If you’ve ever seen an image of a person sitting in front of a laptop with the beach in the background and a fruity drink of some sort (complete with an umbrella) sitting within reach, you’ve witnessed the life of a digital nomad. Thanks to technology, digital nomads can work anywhere, anytime, and they often spend their lives traveling the globe between meetings.
This life sounds exotic to most, especially if your current job keeps you imprisoned in a cubicle for 8 hours a day. If thoughts of sandy beaches, warm breezes, and traveling the world sound too inviting to pass up, here are several tips to help you reach your digital nomad dreams:
1. Think About Your Work Requirements
While you’ll be able to work from just about anywhere, you’ll still need to connect with your employer or clients in a professional setting. A serviced office is a great solution for this as it gives you many of the services you need, including answering services, virtual meeting rooms, and an address that makes it appear as if you work from an office building and not on the beach sipping Mai Tais. Serviced offices can be found all over the world, and since they generally come with no lock-in contracts, you can move on whenever you’re ready to, without having to worry about breaking a lease.
2. Look for Locations with Established Digital Nomad Communities
Traveling to new places all the time can be lonely and overwhelming, but if you choose cities that have established digital nomad communities, you’ll have built-in support that will help you get acclimated faster.
Some destinations with established communities include Playa del Carmen (and other parts of Mexico), Canggu, Chiang Mai, Bali, and parts of Portugal. Of course, there are plenty more. Do your research, and look for digital nomad communities in the locations you wish to visit.
3. Get the Right Credit Cards and Bank Accounts
Traveling abroad can be expensive, especially if you don’t have a bank account and credit cards designed for traveling out of the country. For example, many banks charge fees for withdrawing money from ATMs that aren’t their own. The bank you withdraw from may charge a fee of their own too, leaving you with a stack of charges just for using your own money.
Charles Schwab is one bank that reimburses you for ATM fees. However, once again, it’s important to do your own research and find an institution that ticks all your boxes. The same thought goes for credit cards. Find a travel-focused card that doesn’t charge for foreign transactions.
4. Figure Out What to Do with Your Belongings
Deciding to become a digital nomad isn’t a spur-of-the-moment decision. It takes planning and preparation. You’ll need to figure out what to do with all your things, including your home or apartment. Ideally, you’ll want to finish your lease if you rent and then store all your things with family or in a storage unit.
If you own your home, consider renting it while you’re away or getting someone to manage an Airbnb service (if your city allows it). These options will give you a residual income while you’re away, which can come in handy while traveling.
Advancements in technology have opened the world up to those who wish to work and travel simultaneously. Many jobs can be done online, giving you the freedom to travel the world while still earning a healthy paycheck. If this lifestyle sounds enticing, follow the tips outlined above to begin your life as a digital nomad.