Best Laptops for Digital Nomads [2022]

Best laptops for digital nomads

A laptop is a digital nomad’s best friend. Most remote workers can get by with virtually any type of laptop, but that’s not the case for digital nomads. Finding the best laptops for digital nomads is a top priority if you want to have a smooth sailing remote work experience. Besides, it’s called a “laptop lifestyle” for a reason!

It’s your office, your library, your entertainment center, and your lifeline to the rest of the world. But with so many options on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you.

Not only do you need a working lightweight laptop, but you need the right kind of laptop for your digital nomad lifestyle.

The best laptops for remote workers who are also digital nomads have some unique characteristics, so budget laptops that suit work-from-home needs may not be enough.

What to Look for in a Digital Nomad Laptop

Every digital nomad has different requirements when it comes to remote work. Some digital nomads prefer Windows laptops while others want Apple laptops.

Best laptops for digital nomads

There are those who want to limit their search to the best budget laptops and lightest laptop lists while others want to look for powerful laptop and performance laptop options.

No matter your definition of the best laptop for working as a digital nomad, there are a few key factors to consider.

Lightweight

Most digital nomads prefer an ultraportable laptop, weighing under 3.5 pounds. The best laptop is compact and won’t weigh you down (or break your back) when you’re on the move.

Ideally, the best lightweight laptop for a digital nomad on the road would be something you can easily and conveniently use in tight spaces such as airplanes.

Battery Life

When you’re working from anywhere, you need a laptop with long battery life. Look for laptops with at least 8 hours of battery life. This digital nomad laptop will give you enough power to get through a full day of work, even if you’re not near an outlet.

When checking this detail on a performance laptop or a budget laptop, make sure to look at third-party reviews because manufacturers tend to exaggerate details in terms of battery power.

Connectivity

Another important factor to consider is connectivity. If you’re going to be working from different places, the best laptop for working can connect to the internet no matter where you are.

Look for digital nomad laptops with built-in LTE or at least have the option to add an external modem. This way, you won’t have to worry about finding a Wi-Fi hotspot when you’re on the go.

Best laptops for digital nomads

Processor

The processor is the heart of the best digital nomad laptops, so you need to make sure it’s powerful enough to handle all your work needs.

For digital nomad laptops, an Intel Core i5 or Intel Core i7 processor should be more than enough. Anything less may lead to a laggy remote working laptop that can’t keep up with you.

Storage

You also need to think about storage capacity when choosing the best laptops for digital nomads.

If you plan to work with large files or store a lot of data, the best digital nomad laptop options have at least a 256GB solid-state drive. This will ensure your laptop’s storage space can keep up with you, no matter where you are.

Build

Replacing a laptop while on the go is not fun. You want a thin laptop that’s durable enough that it won’t snap in half when you’re lugging it around in your backpack exploring a remote tropical island.

Outstanding laptops not only have amazing battery life and cool features but also have a long-lasting build. This includes an aluminum chassis, reinforced corners, and a sturdy hinge. You’ll thank me later.

Best laptops for digital nomads

Price

Of course, price is always a factor to consider when choosing a reliable laptop. The good news is that there are plenty of light laptop and quality laptop options on the market that won’t break the bank.

However, if you plan on using your laptop for more demanding tasks, you may need to invest in a more expensive top performance laptop and splurge on higher specs than a normal laptop like a full HD monitor display, more powerful Intel core processor, laptop accessories, and even additional USB C ports.

The Best Laptops for Digital Nomads

Now that you know what to look for in a digital nomad laptop, it’s time to take a closer look at some of the best options on the market.

Keep in mind, though, that a particular laptop that I consider the best laptop for working as a digital nomad might not be the best option for you.

Best laptops for digital nomads

So, I’ll break up each laptop recommendation based on the type of remote worker you are and what you will use the laptop for as a digital nomad.

Whether you’re searching for a budget laptop, a more versatile laptop, the most lightweight and ultraportable, or the one with the most high-end specs, this guide got you covered.

Overall Best Laptop for Digital Nomads: MacBook Air

You’re probably not at all shocked to see the new MacBook Air at the top of the list of best laptops for digital nomads. After all, it is a fan favorite among remote workers. And for good reason, too.

Best laptops for digital nomads

The MacBook Air is one of the most well-rounded laptops on the market.

This affordable laptop won’t blow you away with incredibly high-tech specs, but it’s more than enough for a digital nomad to do practically everything you need it to–and do it well.

It’s lightweight and ultraportable at just 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg), making it easy to carry with you wherever you go.

Offering a fantastic battery life, the Apple MacBook Air has a new M1 chip that can guarantee up to 18 hours of power on a single charge. The long hours of battery life are clutch for digital nomads who are working remotely in areas with no or limited outlets.

The build quality is second to none, as you would expect from a MacBook, making it a durable laptop.

Best laptops for digital nomads

Unlike most laptops, the aluminum chassis is sturdy and the keyboard can withstand some serious abuse. In other words, it’s the perfect laptop for those who are constantly on the go and need a machine that can keep up with them.

The base model is offered at 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, which is already extensive for an average user. You can customize it if you need more, but at that point, it might be a better idea to simply buy a MacBook Pro.

If you’re someone who does graphics-intensive work, such as photo editing or editing 4K videos, then you’ll most likely want to buy something more powerful.

Overall, if you’re simply looking for an all-around great laptop that won’t break the bank, the MacBook Air is one of the best options out there for digital nomads.

