My Nomad Must-Have List

I've officially survived a month on the road (can you believe it?!) and so it's time to break down what I've been using and whether or not it's been working for me. I've broken this up into three categories to make it easier to digest, things to pack, things to carry, and apps to use. Pin the images below for easy reference later!


These are the things that see the most use in my carry on and backpack throughout my journeys.

Up first is my Sony a5100, which took many of the photos in upcoming blog posts. I have it in white, but it also comes in black, three different lens types, and with the option to swap out lenses. For little more than a "point and shoot" camera, you get a lot of versatility. Plus, the flip-up screen in the back allows me to take photos of myself while traveling alone and see what's going on! 

Next are my Tieks in mustard yellow. You can get them in any color, but what's important is that they only take up about the same amount of size as a large wallet (or small book) in your suitcase, plus they fold up into a little bag to keep everything else clean. They can be dressed down with jeans for daywear or dressed up for evening wear. They're the only pair of shoes I pack in my suitcase (unless the weather is inclement, then I also pack boots). 

A digital nomad can't travel without a laptop, which is why my Macbook Air goes everywhere with me. Mine's a 2014 version but she's still running strong. I store everything on the cloud for convenience and really don't have anything installed except for the Microsoft Office suite.

These Flight 001 pouches are the standard quart size required in carry on luggage, I pack two in my suitcase - one for toiletries, contact accessories, and medicine and the other for makeup. They fit perfectly at the top of my Away carry-on with my glasses case tucked in the middle!

I carry just one Moleskine notebook with me, perfect for this analog style note taker! I don't have a preference on pens, I have a collection of hotel and conference pens that usually suit me just fine. 

When it comes to snacks, Caveman Foods are my go-to. I'm working on being a lot healthier this year and with that comes a need to find fast solutions that aren't fast food when I'm in an airport, not to mention making sure I'm not always eating in restaurants too. They have breakfast/snack bars and a good mix of jerky and protein bites that keep me satisfied throughout the day! 

This card holder from MochiThings is what I keep in my suitcase since I need to keep all my cards with me at all times (from IDs to my Global Entry card, credit cards to business cards). It holds up to 30 cards (and I use one of the pockets to hold about 10 business cards) and fits right inside my backpack front pocket.

My friends Ashlyn and Lauren told me about the Hobo Bags Lauren Clutch Wallet and I picked it up in the color Saffron to make all my days just a little bit brighter. This wallet carries EVERYTHING (and might even replace my MochiThings card holder too - talk about condensing and saving space!) and has replaced my previous go-to wallet without question. 


Being a nomad means lots of subway stations, lots of treks through airports (85,000 miles worth last year!), and lots of carrying your own bags (and avoiding baggage fees). I've downsized my belongings to just two bags. Check them out! 

I use the Away Travel Carry-On in green to haul all my stuff around. It has a phone charger and TSA-approved lock built right in, a laundry bag attached inside, and two separate compartments (the big zip section and then an open section with straps and a compression board) that safely holds all of my clothes, shoes, toiletries, etc. as I travel about the world. 

For a backpack, I use the Lifepack, which literally has every feature you could possibly imagine (and I use all of them!). From a rain cover to a solar powered phone charger (and speaker), it fulfills any need I might have while traveling about! 


This list is full of "oldies but goodies" as well as a few more recent additions for me.

Maven: This app is GM's foray into the rental car market. You can hop on (as long as you have a valid drivers license and you're 18+), select a car, and check it out for the hour or the day. Gas is included in your rental and you get to check out a host of GM brand cars for really decent prices!

Audible: Who doesn't love Audible? I just finished listening to Anna Kendrick's Scrappy Little Nobody - the perfect distraction for long plane rides.

Dropbox: Nomad life means no extra bulk allowed. I use the Dropbox app's "scan document" function to scan receipts to PDF via my phone and save them in a folder just in case. Then I can toss receipts and not have to keep them!

Prime Video: Prime Video is my favorite way to stay caught up on all my shows when I'm traveling!

Maven (Healthcare): Being on the go can sometimes make getting to the doctor a bit tricky. I've been using the Maven Clinic app to chat with everyone from my nutritionist to my therapist via video chat wherever I am in the world!

The New Yorker: The New Yorker is my go-to for news and updates on all things culture.

App in the Air: I'm a sucker for games and badges, so App in the Air is one of my favorite travel apps. It turns travel into a game, letting you track total annual and lifetime miles (I've flown nearly half a million miles in my lifetime!) and earn badges for unique locations / airplanes / etc.

Digit: Digit is the best app for starting a savings account, even if you don't have a budget. Every few days, Digit checks your spending patterns and moves a few dollars from your checking account to your Digit account, if you can afford it!

Asana Rebel: If you need a good way to get exercise in on the go, Asana Rebel is the way to go. I love being able to do yoga / cardio on the go via the exercise videos and personalized coaching in this app!

Well, there you have it! All my nomad essentials. What are your essentials for travel? Let me know in the comments below!