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 
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
Are you tired of the 9 to 5 grind? Are you longing for a more fulfilling work life balance? Do you want to leave that draining office job to see the world and experience new cultures? Living as a digital nomad and pursuing remote work can give you the freedom and flexibility to live and work online anywhere in the world and follow your own schedule. With so many benefits, the lifestyle of a digital nomad is definitely worth exploring.
In this blog post, we are going to discuss 10 digital nomad tips for living your best life as an escapee who is now working online without having any fixed location or office space at all times.
Create a daily routine that works for you.
If you want to be productive and organized, it is important that your daily routine works for YOU. Whether you are your own boss in your own business or work remote for a different business or many offices, you still need to a work schedule if you want to sustain your digital nomad life.
An effective way for most digital nomads is to create a daily routine where all tasks are completed in order each day. This is a great productivity tip that could help keep remote workers on track with all projects while also allowing enough time between meetings or deadlines, so you don’t get stressed out!
Make sure you have a good internet connection and strong power wherever you go.
Living a digital nomad lifestyle can be tough without the right tools. While it’s amazing to travel around the world, digital nomadism doesn’t mean stopping working your remote jobs or growing your own company.
That means you need to have reliable wifi and enough power to get stuff done from wherever you’re working! Digital nomads favor coffee shops and co working spaces since these typically offer good wifi and even power sockets.
We all know the feeling of carrying around heavy bags, especially after a long day. It’s no fun! To avoid this from happening to you on your trip, break up everything into smaller packages and take only what is necessary for each destination. Do NOT overdo it with souvenirs or other goodies that might end up taking up space in an already full backpack/suitcase combo. You’ll thank yourself later when walking through airports, terminals, and arrival halls.
Always keep in mind that the key to a successful trip is packing light. You’ll want your bag as small and portable as possible so you can move quickly and explore on foot instead of riding in cars or buses all day long!
Create a budget and stick to it.
Your budget should serve like a leash – you don’t want to get too far away from it or else your spending could spiral out of control. Mindful spending is one of the keys to financial freedom, especially as a digital nomad.
If you want to stay on top of your finances and save money, create a budget and do your best to only spend on things you planned for in advance. There are plenty of ways for you to get creative when staying within the realms of reality-based spending habits!
Just sit down with pen in hand, or better yet pencil—whatever works for your particular style. Start writing out all the things that are going into each category like groceries, transportation, accommodation, foreign transaction fees, travel insurance, and communication expenses. Accidents happen, so don’t forget about emergencies either.
Once those numbers are set, stick with them like glue because any change will throw off everything else if it isn’t intentional. Make sure that whatever money is going into the bank account has been planned for in advance, so you keep the surprises to a minimum!
Find like-minded people to travel and work with.
Travelling can often be a solo affair, but it can also be an incredible time for making connections, mingling with fellow travelers, and meeting other digital nomads every now and then. You can join online and offline communities of likeminded people to share travel tips and experiences. For example, you can search for Facebook groups that cater to like-minded fellow globe trotters or digital nomads for some company on future adventures or simply share tips about how not to get lost in any foreign country.
Explore, relax, and recharge.
Traveling and leading a digital nomad life don’t need to be an exhausting, whirlwind experience. It can also provide you with some much-needed rest and relaxation time to simply enjoy the traveling process and achieve a better work life balance.
Take this period to discover what makes your heart sing, such as an activity that can teach you new skills or attend local events. Find out what makes those endorphins going. You might even want get off the tourist trail or popular digital nomad destinations and go sightseeing at local hotspots that are visited less by others!
Document your journey.
I know that sometimes, like with memories or experiences (or both!), there is a feeling of fleetingness. As digital nomads, it’s easy to forget all the fantastic things we’ve seen in our lives when it happens so fast. Documenting your journey can help! It’ll ensure that each adventure you get into has its own place and turns into an unforgettable story.
Keep a journal of your adventures. Take pictures of the wonderful places as well. That way, you’ll be able to look back on all the different locations that molded you into the person you are today. These will also help you remember (or even relive!) what it felt like when things first started getting interesting in your journey.
Learn some basic phrases in the local language.
The local language is key to understanding the culture and making new friends in the community. Learn some basic phrases before you go, so that when people are trying their best to speak to you in English (which everyone mostly does), they’ll be pleasantly surprised by your effort and interest in their own language.
Not everyone has the same experience or culture as you do, so be open-minded when you travel, attend events, and meet locals in a new destination! Remember that people are different. Embrace those differences rather than judge them. You will appreciate and learn more about people and yourself by being receptive to fresh ideas and new things.
Be open to new experiences.
What is the one thing every person should do before they die? It’s not eating chocolate cake, drinking alcohol, or taking drugs. The answer to life’s most important question — what makes you happy – lies within embracing new experiences. As cliché as it sounds: diversity really does = strength!
Learn about other cultures by traveling outside your comfort zone. The world is a fascinating place, and there’s no better time than now to explore it. You will learn about yourself by experiencing something new each day of your journey. Don’t be afraid to become untethered. This is how you grow and learn.
Whether you’re just starting your journey as a digital nomad or looking to change careers, check out our article on How to Become a Digital Nomad to help make your transition into this path easy, efficient, and successful.
Because no two digital nomads are the same, there is no one-size-fits-all solution and the learning curve can be different for everyone. However, a few general tips about the digital nomad lifestyle can make it a little less daunting especially in a new location. What about you? What tips can you share with the digital nomad community?
Being on a beach and making money from a laptop is the dream of thousands of aspiring digital nomads. With just a laptop and an internet connection, digital nomads can work from anywhere in the world – whether they’re exploring Europe, soaking up the sun in Southeast Asia, or enjoying a coffee in a local cafe.
Of course, becoming a digital nomad is not as simple as packing your bags and saying goodbye to your cubicle. There are a few things you need to do before you can start living a digital nomad life.
What is a digital nomad?
The best way to become a digital nomad is to first understand what it is and what it isn’t. Contrary to popular belief, being a digital nomad doesn’t mean working from a laptop on a beach somewhere and sipping cocktails (though that is certainly part of it). It’s actually a lot more than that.
A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to make a living, whether that’s through freelance work, online businesses, or some other form of income. The key defining factor is that they’re location independent, which means they can work from anywhere in the world.
Basically, a digital nomad is a term used for people who travel the world with a laptop and a backpack. It used to primarily mean young professionals and entrepreneurs who could up and leave, travel somewhere warm and inexpensive, and play geographical arbitrage with where to live/work.
But the truth is that anyone can become a digital nomad, even with no prior experience or skills. I started LiveWorkAnywhere in 2007 with the goal of figuring out how to become a digital nomad. I bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica in 2009 and never looked back.
I learned the hard way, on low-bandwidth, shared Internet, and before smartphones existed. I want to help you navigate the hurdles I experienced and get you living the digital nomad lifestyle now.
We’ve come a very long way to 2022. Really, with high-speed Internet being abundant and everyone having a laptop and smartphone, there’s no excuse not to become a digital nomad. The only obstacles typically are planning and preparation, and taking the leap.
I still have the same mission – for every single person to be able to become a digital nomad and be location independent if they choose.
So if you’re curious about digital nomadism or want to become a digital nomad, here’s everything you need to know.
First things first – let’s start with the basics.
Who is a digital nomad?
The term “digital nomad” conjures images of 20-somethings working on their laptops from exotic beaches, but the reality is that anyone can become a digital nomad. As of 2022, almost half of digital nomads across the globe are in their 30s, with roughly 35% being in the 40-59 age group.
A digital nomad is simply someone who works remotely, without being tied to a specific location. This can be done by working for a remote company, or by running a location-independent business.
A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely, often from different locations around the world. This can mean anything from working on your laptop at a coffee shop in Paris to running a business from your RV as you travel across America. There are many benefits to being a digital nomad, including the ability to work from anywhere in the world and the freedom to create your own schedule.
The key defining factor of a digital nomad is that they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.
Simply, it’s a person with a laptop who works online and has the freedom to be anywhere, anytime.
Digital nomadism is a rapidly growing lifestyle with more and more people looking to escape the traditional workforce and live a laptop lifestyle.
Before learning how to become a digital nomad, it’s important to understand the two types of digital nomads:
Type One: The digital nomad who wants to live the laptop lifestyle but also maintains a home base. They often have an apartment or condo in a city they frequently return to.
Type Two: The digital nomad who wants to travel the world and work from anywhere. They often have no permanent home base, living out of a suitcase most of the time.
The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone – it takes a lot of planning, self-discipline, and motivation. But if you’re looking for freedom, flexibility, and adventure, digital nomadism might be for you.
Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about digital nomads:
What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?
I’d love to tell you that being a digital nomad is all rainbows and butterflies. But, as with everything, you have to balance the good and the bad. Before you decide if you truly want to become a digital nomad, it’s crucial to know the pros and cons of the nomad life.
Pros of becoming a digital nomad
The digital nomad lifestyle is often romanticized as a life of constant travel and adventure. While it’s true that digital nomads do enjoy a great deal of freedom, there are also some very practical benefits to this lifestyle.
One of the biggest advantages is that it allows you to be with your family when they need you and without having to sacrifice your career. With traditional jobs, it can be difficult to take time off for family emergencies or even just for quality time together.
But with a digital nomad lifestyle, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. That means that if your family needs you, you can be there for them without having to worry about work because of your location independence.
As for those with young children, you can even homeschool them while you travel the world and work remotely. So if you’re looking for a way to balance your career and your family life, the digital nomad lifestyle is an excellent option.
Another major advantage of being a digital nomad is the ability to make money from anywhere across the globe online – and, never have to stop exploring the planet. The digital nomad life is the perfect way to see the world and have amazing adventures while getting paid to do it.
Being a digital nomad means having a remote job, which allows you to live a nomadic lifestyle. That means you can move around and travel as you please.
Plus, you have the freedom and flexibility to work on your own schedule. You’re your own boss, so you can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.
One more benefit for digital nomads is that there’s no such thing as office politics. No more water cooler gossip, no more backstabbing colleagues, and no more worrying about what your boss thinks of you. No more having to tiptoe around the delicate egos of your co-workers or kiss up to the boss in hopes of getting a raise.
Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t any politics in the digital world – after all, there are still plenty of people vying for attention and clients. But digital nomads are quick to point out that politics are very different when you’re not dealing with people face-to-face.
When you work online, though, it’s easier to focus on improving productivity, becoming more efficient remote workers, and honing their digital nomad skills to land highly coveted remote jobs.
Finally, the digital nomad life is often one of increased motivation and effectiveness their remote jobs. Whether it’s the stunning beaches of Bali or the rolling hills of Tuscany, there’s no doubt that working surrounded by natural beauty can be a huge boost to creativity and productivity.
Being able to work remotely means that nomads are not tied to one location and can choose to work from wherever they desire. This flexibility often leads to nomads seeking locations that offer stunning natural beauty, as the peaceful surroundings can help boost their innovative spirit and ingenuity.
After all, there’s nothing quite like working from a sun-drenched beach or a snowy mountain cabin to get the creative juices flowing.
