Packing light is not rocket science. Whether you pack for one-week vacation or you’re looking for an ultimate digital nomad packing list for your long-term travels, minimalism is a king.
Traveling light will save you not only space and unburden your shoulders, but it’ll save you considerable amount of time (skipping the queues for checking your luggage), and money (fees for check-in luggage).
Check out some pro travel packing tips based on long term experience of traveling only with a carry on backpack since 2013.
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Digital nomad packing list
Digital nomad backpack
The North Face Router Daypack
It has ideal size, lots of pockets, and also a laptop compartment. Bonus: very good back padding. Check price on Amazon.
Backpack rain cover
You can buy it separately if your backpack doesn’t have one included. It’s lightweight, and you can use it as a cover for your camera bag and as a head/ shoulders cover during heavy rains. Check price on Amazon.
These are life savers! We can’t imagine travelling without securing our “mobile houses”. It’s always good to lock your backpack when you leave your room in a guesthouse/hotel and also every time you travel by bus/train/plane. Check price on Amazon.
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Compression sack for clothes
Great space saver! We played with an idea to buy packing cubes, but because of the design of our backpacks, we felt it’d be more convenient to get all our clothes into compression bags which saved a lot of space and we can easily separate clean and dirty stuff in the bag, too. Check price on Amazon. Check this article for the best packing cubes.
Best laptop for digital nomad and other electronics
Macbook Air 13”
We were choosing our working tools very carefully and this is so far the best travel laptop we’ve found. Gianni edits his photos using Lightroom software and the computer is powerful enough to handle that. I would prefer for my video editing Macbook Pro, but this would add up on the weight so I keep the lighter model for now. Check price on Amazon.
Macbook Laptop Sleeve
Very useful when you work in cafes and don’t want to carry along your backpack. It’s also a great protection of your laptop during travel days, when the backpacks move around more than usually. A must item in your digital nomad gear. Check price on Amazon.
If you just check your emails when travelling or do “only” writing, maybe you won’t need a mouse. But if you edit photos and videos, a mouse just makes the job easier and faster. Check price on Amazon.
WD My Passport Hard Drive
How to store all material from the road is probably the biggest issue when you work as a digital nomad and travel only with a carry-on. If you shoot in RAW, you know the files are too big to store in the iCloud. Carrying a portable external hard drive is so far the only solution how to keep your photographs and videos with you. Check price on Amazon.
A necessary accessory when changing the countries around the world. Check price on Amazon. For different plugs and outlets, check out World-Power-Plugs.com
USB flash drive pen
Very handy if you need to print a flight ticket, new travel insurance, visa letter or other important confirmation emails. Check price on Amazon.
If you travel as a digital nomad, your phone is probably your “second computer” and an important working and travel tool. We use our phone a lot as a map, notebook, cameras and to reply to urgent emails and messages while on the road. Check price on Amazon.
Good to make a Skype call, or to listen some music in a train. Check price on Amazon.
Kindle Paperwhite Wi-Fi
Your portable library! The best option for avid readers and carry-on travellers! Check price on Amazon.
Best camera for digital nomads and photography gear
Gianni’s most favourite toy and a great camera for travellers! He’s switched into mirrorless camera after shooting with DSLR for 10 years and never looked back. It’s not only lighter, makes high quality photographs, but you look more “innocent” when doing street photography. Get inspired by our article about Best Camera for Travel Photography. Check price on Amazon | Adorama | B&H
Fujinon XF 55-200mm f:3.5-4.8
Not sure which camera lens to choose? Read the article Best Camera Lenses for Travel Photography. Check price on Amazon | Adorama | B&H
GoPro Hero 5
Very useful when you plan to document your digital nomad lifestyle while hiking, biking, running or swimming. We used an older model of GoPro Hero 3 a lot in Southeast Asia and while biking in Slovenia. Check price on Amazon. Read our guide to GoPro ALTERNATIVES.
Transcend 32 GB Flash Memory Card
A must have thing when traveling and taking pictures. Check price on Amazon.
Lowepro Passport Sling Camera Bag
We do love these bags! It’s a perfect day bag that fits into your carry-on backpack. It serves as camera bag, and it’s easy to carry with you even when trekking or walking in cities for a whole day. Check price on Amazon.
