As a member of the DFB Team, I work remotely. I’m also single, and I love a good road trip, so earlier this year I decided to try out the “digital nomad” lifestyle.
I gave up my permanent residence, sold almost everything I own, and started traveling full-time. I house-sit, stay in Airbnbs, and in hotel rooms for an occasional night or two.
So far, I love this lifestyle. What I need to carry with me has been a learning experience, though! Because of the wide variety of accommodations I use, I pack some things I never would have guessed I would need, and they might surprise you, too!
You will never realize how many things you used scissors for until you DON’T have them!
Yep, I’ll acknowledge this is a weird one and may not be for everyone. But my blanket people out there know what I’m talking about here.
When you want to cozy up on the couch, you want a throw. And I want MY OWN throw, even when some might be furnished where I’m staying. This Unhide Lil’ Marsh blanket is the faux-fur cozy I love in a small size that doesn’t take up too much room in the car (it’s 34 inches by 44 inches). I’m a short person, though, so you might need to go for the full-size Marshmallow blanket if you’re taller.
One thing that has surprised me about staying in so many accommodations is the WIDE range of coffee situations I have encountered. Who ARE you monsters with no coffee maker in the house?
After arriving at places with Keurig machines while I brought ground coffee, homes with no coffee makers, and homes with coffee makers so complex I would need to spend an afternoon figuring them out, I decided to just bring a coffee maker with me. They make travel French Press devices, but I decided the best solution for me was this 4-cup drip coffee maker with a reusable filter and a stainless steel (non-breakable) carafe.
I do some cooking in most places that I stay, and sometimes — like the coffee maker situation — the can opener situation is a little weird. I have never been good at making electric can openers work, and I did stay in one house where I was all ready to open a couple of cans of tomatoes and couldn’t find one at all.
So, I started carrying my own simple can opener with me. Again, it’s just easier that way! And I have a built-in bottle opener when I need one, too.
I should have thought from the very beginning about this one, but I did not! I carry a folding camp chair — the kind that come with a bag for carrying — with me these days.
I enjoy spending the first moment of my day outdoors (with my coffee!), and you never know what the outdoor seating situation will look like at many houses and Airbnbs. In addition, I love to take advantage of festivals, concerts, etc. going on in the areas where I visit, so I use this chair almost every weekend!
As a remote worker, I of course bring my laptop, a wireless mouse, and a Bluetooth keyboard on all my travels. But I had not initially thought about the need for an extension cord.
While many of the places I stay have a desk or a workstation, not all set-ups are equal. This extension cord has been a lifesaver more than once.
Reusable food storage bags
As I said earlier, I do shop for groceries and prepare most of my own food in the places I stay. I did not consider — at first — how to move the leftover food I might have to my next place.
I picked up some of these reusable food storage bags for that purpose. They are easy to wash and dry for reuse, and I’m wasting less food.
Water filtering pitcher
Like the coffee maker situation, water filtration is something that varies so much from home to home. Some people have filtered water dispensers in their refrigerators, some people drink bottled water, and everything in between.
I will be the first to tell you that this is not the best solution — but I try to avoid using disposable water bottles when I can, so it’s the solution I came up with for now. I carry one of the smaller Brita Pitchers with me for personal use wherever I am staying. This way, I can filter the water for my coffee and for refilling my emotional support water bottle I carry everywhere, without questioning the water filtration situation at my accommodations.
This is not a great “portable” solution, but the filtered water bottles don’t quite fit my needs, either. I’m still looking for the right answer to this problem, though, so if you have suggestions, I would love to hear them in the comments below this post!
So, there are some of the surprising things I carry with me as a full-time traveler! Stay tuned to DFB for lots more travel news!
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