Digital Nomad Packing Tips | 4 Best Packing Tips from 10 Years of Travel to 85+ Countries


Hey there, it’s Mike Swigunski here and I’m the founder of global career and best-selling author of Global Career: How to Work Anywhere and Travel Forever.

Today I’ve got a very exciting video for you. I’m going to be discussing my digital nomad packing tips. Over the past five years, I’ve been traveling around the world with just one carry-on backpack, and this carry-on backpack here has taken me to more than 85 different countries. And I’m really excited to share some of my favorite packing tips for digital nomads so let’s go ahead and dig right in.

Starting off at my packing tip number one is to start small a lot of travelers, whether it’s two weeks or two months or two years they overpack. It’s one of those things that I never really realized. I’m guilty of overpacking myself. I used to carry a big suitcase or a much larger backpack. It was until I realized how much time and money and energy I saved by just having one carry-on backpack so I would go ahead and know whatever region you’re going to be traveling on check the airline statistics and their regulations for carry-on baggage figure out the dimensions and then start there.

Whether you want to start with a backpack or a small carry-on bag, it’s going to vary on your preference. There’s a lot of benefits to both. Still, I would say figure out the size that the most strict airline has and find that size and start there. The great thing about this bag is I’ve never had any problems with the dimensions. Hence, it’s perfect for any type of airline or any type of flight again, most people see it, and it’s fairly tiny, so they don’t have any issues with it.

This saves me a ton of time at the airport since I don’t have to check-in. I go straight to security with my mobile boarding pass. I save hours and hours of headache with, you know, having to check-in paying extra baggage fees and again I never have to worry about somebody losing my bag, so let’s go ahead and move on to packing tip number two which is versatile and pack versatile stuff now that means that everything in your bag is going to have dual purposes whether it’s a t-shirt that can blend with a bunch of different outfits a pair of electronics like right now I’m filming this on my iPhone that can be used for taking photos making movies working a bit entertainment it’s a multi-function device and it’s really useful and compact.

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Make sure that when you’re packing, you’re selecting items they’re going to fit a lot of use cases. For example, I’ll be filming a video and publishing a video about my packing list, which covers some of these versatile items, so make sure to go ahead and check that out. I’ll leave a link below in the description. This is going to be things like having most of your clothes and colors that match, not having anything that’s too crazy, and essentially making sure that everything in your backpack can fit multiple uses.

You can be a minimalist backpacker. You don’t have to be just going to warm destinations. I’ve been in Iceland in the winter and again just had one carry-on backpack. It doesn’t matter because I wore versatile items on the plane and traveled around with a big puffy coat, my pants, and my boots, and that was it, so everything else was still the same. All my items were multi-purpose and could be used in a variety of different situations. Whether it’s warm weather or cold weather, it doesn’t matter.

Moving in on tip number three is to think weekly and pack accordingly. A lot of people who are going to travel for a year think they need a year’s worth of stuff. Still, you really just need to break it down into seven to ten days every seven to ten days. You’re going to need to do laundry that’s going to mean that you only need a pack for seven to ten days and if you can do that, you can pack for a year, or two years it doesn’t really matter, so make sure that whatever clothes you’re bringing they won’t need to be cleaned every day so make sure you have some items underwear is a big one obviously. Still, again I have one pair of jeans, one pair of khaki shorts and then I have a few gym outfits and stuff.


Again a lot of this will be great because you don’t have to do laundry that often. A lot of the things that I’m carrying around with are going to be versatile. I’ll only need to do laundry uh with my structure every 7 to ten days, depending on how active I am thinking weekly, and pack accordingly.

Moving in at number four is to pack stuff that is quality over quantity. Again this doesn’t always mean that it’s going to be the most expensive stuff. For example, I like to get these five dollar shirts. They don’t really wrinkle. They are of good quality. They’ve to last me years, and they do fit a lot of different occasions. They’re nice enough to wear out and pretty much 90 of the settings that I’m going to be dealing with, and again, they come in a variety of different colors, so if you do not want just to wear black, you have that options.

Again pick quality over quantity. The worst thing you’re going to want to do is if your laptop or phone or one of your items breaks overseas, you’re going to be really wishing you picked the quality item over just the cheaper or not a good quality item, so make sure when you pack everything that you have if you’re going to be going on an extended trip make sure you’re going to be choosing quality items because when you’re on the road when you’re traveling the worst thing that can happen is something breaks. You have to replace it or have to reroute your trip. It can be really frustrating. It can actually cost you a lot more money. Let’s say you need to buy a new replacement for your laptop. It’s going to be much more expensive the majority of times to do that overseas.

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So make sure you do pack quality items. It’s worth front loading that cost to make sure you have peace of mind if something breaks down while you’re traveling now again, these are my four packing tips for digital nomads again. I’m going to link a video below. That’s my packing list. It’s going to be everything that’s inside here, so make sure you take a look I’ll go into details about what exactly I bring when I do go traveling.

So make sure to check that out, and again, if you made this far, please consider subscribing. Make sure you’ve hit the bell notification icon to get notified about my new videos, and again, if you did enjoy this video, please consider giving it a big thumbs up. It really helps increase my exposure since I am a fairly new channel. Appreciate all your support, and have a wonderful rest of your day.

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