How to Set Up a Mobile Office for Digital Nomads: Tips and Tools

Pack light, travel far, work smart: your guide to making the world your workplace


The rise of digital nomadism has reshaped what it means to “go to the office.” Today, the entire world can be your office thanks to the power of technology and the internet. Setting up a mobile office allows you to explore the world without putting your career on hold.

However, transitioning to a lifestyle where your work setup must fit into a backpack requires a little planning and the right tools based on your specific work needs, mobility demands, and the environments you plan to work in.

From the indispensable high-performance laptop to the convenience of wireless hard drives and the comfort of ergonomic accessories, we’ve got you covered.

Let’s dive into the essentials of mobile office setup and discover how you can make the world your workspace with ease and efficiency.

Top Tec Essentials for Your Mobile Office: Laptops, tablets and more

Mobile Office Digital Nomads

Suggested Read:
Best Places to be a Digital Nomad
Pros and Cons of being a Digital Nomad
Best Travel Insurance for Digital Nomads

At its heart, a mobile office consists of portable devices and digital solutions that ensure you can perform your duties without needing a permanent physical office. Key components often include:

  • Portable Computing Devices: Laptops, tablets, and smartphones that are powerful enough to handle your work tasks.
  • Connectivity Solutions: Mobile hotspots, portable Wi-Fi devices, and global SIM cards to ensure constant internet access.
  • Digital Tools and Apps: Cloud-based software for project management, communication, file storage, and more that support remote collaboration. Check out our essential list here.
  • Power Solutions: Portable power banks and solar chargers to keep devices running when access to power outlets is limited.
  • Ergonomic Accessories: Compact and portable stands, keyboards, and seating solutions to maintain comfort and prevent strain or injury over long working hours.

The Benefits of a Mobile Office

The mobile office offers numerous advantages, catering to the desires of those seeking a work-life balance that accommodates travel and flexibility:

  • Flexibility and Freedom: Work from anywhere, be it a café in Paris, a beach in Bali, or a coworking space in Buenos Aires.
  • Increased Productivity: The ability to choose your work environment can lead to higher productivity by finding settings that best suit your work style.
  • Work-Life Balance: Integrate travel, exploration, and leisure activities into your daily life without sacrificing career progression.
  • Global Networking: Meet and collaborate with professionals worldwide, expanding your professional network and cultural experiences.


A good, reliable laptop is probably, together with the passport, the most important thing in a digital nomad backpack. This is the most obvious choice if you have to invest in only one gear.

To help you in this quest, here’s a deeper dive into what makes ultra-lightweight, high-performance models and convertible laptops the top picks for those who work on the move.

Ultra-lightweight and High-performance Models

Macbook for Digital Nomads - Mobile Office

The mantra is clear: the lighter, the better — without sacrificing power. Brands have been pushing the envelope to create laptops with long battery life and robust processing capabilities, all wrapped in a lightweight design.

This trifecta ensures that digital nomads can work efficiently anywhere, from a beachside café to a bustling airport lounge.

  • Apple’s MacBook Air and MacBook Pro stand out for their sleek design and powerful M3 chips, promising exceptional performance and battery life that can easily support a day’s work without tethering you to a power outlet.

One of the best features for professionals on the go is automatically syncing your data, documents, and files with your other computers and devices via iCloud.

The MacBook Air is designed for users who prioritize portability and sufficient performance for everyday tasks. It suits students, educators, writers, content consumers, and casual creatives. A 2022 model costs about £989 or € 1,160. Click here to see the best offers.

The MacBook Pro is tailored for users who need more power and advanced features for intensive tasks. Videographers, photographers, graphic designers, music producers, developers, researchers, and scientists will take advantage of its robust performance and storage options. Prices for a 2023 model start at £2,338 or €2,733. You will find the best deals here.

  • Dell’s XPS series is another favorite among nomads, thanks to its stunning display, solid build, and the performance to handle everything from video editing to software development tasks on the go.

Prices go from £1,314 to £2,199, depending on the model. Find out the best for you here.

  • ASUS ZenBook series impresses with its ultraportable design and impressive battery life, making it an excellent choice for professionals who prioritize mobility and productivity.

It is also much more affordable than other models, making it the perfect choice for nomads just beginning their journeys or for budget travelers. Click here to see the prices.

Convertible Laptops: Flexibility Meets Functionality

Convertible laptops, also known as 2-in-1 devices, offer versatility that traditional laptops can’t match. These devices cater to the dynamic needs of digital nomads, quickly switching between a conventional laptop setup for work and a tablet mode for presentations, reading, or sketching.

  • Microsoft Surface Pro series is a frontrunner in this category, boasting a detachable keyboard and a responsive touchscreen with stylus support, making it a powerhouse for creators and professionals alike.

The cheapest models start from £889.

  • Lenovo Yoga series takes flexibility to another level with its 360-degree hinge. It allows users to flip it into a tablet, stand it up for presentations, or tent it for movie watching — all in one sleek device.

With prices that start at £695, this is a budget-friendly option if you are looking for a convertible laptop.


Tablets for digital nomads - remote work

While not indispensable for most people, tablets offer a blend of portability, power, and versatility that can make your mobile office more flexible and fun.

A few handy uses for a tablet in your work routine include serving as a secondary screen, facilitating reading and research, acting as a lightweight device for meetings and presentations, and for moments of entertainment and relaxation.

For digital nomads involved in creative or design work, a tablet can be invaluable. With a stylus, such as the Apple Pencil for the iPad Pro or the S Pen for the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+, tablets become powerful tools for drawing, sketching, and editing photos.

Two standout options for those looking to streamline their mobile setup are the Apple iPad Pro and the Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+.