Best Laptop for Digital Nomads in Tech: Huawei Matebook 13

It might be heartbreaking to pry yourself away from your state-of-the-art machine at home, something you’ve built to be so fast and powerful it could easily fly you to Mars and back.

But, the digital nomad life is beckoning. That means you need to downsize and streamline.

Huawei has been slowly breaking into the laptop world and is becoming one of the most reliable names when it comes to building high-tech, reliable machines.

The Huawei Matebook 13 is an excellent representation of that reputation.

This is one of the more distinctive laptops on the market thanks to its 3:2 aspect-ratio touchscreen, which is a feature that only a handful of devices offer.

The Huawei Matebook 13 also has one of the best HD camera features on the market, which is something that’s often overlooked but can be incredibly important for digital nomads who rely on video conferencing for work.

It’s great for light gaming and can even handle some more intensive games if you’re willing to lower the graphics settings.

Moreover, the MateBook 13 is compact and surprisingly portable despite being described as a flagship laptop powered like a gaming laptop. Plus, it has an incredible battery life of almost 9 hours.

Weighing only about 2.87 pounds (1.3 kg) and measuring roughly half an inch thin, this lightweight laptop barely takes up space in your backpack but still manages to deliver a powerful performance.

Basically, this laptop can do almost everything–a jack of all trades among the best laptops for digital nomads.

Best 2-in-1 Laptop for Digital Nomads: Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible

The Dell XPS 13 2-in-1 Convertible is one of the best laptops for digital nomads who aren’t big fans of Apple. In fact, others would claim that it outshines the MacBook in some areas.

For one, the Dell XPS 13 is lighter and even more compact compared to the already very lightweight MacBook Air.

It comes with a 14+ hour battery life, which is a bit longer than the 15-hour battery life of a MacBook with Intel chips.

Unfortunately, it cannot compete with the battery life offered by the new Apple M1 chip.

With that in mind, how often do you actually require over 15 hours of battery life without charging anyway?

Its InfinityEdge HDR is one of the very few laptop screens that can go head-to-head against Mac’s retina display. Plus, the Dell XPS 13 comes with convenient anti-reflective technology.

This is a great feature for digital nomads looking to complete some remote work tasks while lounging around on the beach.

The 2-in-1 feature turns this version of Dell XPS 13 into a transformer-esque gadget that can change from a laptop to a tablet in seconds, offering you a dual-computer solution.

The tablet configuration of the Dell XPS 13 lets you use the attached stylus to drag, draw, and tap to your heart’s content.

And, there’s no need to worry about the screen since Dell secured it by using Corning Gorilla Glass that would most likely survive a coconut falling on it (don’t test this at home!).

Best Laptop for Digital Nomad Creatives: MacBook Pro

If you want to ramp things up a notch, go for the MacBook Air’s big brother: the MacBook Pro.

The MacBook Pro is arguably the most powerful option among the Apple laptops and it comes with an impressively strong processor, heaps of RAM, and all the shiny bells and whistles that you’d ever want from a brand new laptop…and then some.

Buy MacBook Pro - Apple (HK)

When you buy a MacBook Pro, you can choose between the Intel core processors or the new Apple M1 chip.

Between the two, the M1 chip comes at a lower price tag and practically double the battery life. So, I recommend this option for digital nomads.

In terms of size, the MacBook Pro is just about the same size as the Air. It’s a bit heavier at 3 pounds (1.3 kg), but the performance it delivers is well worth the extra weight.

For most people, the MacBook Air is enough. But digital nomads who are into intensive video editing and photo editing might want the power of the MacBook Pro.

The downside of the MacBook Pro is obvious: it’s more expensive than the other laptops for digital nomads.

Given its price point, you might get a bit more paranoid about getting it damaged to stolen while traveling. That said, if you’re a remote worker who needs the power of the MacBook Pro to get things done, then you’ll thank yourself for opting for quality.

Basically, the Pro is like the MacBook Air on steroids. It has a better display, more customization alternatives, louder speakers, a larger trackpad, and, of course, more processing power. On top of these, it gives you 20 hours of long battery life!

Ultimately, it all boils down to how crucial are these extra features to your life as a digital nomad.

If they’re vital to your remote work, then don’t hesitate to go for the MacBook Pro. You won’t be disappointed.

If you can live without them, then save your cash and opt for the MacBook Air (or the other non-Apple options here on the list).

Best Laptop for Digital Nomads on a Budget: Lenovo Flex 5 14″

If you want a quality portable laptop but are on a tight budget, then you can’t go wrong in choosing the Lenovo Flex 5 14.

IdeaPad Flex 5 (14'', AMD) | Versatile 14” 2-in-1 AMD Laptop | Lenovo Ireland

While it’s not as powerful as the other laptops on this list, you can still complete day-to-day tasks. You may not want to edit videos or even photos on this bad boy, but it can work perfectly fine for most remote work projects.

Actually, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 comes with a flip-around screen and a stylus. While it’s not as small and portable as the Dell XPS 13 2-in-1, the tablet mode still makes this model convenient to use on flights and in cramped spaces.

While it’s chunkier than the other ultraslim laptops listed above, Lenovo Flex 5 14 boasts a dongle-free experience thanks to its two USB-A ports, USB-C port, HDMI port, and SD card reader. That’s actually an edge it has against the likes of the MacBook Air.

All in all, the Lenovo Flex 5 14 is a starter laptop for remote workers and digital nomads.