Cons of becoming a digital nomad
The nomadic life isn’t for everyone. It isn’t all Instagrammable avocado toast and #wanderlust. In fact, most digital nomads eventually crumble under pressure and give up on their nomadic dream. For those who manage to stick it out, there are a few disadvantages to contend with.
First, there’s the matter of constantly being on the move. Remote work may be freeing in some respects, but it can also be exhausting. You never really get to put down roots anywhere, and you’re always saying goodbye to friends and colleagues.
Second, there’s the issue of isolation. Most digital nomads work remotely, which means they don’t have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers or meet new people on a regular basis. When you’re living out of a suitcase, it can be difficult to connect with people on a deeper level.
Third, it can be really tough to stay focused when you’re constantly on the move. There’s no such thing as a “normal” day when you’re a nomad, which can make it hard to stick to a routine or get into a productive flow state to quickly fulfill your remote job responsibilities.
Fourth, let’s not forget about all the logistical challenges that come with living a nomadic life – think finding a place to live and work that has good stable internet connection. Whether you’re working from a co-working space in Bali or your van parked in a campsite in Joshua Tree, reliable internet access is not always guaranteed.
This can make it difficult to stay in touch with family and friends back home, as well as stay on top of work deadlines. Living a nomad life often means having to deal with unreliable internet connections and a lack of reliable infrastructure.
Fifth, the nomadic lifestyle has a few hidden costs that can add up quickly, such as health insurance and travel expenses. You’ll need to find a way to pay for your own health insurance. This can be a challenge, as most traditional health insurance plans don’t cover nomads who are constantly on the move.
There are a few options available, such as nomadic insurance plans or international health insurance, but they can be expensive. Make sure to do your research before choosing a plan.
Finally, there’s the question of financial stability. For most digital nomads, being financial unstable is just a part of the package. Remote work gives us the freedom to pick up and move to wherever we want, but it also means saying goodbye to the stability of a regular paycheck.
Because when your income is derived from remote work, there’s always the possibility that you could lose your job or clients at any time. And even if you do have a steady stream of work, the nomadic lifestyle can be expensive, since you’re always on the move and often have to pay for things like accommodation and transport in advance.
So, if you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad, just know that it’s not all glamping and yoga retreats. There’s a lot of hard work and uncertainty involved. For those who live nomadically, financial insecurity is just a fact of life. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Sure, it can be scary not knowing how much money you’ll have coming in each month. But it also teaches us to be resourceful and budget carefully.
Path One: Quit your job and travel the world. This is the path I took and it’s not for everyone. It requires a high-risk tolerance. I tend to leap and then figure out the steps.
Path Two: Transition into digital nomadism gradually. If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can start by working remotely a few days a week. Once you’re comfortable with that, transition into working remotely full-time. You can kick off with a side hustle then move into that or ask your boss for a few days per week to prove you can be productive.
Requesting that arrangement from your boss shouldn’t be a problem. After all, the remote working trend is not new, and it appears to be taking off due to the changes caused by COVID-19.
In 2021, many companies are beginning to offer their employees a chance at permanently being able to do their jobs from home. In 2021, 42% of US employers report that their staff have to work from home. While we have yet to see permanent changes, 66% of the respondents are optimistic that remote work will become a fixture in time.
Path Three: Start a digital nomad business. This is the path most digital nomads prefer as it gives them the most flexibility and freedom. Actually, over 53% of remote workers point out that flexibility is the most highly appreciated perk they enjoy in being a digital nomad. You can work from anywhere, anytime, and don’t have to quit your job.
If you’re ready to take the leap and become a digital nomad, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started and give you an idea on how to become a digital nomad.
Step One: Plan Your Escape
The first step is to plan your escape. For the remote worker, the appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is obvious: freedom. But with that freedom comes a great responsibility: choosing the right destination.
After all, not all remote-friendly destinations are created equal. Some offer access to fast internet and a vibrant community of other remote workers, while others are nothing more than a remote wasteland where you’ll be lucky to find a decent cup of coffee, let alone a strong Wi-Fi signal.
So how do you choose the right destination for your digital nomad adventure?
Some popular digital nomad destinations include:
For starters, there’s Bali. This Indonesian island is a mecca for remote workers, thanks to its laid-back vibes and idyllic setting. Bali has everything a digital nomad could want, from beautiful beaches to jungle trekking and amazing food. Plus, it’s relatively budget-friendly and easy to get around.
If you’re looking for a more urban experience, Taipei is quickly becoming one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in the world. There are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes where remote workers can set up shop, and the city is incredibly easy to navigate. And, thanks to its convenient location and relatively affordable cost of living, Taipei is an ideal base for exploring Asia.
Another popular digital nomad destination is Thailand, and it’s not hard to see why. The country has a great climate, friendly people, and plenty of remote work opportunities. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to live here, which is important for location-independent workers who need to watch their bottom line.
Meanwhile, remote workers who are looking for a change of scenery will find Puerto Rico appealing with its mix of sun, surf, and culture. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to become a digital nomad in Puerto Rico. There are no special visas or permits required, and the cost of living is relatively low.
Mexico is also a convenient destination for digital nomads who want to be close to the United States. With its close proximity, it’s easy to hop on a plane and head back to the States for a quick work trip or visit with family and friends. And, of course, Mexico is also a popular tourist destination, so you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a beautiful country with plenty of things to do and see.
Barcelona is another great destination for digital nomads. The city has a lively atmosphere and is packed with bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also a number of coworking spaces that offer reliable internet connection, which makes it easy to find a place to work. In addition, Barcelona is well-connected, with excellent public transportation and an airport that offers direct flights to many European cities.
If you have no specific country in mind, you can start your search with the kind of accommodation you envision living in.
For example, what better way to achieve location independence than by living on a boat? While it may sound like a lifestyle reserved for the rich and famous, there are a number of affordable options for would-be digital nomads.
Houseboats, for instance, can often be rented for a fraction of the cost of an apartment, and many marinas offer special rates for long-term tenants.
If you’re a remote worker who wants to take the show on the road, there’s no better option than a yurt. These circular dwellings have been used by nomadic peoples for centuries, and they offer all the comforts of home while still providing a sense of adventure. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to set up and take down, making them the perfect option for the digital nomad who likes to move around frequently.
Most importantly, yurts can be easily adapted to any climate, whether you’re looking to escape the winter cold or enjoy a summer in the mountains. So if you’ve ever dreamed of living a life of location Independence, a yurt just might be the perfect option for you.
Step Two: Quit Your Job (or transition into digital nomadism gradually)
If you’re ready to quit your job and become a digital nomad, here are the steps to take:
Talk to your boss about working remotely. This is becoming more and more common as technology allows us to work from anywhere.
Give notice and start transitioning into working remote a few days a week.
Transition into working remotely full-time.
If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can transition gradually into digital nomadism by:
Working remotely a few days a week.
Taking vacation time to travel and work from different locations.
Starting a digital nomad business.
Step Three: Earn income online
The next step is to generate revenue. There are a few ways digital nomads earn income:
Assess your skillset. What kind of work can you do online? Are you a web developer? A graphic designer? A writer? Once you know what kind of work you can do, start reaching out to clients and employers in your field. Many companies are now open to hiring remote workers, so don’t be afraid to ask around.
Find something you’re good at and start offering your services online. Once you have a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.
Step Four: Get Organized
The next step is to get organized and start planning your travels. Where do you want to go? How long do you want to stay there? What are your accommodation and transport options? Once you have all the logistics sorted, it’s time to hit the road and begin your digital nomad life.
If you choose to become a digital nomad gradually instead of jumping right into it, make sure to set up a workstation in your house with a good internet connection, power outlets, and a comfortable chair.
Step Five: Hit the Road
Now it’s time to hit the road! Start by booking your flight and accommodation. Once you’re in your destination, start looking for co-working spaces, cafes with good WiFi, and places to stay.
How do I make money as a digital nomad?
The digital nomad lifestyle offers a lot of freedom, but it also requires you to be more organized and self-disciplined than the average person. If you can master those two things, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful digital nomad!
There are many ways digital nomads make money while they travel. The most popular include freelancing, consulting, online courses, blogging, and affiliate marketing.
Freelancing is a great way to make money as a digital nomad. You can work in a variety of industries and fields, from writing and editing to web design and development.
To get started, create a profile on a freelancing platform like Upwork or Fiverr. Then, start bidding on projects that interest you. Once you land a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.
Consulting is another great way to make money as a digital nomad. If you have expertise in a particular field, you can offer your services to companies and individuals all over the world.
Another excellent way to generate income as a digital income is through starting a blog. You can monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products like e-books and courses.
Affiliate marketing is also a wonderful way to make money as a digital nomad. It involves promoting other people’s products or services and earning a commission for every sale you make.
To get started, sign up for an affiliate marketing program like Amazon Associates or CJ Affiliate. Then, find products or services that you believe in and start promoting them on your blog or social media channels.
How to earn passive income as a digital nomad
Passive income is the dream, particularly for a digital nomad – you never have to stop traveling. However, setting up passive income takes work.
As a digital nomad, an ideal way to continue funding this lifestyle is to generate passive income. This way, even when you’re not working, you can still earn money.
Investing in real estate as a digital nomad can be a terrific way to generate passive income. It’s the best way that I’ve found over the years to travel and have income. You can buy properties in desirable locations and rent them out to short-term tenants.
Or, you can purchase dividend-paying stocks and bonds or online real estate investment funds that will provide you with regular income payments.
Starting your own online business is also a fantastic way to earn passive income, as digital nomads often have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they can do. A survey among digital nomads worldwide in 2022 revealed that most are self-employed, with more than 65% owning their own business.
For example, you could start an online store that sells products related to your niche. Or, you could launch a blog and sell digital products like e-books and online courses.
There are many different ways digital nomads can generate passive income. By choosing a couple of methods that interest you, you can create a reliable stream of revenue that will help fund your travels for years to come!
If you’re interested in generating passive income as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best ways to do it.
How to find digital nomad jobs?
What are the best digital nomad jobs? Where can you find them?
There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. The internet has opened up a whole world of opportunities for remote workers. With a little ingenuity and some hard work, it’s possible to find digital nomad jobs that offer the ideal blend of location independence, remote work, and decent income.
The best way to find these jobs is to start by looking at the skills that you already have. That is, the best digital nomad job for you will depend on your skillset, interests, and goals. Wondering where to begin?
To find remote job openings, start by searching job boards and websitesthat specialize in this sector. In the past, remote jobs were mostly reserved for highly skilled professionals with in-demand skills, such as software developers and designers. However, with the rise of the internet and the growing popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle, there are now a number of job boards that target digital nomad communities.
These job boards offer a wide range of remote jobs, from customer service and administrative positions to online marketing and social media jobs. Because they cater to remote workers, they often have a number of free resources online and tips for landing a remote job. If you’re interested in working online, be sure to check out one of these remote job boards.
Once you’ve found a few promising leads, it’s time to start applying. When applying for remote jobs, be sure that your profile matches the job description and highlight your digital nomad skills, such as the ability to work independently and manage your time effectively. With patience and effort, you can land the perfect remote job and start enjoying the freedom of working online.
While this digital nomad lifestyle has a lot of benefits, it can also be difficult to find steady work. That’s why I put together this guide on how to find digital nomad jobs. It features a list of skills, courses, and even personality traits to help you with your digital nomad journey.
