The Ultimate Digital Nomad Packing Guide — Andy Sto

The basic law

  • Research your destination and ask fellow nomads or expats about what to expect there.
  • The next step is to lay out, or write down, everything you think you will need for one week. This is your starting point.
  • Ask yourself, which of these do I need? Not what you might need, but what you actually need.
  • Can’t tell if you need an item or not? Ask yourself (and ask google) how much does this cost in my destination? If it’s expensive, take it with you. If it’s cheap at your destination, then you can buy it there.
  • Check out the digital nomad groups on Facebook in the destination you are heading to. In many cases, you will find someone moving on from this destination and has some extra stuff to spare, or someone willing to lend or exchange an item. Then, you can leave those things behind as well.
  • Download the offline maps of the city you are going to and throw away the guides.
  • Take only a reasonable amount of cash as you can withdraw money at your destination anyway.

Carry on Vs check-in

  • Consider your accommodation situation: If you have a suitcase, you need to head to the hostel or Airbnb to leave it before you head out to explore the city. If you didn’t book a place and plan to find it when you are there, you are better off with a backpack only.
  • Consider your destination: Are the streets super busy or full of obstacles? If yes then taking a luggage can be very exhausting. Unless you have a ride from the airport to your Airbnb, then you are fine.
  • Consider the cost: If you are travelling with a budget airline, you will have to pay extra to take a check-in bag. Many airlines allow a 23kgs check-in bag free of charge, but budget airlines don’t, so make sure you know your luggage allowance before you pack.
  • Consider what you are carrying: If you have a lot of heavy gear, a carry-on with a limit of 8kg (in some airlines even 7kg) will not be enough.

What about the clothes?

  • Pick clothes that don’t need ironing and are easy to wash: You don’t want to carry an iron around and it is not guaranteed you will always find one; also, you don’t want to struggle with laundry.
  • Follow a color palette: It doesn’t have to be all black and grey, you can choose a palette of colors that fit together so you can make the most out of each item.
  • Go thermal: Clothes that keep you warm and are not bulky are great for nomads, especially when it comes to coats.
  • Wear the bulky items while travelling: Save the packing space and put on that coat while flying.
  • White is not your friend: Whites get dirty easily and may require other items under it if it’s transparent, so better skip them.
  • Use packing cubes: They help organize your stuff and save space.
  • Roll your clothes: Even inside the cubes, it’s a space saver to roll your clothes, it also keeps them from wrinkling.
  • Consider the destination and the work you will do there: Check out the weather and the culture in your destination before packing, it will help you make better decisions. Also, consider your work there, will you need formal wear (even if only on top) to wear in your calls, or your work is more relaxed?
  • Check the cost over there: how much do things like rain ponchos and hats cost in your destination? If they are cheap, don’t carry them along.

A good packing list should include

  • At least 3 t-shirts, cotton t-shirts are great whether in summer on their own, or in winter as a layering item)
  • One pair of jeans, you will already be wearing another pair of pants.
  • At least 3 socks
  • A dressy outfit, whether it’s a suit or a dress or maybe a shirt or blouse with dressy pants
  • Enough underwear to last you a week.
  • A total of 3 pairs of shoes, including what you will travel with. A sports shoes, a pair of sandals/boots/flats (let’s say something fancier than trainers for going out) and a pair of flipflops.
  • A sweater/light jacket/ hoodie/ cardigan. Great for layering or for a light breeze.
  • Your jacket or coat.
  • A swimsuit.
  • A sports/ athletic outfit.
  • Sunglasses or hats depending on what you need.

What else should my packing list include?

  • A bag for daily use: preferably a foldable one. Consider what you will need on daily basis and choose the bag accordingly.
  • A Quick-dry towel: Check out the Turkish hammam towel or a microfiber one as both don’t take much space and dry quickly.
  • Combination lock: especially if you are staying in a hostel you need to make sure your stuff is safely locked.
  • Copies of your official papers: and make sure you store them somewhere different than the originals.
  • Nylon or zip lock bags: these are essential to keep your gear/document or anything important from getting wet.
  • A pillowcase: you can also wash the ones you find there or use a t-shirt as a pillowcase.
  • Your medicines: If you take any medicines with prescriptions make sure you have it with you. A small first aid kit is always helpful
  • Duct tape can you help you fix anything on your journey. Pack also a small sewing kit for what the duct tape can’t solve.
  • If you are a reader, consider investing in a kindle or an e-reader instead of carrying books around.
  • Regarding the gear, check out the nomad’s guide here.



Digital Nomad focused in #remotework and #digitalnomadism

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