Although it is a bit heavier, has a slightly less bright screen, and has unimpressive battery life, this is still a good laptop for digital nomads on a tight budget.

What’s the best laptop for digital nomads?

The best laptop for digital nomads ultimately comes down to your remote work requirements, budget, and preferred features.

best laptops for digital nomads 2022

If you’re a remote worker who’s only starting out and still don’t have the extra cash to splurge on one of the best laptops for digital nomads, then budget laptops with decent to long battery life can be great starter devices.

But, if your budget allows you to spend on a more powerful machine, go for one of the best laptops for digital nomads on the market. It’s an investment that will pay off in the long run.

Not only will it make your life easier, but you’ll also be able to work more efficiently and enjoy better results.

After all, your livelihood depends on it. So choose wisely and enjoy the journey!

Best Mobile Hotspot Devices [2022]

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WiFi is the lifeblood of any digital nomad, but it’s often the most challenging to access. After all, how will you stay connected with your clients and deadlines if you don’t have a reliable internet connection? That said, though, finding good signal can be challenging even in more developed areas like cafes or hotels. Meanwhile, that becomes downright virtually impossible when you travel to remote villages. This is where mobile hotspot devices come in.

Best Portable Wifi Hotspot Devices for Traveling and Working Remote [2022]

For digital nomads and remote workers, stable internet access is a must. Whether you’re working on a laptop at a cozy coffee shop or trying to get some tasks done on your mobile phone during your commute, being able to connect to the world wide web is a gamechanger when it comes to productivity.

Mobile hotspot devices provide a great option to ensure a reliable internet connection. These devices create a small wireless network that you can connect to with your devices.

As a digital nomad, you may benefit from mifi device features such as a battery-saving mode and the ability to connect to multiple devices simultaneously. You can gain a more in-depth understanding of global wifi and mobile hotspots in our Ultimate Internet Guide for Digital Nomads.

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Mobile hotspot devices can connect more than your laptops to the internet. These can also work just fine with your tablet, camera, and pretty much any gadget that’s wi-fi enabled. These can support multiple connections better compared to your phone’s mobile wifi hotspot mode as well as ensure that you don’t drain your phone battery.

In certain countries where cellular coverage might pose a problem and you might be worried about getting a secure connection, you can hook up these portable wifi hotspot devices to antennas to achieve better internet connection.

When looking for a mobile hotspot for digital nomads, keep the following factors in mind:

Battery life

A vital consideration when it comes to choosing a mobile hotspot device for international travel is battery life, which can range from lasting a full day on a single charge to a measly few hours. Some devices provide extra portable batteries, while others allow you to even use the mobile hotspot as a powerbank.

Determine your expectations about your wifi connection. If you plan to use the internet all day long and need to be constantly connected to search for restaurants or museums, you might need a mobile hotspot device with a longer battery life. Meanwhile, if you don’t really need wifi connection for the entire day or only need WiFi for a handful of hours, then splurging for an extra battery might not be worth it.

Budget and data allowance

The price of the device isn’t the only consideration when it comes to portable WiFi for travel. Depending on your provider and chosen mobile hotspot plan — whether you’re opting for international roaming plans or buying a local sim card when you visit other countries — you will probably have a limited use rate monthly or even daily. On top of your general mobile plan, this will also determine how much data you can use. This would also most likely affect your data speed.

If you’re under a tight budget, you should figure out how to compromise with regard your plan’s speed or data cap. Generally, though, the longer you avail of the hotspot plan, the lower the costs.

Size and weight

Mobile hotspot devices need to be exactly that: mobile. Your device needs to be portable and easy to pack. While opting for the more compact devices is the norm these days, the decision is dependent on your needs and how you envision your days.

If you’re mostly on the move, particularly on foot or use public transport, then choosing a smaller mobile hotspot device for international travel would be better for your needs. On the other hand, if you’re one of the remote professionals who plan to use the wifi device for business or corporate trips and have remote jobs requiring you to spend most hours in a single location, then a bigger hotspot device that offers longer battery life or a portable battery would benefit you more.

Check out our list and find the best mobile hotspot that suits your needs.

Best overall mobile hotspot: Skyroam Solis X

Skyroam Solis X is a new addition to the Skyroam family of mobile hotspot devices. This Skyroam device is different from its predecessors. This sleek little gadget, which basically looks like an orange puck, offers lightning-fast wifi speeds, allowing you to stay connected anytime, anywhere. Plus, the Skyroam Solis X comes equipped with a built-in power bank to keep your devices charged while you’re on the go. Simply plug your gadget in the allotted USB port, and you’re good to go.

The Skyroam Solis X wifi Smartspot sold out within the first day of its release. In fact, there were overwhelming positive Skyroam Solis X wifi Smartspot reviews from those who were able to get their hands on one. Now that the Skyroam Solis X wifi Smartspot is back in stock, I decided to take a closer look at this Skyroam device and see if it lives up to the hype.

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The power button can be found at the top part of the device. A white stripe serves as the indicator for your remaining battery life, while three blinking indicator lights will tell you whether you have a good data connection.

One side of the Solis X is equipped with an 8MP camera, while the other side holds the USB-C port that you use to charge the mobile hotspot and connect your gadgets when you need a powerbank. While this is a great feature, one concern is that the powerbank can be very slow in charging your gadgets.