The courses include suggestions for those just starting out, or you are already mid-career. You can choose a niche and become highly proficient in that niche.
What kinds of online businesses are best to start for digital nomads?
Digital nomads are a growing breed of entrepreneur. These remote workers are not tethered to a traditional office, and they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. If you’re a digital nomad, or if you’re thinking about becoming one, you might be wondering what kind of online business is best to start. Here are a few ideas to get you started.
There are many different types of businesses digital nomads can start.
A business you can jumpstart immediately is freelancing. If you have skills in writing, web design, social media marketing, or any other area, you can start offering your services to clients online. However, remote work is not for everyone.
If you’re the type of person who needs structure and support in order to get work done, then freelance remote work is probably not for you. You need to be able to motivate and organize yourself in order to be successful in this remote profession.
However, if you’re the type of person who thrives on independence and enjoys being your own boss, then remote work can be an excellent option.
You can offer your services as a virtual assistant. Also known as a VA, a virtual assistant is a remote worker who provides administrative, creative, or technical support to clients from a remote location.
Depending on the freelance clients’ needs, virtual assistants could oversee everything from social media management to graphic design to customer service. Versatility is key when it comes to being a VA. This is a great option if you’re organized, detail-oriented, and good at managing your time.
Another option is to launch a remote job board. This can be a great way to help businesses connect with talented workers from around the globe. To succeed in this business, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the market. You’ll also need to put together an effective marketing strategy to reach your target audience.
One more excellent track for digital nomads is starting an online store. The internet has made it possible for anyone to become an online entrepreneur, and there are a number of platforms that make it easy to get started. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you launch your e-commerce empire.
First, you need to choose a niche. What are you going to sell? For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you could leverage your own blog to sell travel guides or e-books on your website. Second, you need to decide how you’re going to fulfill orders. Are you going to dropship? Finally, you need to establish a remote work schedule and lifestyle that will allow you to run your business effectively.
Fortunately, there are a number of free resources online available to help you get started as a digital nomad. Once you have the basics down, you can start selling your products and services online with relative ease. You can sell physical or digital products related to your niche.
If you’re interested in becoming an online entrepreneur as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best businesses to start.
Where can I find digital nomad communities?
A full-time digital nomad can go anywhere. But, one of the biggest challenges digital nomads face is loneliness.
There’s no shortage of digital nomad communities out there. Digital nomad communities can be found all over the world, from the beaches of Bali to the streets of Berlin. You might say that there are too many of them!
There’s no one digital nomad community – they’re spread all across the globe. You can find digital nomads in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between. There are even digital nomad communities in remote locations, like deserts and mountains. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the perfect one for you.
The first step is to decide what kind of community you’re looking for. Do you want a large, active community with tons of events and activities, or a smaller, more intimate group? There are pros and cons to both choices, so it’s important to decide what’s most important to you.
Once you’ve got a general idea of the kind of community you’re looking for, the next step is to start your search. The best way to find a digital nomad community is to search online. There are a number of online forums and groups dedicated to digital nomads, and many of them are very active.
You can also find digital nomad meetups in most major cities, and these are a great way to meet other digital nomads, gain new friends, and learn about the lifestyle.
Finally, if you’re traveling to a popular digital nomad destination, such as Bali or Chiang Mai, there are likely to be a number of digital nomad communities already established there.
For those who feel chained to their desk by the digital world, digital nomad communities may seem like a far-off dream. However, these digital oases are more common than you might think. Just a few of the most popular include:
NomadBase: A digital nomad community located in Thailand that is open to digital nomads from all over the world.
Nomad House: A digital nomad community located in Spain that offers temporary co-working space and lodging for digital nomads.
The Dojo: A digital nomad community located in Bali that offers a variety of amenities for digital nomads.
So, whether you’re looking for online or in-person digital nomad communities, you should have no trouble finding what you’re looking for.
Digital Nomad Checklist: Guide to Freedom
The digital nomad lifestyle is one of freedom and flexibility, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. There’s more to it than just packing your laptop and heading off into the sunset.
In order to be a successful digital nomad, you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need to stay productive (and sane) while working remotely.
If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into the world of remote work, there are a few things you’ll need to check off your list first. Here’s a digital nomad checklist to help you get started:
A good laptop
This is pretty much essential for any digital nomad, so it’s non-negotiable. To find the best laptop for your digital nomad needs, it’s important to do your research.
Remember, not all laptops are created equal. While there are many great laptops on the market, some are better suited for digital nomads than others.
In general, digital nomads should look for laptops that can handle the demands of remote work, such as video conferencing and multitasking, and promise long battery life and a good selection of ports.
If you’re constantly on the go, you’ll want a laptop that’s lightweight and portable. But if you’re mainly working from coffee shops and co-working spaces, you might prefer something with a little more horsepower. And of course, price is always a factor.
It’s vital that you look for a machine that can handle all your work needs whether you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, or web developer, there’s a laptop out there that will suit your needs. You’ll need something reliable to work on, after all!
A good internet connection
Digital nomads are a growing tribe of people who have embraced the freedom of working remotely. Whether it’s for a short-term project or an extended period of travel, digital nomads rely on portable wifi to stay connected and productive.
While the digital nomad lifestyle has its perks, it can also be fraught with challenges, particularly when it comes to finding reliable internet.
Fortunately, there are now some great portable wifi options available for digital nomads, making it easier than ever to stay connected while on the go. Portable wifi hotspots offer a fast, reliable way to get online, whether you’re working from a coffee shop in Bangkok or a hostel in Rio de Janeiro.
Since they rely on cellular data networks instead of wifi hotspots, they’re much more reliable than relying on public wifi. Moreover, the fact that they’re small and lightweight makes them easy to take with you wherever you are in the world.
A place to live
For digital nomads, the world is their oyster – but finding a place to stay can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few great resources that can help digital nomads find housing in their next destination.
First, there are websites specifically devoted to digital nomad housing, like NomadBase and Roam. These sites offer a variety of options, from co-living spaces to private apartments, and they make it easy to find housing that fits your budget and lifestyle.
You can also try search engines like Booking, VRBO, and Airbnb, which often have an extensive selection of digital nomad rentals available for a few weeks or months at a time. Most digital nomads choose co-living spaces specifically designed for the digital nomad lifestyle.
Finally, don’t forget about good old-fashioned networking – tell your friends and family you’re looking for somewhere to stay, and they might be able to show you the ideal place to suit your needs.
A comfortable place to work
You’ll need to be comfortable working remotely. That means being able to stay focused and motivated without an office environment or set hours. You’ll need to find some remote work-friendly spots.
Coffee shops and libraries are always good bets. Some even enjoy working in hotel lobbies. But, co-working spaces are overall the best option for most digital nomads when it comes to remote work.
With the growing number of digital nomads, it comes as no surprise that there are also a growing number of coworking spaces that cater specifically to this group. These coworking spaces often offer features like fast Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, and comfortable seating. In addition, some digital nomad coworking spaces provide amenities like bike storage, showers, and on-site cafes.
One great option is to search for digital nomad coworking spaces that offer a variety of seating options, like standing desks, lounge areas, and private meeting rooms. This way, you can mix up your workday and avoid sitting in the same spot for hours on end.
Another tip is to look for coworking spaces that have lots of natural light and plenty of outlets for charging your devices. And finally, be sure to check out the amenities offered and ensure they offer everything (or at least most things) you need.
Noise canceling headphones / earbuds
You’ll be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and trust me, you don’t want to hear your seatmate’s phone conversations. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones will come in handy, both for blocking out distractions and for making video calls in public places.
In picking what’s right for you, keep in mind that digital nomads need headphones that are durable and portable. We often work in coffee shops and other public places, so we need headphones that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Since the digital nomad lifestyle means being always on the go, we need headphones that are easy to pack and carry with us.
A sturdy backpack
For the digital nomad, a backpack is not just a fashion statement – it’s an essential piece of gear. After all, when you’re constantly on the move, you need to be able to pack light and stay organized. That means your backpack serves as your office, your bedroom, and your home away from home. So it’s important to choose the right backpack for the job.
First and foremost, it should be spacious and well-designed, with plenty of compartments for all your digital devices and cables. Second, it should be comfortable to wear, with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt that distribute the weight evenly. Finally, it should be stylish – because let’s face it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and you want to look good while doing it.
A travel adapter
As a digital nomad, I’ve come to rely on my travel adapter to keep me connected while I’m on the road. Whether I’m working from a remote location or simply keeping in touch with friends and family, my travel adapter is an essential part of my kit.
If you’re going to be working from all over the world, you’ll need an adapter that can handle multiple types of plugs. After all, you can’t exactly do your work from a cafe if you can’t plug in your laptop!
Some adapters are designed to work with a variety of different electrical outlets, making them ideal for use in countries with diverse power standards. Some also usually come equipped with multiple USB ports, so digital nomads can charge all their devices at once. Many models even come with built-in surge protection, ensuring that delicate electronics are protected from power spikes.
A virtual mailbox
As a digital nomad, I often find myself on the move, with no permanent mailing address. And if you rely on friends or family to hold onto your mail for you, they might eventually get tired of playing postal worker.
Even if you have a forwarding address, it’s not always convenient to get to your mail in a timely manner. That can be a problem when it comes to things like bills, packages, and other mail. Fortunately, there’s a solution: virtual mailboxes.
A virtual mailbox is a digital service that provides you with a physical mailing address. This can be particularly helpful if you need to receive mail while you’re travelling.
Whenever you receive mail at that address, the virtual mailbox provider will scan it and send you a digital copy. You can then view and manage your mail online, and even have it forwarded to your current location.
Virtual mailboxes are perfect for digital nomads who need a reliable way to stay on top of their mail.
If you’re a digital nomad, chances are you’ve got a pretty good handle on remote work. But what about remote communication? Just because you’re not in the same physical space as your team doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch and stay productive.
There are a number of great communication apps out there that can help digital nomads stay connected not only with their teams but with their family and friends back home as well.
Slack is a great all-in-one communication tool that can be used for everything from real-time chat to video calls. Zoom is another great option for video calls, and it’s especially handy if you need to share your screen or record a meeting. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, consider using WhatsApp or FaceTime. If you need to collaborate on documents, Google Drive is an essential tool for digital nomads.
In today’s increasingly connected world, more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads, working remotely from wherever they happen to be. While this lifestyle comes with many advantages, it can also present some challenges, especially when it comes to communication.
Fortunately, there are a number of apps that can make it easy for digital nomads to stay in touch with colleagues, clients, and friends. If you need more help in choosing the best communication apps for your digital nomad lifestyle, you can check out this article.
Local sim card
Getting a local sim card is now less important if you have an iPhone or Samsung that has a T-Mobile plan. You can get off the plane, turn on your phone in 152+ countries, and it will work seamlessly.
However, there are still some great local sim cards if you want to save on rates and get a local number. Getting a local number is great for long-term travelers who don’t want higher phone bills, less data, and don’t want to rely on Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and other apps to communicate while abroad.
If you do go the route of using your phone, there’s a trick I’ve used for years that still works to get a local US number while abroad.
