6 Essential Items for Mobile Entrepreneurs
By Ken Roberts
With the growth of the digital nomad movement, more and more entrepreneurs are taking the plunge and going 100% mobile.
If you’ve ever tried to work remotely, you know that it can be a serious challenge. From staying productive to managing your time, every aspect of getting things done becomes much harder when you’re on the road.
Luckily, adding a few small, portable and affordable items to your remote working toolkit can make a big difference. Below, we’ve listed our six favorite essentials for staying as productive, effective and successful as possible as a mobile entrepreneur.
An all-in-one travel adapter
Nothing is more frustrating than flying into another country, checking into your hotel or Airbnb, and discovering that your laptop, smartphone charger and other electronic devices just aren’t compatible with the local electrical outlets.
Thankfully, this is a cheap and easy problem to solve. Pick up an international travel adapter (Lifehacker has a great list of the best ones) and for less than $25 you’ll be able to work with confidence in any country.
A small, reliable wheeled suitcase
If you’re visiting developing countries without good infrastructure, you can replace this with a reliable backpack. For first world and rapidly developing countries, you’ll get more mileage from a high quality wheeled suitcase.
For durability, it’s best to pick a hardshell suitcase. The Delsey Helium Aero Carry-On, which is available for just over $100, designed to provide incredible protection, and small enough to use as a carry-on suitcase.
A laptop computer power bank
While laptop batteries are getting better every year, they’re still not quite powerful enough to make it through a long bus ride or flight. A laptop power bank lets you charge your computer once it runs out of power, extending its battery life well into the 8+ hour range.
If you use a MacBook or similar USB-C equipped laptop, try charging it from a USB-C power bank on your next long flight, train journey or bus trip. Since there’s not much else to do, it’s easy to get an entire day’s worth of work done while you fly.
A world class rewards credit card
If you spend a lot on hotels, flights and serviced apartments, you’re doing yourself a disservice by not using a rewards credit card. Switch to a rewards card from your regular debit card and you’ll earn free stays, cash back and other bonuses, all of which add up quickly over time.
While American and Canadian digital nomads get the best perks when it comes to credit cards, you’ll be able to access good options in any country if you have a decent credit history and the right level of annual spend.
A great minimalist wallet
Bulky wallets making holding all your coins, banknotes and credit cards simple, but they’re also a major annoyance when you need to keep your everyday carry as light as possible. They also stand out big time in your back pocket, making them a magnet for pickpockets in busy cities.
The solution? Switch from a big, bulky wallet to a minimalist wallet and slim down your everyday carry by a substantial amount. This way, you can store your rarely-used cards in your backpack or suitcase and keep only the bare essentials on you for a slim profile and lower pickpocket risk.
Cheap, reliable in-ear headphones
While studio-style headphones might offer better sound quality, they’re too bulky for use on the road. A cheap, reliable pair of in-ear headphones will let you listen to your favorite podcasts and music while you travel without fretting if you lose them, break them or leave them in a hotel.
While everyone’s idea of “cheap” audio equipment is different, you’ll generally get the best value for money around the $50 price point. Options like the Sennheiser CX 300-II Precision and Sony MDR-NC31EM earbuds offer great sound and noise cancelling, both for around $50 each.
What are your mobile productivity must-haves?
Everyone has a travel accessory they just can’t live without. As a mobile entrepreneur or digital nomad, what are your mobile productivity must-haves?