At the bottom, you can find a QR code. Scanning this will lead you to the Solis app, which you can connect to your smartphone. If that’s not enough, the Skyroam Solis X’s LED display can also be used as a flashlight or an emergency beacon.

Skyroam offers multiple plans depending on your needs, ranging from a single day pass to month-long contracts with unlimited data. Check out the pricing plans here.

The expected battery life for the Skyroam Solis X is 18 hours, but it only lasted roughly 10 hours when I used it. Considering that I tested it by connecting my two smartphones and laptop while also using it as a powerbank, this is pretty impressive.

With that in mind, one thing I found challenging with the Skyroam Solis X is the design of its charging port. The USB-C charging port for this device has a tiny ridge that makes it incompatible with many types of USB-C cables. Skyroam solves this issue, though, by including a USB-A adapter in the package.

After testing the Skyroam Solis X wifi Smartspot, I can say that it is an impressive device that offers excellent value for its price. Although it doesn’t come with a rental option, this device works in more than 130 countries covered. So, the Skyroam Solis X can be considered a worthy investment for digital nomads.

Best no-frills mobile hotspot: Skyroam Solis Lite

For those who don’t need the bells and whistles offered by Skyroam Solis X, there’s Solis Lite. Like the Solis X, this portable wifi device can also support up to 10 devices. It’s also small enough to easily fit in your pocket and weighs roughly the same as a regular smartphone. Considering that this gadget offers a rental option starting at $9 per day, this is a great alternative for those who want a no-frills Skyroam device.

It has the same look as the Skyroam Solis X, including the convenient QR code at the bottom for the mobile app and the problematic USB-C charging port that makes it challenging to use third-party cables. It also works as a powerbank, but likes the Solis X, it charges devices quite slowly at 5V/1A.

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What differentiates the Solis X from the Solis Lite is the absence of the remote-enabled camera, speaker, and microphone, which are used for the built-in smart assistant. That means the Solis Lite is simply your basic international hotspot device with no special features and focuses solely on providing internet access. Truth be told, I didn’t really miss the smart features of the Solis X and actually prefer this option for my digital nomad needs.

Best 5G mobile hotspot: NETGEAR Nighthawk M5

NETGEAR’s Nighthawk M5 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro is one of the latest mobile hotspot devices to hit the market. NETGEAR is known for its high-quality router products, so I was curious to see how its portable wifi device would perform. The Nighthawk M5 5G Mobile Hotspot Pro did not disappoint. The device is easy to set up and use, and it offers fast reliable connectivity. I was also impressed by the Nighthawk’s battery life; I was able to use it for several hours before needing to recharge.

Theoretically, 5G can go as fast as 10 to 50 Gbps, but that’s a long way off. 5G mobile broadband should be 11 times faster than 4G if the signal is strong enough. However, there’s a catch: the Nighthawk M5 will only run at 5G speeds if you have a strong 5G signal. If you are in an outlying area, you may only get 3G or 4G speeds.

In real-world testing, I was able to consistently get speeds in excess of 100Mbps on both bands. The Nighthawk M5 also supports up to 32 concurrent connections, so you shouldn’t have any trouble connecting all your devices. It’s ideal for teams or small groups.

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Source: Netgear

One of the best features of the Nighthawk M5 is its battery life. NETGEAR claims that the Nighthawk M5 can last up to 13 hours on a single charge. In practice, I discovered that this varies greatly; Wifi-6 and 5G / LTE are simply power hogs. Nonetheless, a realistic time frame of 6 to 9 hours is still good value.

However, what makes the Nighthawk M5 stand out is the fact that it’s the first C-Band hotspot in the US. Let me offer a bit of context to explain why this is a great feature. While the services of the 5G networks aren’t exactly noticeably faster than 4G networks these days, this situation will change in the coming years. When this happens, you will need a C-Band gadget to be able to take advantage of the additional capacity.

Actually, the iPhone 12 and up phones, the Samsung Galaxy series starting from the S21, and Google Pixel 5 and above are already using C-Band. Before the Nighthawk M5, no mobile hotspot has ever supported this technology.

All these features come at a steep price of $699.99. This is generally more expensive than most mobile hotspot devices and plans.

Before you get one, make sure to check the model you’re buying. The US version doesn’t seem to support 5G outside North America, which means it’ll only work as a 4G hotspot abroad. According to Netgear, this hotspot device is most compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile. If you get the international version, you’ll be able to take advantage of a different group of 5G bands in most countries.

Best plug-and-play mobile hotspot: GlocalMe Mini Turbo Wi-Fi Hotspot

You can say goodbye to expensive international roaming charges and spotty public Wi-Fi with the GlocalMe Mini Turbo Wi-Fi Hotspot. This handy little device offers fast connection and dependable LTE coverage in over 140 countries, making it an indispensable travel companion for the modern digital nomad.

I had never used a touchscreen portable wifi before the GlocalMe G4 Pro Smart 4G Mobile Global Wi-Fi Hotspot. The previous mobile hotspots I used made the apps linked to the devices indispensable, which means I needed them whenever I had to check my remaining data or battery life. This made this particular mobile hotspot different. All those information are readily displayed on the 5-inch touchscreen of the GlocalMe G4 PRO as well as in its user friendly app.

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Source: GlocalMe

The touchscreen makes it easy and convenient to add data. Plus, it already has Google Maps, voice recognition translator, and TripAdvisor installed. Its straightforward interface and limited but essential options almost feel like a user-friendly apps on my smartphone, so there is an innate comfort in using it to set things up.

