May 17, 2023, 3:15 a.m.
Working while traveling is like having your cake while eating it, too—and it’s mochi rice cake in Japan or gulab jamun in India or cinnamon Trdelník in Czechia. You decide.
You don’t need to press pause on your career (or forgo that financial future) to traverse untrodden parts of the planet. And you don’t need to give up that goal to cross each continent off the list to climb in your career instead. You can, quite literally, have the best of both worlds (because you can call the whole world your office).
But contrary to what working while traveling often looks like on social media (read: a laptop propped on a bikini-clad chick’s towel on some sun-swathed sandy stretch), there are some items you should always carry along to keep you connected and productive in your remote work.
We can’t promise that these must-haves will keep from chasing Amazonian waterfalls mid-Monday or galloping through the Galápagos on a casual Thursday afternoon instead of getting your work done. But we can promise that, when you find yourself on a sleeper-bus crawling the coast of Peru or motorbiking through Vietnam, these (coupled with copious amounts of Pho) will ensure that you’re set up for success while you do it.
Here are some of our team’s go-to gadgets while working remote jobs on the road.
When you find yourself in the middle of somewhere like Salar de Uyuni, amid the Andes in southwest Bolivia, or at “the end of the world” in Baños, Ecuador, your connectivity is likely to be less than ideal. That’s when you’ll be glad you have your own private, secure and portable mifi device, like the Skyroam Solis X, for remote work.
With Skyroam, you can choose between the pay-per-gb plan, buy a 24-hour day pass for day trips or subscribe to a monthly data plan for consistent coverage. You can even add a VPN service. No roaming charges, and no need for local SIM cards.
If your luggage is your life (including your remote work office), the chances are that it’s crammed with cables. Your laptop, power banks and charging cables are vital to your vagabond lifestyle—and you need to treat them like such so you can continue to enjoy an office with mountain or ocean views. That’s why a cable organizer, like the JETtech bag, can come in handy.
The waterproof leather bag boasts enough space to store your phone, headphones, cables, power bank, memory cards and other electronic accessories. And velvet cushioning pads and non-slip elastic straps assure everything stays safely in place.
Bear with us here—we know how ridiculous this one looks. But, if you’re living an alternative nomadic lifestyle, it’s probably because you’ve given up caring about how other people (ahem: society) think you should do this thing we call adulting. And, if you’ve been able to let go of that 9-to-5, picket-fence mentality to find some sunnier place on the planet to get your work done, well, you can let go of the shame you might feel popping up this laptop tent, too. You’ll need it in that sunnier spot.
The Lap Shade waterproof, glare-reducing and heat-deflective laptop sun shade ensures that you can build a tan while building your career.
There’s a lot that the world won’t agree on and, perhaps one of the most irritable things for a digital nomad is charging outlets. Wherever you are in the world, you’ll need a global outlet adapter to plug in because, for no good reason, they come in all sorts of shapes and sizes.
The TESSAN Travel Adapter, however, has you covered for all of ’em—whether you’re in Japan, Australia, England, Spain or elsewhere. Plus, there are four USB ports so you can charge multiple devices at once.
Many laptops, like newer Macbooks, for example, have USB-C ports—but so many other tech devices use USBs or other types of charging and connector cables. Having a portable USB-C docking station handy can help you make sure that you’re always connected.
If you need to charge a device, connect Netflix on your laptop to the Airbnb smart TV or back up some photos from your camera, a docking station is gold. This one from Selore features dual HDMI ports, USB ports, an SD/TF card reader and a Type-C port.
Some remote working jobs like design or web development can be quite creative, and you need space to be creative. Sure, whipping out a full office setup isn’t always the move. But having the option to set up a full office is key. And what’s better than having multiple monitors to block your view of the surf lineup? (Well, a lot, but no view of the surf lineup because you’re in a cubicle is a lot worse.)
OFIYAA makes some pretty solid screen extenders that take up next to no space. OFIYAA’s Tri-Screen Extender fits 13- to 17-inch laptops and offers you high-definition displays with adjustable parameters (brightness, color temperature, screen mode, sharpness, audio volume, language and more).
While there are tons of travel credit cards that offer Americans points and miles, like the Capital One Venture Rewards and the Chase Sapphire Reserve, among countless others, there are few cards out there that make money transfers between you and your nomad work friends so simple.
Revolut is your answer. While it was once reserved to the Europeans (and Americans were relegated to U.S.-only money-transferring apps like Venmo or global but fee-ridden platforms like Paypal) Revolut became available to Americans in 2020. It functions like a prepaid debit card (so you can control how much you spend on travel) and it allows for seamless transfers so settling up on those Splitwise bills (yup, you should also have that app) sucks less.