If you’re planning to work and travel (digital nomad style) you’ll need some basic gear to stay productive and most importantly, connected with your sources of income. Because, money!

You don’t need to go crazy buying up a storm before you hit the road, just make sure you have the essentials for earning money while you travel, and keeping you and your gear safe.

These are the exact travel accessories I had in my backpack after 18 months on the road, and they made travelling a lot easier for me.

1. Laptop 

This is an essential piece of equipment for digital nomad life. It doesn’t have to blow out your savings, so ignore all the bloggers who insist that you simply MUST have a Macbook for remote work. You definitely don’t need to start out with high-end gear.

When I boarded the flying meat-tube from New Zealand to Berlin, all I had was…a second hand Ipad.

Grim, I know, and impossible to type anything of length out on. Fortuitously, it got stolen along with a bunch of other important stuff (passports, credit cards…ergh…) at a German airport. I had been wishing I had less stuff to carry only an hour before that, so I consider that was my wish being granted. Turns out the travel gods have a wry sense of humour.

Anyway, I ended up at a Curry’s store with my travel insurance refund in my hot little hands and I was on a mission to buy the smallest, lightest, cheapest laptop in the whole store.

I actually asked the salesman if he could show me “the shittiest laptop, please”, and he acted like that was a normal thing for people to ask. Yes of coooourse madam!

I’m all class like that, but I need to make my dollars stretch so I can keep up my Haribo candy habit.

lenovo yoga 300

Lenovo Yoga 300

This has travelled everywhere with me for almost two years and never missed a beat. I treat it bad, but it keeps on loving me. Lenovo is the company that took over IBM personal computers, so rest assured this is a good, solid brand.

Pros:

Light, small, and cheap: Much like myself (ha!). If you’re a fan of travelling ultra-light, then every gram of laptop counts. If you have to drive the sales assistant crazy by hand-weighing all the laptops in the store to compare them, do it. You’re the one that has to carry this around, so it’s kind of important.

Supreme foldy-ness: I’ve watched people stare at me in horror as I bend this baby right back on itself so I can use its tablet function. It’s an excellent feature – great for reading your Kindle books and using in tiny spaces like planes and buses.

Keyboard: sized for real human fingers and easy typing. Don’t get me started on the state of some of the notebooks out there that require toothpick sized fingers, or a dialing wand…

essential tools for travelling freelancers

Cons:

Battery life: Shitty. About 3 hours. The upside is that you should probably charge it and take a break after sitting down for 3 hours anyway to avoid that point of diminishing returns. I treat this downside as a timer that tells me to go take a walk or get something to eat.

Storage/Memory: Tiny. This wasn’t an issue for me until I transferred the 18,149 travel photos from my phone. Work around this by carrying a memory card and some flash drives or a portable hard drive (which you should have for backup safety anyway).

2. Pacsafe portable safe

At some point, you’ll need to step away from your laptop, passports, and all your other valuables to go out and explore. If your room doesn’t have a built-in safe and you aren’t comfortable leaving your stuff in your room or with reception, I highly recommend this portable safe. Fill it up and lock it to any strong fixture in your room. Pipes, beds, the toilet cistern (eww), whatever you can shackle it to. Go forth and adventure!

pacsafe mighty fine copy

3. eBags – medium packing cubes

I confess that I’m a hot mess when it comes to packing. I just stuff everything randomly into my backpack and try not to worry about my wrinkled, disgusting travel wardrobe. Cubes made my life a heck of a lot more organized, clean and more compact. So, more room for bad souvenirs. Yay!

ebags mighty fine copy

4. Safety whistle

I know this is a really dorky item to include in a list! I thought it might be a good idea to ward off muggers, deflect hungry bears in Transylvanian forests, or use in the event I decided to try rock running and ended up in a situation where I might need to saw my arm off.

The only time I felt I needed the whistle was when I was walking late in a dodgy area of Lisbon by myself, and I didn’t have it in my pocket at the time (facepalm).

whistle mighty fine copy

5. Rubber doorstop

Depending on the location and style of your accommodation you might feel nervous about sleeping, especially if you’re travelling alone..in a strange country..with weird noises going on outside. Fear not, I have the solution! Jam this baby under your door, and you can jump straight on the bus to snooze town.

doorstop mighty fine copy

6. Lug-Loc luggage locator

Not strictly essential, but a great little gadget for your peace of mind. I’ve only lost luggage once in my life (on a 30-minute flight in my home country…) but I’m now travelling with pretty much everything I own in my backpack, so I can’t risk anything getting lost.

If you have valuables in your bag, get anxious about your stuff, or just love tech toys, this sweet tracker device will show you where in the world your bag is via the GPS tracking app.

lug loc mighty fine copy

7. Anker Power Bank portable charger

A rechargeable power bank is super handy, especially if you’re using your phone as your camera and don’t want your battery going flat before you’ve taken ALL the photos of EVERYTHING. You’ll be surprised at the number of times your phone dies (LOTS) in unexpected travel situations, leaving you stranded. Carry this with you to avoid all the frustration.

anker mighty fine

8. Shure sound isolating headphones

I love the quality and sound of the Shure brand, but any noise cancelling headphones will do. Find some that are comfortable and within your budget. Great for any situations where you need to block out hours of screaming babies, snoring, and the bestial lovemaking noises coming from the room next door.

shure mighty fine copy

9. Grid-It organizer

Keep all your gadgets, flash drives, cables and other tiny bits and pieces together in this travel organizer where you can easily find them. Save yourself hours of sifting through your luggage for that micro adaptor when you could be outside sipping cocktails and getting to know the local cats. 

Grid it mighty fine copy

10. Seagate Backup External Hard Drive 

Trust when I tell you that you can never back up enough! Photos, documents and work-related things are digital items you can’t afford to lose. I save some of my important files to DropBox, but I also like to keep copies in another safe storage space…just in case…

seagate

11. Universal power converter

I was totally clueless about other countries having wildly different electrical plugs before I travelled overseas, and I was really annoyed that I couldn’t use my hair straighteners (yes…yes…I know *flicks hair*). I went through three shitty power converters before I found this one, and I totally recommend it. It’s not a weird, bulky design, it’s rugged and it has the added bonus of USB ports in the side.

maxah

12. Surge Protector with USB Charger

For those annoying situations when you need to charge all your electronics urgently at the same time, but there’s only one dodgy looking power socket available in a 10-mile radius.

belkin

13. First Aid Kit

Thankfully I only needed this for some plasters when I did an epic job of slicing my finger open on a razor in my cosmetics bag, but it’s always handy to have on hand.

first aid kit mighty fine

If you’re about to embark on your travels, I hope you find some of these products helpful!

If you’re a seasoned remote worker, are there any other everyday accessories you’ve found useful to have in your luggage?

Disclaimer: Some of the above are affiliate links. This means if you click on them and subsequently make a purchase, I will receive a tiny commission that helps with the running of this website…and I will be eternally grateful to you. Thanks!!