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Digital Nomad Packing List [Post Covid-19]

27 August 2020

However, the situation is fluid and as some parts of the world begin to reopen it may be possible to engage in long term travel to certain popular digital nomad destinations soon. 

You may not experience the flexibility and freedom once associated with the digital nomad lifestyle but if this is not your primary motivation for a location independent life there may still be opportunities - particularly for those working in the digital industry. Becoming location independent may offer you the chance to live somewhere with a better climate and a lower cost of living during turbulent economic times. 

The global pandemic meant businesses needed to pivot quickly. Many that would have had minimal online presence have moved online in one form or another. As the knowledge may not exist in-house, some are hiring freelancers to help with website design, social media and other forms of digital marketing. 

If you are considering life overseas, and only when it is deemed safe to travel from your home country to your destination country of choice, take some time to work out your travel necessities.

When packing for life overseas in a post-COVID world, there is going to be more emphasis on hygiene but other than that, many of the items you will need remain the same: 

If you plan to carry your luggage in a backpack it is worth investing in a good one. Look for a well-made pack with excellent back support and a full composite of belts and buckles to help spread the load across your body. Your backpack should be one fifth of your body weight at most but aim for a lighter pack, you’ll be happy when you are carrying it up 5 flights of stairs! Some other tips when choosing a pack for digital nomad life:

  • clam shell opening will make everything easier to find
  • multiple sections will allow you to organise your belongings
  • an detachable day bag can be used as hand luggage or while exploring your new home
Key to fitting a lot into a small space, packing cubes are essential for a number of reasons. They keep your clothes more compressed meaning you can fit more into your luggage and their block shape allows them to fit neatly into your backpack.

One of the most difficult decisions when it comes to moving overseas to work is choosing the right laptop for your needs. There is no one size fits all for digital nomad laptops because it will very much depend on your work requirements. When choosing a laptop consider:

Your work and laptop use:

This will inform how powerful your laptop needs to be. Are you a graphic designer with a love of gaming? You will require a much more powerful laptop than a content writer. 


How much do you plan to travel with your laptop? You may need to strike a balance between what is practical for you to do your job and something you can carry for hours on end if needed. 


Your budget is also going to have an impact on your choice. However much you decide to spend your laptop is likely to be the most expensive item in your backpack so ensure you protect yourself if it is lost, damaged or stolen with travel insurance

When you are working overseas, don’t miss a potential opportunity because your laptop or phone battery is dead. A reliable power bank is an essential piece of kit when it comes to location independent working, particularly if you are planning to travel somewhere within the developing world where infrastructure may be different to what you are used to. When it comes to choosing a power pack look for one that:

  • has high Amp Hours (Ah)
  • is lightweight
  • has multiple charging ports

Travel in a world still battling Covid-19 will require increased hygiene measures. Create a pack containing the following items and carry it with you as much as possible. Have a mini version (with gels and liquids in 100ml or less bottles) for your hand luggage:

  • face coverings
  • hand sanitiser
  • disposable tissues
  • disinfectant wipes
  • thermometer

It is also good to carry a small first aid pack to treat minor injuries. If you are travelling to a country with a less developed health system, international health insurance will help you get access to the best medical services available.  

Having your own water bottle is great from a hygiene and environmental perspective. Choose one with an inbuilt purifier so you may be able to drink tap water that the filter makes safe to drink. 
Make charging your devices easier by carrying a universal adaptor which will work with your plugs no matter where in the world you are. 
Key to entertainment while you are on the move as well as getting work done in a busy café, invest in a good set of noise cancelling headphones for your overseas adventure. Word of warning, don’t wear them while exploring your new destination, not hearing noise around you leaves you vulnerable to petty crime and road traffic.  
Most of us only require a week to ten days of clothing. Choose what you bring carefully because you will have to carry it. Pack hard wearing, durable clothes that you can mix and match while you are away. 
Best to bring more than just flip flops, even if the weather is usually great. Consider a sturdy pair of walking/hiking shoes and sandals as well. Pack for comfort!

When living and working overseas it is important to know standard holiday travel insurance may not cover your needs. So when you are making your digital nomad packing list, do not forget international health insurance so that you have the support you need should you become unwell on your adventure. 


Depending where in the world you are, your plans to become a digital nomad may be on pause but that doesn’t stop you from planning an adventure when it is safe to travel once again.