections can be dodgy in certain parts of the world, it may be helpful to have cloud storage to back up files on services like Mozy, SugarSync, Dropbox, or Carbonite.

  2. I agree, and thank you for the advice. Also most of the cloud storage companies are free and they have a big enough space allowance.

  3. Marco,

    How do you financially sustain your love of travel? I understand saving, investing, and working the domestic 9-5 job all just to a have a week vacation. Are there occupations that endorse a traveler’s lifestyle? what are some of the descisions you’ve made to better transition from the sedentary to living abroad? I am dedicated to finding a way to break into the traveling lifestyle, but my biggest fear is being stranded with no resources. Do you suggest any websites or reading that could help?

    Thank you,

  4. Hello Ashley,

    many people have asked me the exact same question but the answer has not always been the same: a traveling lifestyle is not for everybody, that’s guaranteed. It depends of what you are looking for in your life: if you are happy with teaching english abroad for example, you can travel forever because you will always find a job, but you won’t have a carrerr and not much money. If you want to travel in style, it is more complicated as there aren’t much jobs out there who can make you money while on the road. Maybe you should start with a career break and see if traveling the world for long periods (or forever) is for you. Check this site out http://careerbreaksecrets.com

    Let me know what you think

    Thank you


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