The one and only correct answer can be "VPN".
Simply using IPv6 would "work" (assuming the router isn't configured to firewall off the device, and all of ISP, device, and laptop support IPv6), but it is a terrible idea for the same reason port forwarding is.
Other than promoted by the well-known IPv6 propaganda, you actually do not ever want any of the devices on your LAN being uniquely identifiable or even accessible from the internet. No, that is not a good thing.
Port forwarding would "work" with good old IPv4, but it makes the device accessible not only to you but to everybody. Nobody knows, so that's no problem, right?
Well, there's an army of automated port scanners running 24/7 and scanning random addresses/ports in the hope anything, anywhere might possibly answer, so generally having any device that will answer to an external request online isn't optimal. If a device will happily have itself programmed according to what comes in via the network, that's a recipe for desaster.
The above is in principle true for VPN as well, but it's pretty much as good as you can get, if you want access. The only truly safe thing is no internet connection at all, which is not a practical option for obvious reasons. The next safest thing to "no internet" is VPN. Exactly one port on exactly one device (well, it depends, up to three ports), exposing VPN and nothing else, port-forwarded to the internet.
VPN lets you -- but nobody else -- access a device on your LAN via the internet as if you were on the same LAN (although a bit slower). It prevents unauthorized access, it provides confidentiality, and data integrity.
Virtually every no-shit router supports at least one flavor of VPN out of the box. Unluckily, depending on what router model you have, it may be a poor flavor of VPN or it may be poorly documented how to configure the remote computer. Still, despite the possible hassle of figuring out how to configure it -- if you have nothing better, that's by far the best option!
Most common NAS boxes support two or three no-suck methods of VPN, and every $20 credit-card sized 3 Watt computer can run a VPN server, no problem. Even many modern mobile phones support VPN without having to install extra software, so you can even access your home network when you're using your phone's mobile internet (via private hotspot, even).
For example, L2TP/IPSec may not be the most awesome choice, but it's 99% good and takes one minute to set up on my Disk Station and on my Samsung phone. Another minute if my Windows laptop is to use it as well (independently of the phone). No extra software needed.
OpenVPN takes like 3-5 minutes of setup because you'll have to download install the client software on the laptop. But in the greater picture, a 5 min setup counts as "zero", compared to being completely unsafe.