If you’re a digital nomad, Google Voice can be a lifesaver. It’s a US-based phone number that you can use while living abroad, and it’s perfect for keeping in touch with clients, family, and friends.
Here’s how to set it up:
First, create a google account if you don’t already have one. Then, go to Google Voice and click on “Create a new account.” Follow the prompts to choose your Google Voice number. You can select a number from any area code in the US.
Now that you have your Google Voice number, you can start using it right away. Simply give out your Google Voice number when someone asks for your phone number.
Prepare a Pre-Travel Checklist
For a digital nomad looking to go on a next adventure, it’s important to check out this pre-travel checklist before you hit the road. From ensuring that your laptop is backed up to packing your nomad essentials, this checklist will help you make sure that you’re prepared for anything.
First and foremost, be sure to back up all of your important files before you leave. Whether you’re working on a new website or just have some photos that you don’t want to lose, backing up your files will give you peace of mind while you’re traveling. You can use an external hard drive or cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.
You should also make sure your passport is up to date and that you have all the necessary visas for your destination. Don’t forget to make copies of all your important documents, organize your finances, and set up a budget for your trip. This will help you avoid any unwanted surprises later on. Look into travel insurance to protect yourself from any potential risks as well.
For the longest time, the traditional 9-5 office job was the only way to make a living. But in recent years, that’s started to change. Thanks to the internet, more and more people are finding ways to make money online – and that’s led to the rise of the digital nomad.
So what is a digital nomad? In short, it’s someone who uses technology to work remotely, usually from a different location each day. That might mean working from a coffee shop in Madrid one day, and then from a beach in Bali the next.
These days, more and more people are opting to pursue the digital nomad lifestyle. There’s no doubt that the digital nomad lifestyle is alluring.
And who wouldn’t want to trade in their stuffy office and soul-sucking commute for a life of sunny beaches, tropical drinks, and working from wherever the wifi is strong? But is this idyllic lifestyle really all it’s cracked up to be? Is being a digital nomad worth it? That’s a tough question to answer.
If you value freedom and flexibility, then the answer is probably yes.
If you’re looking for stability and security, then you might want to stick to the traditional 9-5 lifestyle.
If you thrive in adventures, you will be forever altered.
If you’re open to immersing yourself in new cultures and learning about how the rest of the world works, it’s absolutely worth it.
If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be away from family and home, then this isn’t the best option for you.
If my family has a medical emergency, I get to go there right away with no questions asked and no restrictions to consider. Is that worth it? What’s the price or value of not being able to take care of your parents?
Being a digital nomad is the ultimate flexibility. To me, it’s worth it!
Virtual mailbox services are a must for the digital nomad and remote worker toolbox. If you work from anywhere – you have to have a way to get your physical mail. Fortunately, you can have a permanent street address and get your postal mail online.
I’ll walk through the ins and outs of virtual mailbox services, what they are and how they work. Also, how to choose a service that’s right for you, with several virtual mailbox companies to choose from.
Whether you are a digital nomad, frequent world traveler, student abroad, expat, snowbird, online business owner, or you want to take a month-long workation and work remotely on some remote island with Wi-Fi – you need to be able to access your paper mail.
The last thing you want is when you come back from vacation and or an extended stay and you’ve missed a check, a notification from your mortgage company, insurance, Christmas card, note from a loved one, a package…
You’ve probably experienced this more than a few times. Having a check reissued is a pain. Not being able to deposit a check when you’re on your remote island is frustrating, especially if you need to book another night in that lovely beach hotel (or order another drink), and can’t. Missing a notice from a bill collector and now you’re getting notices from collections. If you’ve already been on the road or if you’re just looking to go on the road it’s very important to not miss a beat so that you can enjoy your time, keep your focus, not add to life’s stresses, and simply just make life work!
Of course, you need to make sure you’re set up to be mobile and work remotely and that you are able to communicate while abroad – and you can’t overlook postal mail. Instead of using your energy trying to figure out who you trust to manage your mail when you’re gone (and you can still miss those important items) you don’t have to worry about that when you can have a virtual mailbox. Virtual mailboxes provide peace of mind and allow you to stay on the road.
I’ve had virtual mailboxes for several years and it’s a pure lifesaver if you travel often. It’s getting even easier now to manage your virtual mailbox even from your phone (there’s an app for that!). I’ve used several different services and I’m sharing my experiences as well as features and benefits from the best virtual mailbox providers for long term travelers, digital nomads, remote workers, etc.
Also if you’re an online business owner and would like to have a real physical street address for your mail other than your own house, having a virtual mailbox is a necessity. It’s only a small business expense to feel anonymous in your home and your personal address.
There is no doubt that the world has gone digital, and in as much as this brings with it convenience and the ability to work from anywhere at any time, there are still restrictions that may add to a rise in stress levels.
One such restriction is your mail. Frequent travelers, digital nomads and remote workers alike have access to almost every tool required to fulfill their responsibilities in the work sphere. But often run a risk of losing track of important mail delivered to their physical mailbox. The solution to this is a virtual mailbox service.
What is a Virtual Mailbox?
In layman’s terms, a virtual mailbox is simply a digital mailbox service that is accessible from anywhere in the world. Standard virtual mailbox services allow users to receive both postal mail, and packages, anywhere you are located. In short, one physical address associated with a mail center that provides you with mail scanning services as well as mail and package forwarding.
You just need a smartphone, laptop, or tablet (which, as a remote worker or digital nomad, you already have) and an internet connection to access your mail from anywhere in the world!
How does a Virtual Mailbox work?
Virtual Mailboxes are set up with physical or post office box addresses that are managed by virtual mailbox handling services. You set up an account through a virtual mailbox provider like Anytime Mailbox. You choose a real physical address from their list of addresses. This becomes your new physical mailing address, technically your virtual mailing address, for your personal or business mail. You can have multiple virtual mailbox addresses.
Is a Virtual Mailbox the same as a P.O. Box?
To be clear, it’s not a P.O. Box, however, it works the same way in that there’s a centralized location where your mail arrives. The difference between a local post office and third party mail centers is that virtual mail centers offer a mail scanning service. All your mail handling is provided by a third party.
Once your mail is received by the third party mail center (i.e. Anytime Mailbox), your mail is scanned, and a notification is posted to your mailing inbox. You can now access all your mail and manage your postal mail via an inbox! Cool, right? Your new virtual office, minus the vending machine (a virtual vending machine would make a great addition to a virtual office… hmmm, someday).
Here’s a screenshot of what it looks like when new mail arrives. You can see my current inbox. Also, you can see what happens if you don’t open your email on time (see storage fees that are about to apply, I’d better hurry. .).
When you open your mail, you can see the actions you’re able to take – open and scan mail, forward mail, shred, recycle, deposit check, etc.
Once you view your scanned mail, you get to decide what step to take next.
Is it an offer for a free car … aka spam mail? You can request to have your mail shredded and recycled.
Is it your remote worker W-2 or 1099? You can request to open and scan it. You can then either download it as a PDF or have it forwarded to your current home address.
Is it a package? Maybe you ordered a new backpack from Amazon and you need a new one asap. You can forward mail, including packages, to your current address.
How can you get a Virtual Mailbox?
Given that many online businesses are run from lounges, bedrooms, garages and internet cafes (in short, anywhere with a reliable wi-fi connection), virtual mailboxes have been largely used by businesses, but are extremely beneficial to remote workers, digital nomads and long term travelers alike.
Selecting a Virtual Mailbox Provider
Armed with a valid email address, your first step would be to select the best virtual mailbox service that can meet your need from a business or personal perspective. You’ll want to note things like: number of monthly mail scans, mail shreds, storage limitation, and monthly fee. Fees can quickly stack up if you aren’t checking your online postal mailbox frequently and telling the mail handler how to manage your mail. Speaking of, I need to check my inbox!
Pick a new mailing address in your city of preference
A virtual mailbox is, well, virtual, meaning you get to select an address wherever you choose. If your business operates remotely, you can choose a virtual business address in any city as your remote headquarters.
Addresses in premium cities, and premium areas, will cost more than those in less-dense cities. For example, if you choose New York or San Francisco for your new virtual mailbox address, you will pay more than cities like Cincinnati or Oklahoma City. If you choose Menlo park versus Oakland, also expect your monthly fee to be a bit higher.
Complete required documentation/notarization
You will need to provide some form of identification to authorize a company to receive mail on your behalf. If you’re located in the US, this means filling out a USPS 1583 Form. This provides authorization for your service provider to receive and open and scan your mail on your behalf (so you check your postal mail from anywhere).
It may sound like a hassle to do a bunch of paperwork. It used to be, but not today. I switched from Traveling Mailbox to Anytime Mailbox because they offer an online notary (and also for their global network of over 1,400 locations). I was able to fill out my USPS 1583 form and get the form notarized online within 30 minutes, versus taking several days.
Forward your postal mail to your new address
Now that your virtual mailbox is set up, all that’s left to do is to forward your mail to your new virtual mailing address. Or, fill out a change of address form. I use a virtual mailbox both for my personal mail and my business mail. I receive mail in Seattle and San Francisco and open it from my smartphone.
How do you choose a virtual mailbox service
Below we’ve listed the best virtual mailbox services for long term travelers, digital nomads, and online business owners.
I mentioned this above and why I switched – primarily because of the online notary service, smartphone app, and large selection of locations.
Anytime Mailbox has over 1,400 street addresses across the United States and internationally, giving you the freedom to select the perfect location.
There is a range of plans with prices starting as low as $5.99, depending on your chosen location and services. You get full control of your virtual mailbox service since you get to select your required features such as mail scanning, incoming mail forwarding, check deposit, and mail shredding.
Each account gets free unlimited online storage as long as your account is active. Anytime Mailbox is one of the most global virtual mailboxes for digital nomads and their online interface is user-friendly.
Ease of use:
Access from PC, tablet, laptop or smartphone, on Apple, Android and Mac
Range from $5.99 to $79.99
International mailboxes (over 1,400)
Free secure mail shredding
Online notary service for quick setup
Lower starting rates
Unlimited cloud storage
Large global network of virtual mailbox addresses
No physical locations, Anytime Mailbox providers are a network of locations and partners
2. Traveling Mailbox
Traveling mailbox provides virtual mailbox services to thousands of businesses, digital nomads, remote workers, travelers and families. They offer a flexible, affordable and simple to use the virtual mailbox for digital nomads. I used Traveling Mailbox for many years without any issue after switching over from EarthClassMail. Read my earlier comparison of Traveling Mail vs. EarthClassMail.
Ease of use:
Takes time to get set up, but once you’re set up, it’s straightforward
User interface is outdated
Prices range from $15 to $55 per month, and there are 3 plans to choose from, each with its benefits.
All plans include the following:
Unlimited digital storage
Free mail shredding
The freedom to change plans at any time
Poor user interface
Scan rollovers not available on the basic plan
3. PostScan Mail
PostScan mail offers over 400 virtual mailbox addresses for online business owners and personal use, across the United States and internationally.
Ease of use
Available on all Android and Apple devices
Prices range between $15 and $30 per month, based on the 3 plans offered.
