In the beginning of 2017 we started our Digital Nomad journey! We had first taken some months off to be with our families in both Italy and Belgium, get our own business up and running and also to prepare anything that we might need before we travel to the far east. That’s why we thought it might be interesting to share our experiences in all the things we needed to prepare before leaving Europe.
Whether you need any vaccinations depends of course on your digital nomad destination. If you are traveling in Europe or the US, there is probably no need for it. However, if you’re planning on traveling to Asia, you might need a couple of shots, such as Hepatitis A, Tetanus, Rabies and Typhoid. And you should also think about stocking up on Malaria pills before you go.
It’s also good to inform yourself about which vaccinations are needed at a certain destination. For example, if you are coming from South America and going to Asia, you might need to show that you have a yellow fever vaccination.
We highly doubt that people actually know what vaccinations are needed where. In order to get an idea we use this to get an idea of what we need. Just add the location you are traveling to and boom, you got a list of the vaccination you will need. Of course, double check with your GP in order to be 100% sure.
The right gear
Depending on where you will go and how many destinations you will visit, you will of course also need the right gear and items for your Digital Nomad journey. You should decide whether to travel only with a backpack, or a backpack and a carry-on, or even a checked-in luggage.
We’re not minimalist-jedis and so it’s absolutely impossible for us to travel just with a backpack, however, on the other hand, we find unhandy to travel with a full-sized checked in luggage. More often than not, you’ll be required to pay extra $$$ for that and plus there are much higher risks that it’ll get delayed (especially if you’ll be flying a lot)
Unless you are traveling in your own continent, chances are you are going to need a power adapter. Some people do recommend to get lots of small ones, whilst we find much easier to get a couple of these guys together with a power bar that will give plenty of juice to every and each of our devices.
We believe that backing up your data is absolutely crucial, not just when traveling, but in life. You can definitely rely on some cloud services such as Google Drive, Dropbox, etc. however, we believe it’s always good to have something to keep “offline”. We personally grabbed two of these WD that are rather cheap and get the job done
A big component of our journey will, of course, be working on our own business. This does require us to spend a good amount of hours in front of the laptop, this is why we want to take care of our backs by using an ergonomic laptop stand. Here you’ve got plenty of choices, we use (as you might have seen in some Instagram picture) this Nexstand mainly because when folded is incredibly small and this makes it very practical when traveling.
The only “downside” of working with this stand is that it requires you to use an external keyboard and mouse. Although we cannot recommend a good mouse as we’re literally using the first one we’ve found lying around in my parents’ place, we are super happy with this Logitech keyboard that as the Nexstand is perfect when traveling thanks to the super-compact form factor.
As the way you pack in is essential when traveling for such a long time, we gave a shot to this packing cubes, and now we absolutely can’t go back. They help you save space and give a logical order to your luggage. Needless to say, it is generally recommended that you pack lightly, and just the absolute essentials, which will make your journey much easier.
If you are planning to stay more than one month at a particular location, you should consider getting a visa beforehand. As we will first go to Bali for two months, we decided to get a 60 days Visa, so that we don’t encounter any hassles with renewing a visa at our first destination. Afterward, we will do the visa runs, but we thought it might be good to have a visa for the first couple of months.
Perhaps the most important thing to get before you start your travels is a good travel insurance. There are some that are specifically for digital nomads, such as Worldnomads, or you could go with traditional insurance companies such as Allianz.
Many credit card companies also provide travel insurance for a couple of months, so you could also have a look at your credit card terms and conditions regarding travel insurance.
Additionally, depending on where you are from and where your home base is, it might be a good idea to keep your health insurance there, as you never know what might happen while on the road, and that way, you will always have a safety net regarding your health.
When you are abroad traveling, it could be a good idea to bring a second bank card with you, and leave it at your accommodation, so that you have a backup card in the event you would lose your original card.
It would also be a good idea to have a look and see which banks provide a global free-of-charge cash withdrawal service as well as international bank transfers with no fees involved. In Europe for instance, a German online bank called N26 offers these services, and you can either get the free version or the ‘Black’ card for 6 euros a month. I started the process for getting the N26 a few weeks back and so far I’m very happy with it. They have very good customer support and both the app and website are incredibly easy to use.
Phone Provider and Internet Abroad
This might be a smaller worry to prepare before you leave on your digital nomad journey, as most commonly, you will just get a local sim card at your destination, which is quite cheap anyways. However, if you live in the US for example, Google provides a service called “Project Fi”, which is a wireless internet service, enabling you to have an internet connection anywhere in the world, for a monthly fee. For any US citizen, this could be a great option to explore when becoming a digital nomad.
We haven’t mentioned any of the standard “goods” such as laptops, luggage, etc. because we assume you already know about it, we instead focused on some smaller things that people perhaps might overlook.
Let us know what you think about this short list and what else might be good to think about before leaving.