The GlocalMe Mini Turbo is also extremely simple to use; just insert a SIM card and connect up to 10 devices to the hotspot. With a battery life of up to 10 hours, you can be confident that you’ll always have a reliable connection, even on long trips.

Best unlocked mobile hotspot: Huawei E5576-320 Portable 4G

The Huawei E5576-320 Portable 4G is one of the low-cost options for mobile hotspot devices on the market. I was curious to see how this device would perform and how it would compare to the more expensive options, so I decided to put it to the test. I have to say, I was impressed with the Huawei E5576-320 Portable 4G.

With 150Mbps download speeds and 50Mbps uploads, this is a great mobile hotspot option that’s tiny, lightweight, and easy to transport. You can also connect up to 10 devices to this 4G mobile router, which has a standby time of 350 hours and a working time of 6 hours, thanks to its 1500mAh battery.

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The Huawei E5576 was easy to set up and use, and it provided a reliable connection even in areas with poor cell coverage. Unfortunately, this device only works in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and Europe. For countries outside this list like the US, Canada, and Mexico, you’ll need to get a separate Huawei hotspot device.

Overall, the Huawei E5576-320 Portable 4G is relatively affordable, making it a great option for budget-conscious digital nomads. Like the Skyroam Solis Lite, the Huawei E5576-320 Portable 4G is simply a no-frills low-cost mobile router. Basically, this mobile hotspot device focuses solely on connecting your gadgets to the internet, no matter where you are.

Best mobile hotspot for remote areas: Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L Wi-Fi Hotspot

Verizon’s Jetpack MiFi 8800L is one of the best mobile hotspot devices on the market. Like the previous models, this one also comes in matte black and gray and is a plastic oval that’s about the size of a deck of cards with a touchscreen front. It has two external antenna ports plus a USB-C port.

It can connect up to 15 devices at once and has a built-in battery that lasts up to 15 hours. On top of these, the Jetpack MiFi 8800L also works great for digital nomads who want to explore extremely rural areas. This is because unlike other units that can only see 3G in these remote places, Verizon’s wifi hotspot can actually still offer 4G LTE.

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Source: Verizon

If you’re worried about data overage charges, don’t be – Verizon offers unlimited data plans for Jetpack MiFi 8800L devices. So whether you’re working on the go or just want to stay connected while traveling, Verizon Jetpack MiFi 8800L is the perfect solution.

Best low-cost prepaid mobile hotspot: ZTE ZMax Connect MF928

As long as you have a compatible AT&T or T-Mobile prepaid service plan, you can use the ZTE ZMax Connect MF928 hotspot. Like most low-cost mobile hotspots, this device also comes in the form of a tiny black box that’s roughly the size of a playing card. Unlike the more expensive options like the Skyroam Solis X, it has no dedicated indicator for battery life or signal strength.

However, the ZTE ZMax Connect MF928 offers a special feature. It has a pair of TS9 antenna ports, which could be used to attach an external antenna to boost the signal. Its LTE covers AT&T and T-Mobile but doesn’t include Verizon and other foreign providers. Moreover, the hotspot’s internet speed tends to flounder when it reaches LTE performance. It becomes more problematic when additional you try to add more than two devices at a time, with the issue being more obvious when you’re having Zoom calls.

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I appreciate the wifi management options, though. I like the accompanying mobile app, which sends me updates on data usage and allows me to tweak the hotspot’s settings.

The ZMax Connect MF928 supports up to 10 devices at a time and can last up to 10 hours, making it ideal for international travelers and digital nomads who need to work remotely while on the road. Overall, the ZTE ZMax Connect MF928 is a great option for those who need a reliable and affordable mobile hotspot device.

How to maximize your mobile hotspot plan

Mobile hotspot plans evolve all the time. If you add a hotspot data plan to an existing “unlimited” phone plan, Verizon gives you up to 50GB of high-speed data, 40GB from AT&T, and 40GB from T-Mobile. Once you consume that, the carriers tend to “deprioritize” your data or start to throttle it randomly.

So if you’re an AT&T or Verizon subscriber, the best way to make the most of your mobile hotspot data plan is to add your hotspot line as a separate line to your pre-existing phone plan. That offers you the most data for your budget.

Reality check

Admittedly, some of the devices listed here are pretty old. That’s because mobile hotspots have not exactly progressed as quickly as other technologies. While I’m not thrilled over this lack of innovation, I’m still grateful that these mobile internet devices are available to make our lives easier. However, I’m hoping to see more wifi hotspots with the most advanced 5G technologies out in the market soon and making our digital nomad life easier and more convenient!

Conclusion

Talking about portable hotspot devices brings back memories, particularly one that started out cold and daunting. I was driving around the Ring Road in Iceland when the roads got narrower and icier. Everything was foggy, and I had no idea where I was since I couldn’t see anything. I couldn’t tell where I was going. Eventually, I realized that I had been driving in circles for hours on end, and it felt like there was no way out.

Thank goodness I had my mobile hotspot device with me, which turned out to be a lifesaver. I used it to help me navigate the Ring Road. The fact that I had something with me that allowed me to still be able to communicate with my family and friends as well as help me navigate the unknown place offered me an invaluable sense of comfort and relief.

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Truth be told, I would have felt a lot less safe traversing that road in Iceland without my mobile hotspot device. It just felt better because I knew I could rely on something in case of emergencies–or in this case, led me to a spectacular town with hot springs that soothe my frayed nerves and sore muscles.

