The number of digital nomads in the US has skyrocketed over the past few years. In 2018, there were about 4.8 million digital nomads in the country. However, in 2021, this number grew to about 15.5 million. In addition, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the nomadic lifestyle has become even more popular. We even wrote about the most comfortable cities for Digital Nomads in the U.S

Many are now craving remote work and unlimited adventure. If you embrace the nomadic life, this means leaving things behind. It doesn’t necessarily connote giving up on life or compromising it all. However, this lifestyle suggests decluttering and living with a minimalist approach.

What Does Minimalism Mean?

As a digital nomad, you work and travel constantly. Most of the time, you think about where to go next for an adventure. In some cases, you worry about catching flights or looking for affordable tickets through the southwest airlines low fare calendar, for example. Either way, your chosen lifestyle involves carrying all of your possessions.

To get you off that heavy load, minimalism is highly recommended. However, it’s essential to remember that minimalism is founded on basic and straightforward principles. Instead of purchasing multiple things that don’t fit your backpack, you gather all the essentials that can help you survive in whatever situation you’re in.

The term minimalism is often linked to having a simple life. It’s not the same as owning nothing. However, becoming a minimalist digital nomad is more about grasping what you genuinely need and eliminating what’s unnecessary.

The Japanese Zen philosophy inspires this kind of lifestyle. It teaches you to focus more on the essentials. Besides that, it also carries a significant benefit for practical reasons.

When preparing your bag for your work and travel lifestyle, it would be best to check if your things are:

  • Good quality
  • Durable
  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Multifunctional

For example, instead of packing extra blankets, you may opt to bring warm-retaining clothing. Or, instead of bringing an umbrella, you can choose to get a raincoat and a waterproof bag. It doesn’t just help you save some space but is also multifunctional.

Besides eliminating unnecessary things, becoming a minimalist digital nomad also involves sticking to an essential routine. For example, instead of spending lots of money on entertainment and hotel rooms, you might want to consider living in affordable rooms and working part-time in cafes while engaging with the locals. Furthermore, you can also explore and learn more about the local food markets and their local delicacies.

Tips You Should Consider

The following are some tips you might want to consider in embracing the minimalist digital nomadic lifestyle:


Food is critical for us to survive the day. There’s nothing worse than traveling long hours and arriving at your chosen destination when all of the restaurants and food shops are closed. Thus, it would be best always to bring essential food and ensure you have something to eat in any situation.


Your personal preference is what determines your clothing. Some people are okay with just a few items, while others love packing different outfits. However, it’s vital to remember that you need to consider how often you can do laundry in this kind of lifestyle.

Packing only the essentials means preparing the correct quantity of clothes. And since you’ll often be traveling, you should bring clothes you can wear on various occasions. Furthermore, it’s always best to invest in clothes that last longer due to their excellent quality and durability.


It’s recommended to explore every time you arrive at a new destination. This is only one of the perks of living a digital nomadic lifestyle. You’ll definitely need different shoes depending on where you plan to go next. 

For example, if you plan to go outside the country and visit Prague in February, wearing sandals wouldn’t be a great idea. This is because, during this time, Prague tends to have snowy weather. Thus, it would be best to pack a few pairs of shoes (not too many) for different circumstances and weather conditions.


As a minimalist digital nomad, bringing your electronics is also crucial. It doesn’t just help you connect with your loved ones at home, but it also is vital for your work. Thus, it would be best not to forget your work tools, such as your smartphone, laptop, charges, etc.


Bringing essential medicines is always a smart move. You tend to travel to unfamiliar places, and when something terrible happens to you, you usually don’t have someone near you who can help you asap. Thus, it’s crucial to bring a first aid kit (painkillers, antiseptic, bandages, antibiotics), extra medications you might be taking, paracetamol for fever, and buscopan for stomach aches.

To Wrap It Up

Becoming a minimalist digital nomad combines a practical and spiritual attitude. It urges you to cut unnecessary expenses, engage in the local community, and try new things while traveling. In conclusion, it means living a simple life without worrying about materialism and unnecessary junk that most people think about.

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Carly Pifer is a freelance writer who has been known to follow whims inspired by romantic movie scenes or colorful street style shots to India, Japan, Tunisia and Argentina. After stints living in Seoul, Boston, Paris and Los Angeles, writing and searching for something intangible, she landed somewhat steadily in Brooklyn and has begun to find inspiration in her more immediate surroundings (and also the permanence of her bookshelf). She writes about fashion for Refinery29 and has been known to pack an outfit per day on backpacking trips. Please visit her website to read her travel diaries and other writing on the web at or follow her on instagram .