All PostScan Mail plans offer the following benefits:
Unlimited digital storage
Shipment and delivery tracking
Local mail and package pickup
Automated inbound mail scanning
Free unlimited cloud storage for up to 7 days
There are costs for every additional benefit requested
Packages are free to store for 7 days, thereafter a fee is charged
Some locations may charge a pickup fee for mail and packages.
4. Earthclass Mail
Offering some of the most comprehensive benefits, it’s easy to see why Earthclass Mail has made it into the top 9. Fun fact – I met the CEO of Earthclass Mail (ECM) when it was just one location and they were fundraising. The idea was very new and not well received at the time. Since then, ECM has grown into one of the larges virtual mailbox companies today. One of the reasons ECM is expensive is because it has its own physical mail storage locations.
Ease of Use:
User friendly, cater to businesses
Not one of the cheaper options, with prices ranging between $19 and $79 per month.
50 incoming mail items per month
Free shredding services
30 days free physical mail storage
20 pages of scans
Physical mail storage
Business-friendly. You may pay more for check processing but they have mastered this service.
Every extra scan and mail item received is charged depending on your plan
Prices differ for these additives based on whether your plan was purchased before or after 7 June 2020.
iPostal1 is the ideal virtual mailbox service for small businesses and families, with no contract or signup fee. In addition, they’re flexible and offer plan changes at any time.
Ease of use:
There are 4 plans to choose from. The entry-level is their Green Plan at $9.99, with the Gold Plan being the top of the range at $39.99.
Among the myriad of benefits, all plans include the following:
Free 30 day storage of all letters and boxes under 1.728 cubic inches
$100 insurance on shipping with FedEx, DHL and UPS, with Flexi shipment
Consolidation of letters into one package for forwarding
2 months free when you sign up for the yearly plan on any plan
Up to 5 recipient names per address for personal use, and 4 names plus 1 company name for businesses
Limited 2GB cloud storage
Scanning, shredding and check deposits come at an additional cost
6. US Global Mail
With over 80,000 clients, US Global Mail offers ease with safety and security, allowing you to read, print, ship, and download without leaving your home.
Ease of use:
There are 2 plans to choose from for personal use, perfect for a virtual mailbox for remote workers and digital nomads, travelers and families. The Basic Plan costs $14.99 and the Plus Plan, R19.99. Their business plan comes in at 34.99. Each plan carries a $5 monthly discount should you sign up for an annual payment.
Among the myriad of benefits, All plans include the following:
Free check deposits
Free mail storage between 45 and 180 days, plan dependent
Junk mail filtering
Customer standard and priority lines
$5/month discount when paid annually
100% 30-day money-back guarantee
Savings of up to 80% on shipping with FedEx, UPS and DHL
No mention of cloud storage
Scanning, shredding comes at an additional cost
Virtual Postal Mail (VPM) offers same-day service while boasting a customer satisfaction rating of 98%. In addition, the are virtual mailbox services tailored to meet the individual needs of those seeking a virtual mailbox for digital nomads or remote workers.
Ease of use:
No mobile app
The Basic Plan costs $14.99 and the Plus Plan, $19.99. Their business plan comes in at $34.99. Each plan carries a $5 monthly discount should you sign up for an annual payment.
Limited free scans
Between 2 and 20 recipients, dependent on the plan
Envelopes allowed per month range from 25 on the starter plan, to unlimited on Premium
One of the cheapest when it comes to adding recipients
No mention of cloud storage
Scanning, shredding comes at an additional cost
$10 per check deposit on all plans
With only one plan offered on the mail forwarding service, solutions may not be as comprehensive as would be expected from a virtual mailbox service.
Ease of use:
$9.99 per month/$99.99 a year
Free shredding and recycling
Unlimited incoming mail and recipients
No postage deposit required
Optional phone service at $9 with a free 60-day trial
Unlimited mail scanning storage
$2 per scan
9. PO Box Zone
Self-acclaimed as the perfect solution for virtual mailboxes for travelers, PO Box Zone offers virtual mailbox services similar to an advanced post box.
Ease of use:
Three plans are offered, ranging between $99 and $250 per year.
Free junk mail filtering
Shipping through FedEx, DHL, and UPS
Limited incoming mail and recipients, Unlimited on the top plan
Flat mail out fee charge
No standouts on this one. Barely meets the basics
Location is extremely limited (Nevada and Wyoming only)
A virtual mailbox is a requirement for anyone operating remotely – digital nomads, remote workers, online business owners, long-term travelers.
You can be anywhere in the world and not have to worry about missing a beat.
Anytime Mailbox is my personal choice to get a virtual address the best based on the value and convenience that they offer.
Ah, the dreaded tax season. The good news is if your taxes are fairly straightforward, you can file your taxes online pretty easily. We’ve assembled a list of the best accounting and tax software for remote workers and digital nomads. Save time and stay on top of taxes – so you can get back to living and working from anywhere!
First, before you begin filing your taxes, you must be organized. Staying on top of your taxes throughout the year makes it easier to e-file and get your tax return (or know what you owe) more quickly.
Organizing your taxes
A simple way to organize your taxes is to keep a spreadsheet or notes of major purchases throughout the year. I use Google Sheets to list out expenses and income and any major purchases related to business. This helps me not only with taxes but keeps me thinking about my budget, managing expenses, etc.
I separate income: business income, 1099 and/or W2 income, rental income and expenses: maintenance/repairs, software and tools, and so on. Any time I have a major purchase or repair, I got to the sheet and jot it down so I don’t forget. As a digital nomad and business owner, you need all the tax deductions you can get!
Tax filing for W2 Employees
If you don’t have a business and are a W2 employee, filing taxes online will be straightforward. You will need to get a copy of your W2 from your employer. Companies may use a service like Gusto or ADP for processing payroll.
You may also use a service like Expensify for reimbursements. Note that if the company does not report the reimbursements, you may not need to either. Instead, you can take advantage of the $1,800 / year allotted standard deduction.
Tax filing for Independent Contractors (1099)
If you are an independent contractor you will have self-employment taxes. This means you will have more tax deductions you can consider.
It’s nice getting a large check for your total hourly rate without taxes deducted. However, you always need to keep in mind paying taxes – or you can quickly end up behind with Uncle Sam.
For some reason, I always choose to learn the hard way. This was true in terms of getting behind on taxes. “Leap and the net will appear” – while motivating, it does not apply to taxes.
So, now, I generally subtract and set aside 30% from the total amount received for paying the IRS. I know, it’s hard, when you could be investing in Bitcoin instead. But, pay now or pay later. Trust me.
Luckily, with deductions, you can reduce your percentage owed. But not completely.
An important part of tax preparation for your freelancing business is keeping your receipts and tracking your expenses. Luckily, there’s a solution to paper receipts – Expensify.
Keeping track of your receipts as you go will save so much time and hassle later on. With Expensify, you can keep track of your own receipts, send your expenses for reimbursements, or reimburse business expenses.
Best Accounting Software for Remote Workers & Digital Nomads
To keep more diligent track of your expenses, you’ll want to move from spreadsheets into accounting software. Some accounting software also allows you to file your taxes. But for simplicity, we’ve first listed the best accounting software.
Benefits of Accounting Software
If you’re working remotely, you probably already have a slew of apps/software you use each month for your job or online business.
So it makes sense to simplify your life and go digital in all areas, including accounting software. No paper receipts!
Some of the benefits of accounting software include:
Linking your bank accounts
Keeping everything in one place
Be prepared for tax season
Know what you’re owed or the amount you’ll pay taxes
Note: Something I also learned a little late – never co-mingle your funds. Always have a separate account for business and personal. This makes filing and reconciling sooo much easier. Recently I changed from having all my accounts at Bank of America (I originally did this, even with high fees, for international reciprocity) to Mercury. Mercury is very simple to set up – all online – and easy to use, unlike traditional banking software.
An industry leader for a reason, Quickbooks makes it easy to set up your tax filing system. They have options for simple tax prep or more in-depth tax reporting.
Quickbooks Self Employed
If you are self-employed and want to take advantage of all your deductions, then QuickBooks Self-Employed is the best accounting software for you. If you have US or foreign employees, QuickBooks also makes it easy to manage payroll tax filings.
Another market leader, quickly on the tails of Quickbooks, Xero allows business owners to easily track expenses and differentiate between personal or business-related transactions. Xero makes it easy to reconcile your taxes by setting up rules. An example of a rule might be to group all gas stations into one category. This makes it easy to quickly reconcile the name and category of the expense.
Xero has a more difficult learning curve than Quickbooks, but it’s one of the best accounting softwares there is. A lot of companies and CPAs are switching to Xero. I find Xero to be more complicated in terms of setup, but easier to use once you get going.
If you don’t want to touch accounting and you prefer someone else to manage it for you, there’s a solution! Bench.co is a startup that specializes in accounting software and also tax filing.
Bench has a managed service along with its software. Meaning, along with having some of the best accounting software, they also provide you with a team of accountants. An added bonus is that you can ask them for advice at any time. Not the cheapest, but if you prefer to have someone else manage your accounting and books – Bench is a great option. Accounting, tax filing, and software all-in-one.
You can get a no-obligation trial and call with a Bench representative to learn more.
Best Tax Filing Software for Remote Workers & Digital Nomads
Remote workers and digital nomads can use tax filing software to file tax returns without having to be in one place (yay, work from anywhere!). For remote workers, tax filing can be challenging. Tax software is an effective solution to your tax problems. Tax software provides security, convenience, and ease of use at a low cost and include:
Basic tax filing with tax deductions
Beginners to tax filing online without any tax knowledge or experience
Free tax return filing and tax support throughout the whole process
Basic tax filing with tax deductions
Let’s take a look at a few.
Free Tax USA
Started by a CPA in 2001 and IRS-approved, FreeTaxUSA has become one of the top tax filing software. It’s the best tax software for tax filers with simple tax returns. And, just like the name says, you can use FreeTaxUSA 100% free for your Federal returns.
FreeTaxUSA also guarantees that you’ll get the maximum return if you use their software. Not bad for free!
There are two editions – Free and Deluxe.
FreeTaxUSA – Free Edition
The free edition is easy to use, unlike other free tax software, and good for novices with simple returns.
You pay nothing for preparing and e-filing your federal return, and up to $14.99 for each state filing. FreeTaxUSA includes IRS forms including Schedules A, B, C, D, E, and K. These forms cover a wide range of situations and complexity, like online business and freelance income. Also deductions related to your home office.
All of your data is stored in the cloud. This makes it super easy to come back each year and use your previous year’s data. This is a huge time saver for tax preparation. You can also import from other tax programs like TurboTax, TaxAct and H&R Block to get your data.
The free edition has great customer support and typically produce a response within 24 hours (even on weekends). All help is provided by email. If you want to receive priority support, which you may need for more complicated taxes or to avoid an IRS audit, you need the Deluxe edition.
TaxFreeUSA – Deluxe Edition
If you’ve ever been audited then you know the nightmare of having to go back through every single receipt, deduction, claim, form, and so on. HR Block says “On a scale of 1 to 10 (10 being the worst), being audited by the IRS could be a 10”. So, yeah, don’t get audited.