These days, it’s hard to imagine life without the internet. Whether I’m working from a cafe in Barcelona or a hotel in Bali, I need to be able to stay connected. Plus, mobile hotspot devices have been a lifesaver. On more than one occasion, I’ve been out and about without any wifi, only to find that my mobile hotspot device has come to the rescue.

I’ve also used mobile hotspot devices to stay connected when travelling through remote areas where there is no cell service. So if you’re looking for a way to stay connected while on the go–whether you’re trying to check directions, find a nearby restaurant, or just stay connected with friends and family–I highly recommend investing in a mobile hotspot device. You’ll never know when you’ll need it!

Creating a Daily Routine to Ensure Long Term Success

Mobility Criteria 2. Develop a Daily Routine - Liveworkanywhere

Mobility Criteria #2: Creating a Daily Routine

Want to make a real difference in your life? You can and this begins with the actions that you take each day.

When you’re in the corporate world, your days all look relatively similar:

  • Get up
  • Get dressed
  • Listen to the news
  • Go to work
  • Get coffee
  • Check your email
  • Go to a meeting at 10
  • Have lunch at 12
  • Go to another meeting at 2
  • Go home at 5

However, they’re much different when you’re no longer in the corporate world because you get to dictate your own schedule when you work for yourself. This provides an overwhelming sense of freedom as you choose where to be and when. But… you might also feel a little lost. So, leaving the corporate world to work remotely requires that you establish a routine.

“Success is made in your daily routine.”

Success is found in your daily routine

I remember when I left Adobe, trying to imitate my schedule each day. Wake up (well, roll out of bed and go to my desk), get coffee, and start working at 9 am. But, what was I supposed to work on, exactly? Should I create meetings? With whom? Should I eat lunch at 12?

I would stay up until 3 am sometimes doing work because, in my head, staying up late meant that I was being productive. But I never quite got momentum and I wasn’t sure where to focus.

I was burning the candle at both ends with unpredictable results.

It took years to learn how to establish a routine yet, looking back, I realize it’s the most important thing I’ve ever done. Creating a daily routine helps keep me focused, on track, and productive. Sure, you get to dictate your schedule, but it’s the details in your daily routine that matter.

Routine leads to success. Make your routine robotic and your life will become less chaotic. It sounds ironic, but adding discipline into your routine actually allows you to have more freedom.

What does my daily routine look like?

My Daily Routine

Though it may vary by location, especially as someone who travels around the world crossing different time zones and cultures, I have a routine that I follow each day.

My routine beings with waking up by 7:30, then exercise and meditation for 35 minutes minimum, and then setting milestones and reviewing them. If my schedule changes or I have to run out in the morning before exercising, I adjust. But I still get the most important things done.

Then, with a cup of black tea and a light breakfast, I sit down and get at it.

First – and very important – I write a to-do list. I just use Notepad or an equivalent. I’ve tried several other tools, but this one works for me and I always default to it. I think it’s because it’s quick and reliable and just easy to read.

Next, my to-do list must be prioritized and milestones set. This reduces the amount of stress I feel and really helps my focus and clarity.

I’ve actually written my routine down and taped it to my wall. I had a blue Sharpie and piece of typewriter paper. I wrote down everything I needed to do each day to keep myself on track (even feeding my cat and brushing my teeth – not kidding) and I pinned it to my door.

Here’s what my blue Sharpie’s list looked like:

  • Get up by 7:30
  • Feed Jack 
  • Brush teeth
  • Eat small snack
  • Go to the gym
  • Work out for 35 minutes, burn a minimum of 500 calories
  • Eat blend of protein and carbs, low caffeine (exercise replaces caffeine)
  • Start work by 9 am
  • Set milestones
  • Review schedule
  • Make calls 10 am – 2 pm
  • Take a break at 2 pm go for a walk to energize
  • 3-5 pm for afternoon meetings
  • 5 pm take a break
  • Have dinner at 6 pm and spend time with family / friends
  • 7-9 pm go for a walk and spend time with family / friends
  • 9-11:30 pm prepare for the following day
  • Read something inspirational before falling asleep

Of course, life doesn’t always happen on autopilot, but what I am doing is forcing myself to create a schedule and stick to it.

Creating Your Own Daily Routine

Although this is what I do, don’t overlook the importance of establishing your own routine.

I suggest you come up with your own routine and write it down. I prefer not to waste paper and to have everything in one spot, so I use Notepad or TextEdit on Mac to store my daily milestone list. But come up with what works best for you.

I do want to note that there are a ton of productivity tools out there (Evernote, Reminder List, and tons of apps). Not that these aren’t good tools, but to manage yourself and your daily routine, you really just need something simple. By the time you learn to use a ‘tool,’ you will have wasted time you could have spent taking care of 5 items from your list. Notepad is just quick and what I call an anti- procrastinator.

(Note: Writing on a physical notepad works even better for committing thoughts to memory via the electromagnetic impulses in your fingers.)

Now, just do the routine for the habit-forming 21 days and you will start to do it without thinking. If you get off track, go back to your note.

But the important thing is, don’t delay. Create your list – and follow it.

With a posted routine, can you still be spontaneous? Yep. Can you go to your daughter’s soccer game? Yep. Just prepare your schedule in advance so you can arrange and rearrange and plan around it.

