In your pajamas on the sofa in Sweden. From a rooftop bar in Bangkok. Shielding from a blizzard in Antarctica. However you picture your working holiday, there’s a little more involved than just booking a ticket and taking a pen. In order to truly thrive while working on the go, you not only have to plan ahead (entrepreneur Paul Schulte has a few indispensable tips), keep yourself in check with both personal travel and work goals, but also have a swag bag full of tech that can make embracing life as a digital nomad as seamless as possible (in addition to regularly checking into the wonderfully helpful NomadList to choose your next destination according to workability). Here are a few essential tools you’ll need before you can make your ‘I’ll-call-you-to-talk-finances-from-the-ashram’ dreams a reality.
1. EQUIP YOURSELF
When packing space is at a premium, opt for a device that’s ultra light on weight but big on performance – like the ASUS Transformer 3 Pro. As a two-in-one device, the Transformer 3 Pro is as sweetly-sized as a tablet with all the muscles-flexing capability of a laptop. Get this: it weighs just under 800g but, thanks to the built-in Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB of high-speed RAM and 512GB SSD (that means it’s super fast and super generous with storage to the non-techy person), it still packs more punch than most PC’s. There’s also serious pros for gadget-lovers including a detachable keyboard, adjustable kickstand and convertible 12.6in screen. In short, the Transformer 3 Pro ticks all the travel boxes to let you work from, well, anywhere. There’s also no excuse not to be creative, considering the Transformer 3 Pro also boasts a digital pen, which means you can write, draw and scribble away whenever inspiration strikes, just as you would in your notebook. A laptop-turned-travel journal? We’d call that the best of both worlds.
ASUS Transformer 3 Pro – starting at $1,699 – available in Icicle Gold and high-tech Titanium Grey
2. CHARGE UP
Travelling while working means you’ll need to recharge your batteries, both literally and figuratively. While you’re never more than a couple of meters away from a power supply when at home or the office, it’s highly unlikely you’ll have that luxury while working from the road (especially if you’ve hitched a ride across a desert). Enter Indiegogo-backed Energi Pro Power Backpack by TYLT – a bag that charges your equipment while on the move. Although it may look like any nondescript backpack from the outside, the Pro Power Backpack has the ability to charge a smartphone up to 10 times, a tablet two and a half times and a laptop one and a half times with two separate USB ports before it needs its own recharge. What’s more, the padded, ventilated and water resistant exterior also means that your precious cargo is protected from the elements (and thieves, considering there’s also a special pouch to keep your credit cards safe).
3. PRIVACY, PLEASE
Just because you aren’t ensconced safely at your desk, doesn’t mean you have to forgo an element of privacy when working from the road. Make sensitive stuff that extra bit private while you test out co-working space with the Fellowes Privacy Screen. This very clever screencover stops prying eyes from catching a glimpse of your screen without compromising your own straight-on view, while also reducing the blue light transmission. So not only is the content you’re working on protected, it also means you can continue with your plan to re-watch the entire seasons of Game of Thrones when travelling without fear of offending – or disturbing – your neighbour.
4. YOU’VE GOT MAIL
You may be a global citizen right now, but if you’ve got a US-based address, you can still stay connected to home the (kind of) old fashioned way. Earth Class Mail scans your physical mail and sends it to your nominated email address (or shreds it, according to your instructions). No more overdue bills or missed medical follow-ups: you’ll successfully be able to bridge both the virtual and snail mail worlds with this helpful middle man. Plans vary according to the expected incoming mail but expect a month to start at US$99 for a personal account.
5. TRAVEL LIGHT
In the interests of cutting the cord (to all your devices, that is), there is a way you can make squeezing countless cables and adapters into your bag an unnecessary evil. Nomad’s Key has a USB plug on one side, a charger on the other and measures at just two inches long. Which means you can sync, connect, or charge your devices anywhere in the world, without having to take 10 meters of power cord with you, all while attached to your Airbnb apartment keys.
6. LISTEN IN
As any digital nomad worth their weight in USBs will tell you, keeping the lines of communication open is key while you’re working away from the office. While messaging services such as Slack are great for most exchanges, there will always be the occasional conversation that needs to be held in person. Enter Creative’s Aurvana wireless, Bluetooth headphones – the built-in dual microphones help cancel background noise by up to 85%. Because, let’s face it, saying “sorry, I can’t hear you over the sound of the Rio carnival” mightn’t go down too well with your boss.