Benefits of the Deluxe edition include:
In-house Audit Assist program that provides access to audit specialists
Priority support, including Live Chat during business hours
Unlimited amended tax returns
The Deluxe Edition costs $6.99 for federal returns and $12.95-$14.99 for state taxes. The main advantage to the deluxe plan is the audit assistance and live support. Taxes are not easy, so having someone on your side can really help. Especially for only $6.99.
Did I mention that they guarantee you’ll get the maximum refund?
I’ve listed TaxSlayer because it’s the best tax software for freelancers or self-employed people. Typically this software is for digital nomads and freelancers who have some experience filing their taxes online.
TaxSlayer has some of the cheapest prices and they offer a free tax filing service.
Similar to TaxSlayer, TurboTax is another good option for people who have some experience in tax preparation. Both companies offer cheap prices, but I personally like how TaxSlayer helps throughout the entire process.
TurboTax tax filing software makes it easy to file your tax returns from anywhere as long as you have internet access.
H&R Block Tax Software
H&R Block tax filing software is for those who want the most comprehensive and accurate services possible, without having to pay hugely expensive fees.They also have a network of over 10,000 office locations across the US.
H&R Block tax software can find deductions that other tax services might not be able to. Deductions can save you thousands of dollars in taxes owed.
TaxACT is tax software for people with simple tax returns who cannot or do not wish to file online. But, still need an easy-to-use program that will guide them through the whole process step by step.
A tax return can be complicated for freelancers, remote workers and digital nomads with investments or rental properties. If you’re living in a foreign country or have foreign accounts, making worldwide income, you may want to consider hiring a firm. Tax firms help reduce your risk.
Jackson Hewitt allows you to file in person as well as online – by yourself or with a tax professional.
Tax preparation fees vary depending on what you need. If you want to avoid being double taxed, avoid paying too much in capital gains, know how to deal with foreign taxes (and U.S. taxes), foreign assets, foreign tax credit, foreign earned income exclusion, and other complicated matters – Jackson Hewitt has the expertise to help you through these things.
It’s not the cheapest, but having a tax advisor / tax expert for a complicated tax situation is worth the money spent.
Liberty Tax is similar to Jackson Hewitt in that it has both online options to file taxes as well as a network of local offices around the country.
I personally have had a tax advisor from Liberty Tax for years, and she owns two local offices. Many digital nomads or people working remotely abroad can benefit from extra tax advice. It is relatively easy to file online. However, when you have income from remote work in multiple states or multiple employers, property tax, health insurance, stocks, rentals, capital gains, various financial accounts and properties, multiple online businesses with remote employees – you really need a tax expert.
With Liberty Tax, you can file online, request a virtual tax pro (which I love and great for American digital nomads) or go into an office location.
Taxes are complicated, full stop. If you are a digital nomad, work remotely / work abroad, are living abroad and have multiple businesses and/or assets, it thickens the plot. Having the best accounting and tax software in your toolkit will keep your books clean and your taxes a breeze.
The first step to being prepared is to stay organized and leverage a bookkeeper and/or bookkeeping software. The best accounting software is one that will scale with your business. If you want to go-it-alone, try Quickbooks or Xero. If you want a managed service, check out Bench.
Having tax software to file online is important when all you do is live and work from anywhere. FreeTaxUSA is the best tax software for free filing online. If you want to seek the advice of a tax expert, then you will also want to look at Jackson Hewitt or Liberty Tax. Bench also offers tax filing advice and support (and, like you, is remote). Having someone to help advise you on your taxes while also filing online can save you many headaches during tax season.
When working remotely, whether required or by choice, there are many things to consider and understand where taxes for remote workers are concerned. Things like: where you live, type of employment contract such as remote employee or independent contractor, state laws where you live and where the company is headquartered, write-offs, tax implications, eligibility, tax liability, and so on. This article provides tax advice for remote workers and digital nomads so you can save money and have peace of mind.
Remote work comes with tax benefits including monthly deductions.
What are some tax deductions for remote workers?
In order to be able to deduct travel expenses from your taxes, a bit of handy tax advice for remote workers is to create an itemized list of the date and mileage on gas receipts. Add up how much money you spent traveling and take that number as a deduction on your return.
Hardware and software purchases
The tax policy for deductions also covers cell phone purchases, subscriptions, advertising, memberships in associations, charitable contributions, and legal fees related to work requirements (such as tax advice and contracts).
Business meals, lodging, and entertainment
You can note entertainment expenses to be deductible when they are “directly related” to, or associated with, an employee’s job duties.
Home office space
Remote employees can also include home office space, business cell phone plans, and Internet service. The tax code allows employees to deduct expenses related to using a section of their house as a home office, which can save you up to $1800 in taxes per year. Tax deduction rules for a home office are not limited to the space you use specifically for your business, but also cover supplies used in that area.
Deductions for travel and business supplies can be used as a pretax benefit if they are deducted before your income is taxed. This applies to taxes for remote workers and not independent contractors.
Where do you pay state taxes if you work remotely?
For a remote worker in the U.S., it’s a common, but important question. Tax laws are changing quickly to adapt to the growing number of workers working remotely – meaning that the local tax laws tend to vary in different states.
Tax is currently assessed by the state where the person works, not the state where the person lives.
Generally, your income tax is based on where you’re physically located when earning the income. For example, your job’s office is in state A, but you’re living and working full time in state B. You’d pay income and all other taxes to state B.
Avoiding Double Taxation – Important tax advice for remote workers
Rules due to the pandemic have changed quickly. It can definitely be challenging figuring out where you owe taxes.
To avoid double taxation, it’s very important to clarify your remote work arrangements and understand the extent of your tax liability. Keep in mind that different laws apply, with some states requiring state income tax in their own tax code.
Others follow the convenience rule, while some require a reciprocal agreement between nonresident employees and the company in terms of handling tax notes.
Just because you’re complying with the tax law of New York doesn’t mean you should no longer check if you owe taxes if you’re working in San Francisco.
You should have your employer withhold taxes from the state in which you physically reside. Otherwise, the state in which your company is headquartered will withhold taxes.
If you work remotely and live in one of these states (Arizona, Washington D.C., Nevada, Tennessee, or New Hampshire), your employer will withhold taxes on some of your income.
For example, I live and work in Washington state but I was employed by a company headquartered in Indiana. I paid a portion of my income earned to Indiana and paid no income tax to Washington, as it is one of the states without an income tax.
States without income tax include:
Texas (no personal income tax, but there is a corporate tax)
However, if you are working remotely for an employer outside of one of these states, even if you are physically living and working in one of the states listed above, you will pay a portion of your income tax to where the company is legally headquartered.
If you reside in any other state that offers income tax incentives for telecommuters, employers may report it as regular wages. This means less taxes withheld. These incentives include: Alabama Tax Exemption Program and Mississippi Tax Credit (for employees living 50+ miles outside of the area).
So unless your employer is following your residency tax requirements for remote workers or one of these states offers tax exemptions to employees who work remotely, then chances are good that the company will not be withholding taxes from all of the income you earn. Tax exemptions for remote workers often require employees to work at least 30 days out of the year from their home state.
Taxes for Remote Workers – Convenience States
The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act not only brought tax reform but also an additional option of filing your taxes as a nonresident of the state where you work.
If you live in one of these five states (Arizona, D.C., Nevada, Tennessee or New Hampshire) and work remotely for a company headquartered in one of these states, you will file your tax return with the state where the company is headquartered. Tax withholding for employees working remotely, even if you are living in another or a different state, will be sent to that state. Meaning, no state income tax is paid twice.
By working remotely, you may be entitled to tax relief, but it is up to you or your employer to file and claim such relief. This depends on where you live and the laws in place within that state. It’s important to notify your employer where you’re living so it can withhold taxes from the correct state.
If you live in a state with income tax and work remotely for a company outside of one of these states, chances are good that you will be required to pay taxes in some form like personal income tax or state tax return.
Where do I file my taxes if working outside of the US?
Taxes for digital nomads can be difficult to navigate, especially for expats working or living outside of their home country.
When you are working remotely, i.e. living outside of your tax-home country, the first thing you should do is check if it’s necessary for you to file taxes at all. This is especially true if you are earning less than the minimum income required for taxation in your host country.
If you are earning income in multiple countries, tax treaties between countries usually prevent double taxation of the same income. However, it is still possible that you will have to pay some taxes in multiple places.
Tax treaties often also contain information about specific deductions (such as for housing). These are limited to the tax rate of your tax-home country or host country where you work.
Wherever you earn your income, the process to file taxes stays very similar. Tax rates vary by country and place of residence, but if you are earning money in any country other than the US, the general consensus is that remote employees pay taxes where they spend most of their time working.
How to Handle Tax Returns as a Digital Nomad
Remote work has many perks. The biggest one is that you can pretty much live and work from anywhere in the world online — and there are no limits on where you can work. While this may be ideal for some, tax season can be a nightmare for others.
Taxes for Digital Nomads
When it comes to filing your taxes as a digital nomad, these are the three critical things you need to know:
1) You will have to file as “self-employed.” This does not mean you have to actually run a business. In order to claim remote work as your profession, you must be earning an income working at least part-time from home.
2) You are not able to claim housing deductions if you are staying with friends or family during tax season. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act has said that people who live in the homes of others for free do not qualify for deductions while working remotely. Tax deductions are also not available to those who use co-working spaces or rent out a home on platforms such as Airbnb and VRBO.
3) Tax deductions for housing and transportation still apply even if you’re living in another country. Taxpayers can only claim deductions when living outside their home country for 330 full days during a 12-month period. If you work 183 days (half the year) in another country, you are subject to taxation laws and must file tax returns in both countries.
Where can I get help and tax advice for remote workers and digital nomads?
While software cannot inherently give advice with respect to taxes for remote workers, it can help save money and speed up your tax filing. Using one could do wonders for your own convenience.
KeeperTax – finding tax write-offs
Use a service like KeeperTax – for independent contractors, entrepreneurs, and remote workers to find hidden tax write-offs that can save you money. They’ve saved their members over $40 million and their average member sees an extra $6k annually in savings.
Quickbooks – accounting software
One of the best accounting software used today with millions of customers worldwide. Quickbooks allows you to upload your previous year’s tax return information. This makes filing taxes easy for the next calendar year. Tax advice articles are available on their website. There’s also an accountant directory to help you look up accountants near you that specialize in tax preparation.
TurboTax – easy-to-use tax filing software
TurboTax is best for people who are not accountants or tax lawyers using sophisticated strategies. Turbo Tax offers tax advice articles that help guide you through common questions on your tax return submission. Tax filing with TurboTax is easy and a great way to get started with filing taxes. For more advanced or complicated taxes may want to look into either H&R Block software or TaxAct.
Tax professionals in the US who specialize in remote work are gradually becoming more common. Hiring a tax professional could be a lifesaver for any remote worker. A tax professional can ensure that you’re up to date on the tax code requirements, avoid tax consequences, and even help you find ways to cover lost revenue.
A good tax attorney is just as important when trying to find a trustworthy accountant to handle your tax returns. Tax attorneys will be highly familiar with the unique tax laws of every tax department, Supreme Court decisions or even just temporary rules that could alter the tax foundation, and income exclusion benefits on a federal level or abroad.
Tax professionals will also be able to keep your taxes organized throughout the following year. Staying up-to-date makes sure everything goes smoothly with your taxes when April comes around. They are also capable of making sure you are getting all the benefits that are available to you as a remote worker.