But most important is setting aside time to create and check in. Healthy body and healthy mind are of utmost importance. Find 4 hours per day. It doesn’t matter if you’re in Venice. You can find 4 hours to keep yourself on track.

Also, monitor what you do in your spare time. It’s good to be spontaneous but what you do in your spare time, how you choose to spend your time and with whom, is an indicator of your success.

We’ll get into more later about your routine and dissect your day but, for now, just remember routine is key. It may sound robotic but it’s a way to build routine into your day and to manage yourself and your life.

Go back to that list, often! Check in with yourself.

Tips for Daily Routine Success

Once you’ve established a routine, scripted it out, and learned how to have the discipline to follow your script, it helps to do some other things to help make the process easier.

Some of my best tips for daily routine success include:

  1. Go to bed early. Early to bed, early to rise. This keeps you out of trouble and helps you stay focused and fresh. The first thoughts of the day are most important.
  1. Get 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night. Do not try to be a ‘useless hero‘. Get sleep every night. Good sleep. It makes a huge difference. Burning yourself out helps no one.
  1. Exercise each day. Make this the first thing you do each morning (instead of drinking coffee). Aim for 35 minutes minimum, shortly after you wake up. No excuses. Do it for 21 days and you’ll notice the difference. Remember: Your physical health feeds your mental health. For me, this involves taking a walk, after which I am able to sit down, make a list of my milestones, and bust out the next 4-5 hours of hard, focused work.
  1. Meditate each day. Some people prefer to meditate upon waking up. For me, this doesn’t work. Instead, I meditate and prepare for the coming day during my daily morning walk or exercise because this is when my mind is most open to creative ideas and better able to focus. During the day, when my mind needs a break from stress or fatigue, I take another walk or listen to a meditation app and take the time to slow my heart rate and mind.
  1. Study each day. What you feed your mind is critical. Listen to audiobooks or read on Kindle. Consider business books or think about new skills you want to learn or practice. Reading in the morning stimulates creativity for later in the day and reading before you go to bed helps the mind stay focused and learning while you sleep. Steven Covey says that everything we know has a half-life of two years, so you must constantly be upgrading and sharpening your skills if you want to stay on top of your game and keep your business competitive.
  1. Break tasks into milestones. As you’ve learned in the milestones post, you want to break your tasks into achievable chunks. Then, accomplish those tasks. If one takes too long, break it into smaller, more achievable tasks.
  1. Think through your workflow. Think through your milestones in your head before you even sit down to produce. Envision yourself having a successful day. Visualize yourself accomplishing your milestones. Then execute like a boss.
  1. Put a time limit on tasks. Forced deadlines help you get focused. That’s why it is beneficial to time yourself. Can you get that project done in 30 minutes? Try it. Do the best you can.
  1. Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionists tend to either get termed lazy or uptight – neither of which is going to help you. Instead, set deadlines to let go of the sense of “perfect makes done.” DONE makes done. The more you time yourself to get things done in a limited period of time, the better you’ll train yourself over time to produce – and in a way that is satisfactory to you.
  1. Practice self-discipline. The most important aspect of being an entrepreneur, especially a traveling entrepreneur, is self-discipline. It is the ability to make yourself do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not. Follow your list. If you have an off day, it’s okay. Just don’t let it turn into two days. Get up and get back in routine as quickly as possible.
  1. Extinguish negativity. You only have so many hours in the day. Don’t get caught up in drama or in things that won’t move you forward. Don’t let other people, especially negative people, rule your thoughts during your day. Every second of the day belongs to you; it is your time, choose it carefully and selfishly. If you do have to interact with negativity, prep yourself beforehand and decide how you’ll handle the situation, how you’ll steer yourself back into focus. A little mental preparation before a tough situation can have a very powerful effect on the outcome.

Overnight successes take years on average. What every success story has in common is commitment. Never give up, ever.

Success is made in your daily routine.

This is one of 15 articles, each one addressing the 15 different mobility criteria necessary to live and work anywhere. To learn more about the remaining mobility criteria, click here

Create Daily Milestones from Daily, Weekly, & Monthly Goals

Mobility Criteria 1. Create Daily Milestones - Liveworkanywhere

Mobility Criteria #1: Create Daily Milestones 

Do you use Evernote, Trello, iPhone apps, or some other list-creating resource?

There are so many apps and blogs and posts about how we can create and check off our lists BUT…

We don’t always focus on list prioritization so we don’t get done the things we need to get done.

And even when we do, it’s still just one big long list that seems like an endless abyss.

That’s why it is important to create milestones. Daily, weekly, and monthly milestones.

What are milestones and how are they different than goals?

Milestones vs Goals

If your list has tasks like “release feature 3.0,” that’s a GOAL.

Instead, a milestone is something you can achieve that day. A milestone is also broken into tasks.

Let’s look at an example:

GOAL (30 days) = Release feature 3.0

Milestone (today) = Set up new project in git

Tasks (supporting the milestone) =

  • copy folder into local Sites directory
  • create new git repository
  • link local folder to online git repository

See the difference?

Basically, goals are long-term ideas of what you want to accomplish and milestones are the steps that you’re going to take to get there.

It’s About Hitting Goals

Milestones ultimately help you hit your goals.

One way to do this is to start with the end in mind and work backwards (see Steven Covey’s 2nd habit).

So…think about your business goals. What’s important to achieve this year? This month? This week? Now the tiniest chunk…today?

What can you do today that will have an impact on your business and move it forward?

