Backpacker in the countryside

What to pack as a digital nomad ? : List of essentials

I have got a lot of questions regarding my travel equipement. Every traveler is different, but I know that having all of your belongings in a backpack, especially a carry-on, can be challenging. 
Trust me there is nothing worse than having a heavy backpack, full of stuff that you can buy elsewhere, or with clothes that you don’t even wear. You have to find the right amount between having too much and too little, just what you really need. 
I decided to travel carry-on only, because it forces me to have less than 10kg on me, only the essentials. It is more comfortable in the long term, more enjoyable and you will feel so much freedom. You will rarely have a problem with your bag, since you won’t check in, so no lost bag between a few layovers. Trust me, everyone can do it, or at least, try it.

The Packing List

Gear : 


The maximum amount for a carry-on backpack is usually between 35 and 40L. Some extreme minimalists can do lower, but I prefer around those, it is my sweet spot between light, comfortable and having a few luxuries. 

If you are on a budget, Let me recommend that model by decathlon, it is the one we use, but we want to upgrade really soon.

If you have more money on your equipment budget, you also have that model by Osprey, a well known backpacker’s brand. 

 A sling bag to use a s personnel item 

I will recommend you to also have a sling bag or a foldable day pack, for city trips, hikes or just to have important documents separate from your big backpack. 

 Packing Cubes

Packing cubes are THE essentials to every packing list.They will, at first, organize your bag, by categories. They will also compact the size of your clothes, especially if you take compression ones. You can click on the pictures to have the links of a few models.  

 Rain Cover 

Sometimes, it is already with the backpack. If not you can just grab one to protect your gear from the rain, especially if you have expensive equipment.   

Electronics : 


Of course, as a digital nomad, you will need a good laptop for your work, but also for everything else. I can of course recommend you  macbooks, either the air or the pro version, even though I know that some windows laptops are also really great, I just have not tested them. 


Any earbuds, or headphones will do the job. But for us, frequent travelers, I recommend bluetooth ones with sound reduction, to have a nice and peaceful environment. It will be the best to work in cafes and for long flights. 


If you want the comfort of having an external mouse to work with. That one is small, light and from one of the best brands.  

 Laptop Stand 

A nice luxury to have, for working on your laptop for hours, your neck and back will thank me later.  

 Usb c hub outlet 

Like that one for exemple, you will have only one hub, with usb and usb c port, to charge all your devices.  

 Travel adaptor

That one, you can also buy it later. It only depends on the country you will be in, so check the outlets before. There are a lot of model on Amazon. 


Of course

 Kindle or tablet 

Those are also luxury items in my opinion, they are nice to have. If you read a lot, then I think a Kindle will be a smart move to condense your library.

 Hard Drives and SSD

Hard drives are the best way to keep all your digital documents, and also footage and pictures if your job requires it. 

 Power bank 

Of course, that one is a life saver, you are always glad to have one with you to charge your phone when you need it on the road.  

 Bonus : Chromecast

A luxury I like to bring with me. Sometimes, I live in the same apartment for a few weeks, and I still have some tv shows to watch, I only need a tv and a wifi connection to watch them on the big screen. Plus, it takes little room in my tech pouch. 

 Bonus : Electric Razor 

If you have a beard and/or short hair, I can recommend you that model.  

Clothes : 

 T shirts 

T Shirts are very personal, since we all have differing needs and tastes. An advice I can give you : go more for the polyester blend or merino wool. Those fabrics are really travel friendly, since they wrinkle less and smell less than coton. Plus if you do your laundry on the go, they will dry way faster. 

You can find a lot of different merino wool shirts on the market. I can recommend you that one on a small budget. Don’t hesitate to pick them in different colors to have variety.

One of the best brands on the market for merino wool is icebreaker. So, for example, you can check that model.

For classic Tees made of a polyester blend, then you can check the AIrism from Uniqlo ones.


I have not found the best trousers yet for travel. But let me recommend you Lululemon and their ABC pants.  

And I know that Patagonia makes great travel friendly pants as well.

 Socks and underwear

For socks, I have not find the perfect socks yet. I would like to test some merino wool ones like those.

Like t-shirts, you can favor polyester and merino wool blends as well. You have the Airism collection for the budget choice.  

And you have the Anatomica boxers from Icebreaker made of merino wool.