Apple iPad Pro: A Laptop Alternative for the Mobile Professional

The Apple iPad Pro stands at the forefront of tablet technology, challenging the very notion of needing a traditional laptop for professional tasks. Powered by Apple’s cutting-edge chip, it delivers performance that rivals, and in some cases surpasses, that of many laptops.

This makes it an exceptional tool for a wide range of tasks, from graphic design and video editing to writing and spreadsheet management.

Pairing the iPad Pro with the Smart Keyboard Folio or Magic Keyboard transforms it into a complete workstation.

This combination not only facilitates typing and data entry but also supports a seamless transition from consumption to creation, making it a versatile choice for professionals and creatives alike.

The addition of the Apple Pencil further enhances its functionality, turning the iPad Pro into a canvas for artists, a notepad for students, and a tool for annotators. Find out more.

Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+: The PC Experience in Tablet Form

The Samsung Galaxy Tab S7+ offers a compelling choice for those who lean towards Android ecosystems. It boasts a high-quality display that brings visuals to life, whether you’re editing photos, watching videos, or presenting work to clients.

The Galaxy Tab S7+ pairs well with Samsung’s keyboard cover and S Pen.

Click here to browse models.

Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise Canceling Headphones for digital nomads

Finding focus amidst the chaos of full-time traveling can be a challenge. Cafes, coworking spaces, and airports—the nomad’s usual haunts—are often filled with distracting noises. This is where noise-canceling headphones become not just an accessory but an essential tool for productivity and mental well-being.

There are many options available on the market, but the Sony WH-1000XM5 and the Bose QuietComfort 35 II stand out for their exceptional noise-canceling capabilities and comfort.

Sony WH-1000XM5: Cutting-Edge Silence

The Sony WH-1000XM5 headphones are at the forefront of noise-canceling technology. They offer an unparalleled audio experience by intelligently analyzing your environment and adjusting the noise-canceling levels accordingly.

This adaptive sound control ensures that whether you’re in a noisy cafe or a quiet room, you’re in your own acoustic bubble.

It also boasts an impressive battery life of up to 30 hours, making it perfect for long flights or long work sessions.

Comfort is another highlight, with plush ear cups and a lightweight design that allows for extended wear without discomfort.

Bose QuietComfort 35 II: Comfort Meets Quiet

The Bose QuietComfort 35 II headphones are extremely comfortable and offer superior noise cancellation.

The QC35 II features three levels of noise cancellation, enabling users to tailor their listening experience according to the noise level of their surroundings. This customization, combined with the Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa integration, makes the QC35 II a smart tool for productivity.

The headphones’ ergonomic design ensures they can be worn all day with ease, proving indispensable for digital nomads who need to focus while on the move.

Wireless Portable Hard Drives

Nowadays, data is as precious as currency. As Digital Nomads, our entire professional lives are, well… mostly digital. Therefore, ensuring that important files are safely stored and easily accessible is a concern.

Wireless portable hard drives offer precious additional storage space and the convenience of wireless access and sharing. Among the most reliable options, WD My Passport Wireless Pro stands out as a stellar choice for professionals and creatives alike.

The WD My Passport Wireless Pro is designed with the needs of the modern, mobile professional in mind. It’s a multifunctional tool that enhances your work process, offering features that go beyond mere data storage:

  • Wireless Connectivity: One of the most compelling features of this hard drive is its ability to connect to devices wirelessly. This means you can access, stream, and share files without the need for a direct physical connection.
  • Ample Storage Space: With options ranging up to 4TB, the WD My Passport Wireless Pro provides ample space for storing documents, photos, videos, and more.
  • Direct Media Streaming: The device supports direct streaming of media to connected devices, making it perfect for presentations.
  • SD Card Slot and USB Connectivity: For those who frequently use cameras or other SD card-enabled devices, the built-in SD card slot allows for easy and quick transfer of files from an SD card directly to the hard drive, bypassing the need to use a computer as an intermediary. Additionally, the USB port can be used to charge other devices, making it a versatile tool in your tech arsenal.
  • Battery-Powered: The built-in battery not only powers the device but also allows you to use it on the go without the need for an external power source. This feature is particularly beneficial for nomads working in remote locations, ensuring that their data is accessible regardless of where their adventures take them.

Ergonomics and Accessories to Create a Comfortable Mobile Workspace

Long hours on a laptop can lead to strain and discomfort if not properly managed. Add to this equation the lack of proper seats and tables, and we have a perfect way leading to physiotherapy sessions.

This is where ergonomics comes into play. By incorporating ergonomic accessories and practices into your mobile workspace, you can enhance productivity, comfort, and well-being. Here’s how to create an ergonomic setup that travels with you.

Portable Laptop Stands

A portable laptop stand is a cornerstone of an ergonomic mobile workspace. Elevating your laptop to eye level prevents you from hunching over the screen, reducing neck and back strain.

Look for lightweight, foldable designs that can easily fit into your bag.

2. External Keyboards and Mouse

Prolonged use of a laptop’s built-in keyboard and touchpad can lead to wrist and shoulder strain. Investing in a compact, ergonomic external keyboard and mouse can significantly improve your posture and comfort.

Bluetooth devices are especially handy for mobile setups, eliminating cords and allowing for a more flexible workspace.

The Logitech K380 keyboard and MX Anywhere 2S mouse are popular choices for their portability, comfort, and battery life.

Editor of Yes, Summer! I am a Brazilian journalist, writer, and digital nomad. I have been traveling the world, telling stories, and tasting local beers since 2010. I am the co-founder of 360meridianos, a reference in travel writing in Brazil, and author of the newsletter Migraciones. On social media, I'm always reachable at @natybecattini.

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