Remember we are aiming for success, so you want to make your milestones achievable.

If your milestones aren’t achievable or feel overwhelming, then they are too big. Reduce them until they are the right size for you to accomplish them.

Rome wasn’t built in a day!

Sure, you might not get everything done on your to-do list, but getting 3 things accomplished is much better than getting 6 things half-finished all because you were trying to rope the moon.

Success Begets Success

Setting achievable milestones is also important in order to feel “done” or that you’ve accomplished something at the end of the day.

This makes you want to have that feeling over and over again so, in that way, success begets success.

Plus, there’s nothing more rewarding than deleting a task or milestone because you’ve accomplished it.

It’s done. No looking back.

You’ll sleep better, have more peace, and less stress.

Remove Guilt

Feeling overwhelmed and under-accomplished will kill you so you also have to remove guilt if you don’t accomplish every milestone you’ve set for yourself.

Things happen. If you can’t achieve them, just put them on tomorrow’s milestone list, and start over. Forgive yourself and move on.

This is important!

I am a perfectionist and a hard worker. If I can’t accomplish something, sometimes I take it personally. But we are human. We all fall. The important thing is to get back up and keep on going.

No strings. No emotion. Just get back in the ring. The sooner the better.

Are you ready to start creating your own daily, weekly, and monthly milestones?

Practical Exercise: Create Your Own Milestones

You are probably full of energy, ideas, and to-do’s that have been bubbling in your head as you’ve been reading. Now is the time to write them down and then narrow down the list.

Ask yourself: What’s been lingering that if you just took the time to get it done today you’d 1) feel better and 2) be able to focus on your other pressing milestones that you want and need to get to?

Right now, I want you to take out a piece of paper or your device and write:

What are my milestones today?

  1.  _________________________
  2.  _________________________
  3.  _________________________
  4.  _________________________

(Remember: Milestones must be achievable.)

Here’s an example list I’ve had:

Milestones today:

  1. Call / arrange the dentist (been waiting on this one forever even though it only takes 5 minutes!)
  2. Call Raj and ask about his schedule for tomorrow and Friday, lock in interview time
  3. Call Aweber and ask about transferring existing subscriptions
  4. Release Father’s Day campaign for Beer2Buds

These are small tasks, but they are each profound. Let’s take a deeper look at each one and why it was so important to my success…

  1. Health. If we don’t prioritize things like health they will come back to haunt us later.
  2. Meetings. This meeting was for hiring a new employee to do sales/biz dev.
  3. Task management. Calling a provider and technical setup for my user base.
  4. Business Development. Crafted and launched a newsletter, outbound content marketing to drive inbound sales.

Even though each one was important, notice that I didn’t add things that took more than 2 hours maximum and, at minimum, 5 minutes.

Now that you have your milestones set, commit to achieving them first thing in the morning.

Use Your Mornings to Your Advantage

Your most important part of the day is the morning. You’re freshest, your mind is the clearest, and you have the most energy.

After 4-5 hours of hard core productivity, your battery will start to run low. So use the time when you’re at your highest energy to accomplish those milestones.

If, once these are accomplished, you want to take on more, by all means do. But what we’re trying to avoid here is burnout or creating an endless list that will not get done.

What we’re also trying to accomplish is the creation of successful habits. Feeling good, feeling accomplished, having enough rest to keep your mind fresh for the next set of milestones.

We want achievable goals that we can reach in one day. If a task is longer than 2 hours, it’s too big. Break it down into smaller pieces.

Do this and, at the end of the day, you feel accomplished for what you’ve been able to do versus overwhelmed by what hasn’t gotten done. Then, do the same for tomorrow.

Having a hard time staying focused on hitting your milestones?

Refer Back to the List

When I get distracted or sidetracked, as often happens, I remember I have a list. I refer back to it and, in all her glory, there she is, telling me what to do.

I’m instantly back on track.

The beauty about having it written down? Have you ever found yourself in this scenario:

You’re hard at work. You’ve had your caffeine, read you’re online motivation, and you’re fired up, ready to get at it.

About 45 minutes into your hard work, your co-worker walks in. He got a haircut and a piercing. You comment on it.

“How was your weekend?” you ask. And it begins.

Thirty minutes later, ugh, you’re wondering, “What was I gonna do again?”

You’re adjusting in your seat. You take a bathroom break. “What was I gonna do again?”

Twenty minutes later the mailman comes. Your new Kindle arrived. Yes! You can’t play with it now because you have a meeting in 20 minutes. But you open it, turn it on, and show it off. Then you diligently put it away.

After your meeting, you sit down. The client was angry. You’re exhausted. You stare at your screen. “What was I gonna do again?”

“Oh yea, eat lunch.”

Before you know it, the day is gone and you’re left with nothing done.

Now…this is what a day looks like when you’re being productive, in the same scenario:

Each time you ask the question “What was I gonna do again?” you Ctrl+Tab back to your notepad.

There is your list. You read it and it refocuses you.

You are now back on track.

Manage yourself by what you wrote in the morning when you were in your most creative and productive zone.

Crack the whip on yourself! If you want to, say “yeehaw, back in the saddle again” each time. Or not. It’s up to you.

But when you create daily, weekly, and monthly milestones—and meet them—you’ll feel that kind of excitement!

This is one of 15 articles, each one addressing the 15 different mobility criteria necessary to live and work anywhere. To learn more about the remaining mobility criteria, click here