Choosing the perfect bag

Somewhere to keep all your worldly goods!

Every traveler needs a decent bag – after all you’re carrying your home on your back! Although what kind of bag you need will depend very much on what kind of digital nomad you are, there are a few things to keep in mind if you’re constantly on the move.If you’re a frequent flyer and happy to travel light, make sure your bag fits within the cabin limits – this is crucially important if you’re traveling with a laptop or other fragile equipment. It also saves you tons of time and money – although of course it does limit what you can take with you! Restrictions vary from airline to airline, so check carefully with your chosen carrier to avoid a hefty fee.Go for quality. You may well be on a budget, but this bag is going to hold your life in it whilst you’re on the road. The last thing you want is a seam splitting or a strap breaking mid-transit!Don’t get something obviously expensive. Nothing screams ‘I’m a new traveler, please scam me!’ like an over-sized, brand new, neon-orange, brand name plastered rucksack. Go for something a little more subtle!

Protect your equipment

As a digital nomad, your laptop is your portable office and you need to look after it. If it gets damaged you won’t be able to earn a living, you may lose important information, and of course you’ll have the additional expense of replacing your computer. (always, always back up!) To ensure that this doesn’t happen, choose a well padded, waterproof bag – or purchase an additional case for your laptop to go inside your main bag. There are plenty of backpacks available that have a dedicated laptop compartment.

Should you lock it?

This is a debatable subject. It’s easy to find bags that you can lock, but that won’t deter a determined thief and may make your bag more desirable as people will assume it contains something of value. You can also find very secure bags which have an integrated metal mesh which would protect your gear from a thief armed with a blade, but that wouldn’t stop someone from just grabbing it and doing a runner. A big shiny padlock on your bag may well draw the wrong kind of attention – and there’s always the risk of losing the key yourself! In the end it’s up to you – but an unobtrusive combination lock would be a good compromise.

Compartments

The key to an organised backpack. Choose a bag with a few different compartments so you can keep your stuff organised on the road. This will make packing easier, and you’ll be thankful when you don’t have to rifle through your unwashed smalls looking for your camera every time a photo opportunity presents itself! Packing cubes are another good option.

Backpack or suitcase?

This really depends on what kind of digital nomad you are. If you move every few days or plan on taking lots of hiking trips etc, you’ll want a smallish, comfortable backpack with adjustable straps. If you stay in apartments for weeks at a time or like to take a spare pair of high heels on the road, you might prefer a more roomy suitcase with wheels for ease of transport – or a compromise between the two.

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