 Hoodie and /or a sweatshirt

Whatever model you prefer to have, or even the one you already have at home. Just a layer when it’s fresh at night or when the air conditioning in the airplanes is way on top. I know that Uniqlo makes really great sweatshirts made of merino as well.   


Just a more dressed top, it could be a polo, a long or short sleeve shirt. It is your choice ! (Of course it could be a dress and so on, wear what you’re comfortable in).  

 Hiking/active outfit 

It is nice to have a more active outfit, to hike, for long walks, morning yoga or even working out, it depends on your lifestyle. As a top you can use your shirt and pair it with a gym short and or/ a jogger. I like that model from Gymshark, I have had it for years now, it is lightweight and very comfortable, and I pair it with my favorite jogger. 


Just a short and top to sleep in, since you don’t want to be naked if you are in dorms. 


 Tank Tops

Nice to have a few ones, for SouthEast Asia for example, where even the merino wool is too hot to wear.


Of course, bring your swimsuit, you don’t want to say no to a beautiful beach, or a pool to refresh yourself. 


Of course, an alternative to your trousers. 


 Puffy Jacket

In some cold countries, a sweater is not enough. You can find a compressible puffy jacket pretty everywhere, you have that budget version from Decathlon or also the one at Uniqlo.  

Or if you have the budget, you can have the Nano or Micro Puff from Patagonia. Those are really lightweight for the warmth they bring you.

 Waterproof jacket

To use as a rain jacket, and as a top layer as well. Favor compressible models like this one from Patagonia, for example. 

 Thermal Long Sleeves

To put under your sweatshirt. Favor merino wool as well like this one. 

 Base Layer

To put under your pants. Favor merino wool as well like this one. 





 Sandals or flip flops 


 Trail shoes

I have with me the Vans MTE but I don’t really recommend it since they are great for cold but not warm weather. I would like to try those ones



A multi Purpose item, you can use it as a bandana, as a beanie, as a towel, I even use it sometimes as a pillow sheet. It’s lightweight and really useful. Check it there.  

Pharmacy  : 

This is the link to my blog post about it, it will be more detailed. Don’t forget to talk to your doctor to have the best advice, everyone is different. Don’t forget the prescription if you have personal medications to take.

 Sun screen 

I put it in a Gotubb since the tube is too big. 

 Bug spray 

You can find it anywhere, I recommend you those Deet free ones so you won’t harm your environment and it its better for your skin. If you go somewhere like the Amazon, then you will need a strong one, talk to your doctor about it. 




 Band aids 


 Tiger balm 

You can use it for headaches, muscle pain, etc.. 

 Vaccines certificate


 Dopp kit 

I suggest having a clear one so you won’t have any problem with your liquids, it will be TSA approved.

 Bar of soap 

I recommend Dr Bronner’s soap. It is the soap that every traveler must have on him! It is used for many things, lasts a long time and is 100% natural and biodegradable! 

With this soap you can:

– Wash your body : A very small amount of soap is enough to wash your whole body.

– Wash your hair

– You wash your teeth : Rub your brush on the soap and use it as toothpaste, it is not unpleasant at all, it is made for.

– Shaving Foam: no need for the shaving foam bottle, this soap will do the trick!

– Wash your clothes

– Use as a deodorant : wet the soap bar and put it under your arms, 24 hours of good smells! 


Put it in a clear tube so it won’t exceed the 100ml rule. Favor one that hydrates your face and body. 


Favor solid ones.

 Nail clippers


You can find little travel friendly razors like this one. 

 Toothbrush and toothpaste 

 Travel towel 

A travel towel will be amazing to have with you. It takes little to no room at all, dries fast and you can use it as a beach towel as well. 



 Reusable water bottle 

 Ear plugs, eye mask and neck pillow

The perfect combo to have a peaceful night in the plane and in hostels. 

 Passport, and wallet with extra cash

Favor those travel wallet, the small ones, like this one for example.  

 Important documents in a plastic cover 

Such as identity pics, photocopies of any visas, travel Insurance, etc

There you go ! You have everything you need to travel now ! don’t hesitate to add something but only if you have the room for it, traveling lightly is the real freedom. 

Let me offer you the packing list in a PDF version so it will be easier to check.

Have a nice trip ! 

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