Taxes for Remote Workers and Digital Nomads – Conclusion
Working remotely in the US or even outside the US as a digital nomad certainly has its benefits. Freedom to travel, less of a commute, and more time with family, to name a few.
As the laws change to keep up with the rise in remote work, in large part due to the pandemic, there are tax advantages – and disadvantages to be aware of.
As the laws are constantly in flux, seek out a tax professional in your local area who knows the tax rules and how to file state income taxes for remote workers. For tax filing, you can use tax software for remote workers or hire an accountant. Tax advice for remote workers is key in ensuring you are aware of the tax laws surrounding remote work.
How do you find the best remote jobs out there? The best thing you can do is connect your passion with the world’s needs. Have freedom on top of that by being remote.
“Vocation is the place where our deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.”
― Frederick Buechner
By the end of 2020, more than half of U.S. workers were doing their jobs remotely at least part of the time. Into 2021, the majority of those remote employees said they wanted to keep working remotely even when Covid-19 subsides.
This isn’t shocking. Millions of people are finding they quite like working online – especially working anywhere from the world online. There’s a greater freedom to choose your lifestyle, from where you live to what hours you work. The ability to be closer to family and choose your work environment (and of course the lack of a lengthy morning commute) mean that working remotely is finding its way onto people’s lists of requirements.
If you’re interested in remote work but don’t think your current position is going to stay there forever, then you may want to put together a remote work career track for yourself.
What are the best remote jobs out there?
I firmly believe that anyone who wants to work remotely and live and work from anywhere should be able to do so. Not everyone’s remote work career track may look the same. The beauty of remote work is that most skills and work experience can translate to an online position fairly well. Your offline skills, in one way or another, can translate to the online world.
If you use social media, use a computer, and have a smartphone, for example, you already have a basic skill set that can apply towards getting a remote job. And, if you don’t know what to do, you can take a course in a field of your choice and at any level to get you on the right track for finding a remote job. It’s really just a matter of finding the best remote job or career for you.
And you might be surprised where you fit in the remote job world. Many people look for an exact analog of their current job in the online workforce, when really you could be looking for remote jobs that value your skills and passions more than your current position.
Here are some (but not all) of the positions that excel in the remote working world. We’ve compiled the best remote jobs that pay well, aren’t work-from-home scams, and allow you to have a healthy income while working from anywhere. You might be surprised at the diversity of remote work.
If you’re completely new and looking to build your skill set for remote work, you can also check out entry-level courses to help you learn new skills to jumpstart your remote career or to expand your existing knowledge base.
Writing gigs have had remote options even long before “work from home” was a phrase. Authors and newspaper columnists were mailing their work in to publishers decades before the internet. Now in the digital age, the opportunities for remote work as a writer have exploded.
Email, shareable documents and online work platforms like Slack and Google Hangouts make writing from home a viable career path for more than just novelists. Businesses need copy for their websites, content for their blogs and someone to draft social media posts.
And you don’t just have to look for someone to hire you. If writing is your passion, you can work remotely as your own boss by establishing your own website or blog. There are plenty of ways to monetize your writing.
Working in sales is more than just sitting in a call center cubicle. Every company needs product specialists to work with their marketers to get leads through the sales funnel. As a remote sales employee, you may also work to generate leads yourself.
While this might seem like more of an in-person job, online sales positions are actually common. In fact, 16% of companies are completely remote and need work-from-home employees to help them make sales.
You don’t need to be a seasoned sales veteran to land an online sales job. If you’re interested in sales as a career, brush up your current resume with an eye for transferable skills. “Sales” isn’t really something you’ll see many people with a degree or certification in. Instead, people who work sales come from backgrounds like communication, business or even customer service.
A good option if you’re looking to burst onto the sales scene is to look for sales work in an industry you’re familiar with. For example, an experienced ghost writer might excel at selling copywriting services.
As companies grow, they need dedicated support staff. These positions exist to support both customers and internal staff. “Tech support” might make you think of someone on a headset asking a belligerent caller to try restarting their computer, but there are many positions beyond that.
Sure, there are those callers and technical issues, but companies need tech employees to handle internal support, as well.
As for customer support, it’s also about more than helping customers when products don’t work. There’s also product ordering support, which is a huge component of sites like Amazon.
Customer support has a fairly low barrier to entry and makes a good starter job for someone wanting to test out the work-from-home situation. Here are some of the most common places or industries to find a remote customer support job:
Online shopping (Amazon, eBay, etc.)
Healthcare / medical
The mortgage industry
Airlines (Delta, Alaska, etc.)
Find the best remote jobs in tech and customer support here.
Software design and development
It’s no surprise that a lot of tech jobs have made the leap to remote work very smoothly. And it’s not just tech startups that are looking for remote workers, many established companies are also hiring remotely for these positions. Some of the best (and highest paying) remote jobs are in the tech industry. So if you have a desire or knack for tech, you like jobs that are challenging and feel comfortable in an industry that is always changing, look no further.
Also, there is a definite increase in software engineering teams going remote. Prior to 2020, before Covid, 13% of engineering teams were fully remote. As a result of the pandemic, that number has increased to 74% and now 66% of engineering teams believe they will continue to allow remote work after Covid has subsided.
You have options when it comes to remote tech jobs. It’s not just late night coding with 3 big screens, no lights, and a giant pizza box next to the always-full coffee mug at your side. For example you can work in design, product management or project management.
There are various forms of design in the tech world. From graphic design and illustration to user experience and user interface design. We talk about this a little bit more below for front end developers, which can also be called front end designers.
Every product that’s created needs someone to manage the flow of tasks, project deadlines, features being released, etc. A product manager makes sure that the software developers are developing what the customers want. This is different from a project manager who makes sure things are getting done on time. Product managers are closely tied in to the development process.
If you’ve got some development experience already, you may be wondering where to focus your skills to land the best jobs. Which coding languages you should master depends on what kind of development you want to do. For example:
Front end developer
Back end developer
Mobile app development
Your most sellable trait in the online development space is adaptability. Make sure you’re learning and growing with the times, keeping up with the latest advancements and newest technology. Even if you’ve got past experience, it’s a good idea to brush up on your skills.
There are many programming and coding schools that will offer courses for more experienced developers as well as complete beginners. Codeacademy is a good example. If you’re not able to invest a lot of money into learning coding right now, you may consider options like Lamba School or Microverse, where they offer the education for free upfront and you pay them back after they help you land a job.
A coding school is a great way to get started in coding for little to no money and have a nearly-guaranteed high-paying job once you graduate.
You can find entry-level software jobs on Liveworkanywhere. Already a senior level engineer and need to be matched with the best remote jobs on the planet? Go to our partner site, fullstackremote.
This is a good category for anyone with strong basic office skills and business experience. Operations is just career lingo for every position that works behind the scenes to make sure business processes run smoothly. This can be program coordination, office administration and much more. For example, a company may have an operations team that focuses on creating internal training materials and building in-depth client onboarding experiences.
General positions in operations can include everything from a business operations manager all the way up to a COO.
If you’re just starting out, you can look for an entry level position as an executive or administrative assistant. These positions are looking for people with a strong grasp of basic office suites like Microsoft or Google products.
A general operations position might be that of a business operations manager or a company executive. You’ll need more experience and a solid resume for this position, so if you’ve got your sights set on a high remote work position, you may want to get your feet wet in a lower level assistant position first. This will give you a good opportunity to explore a new industry at relatively low risk.
Virtual assistant is another term for an admin or executive assistant, but, of course, virtual. And again this can be anything from entry level to more advanced. This is one of the best starter jobs for people who want to enter the virtual workforce but aren’t sure where to start or get experience.
How does a virtual assistant job differ from the admin assistant positions we just talked about? A virtual assistant involves freelancing multiple clients whereas an operations admin assistant is a remote job where you’ve been hired by one company. There’s even the possibility that a freelance VA gig could turn into a permanent remote position.
Search for the best virtual assistant or admin assistant remote jobs here.
The gig economy is growing. Even prior to the pandemic, freelancing was projected to make up more than half the workforce by 2027. So if you have specialized skills, you can get started working for yourself. You’ll need to brand yourself and gather clients. We talk more about this process here.
If you don’t have the time to invest in becoming a completely independent freelancer, you can go to a business for help. Freelancing for a company like Upwork or Fivrr can help get you work fast. There are more specialized sites, as well, like Behance, Textbroker or Content Cucumber.
Every company, non-profit and brand out there needs marketing, and marketers have traditionally fared pretty well in online spaces. With tools like 5g tech and the near omnipresence of Wi-Fi, many marketing positions have dropped the in-person requirements.
You’ll find that many smaller companies are on the lookout for a “jack of all trades” or “full stack” marketer who can do a little bit of everything, from social media, to brand design, lead generation, advertising, messaging and content creation.
Once you move up towards the larger businesses and corporations, they’ll be wanting marketing specialists. These are marketers who focus on one area, such as social media. You may see these two types of marketing jobs referred to as generalist marketing and specialist marketing.
If you’re just starting out, you may want to cut your teeth on several varieties as you figure out what best aligns with your skills as passions. Then you can focus in on that specialization. In other words, start off as a general marketer and move towards a specialist track later on. Having a wide variety of skills is great, but in order to move up in your career you’ll want to focus in on an area of expertise and develop that more fully.
You may be surprised just how many remote finance jobs are out there. While the traditional image of a finance employee might be someone locked in a small work cubicle in a suit at the back of the office building, more and more companies have been hiring out their financial needs to remote workers or even remote finance companies. In fact, more than 70 percent of financial executives outsource at least some of their work remotely.
There are a few paths for a remote career in finance: you can look for remote accounting or bookkeeping positions, a Controller or even a CFO. You can work for startups providing accounting services or even more traditional accounting firms.
The more that companies go remote, the more support they need for things like hiring and managing remote talent. This means handling benefits, salaries, payouts, employee training materials, onboarding processes and more.
Human resource jobs can also earn you a nice stable salary, anywhere from 30k-100k/year.
If you have a background in law, there are a lot of opportunities to take those skills remote. Paralegals and attorneys both fit nicely into the remote landscape, particularly for consultations and other services that can be offered over the phone or via Zoom.
During the Coronavirus pandemic, many legal services (and even full court cases) transitioned to videoconferencing. And while in-person trials and consultations will resume again once things have calmed down, many law firms are finding that keeping remote options available to clients allows them to connect with global legal teams, reach out to more diverse clients and ultimately serve their communities better.
There’s good room for crossover here, as well. For example, if you have a legal background and writing skills, you may be perfectly suited to an online legal writing position.
Paralegals and legal support can earn 40-60k/year and attorneys can earn well into 6 figures.
Telehealth options have risen more than 50 percent since the CDC recommended these options to areas affected by Covid. However, telehealth was already a rising trend before that. While it’s not projected that telehealth will replace in-person care, it is a helpful tool for hospitals and clinics to have, and many of them are investing long-term.
This is because telehealth options help doctors and other medical professionals reach a wider audience, including lower-income patients and those who cannot travel.
