My digital nomad packing list so you can take your office with you

In the era of widespread remote work, the term digital nomad has come to describe any person who is able to work while on the road. My first experience with the digital nomad lifestyle was a simple web design job while sitting in a coffee shop in Siem Reap, Cambodia, ten years ago. Even though that was before remote work was as prevalent as it is today, I knew I was onto something & have tried to have at least some way to make money on just about any longer trip I have taken since. In that time, I have learned that carrying essentials without being weighed down while ensuring you have everything you need to be productive anywhere and anytime is key.

To that end, I have compiled a list of my preferred “digital nomad packing list” for remote work, from the pack itself to the velcro straps I use to keep everything in place.

First, the Pack:

Let’s start at the beginning. I love a good backpack & have tried a ton. This is an area I’d recommend not trying to go budget-bin. You will likely be carrying many $100s, if not $1000s, of gear & will want to protect it from theft or prying eyes while staying comfortable carrying it throughout your travels. Here are some areas I tend to focus on:

  • Laptop Sleeve: A dedicated compartment to protect your laptop from bumps and scratches.
  • Multiple Pockets: For organizing your gadgets, cables, and personal items.
  • Durability: Choose a backpack made from high-quality materials to withstand daily use and travel.
  • Water Resistance: Protects electronics from rain or spills.
  • Ergonomic Design: Padded straps and back panel for comfort during extended wear.
  • Security Features: Lockable zippers and RFID-blocking pockets to safeguard your belongings.
  • Eco-Friendly Materials: For those who prioritize sustainability.

I have owned several Osprey bags in a row & am currently carrying an Osprey Nebula 34L that is 5-6 years old & going strong. Sites like Outdoor Gear Lab can be a great resource for finding the foundation of your digital nomad packing list.

digital nomad packing list: coffee shop setup
Laptop: check, tablet: check, noise canceling headphones: check, coffee: check… let’s work!

digital nomad packing list, Part 1: Stuff I Can’t Live Without

Inside the bag, there is stuff I want & then there is stuff I need. I will start this digital nomad packing list with those items I consider imperative to any remote work experience.

A laptop. Duh.

I have personally invested heavily in the Apple eco-system & currently use a 13” MacBook Air. It is the best laptop I have ever owned & has made chasing outlets in coffee shops a thing of the past. More than fast enough for my needs & a battery that will last multiple days of 3-4hr workdays.

Bluetooth Mouse

Having used trackpads or budget mice for years, I cannot express the joy & comfort that come from finding a mouse that actually fits your hand! For me, that mouse is the Logitech MX Master 3S. It is a little bulkier than most mice, but it fits my hand perfectly & has eliminated a lot of the discomfort that can come with something less suitably sized.


For noise canceling in louder environments & for a high quality of music while you work the day away. I prefer the AirPods Pro, but again, those require the Apple environment.

Multi-port Charger

Even if I rarely need to plug in while out & about, it is important to be able to do so. It is also nice to cut down on the gear you need when you charge your phone, watch, laptop, tablet, etc at night. For me, I really like the Anker 100W USB-C Charger Block. The 3rd USB-A port is fast becoming obsolete, but it works great for the time being & has enough capacity to simultaneously charge a laptop, tablet, phone, watch & any other battery-powered items on our digital nomad packing list.


My tablet of choice, an iPad Air 5, easily doubles as a second screen for increased productivity, provides me a second, full-functioning computer while on the go, & allows me to fit as many books or movies as I could possibly need for a trip of any length.

Velcro Wraps

To keep cables & similar items organized and tangle-free. This one may sound small, but it is always a time & space-saver. My digital nomad packing list is chock full of items requiring different cables & it is essential to see what I have & find what I need to to keep things organized while working out of such a small space while on the road.

Setting up for work in Fez, Morocco

digital nomad packing list, Part 2: The Rest of the Bag

Here is a list of the remaining items on my digital nomad packing list, with links to the items I currently have & a quick explanation.

Cord Bag

To store multiple cables (USB-C, USB-A, mini-USB, Thunderbolt) and ensure they are easily accessible. Big enough to also keep memory cards, sim cards, thumb drives, etc.

Phone Battery Pack

For emergencies. The Anker Magnetic Portable Charger (5,000mAh) attaches via MagSafe & is only about half the size of my phone so that it can fit directly in my pocket with no cables or muss.

File Storage Solutions

A thumb drive or, even better, in my opinion, a solution like Google Drive that will automatically back up folders of your choosing every time you connect to the internet. I use a combination of the two, using thumb drives for safe-keeping when I am away from WiFi & then backing it all up to my Google Drive account as soon as I am connected to the internet.

Pen & paper

For taking quick notes.

Screen or Case Protection

Screen and case protectors for your laptop, iPad, and phone. I am a big fan of ESR for my tablet & phone & of dbrand for my laptop.

Viewing Stand for iPad

For comfortable viewing angles during work. This can also be included in many cases, including the ESR case I just bought for my iPad that I am in love with.

Reading Glasses

If required, for prolonged screen time.

Crafting the ideal digital nomad packing list is about striking a balance between necessity and mobility. This guide encapsulates a decade of remote work experience, from a simple web design job in Cambodia to today. I hope this comprehensive list will help to keep a few of you productive, connected, and comfortable, no matter where your travels take you!