Imagine spending every day in a new city or every week exploring a different national park. For the digital nomad, this trailblazing dream is a thrilling reality. The tech revolution means that you can take your work with you anywhere, and many have taken that as an invitation to travel far and wide. If you dream of covering your backpack in souvenir patches or joining the #vanlife trend, here are six high-tech tools that will help you on the road.
An online P.O. box
Figuring out the logistics can be a buzzkill when you just want to hit the road already. Waking up to a different sunrise every morning is the dream, but it also makes it hard to do things like receive mail. This stopgap is where your first high-tech tool comes into play.
An online P.O. box, like those from providers such as iPostal1, is a must-have for travelers trekking from terminal to terminal. Why? Because your mail is scanned and sent to you through your phone or computer, you can choose its fate with a few simple taps (i.e., scan the contents, forward, or shred as needed). This solution is ideal for traveling professionals who don’t want to let important correspondence slip through the cracks while they’re busy jet-setting.
Should you choose to jet off abroad and establish new roots in foreign soil, censorship may trip up digital nomads. To avoid interference, use a VPN (better known as a virtual private network). Not only does a VPN allow travelers to tip-toe around local censorship laws, but a VPN also encrypts your communications and gives streaming services a boost.
For a digital nomad, the age old adage “time is money” rings especially true. Whether you’re relying on this state-of-the-art time-management solution for accurate billing, project management, or profitability-centered initiatives, a time-tracking app is non-negotiable.
With time-tracking apps, no longer are the days of underestimating project completion times, which can depict you in unflattering light to first-time or repeat clients alike. As a bonus, time-tracking apps ensure you maximize every second of your workday, as you can easily pinpoint the tasks that are holding up production.
Still not sold on the benefits of time-tracking apps? Cast your preconceived notions aside and look into how these high-tech tools can improve profitability. With the ability to review where you’re over or under delivering, second-guessing won’t be a go-to strategy in your daily operations. Additionally, with a clear view of projects past, present, and future, you can base upcoming month’s rates off the costs of last month’s projects.
GPS luggage tracking
If you prefer planes and trains over cross-country road trips, you might have to wave goodbye to your luggage at some point. It can be nerve-wracking to separate with your belongings, particularly if you’re on an extended trip with no return date in sight. Lengthy connections at multiple airports or stations only increase your chances of losing your bags somewhere along the way.
If misplaced luggage is a concern for you, you can invest in a GPS tracker to put on the outside of your bags. These trackers connect to an app on your phone. After downloading, you’ll have access to the real-time location of your bags for as long as the batteries last.
Mobile power outlet
When you’re doing your work on the go, staying connected is crucial. Travelling can be unpredictable, and even the best-laid plans might go awry. Instead of relying solely on rest stop outlets or your vehicle’s cigarette lighter, pick up a portable battery with AC outlets and keep it charged. This way, you can make sure all your devices stay juiced up even if you break down or have a lengthy delay.
Portable Wi-Fi hotspot
Nowadays, many smartphones come readily equipped with Wi-fi hotspot capabilities. Still, if you need a little more bang for your buck, you can pick a mobile wifi hotspot from any major cellular retailer. These hotspots usually come with either a monthly subscription or a pay-as-you-go model, so keep track of your average data usage to pick the best plan for you.
Theft proof backpack
Who says you need electricity to be high-tech? Theft-proof backpacks are specially designed with cut-resistant materials to keep all of your other tech safe and sound while you’re on the move.
An on-the-go-friendly communication platform
When bouncing from terminal to terminal and time zone to time zone, you’ll need to stay in touch with core team members throughout your travels. While you can always settle for traditional email communication, high-priority messages can sink to the bottom of your inbox surprisingly quickly. With a team chat tool like Microsoft Teams or Slack, urgent updates won’t get lost in translation or in between time zones.
Grammar checker software
Even digital nomads aren’t exempt from grammar best practices. While a misplaced comma or subject-verb agreement error may seem like a tiny blemish in the grand scheme of things, interactions with prospective clients could be soured by a comma splice or run-on sentence. After all, immaculate grammar and punctuation will only reassure clients that you’re detail oriented and deeply committed to maintaining the utmost professionalism.
To keep your follow-up emails grammar-error-free, invest in grammar checker software. Not only will this virtual editor help you save time on proofreading, but it will also help you save money otherwise spent on meticulous (and rather pricey) editing services.
It’s common to hear people joke that they have their whole lives on their phones, but it’s less of an exaggeration for a digital nomad and more a fact of life. When you’re working and traveling simultaneously, your data storage needs might quickly outpace your computer’s local drive. External drives are compact and hook right into your computer so all your essential files can have some extra legroom.
You’ve packed your toothpaste and underwear, but don’t forget to bring along some high-tech tools to keep your new map-hopping lifestyle turbulence-free. Without these tech-forward solutions, you could end up with more than just carry-on baggage, but a load of professional baggage that exceeds that TSA-imposed limits.
This article does not necessarily reflect the opinions of the editors or the management of EconoTimes