Being a digital nomad can be fun and rewarding, but like every other job, you need the right tools to be able to do the work. We already touched on all the different tools, including software, that it takes to be a digital nomad. But we wanted to focus more on the hardware you need as you live the frequent traveler lifestyle and still continue working.
A good laptop
Laptops come in a variety of sizes. There’s the MacBook Air, which weighs less than three pounds, or a Windows-based machine that can weigh as much as 3.5 pounds. Even a Chromebook can clock in at that almost-3 pound weight.
You need to find a laptop that is sturdy and has enough power and processing speed to run your programs, as well as memory to store all the files you work with. It also needs to be able to be updated frequently enough to handle the latest version of the software you require for your work.
Wifi hot spot
Many public places have wifi networks that the general public can connect with, however, you may be stuck somewhere that does not have wifi access.
This is where having a dedicated wifi hotspot can help you when you’re working in a remote location and don’t have any Internet connectivity. You may be stuck at a campground, or working in a coffee shop that either doesn’t have wifi (rare) or has overloaded wifi that can’t handle everyone in the place (much less rare).
A mobile wifi hotspot can help you get online and stay online, even when everyone else around you is having trouble connecting. And if you don’t have a wifi hotspot, then you should get a. . .
Cell phone with unlimited data
Many cell phone carriers offer unlimited data packages and digital nomads would be the better off with that kind of data, especially if you want to stream movies, watch videos, or even use this as your mobile hotspot instead.
Also, with today’s smartphones, you can use them in a pinch to get work done. You can send or share files through different applications from, say, Google Drive or Microsoft OneDrive. You can make a video call with a colleague. Or you can even wirelessly connect a Bluetooth keyboard and write emails and reports.
Not to mention using it to stream your favorite radio station while you use the phone’s GPS to drive cross-country to your next location. And you want to be able to do it all without being charged an arm and a leg just because you went over your available minutes.
Battery backups can help you keep small electronic devices like a cell phone or a tablet stay charged, but may not be big enough to keep a laptop going.
If you’re going to be off the grid for a few days, you may want to consider a portable power station. Imagine something the size of a car battery, but with USB and electrical outlets. These battery backups can be charged from a wall, car lighter, or even a solar panel. If you get the right size, you can run not only phones and tablets, but laptops, and even portable refrigerators.
You can also keep a small supply of AA and AAA batteries for everyday technical gear, such as a wireless mouse or keyboard.
If you’ve ever worked in a coffee shop or restaurant at lunchtime, you know why you specifically need noise-canceling headphones. But did you know these work in the other direction?
Of course! If you’re in a quiet location working with someone else, you don’t want your music leaking out and annoying your traveling companion. The noise-canceling feature keeps the music from leaking out of your headphones and keeps them happy as well.
But they’re especially ideal when you’re trying to work in a crowded location or you’re trying to get your work done while fighting a lot of background noise like conversations or highway noise.
Finally, you want to make sure you have something decent to pack up all this hardware in and take it with you. You may not always want a briefcase because you could be doing a lot of walking, so you want something that lets you carry the load, distributes it evenly, and keeps you from getting too tired and sore from lugging your workspace with you.
This is where a backpack from Travelpro can help you with the digital nomad lifestyle. You’ll want a bag that is strong and sturdy and can fit your laptop comfortably in a protected sleeve. Plus, you’ll want plenty of compartments to accommodate everything else you’re taking, including your battery backup, headphones, keyboard, and your wifi hotspot. Not to mention your notebook, a couple of pens, and a good book to read during your downtime.
What kind of hardware do you need to be a digital nomad? What goes with you on every trip, whether it’s a working vacation or a business trip> Share your ideas with us on our Facebook page, or on our Twitter stream. You can also find us on our Instagram page at @TravelproIntl.
Photo credit: Steve Zwerink (Flickr, Creative Commons 2.0)