4 Essential Things to Pack For Work Abroad (Digital Nomad)
The internet is awash with lists of packing essentials and travel hacks for backpackers looking to spend 3 months in a pair of sandals and sleeping in a hammock, but there’s a dearth of information for those looking to truly live abroad long term. Welcome to the essential things to pack for work abroad.
When I made the decision to live in a buzzing European capital I knew I wouldn’t be willing to live in a hostel and wash my socks in a sink for the next year- yet I still packed as if I would be, with a rucksack and sleeping bag slung onto my back. That butterflies-in-the-stomach moment of moving long term has come around again several times, and subsequently I overcompensated by bringing enormous suitcases.
So what, truly, does a solo digital nomad need for long term living?
ONE: It might sound obvious to say that you need your laptop, but while backpackers frequently manage with tablets and phones, this item is our holy grail. Not only that, but pack two chargers if you won’t easily be able to replace your charger in the new country, plus an external hard disc drive for backups, a USB stick for transferring files and renew your antivirus before leaving. Consider using an online password manager such as Passpack which is free up to 100 entries and securely encrypted.
TWO: A small, wheelie suitcase: while many simply use a shoulder bag for their hand luggage, these gems are worth their weight in gold. They allow you onward travel as you can pack for a weekend inside them and also can be used to bring your books and office materials to wifi spots around the city. I often carry one nested inside my larger checked in luggage if necessary.
THREE: A Dictaphone: because in a foreign country recording conversations and meetings that you may not fully understand can be invaluable. In the past I have used this to record voice files for colleagues to reference at home or even had native speakers record key phrases for me which I could play in shops and other scenarios in case I couldn’t make myself understood. These are small, lightweight and often USB rechargeable so they deserve a place in your luggage.
FOUR: A tiny, physical address book or notebook for contact information: this has been a life lesson for me that technology can occasionally fail you, and specifically, batteries often run out of juice. To ward off those moments when you have no Wi-Fi and no mobile phone battery (and therefore no access to your address book) I keep a miniature book of crucial numbers so that, if I’m lucky enough to get to a payphone or friend’s phone, the numbers are accessible.
Happy travels! How do you survive as a working traveller? What would you consider essential things to pack for work abroad?