More packing lists to read:
What to pack for him
The North Face Trekker Convertible Pants
The best choice if you travel with a carry-on! Gianni has been travelling with this model of North Face convertible pants for almost three years (bought a new one after 1.5 year) and he can swear by it. Check price on Amazon.
KEEN Men’s Newport Sandal
Honestly, we cannot imagine our travel without KEENs. They’re our most favourite travel shoes. Ideal for light trekking, walking in the cities, even in hot climate (for this we recommend buy a pair with a soft leather sole, not rubber). Check price on Amazon and read some more suggestions on the best walking shoes for men.
A must have item in your backpack if you are keeping yourself fit on the road. Opt for lightweight barefoot shoes if you feel comfortable with them. Check price on Amazon.
This is the moment to remember about your minimalistic packing. Take only 2-3 of them. Check price on Amazon.
Short sleeves shirt
Always useful when it happens to attend a more formal occasion. Check price on Amazon.
A rain jacket
Great to pack if you visit countries during a monsoon season. Keep it as light as possible, preferably with a hood. Check price on Amazon. Read our guide to the best rain jacket.
A must have item for your travels. Keep it minimalistic, and pack one, maximum two pairs. Tip: Opt for a swimsuit suitable for running. That way you don’t need to pack too many outfits. Check price on Amazon.
Once again, less is more. 3-4 pairs will be sufficient. Check price on Amazon.
What to pack for her
Convertible light pants
Ideal when you intend to go trekking to tropic destinations, and then stay in cooler places or opposite. Great space saver. I do love female models of Meru, NorthFace, or Prana. Check price on Amazon.
KEEN Women’s Sarasota Sandals
As mentioned above, KEEN is the brand we’ve been using since 2008, and we can swear by it. The shoes are durable, and super comfy. Check price on Amazon.
It’s a good idea to pack a pair with you. You can wear it while trekking, or as a pyjama while camping. And, naturally, for your yoga practice. Check price on Amazon.
2 or 3 tops will be perfectly fine. Try to pair it with the colour of your skirt or trousers. Check price on Amazon.
In case you plan to go out somewhere more formal, pack one. Check price on Amazon.
A skirt or a dress
Just take it. You don’t want to stay all the time in your hiking pants or shorts. Pick a lightweight one, preferably with some pockets. Check price on Amazon.
A rain jacket
It’s good to have it when hiking through different climate zones or visiting a country in its monsoon season. Check price on Amazon.
A fleece hoodie
You’ll need it in the evening, and it’s a life saver when taking buses or train with strong a/c on your travels. Buy one with pockets. Check price on Amazon.
A pair of swimwear
Well, you’ll need one. Or two, but don’t pack more than two pairs of bikini. Check price on Amazon.
Keep it minimalistic. Max. 4 pieces, no matter how long your travels are going to be. Check price on Amazon.
Bring one sporty, and one elegant. That’ll do it. Check price on Amazon.
A must have for all travellers, especially for those with a carry-on. You’ll be grateful for packing it with you because it’s the most multifunctional item in your digital nomad backpack. You can use it as a scarf, bed sheet, bed cover, curtain, headband, skirt, dress, beach towel, towel and much more! Check price on Amazon.
Love it! We use it as a scarf in buses/trains/planes with strong a/c, as a headband, hairband, camera protector and we clean our lenses with a buff, too. Check price on Amazon.
Which toiletries to pack
A toothbrush, a toothpaste, dental floss
Travel size hairbrush
Black charcoal pills for diarrhoea
Menstrual cup Ladies, this little thing will make your travels easier, and your bodies healthier. Check price on Amazon.
Spare passport photos
Photocopies of passports
Vaccination card (What vaccinations do you need?)
A gaffa tape
A ball pen, a marker
A travel writing notebook
Waterproof dry bags for your documents
OverBoard Waterproof Dry Tube Bag
Here are other interesting packing articles you might want to check:
Carry On Packing List by Make Time to See the World
Carry-on Size Chart by Travel Made Simple
Digital Nomad Packing List by Hobo with a Laptop
Packing cubes list by Adventure in You
Best Backpacking Gear by A Backpacker’s Tale
Packing lists by Travel Fashion Girl
Travel Freak’s Travel Gear
Never Ending Voyage Packing List
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