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Summary:

Many web workers are drawn to the nomadic lifestyle, but it’s not as tempting when you consider all the equipment you’ll be lugging around. From basic tools such as your laptop to optional gear such as a Wi-Fi signal amplifier, you’ll be carrying some things that the random backpacker won’t. So how do you travel as light as possible with all the extra load?

Many web workers are drawn to the nomadic lifestyle, but it’s not as tempting when you consider all the equipment you’ll be lugging around. From basic tools such as your laptop to optional gear such as a Wi-Fi signal amplifier, you’ll be carrying some things that the random backpacker won’t. So how do you travel as light as possible with all the extra load?

Do research beforehand. Find out if you’ll need extra gadgets such as plug adapters and voltage converters. If you’re traveling to a different state or province within your country, you shouldn’t worry about this. But if you’re going overseas, taking a look at the World Electric Guide will let you know what adapters you’ll need, or if you’ll need a voltage converter. HowtoTravelLight.com covers the topic of electric adapters and converters extensively, so you might want to take a look at their site (there are several tips on traveling light as well).

Weather is also something you need to research, as it tells you what clothes you should bring. If you’re bringing along clothes you wouldn’t need (such as a sleeveless top to a cold destination), you’re just adding unnecessary weight and heft to your luggage.

In a previous article, I’ve also mentioned the other things you need to research such as cellular phone settings and internet connectivity. If you find out that your destination is filled with reliable Wi-Fi hotspots, you might not need to bring that signal booster after all.

Don’t bring what you can buy or find at your destination. As long as it’s inexpensive and readily available, of course. Tim Ferriss calls this the BIT (Buy It There) method of travel. This may include bathroom slippers, large bath towels, These things are either available at a hotel for free or they are easy to acquire from the nearest grocery store. If either is the case, then don’t bring it yourself.

Just use one bag. If you can limit the space that will be occupied by the stuff you want to bring, you’ll definitely be forced to think about how necessary or important each object is. Once you realize you’re not sure about the importance of one object, then don’t bring it. Consider using your laptop bag as your travel bag. Not only is it made to carry your gadgets, but if it’s big enough and has a lot of pockets, it can fit your clothes and toiletries too. Think this is impossible? Visit OneBag.com to find several helpful tips on how to travel with just one bag.

Understand that you don’t need to bring all your gadgets. If you want to spend your idle time interacting with locals and exploring the area, then that MP4 player isn’t really a necessity. After all, if you really want to listen to music or watch a movie, your laptop is perfectly capable of that. Also, if your cellular phone has a camera with great resolution, you don’t need to bring that bulky dSLR (unless photography is the main motivation behind your trip). It’s important to bring only your essential gadgets because you might get to miss out on the character of your destination if you keep yourself attached to these things 24/7.

The length of your trip isn’t directly proportional to the weight of your luggage. Going away for 2 weeks doesn’t necessarily mean bringing 14 shirts and pants. Be open to the idea of washing your clothes and reusing them during your trip. If you don’t want to do the work yourself, many hotels and inns have a laundry service and you can always turn to the nearest laundromat.

When buying gadgets, include portability in your purchasing criteria. If you plan on traveling extensively, it’s a much better option to get a small, lightweight laptop in the first place, as long as its hardware specifications meet your needs. The same goes for your other gear.

Just because we have extra needs as web workers, it doesn’t mean we should be having extra pounds in our bags as well. Traveling light is a must, because it’s less of a hassle – we don’t have to wait for our suitcases to appear on the airport conveyor belt, among other things. If we master the art of traveling light, then we can be on the go more effortlessly.

Do you travel light as a web worker? What gadgets are necessary during your trips?

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  1. Todd Andrews Monday, June 23, 2008

    As someone who spends a lot of time backpacking the world, let me reiterate the importance of packing light.

  2. This is a great post. I have been practicing this both for travel and life. I have two bags when I go anywhere for any length of time. A duffel bag and messenger bag. The messenger has everything I need daily including lappy, camera, Mp3, and associated stuff.

    The bag carries everything I need for the trip no matter if it is a weekend or month.

  3. I always try to travel light, with efficient tools, and I can say enough about the XShot, in regards to this. The XShot is a little hand held device (that retracts down to only 9″, and is very lightweight). It enables you to take pictures of yourself and yourself with others. It’s an extended rod that attaches to any camera! Check it out! http://www.xshotpix.com

  4. correction: “…can’t say enough about the XShot…

  5. Emily Williams Monday, June 23, 2008

    I try to avoid complications in security by packing my laptop in my bag, well padded by it’s own case and clothing. BUT the TSA manages, without fail, to take out the laptop and then leave it nicely on top of everything else, no longer covered by clothing. On my last trip, they stole iPod speakers that were a gift for my brother-in-law, and it had to have been TSA because my suitcase was locked. I’m traveling again next week, and this theft has made me seriously start rethinking what I do and don’t pack. How much does security come into the question of how light to pack for other people?

  6. How To: : Snug’d Sunday, July 13, 2008

    [...] How to Travel Light With Web Working Gadgets. [...]

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