Looking to travel the world while getting work done and living on your own terms?
Hey, you and everyone else in the world!
Thankfully, more and more folks are adopting the digital nomad lifestyle and are totally crushing it.
And despite popular belief, becoming a digital nomad doesn’t necessarily mean throwing out your belongings and moving to the middle of nowhere.
Not by a long shot.
Digital nomads come in all shapes and sizes in terms of their professions, where they travel and how they manage to make the lifestyle work for them.
In this quick guide, we’ll break down exactly how to make the most of being a digital nomad and some key tips for first-timers looking to balance “work” and “play.”
Perhaps the biggest benefit of being a digital nomad is that you have to luxury of working from, well, wherever.
As long as you have an Internet connection and somewhere to set up to work, you’re golden.
Whether that means booking a multi-day Ft. Lauderdale vacation, taking a road trip through sunny California or nearby “staycation,” the choice is up to you.
What matters is that you’re regularly taking advantage of the fact that you can balance business and pleasure. Even if your long-term goal is to live abroad full-time, you can get a true taste of the lifestyle by working remotely from new locations as frequently as possible.
Arguably the best way to understand the challenges and benefits of being a digital nomad is to experience them firsthand: traveling more often will take you there faster.
Strive to Take Longer-Term Trips
On that note, longer-term trips do allow you to settle down and focus on getting work done.
For example, lengthy car-rides or plane trips can be taxing mentally and likewise eat into your work schedule.
On the flip side, sticking to a single travel spot for a week or two allows you to knock out your work at a stress-free pace while really connecting to local culture. This affords you an awesome opportunity to get to know a specific city on a more personal level versus just “passing through.”
Evaluate Your Living Situation
As noted, becoming a digital nomad doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t have a “home base.”
That being said, if you’re consistently away from home then your mortgage payment or apartment might be burning a hole in your pocket.
There are tons of myths about passive income out there, especially for digital nomads. One idea for those spending time traveling without completely giving up your home is putting up your room or entire house on AirBNB (if possible). If nothing else, strive to eliminate as many needless payments (such as cable) for your home to keep costs down.
Rack Up Your Airline Miles
Here’s another smart tip for making money while away from home.
If you’re consistently flying from Point A to Point B, it only makes sense to rack up airline miles and rewards for future trips. Sticking to a single airline’s loyalty program or signing up for an airline credit card is a no-brainer for frequent flyers. Some of the best airline credit cards can be found for many of the major brands such as Delta, United and Southwest.
Do Your Homework on Destinations
A simple tip, but definitely one worth noting. When scouting places to potentially travel to, make sure that you can actually work there. In other words, don’t go somewhere so remote that you can’t get work done or find an Internet connection.
Don’t Count Out International Vacation Spots
For newbie nomads and those on a budget, taking a trip to work abroad might seem like a pipe dream.
Guess what? It doesn’t have to be. Highlighted by some of the most affordable international destinations such as Thailand, Vietnam and Portugal, it’s more than possible to go abroad even if you’re strapped for cash.
Invest in Reliable Tech for Travel
Although many digital nomads are indeed thrifty, one area you can’t afford to skimp on is your work gear.
Think about it. Are you equipped with the essential gear for digital nomads including adapters, chargers and mobile hotspots? Likewise, are you relying on trusted brands or something that’s going to fall apart while you’re on the road? Read reviews and be smart when shopping: you’re only as good as your gear when away from home.
Plan for Delays and Emergencies
If your job requires you to work and communicate with multiple clients, make a point to have some wiggle room in your schedule in terms of deadlines and meetings. For example, you never know when you might hit a delay or can’t find a quiet spot to work that you thought was a sure thing.
Rather than needlessly stress out over these inconveniences, accept them as part of the lifestyle. Keep your clients and customers in the loop via email as needed.
Don’t Forget to Get Work Done
Last but not least, make sure that you block off a few hours per day for “deep work.” It can be tempting to just blow off your tedious tasks in lieu of sipping cocktails on the beach. However, don’t forget the work that afforded you this lifestyle in the first place!
Although many people are laser-focused on becoming digital nomads, don’t neglect what it means to make the most of your journey once you’ve made the leap. By sticking to these tips, you can do exactly that as you combine doing business with adventure in your day-to-day life.