Remote medical jobs exist for licensed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, counselors and physician assistants, but you can also work in this field doing the “behind the scenes” work. This includes scheduling, claims reviews, insurance work and more.
Go to Remote Medical Jobs to get an idea of what telehealth jobs are out there. Or search for the best remote jobs for medical professionals on our site.
Nearly all schools had to transition to online when the pandemic hit, but we’re not talking about that. There are many teaching positions that are permanently remote, and were long before Covid struck.
Of course, if you’re already a seasoned teacher or professor, you can look for remote teaching positions at universities or even high schools. But even if you don’t have a long background in teaching, there are jobs out there that make great side hustles (and can even transition to full time careers).
Most common are tutoring and teaching English as a second language. The demand for native English speakers who are available to teach remotely is incredibly high. The pay can range anywhere from $10/hour to $40/hour or more. How much you make will depend on who you work for, what experience you have and even what hours you choose to work. Some of these positions may require that you have a TEFL certificate, and these are usually the ones that have higher pay.
You can often set your own hours for these kinds of positions. However, keep in mind that many English teaching positions might need you to be working early in the morning or very late at night due to the time difference between Asia and North America or Europe.
Next steps: How to Get Started with Working Remotely
All this might seem overwhelming, especially if you’re new to the remote work scene. To start making progress towards your dream job, you’ll need three things:
Be remote ready
Know your strengths
Know what job you want
1. Remote Ready: How do I prepare for remote work?
Set up a home office or workspace that’s going to help you be productive. Whether this is a dedicated room in your house or just a desk in the corner is up to you. However, all home offices need strong Wi-Fi and a steady source of power.
Ready to take your remote career on the road? First be sure to check out our Mobility Criteria to make sure you can successfully live and work from anywhere in the world.
Your job may supply you with work from home tools or it may not. Applications like Slack, Zoom, and others allow you to be connected with your team and keep on top of your work. You will want to look into which pieces of software are most necessary for your position and then familiarize yourself with how they work.
Over-communication is the name of the game here. If you’re silent, your clients or teammates won’t know what you’re up to. Be extra responsive to emails, don’t leave messages on read and reach out to those you work with regularly. It takes motivation to succeed in remote work, so be sure you’re ready to take initiative.
Working from home can be distracting for some people. Here’s how you can identify and prevent common distractions:
Set up your office in a low-traffic area of your home
Talk with your housemates or family and explain what your availability will look like on work days
Consider getting a dedicated work phone
Calendars and time management
If you’re new to remote work, don’t jump into it without first preparing for a major shift in time management. You’ll be on your own getting your work done with no coworkers or a boss to look over your shoulder. Some people thrive in a self-starter environment and others need a little extra help.
Give yourself every advantage by:
Setting up a work calendar
Testing your internet and power supplies
Practicing using remote collaboration tools like Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.
Not sure if you’re ready for remote work or not? Take a moment to really analyze your passions and your career strengths.
2. Know Your Strengths: What are one of the best remote jobs for me?
Looking for remote work but not sure where to start? It can be overwhelming, but the key is to zero in on what you need. Ask yourself these questions:
Am I looking to transition my current career online or start a new one?
It is easier to search for a new remote position that matches your current one because you know exactly what you’re looking for. But you shouldn’t be scared to jump into something new if that’s what’s going to keep you happy and motivated.
Do I want to be my own boss or work for someone else?
There are varying degrees of independence within remote work. Finding a remote job in an existing company is usually an easier path but may not give you all the freedom you want. For example, you may still be tied to traditional office hours and availability.
Embarking on a truly independent remote work track means going into freelance work or starting your own online company. Both of these require a bit more of an initial time investment on your part. A freelancer needs to establish credibility and start selling their brand. Starting your own business means coming up with a product, developing your brand, setting up a website and more.
It all depends on what you’re looking for. Which of these paths is going to be the most rewarding for you? Answer that question, and then don’t settle for anything less.
What are my current skills and what skills do I want to improve or learn?
You want a job that’s a good fit now but with room to grow. Identifying your strengths as well as weaknesses you want to work on will help you narrow down your search. We’ll go into more detail about skills and personality below.
What excites and motivates me?
You’re transitioning to remote work because of the freedom and flexibility it offers, but it’s not just the “remoteness” of the job that’s important. The work you’re doing matters, too. Settling for a position you’re not interested in just because it’s remote will not make you happy in the long run. Instead, identify your passions and find remote work that lets you utilize them.
How do I assess my skills?
“What are you good at?” is such a daunting question. If you’re struggling to pinpoint your professional skills and goals, you’re not alone! It can be tricky to identify just what you’re good at and even trickier to match your answers to the language you find in job descriptions.
An online skills assessment can help you crack the surface. And once you get going, you’ll find that figuring yourself out is an exciting, lifelong journey.
What’s my work personality?
“What’s your personality?” is even vaguer than the last question, but equally as important for finding your ideal job–online or otherwise. People are diverse and no one fits perfectly into any single category. However, an online personality test might be a good place to start if you need a general idea of the work environment where you’re most likely to thrive.
3. Know What Job You Want: Where can I find the best remote jobs?
You can find remote work positions practically anywhere jobs are posted. All the common sites like Monster, Flexjobs and Indeed have remote jobs and you can usually filter your search to find just these positions. You can also take a gander at the Liveworkanywhere job board for remote positions in different fields.
Still feeling lost?
You can start by taking some courses and dig in a bit more into skill development to see which path suits you best.
A career coach may be able to help you get started. If you’re dedicated to finding a new online career but still feel overwhelmed by the scope of your options, talking through your needs with a professional might be the jumpstart you need. However, to make the most out of a career coach, you may want to first identify your skills and basic job needs and go to your coach with these answers already in your mind.
Remote work is more common than ever, and it’s showing no signs of slowing. Remote work in 2021 is more robust and versatile than ever before, and it’s changing the professional landscape as we know it.
Remote workers save approximately $7,000 every year on transportation, food and childcare (TECLA)
Working remotely just half of the time saves people on average 11 days each year by reducing commute time (State of Telecommuting)
Remote workers are 24% more likely to report being both happy and productive at their job (Owl Labs)
By 2028, 73% of business departments will have at least one remote worker (Upwork)
The three kinds of remote work
Remote work is a very broad term that includes a lot of different online jobs. These positions can be fully remote, hybrid or flex. We’ll go into each type of remote work below.
1. Fully Remote
Fully remote is just what it sounds like: a job or business built with the intention of being remote.
These jobs will already be equipped with the proper tools for you to succeed virtually. Companies with fully remote positions will likely also have a better understanding of what to expect of their remote employees.
The key difference between hybrid remote work and fully remote work is the company. With a hybrid position, some of your coworkers may be in-office, as opposed to an all-remote staff. This changes the general culture of your workplace.
Almost any type of job can be a hybrid position, it just depends on the company. The CFO of a large hospital may be fully remote, so might an entry-level assistant position. No matter what your skills and work experience, there are remote jobs out there for you.
Some positions offer flex work. This means you go into the office some or most of the time, and have the opportunity to work remotely, as well. The number of remote days for a flex position could range from one or two a month to several a week!
While flex work still requires you live near to your business’s office space, it does offer many of the other benefits of remote work like increased flexibility and the potential for greater productivity. With a flex job, you may be able to travel more, spend more time with your family or just get away from the noise of the office every now and then.
One more kind of remote work is forced remote. This is when a traditionally in-person position is forced online due to circumstance. Many people are finding themselves in forced remote situations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not all companies were ready for the sudden switch to online work, and without the proper infrastructure and procedures in place, their employees had a difficult time. Odds are you may already be one of the more than a million people forced into online work by the pandemic, and you may have found it frustrating and difficult.
The good news is that this doesn’t mean you aren’t cut out for remote work. You may just need to find an online position that was designed with remote work in mind. This is where remote first work and flex work come into play.
The truth about remote work
Remote work requires just as much dedication and skills as working in a traditional office. Sometimes even more so. You need to be self driven and able to keep on top of your schedule and time management.
And while you can work from anywhere given the right tools, transitioning to remote work probably won’t mean you’ll be putting together that project report from your beach towel. Remote work, like traditional office work, requires good lighting, internet and diminished distractions.
Is remote work for everyone?
No. As exciting as it is that more and more people are being offered the chance to work remotely, some people–like some industries–are better suited to working on site. According to Buffer, loneliness, communication and the ability to separate work from one’s home life are the biggest challenges that remote workers face.
The most helpful thing you can do now is make an honest assessment of your strengths and weaknesses as they pertain to time management and remote work. If you’re unsure where to start, try matching your personality type to your ideal remote career.
According to Owl Labs, the health industry, tech industry and financial services have the highest rate of remote workers. But web development, design, copywriting and finance are also big players in the remote space.
Some industries are less of a good fit for large amounts of remote workers, especially those involving events and activities. For people in these industries, there may be fewer options for remote work. Notice we said fewer, not none. You might be surprised how many traditionally in-person industries have remote options.
Remote work encouraging exodus from large cities
One of the most exciting aspects of this changing work landscape is how cities and towns are adapting to these changes. Years ago, when remote work was rare, there were many jobs that were locationally locked to certain areas. Once upon a time, your only shot in a given industry might have required you pack up your things and move. Today, this is less and less the case.
With work no longer as rigorously tied to location, we’re seeing something of a migration as people choose to move to more rural areas to save money on housing, to be closer to family or just to get out of the city.
Conversely, this leaves more of an opening in larger cities for people who truly want to live there. People are leaving San Francisco for Sacramento, New York for South Florida, and all in record numbers. According to CNBC, 14-23 million Americans are in the midst of planning a relocation thanks to more flexible remote working schedules.
Technology is innovating to support the growing online workforce
New innovations like 5g and satellite technologies are making it easier than ever to stay connected to your coworkers and career from anywhere in the world. Today, hopping onto an online workspace is quick and painless, and your team can coordinate work easy through e-mail, Dropbox, shared files like Google Docs. and the hundreds of other companies providing similar tools.
Video conferencing software like Zoom make synchronized online meetings a possibility. These technologies and remote work form a symbiotic relationship: as remote work options grow, bolstered by all these new tools, tech companies are encouraged to innovate even more to keep up with the rising demand for work-from-home software.
Remote work in 2021
16 percent of companies in the world are entirely remote (Owl Labs)
52% of employees work remotely at least once every month (Owl Labs)
Approximately 62 percent of employees work remotely at least some of the time (Owl Labs)
18 percent of people globally work remotely full time (Owl Labs)
Less than half of the world’s companies (44 percent) don’t allow any form of remote work (Owl Labs)
How to work remotely
If you’re interested in working remotely, you have three options: working from home from your current job, finding a new remote job or starting your own online business and becoming your own boss.
1. Transition your current job to remote work
Your current job may be able to accommodate a remote work lifestyle. Many companies are seeing the benefit to staffing more of their employees remotely. However, if your employer is one of the 44 percent that don’t allow any remote work, that doesn’t mean you can’t take your skills and experience elsewhere.
2. Look for a new remote position
If your job won’t allow you to transition to remote or flex work, then there’s nothing wrong with pursuing other opportunities. Go to online job boards to see what positions are available in your field. Since you can work from almost anywhere for a remote position, you’ll likely find you have more options than you would were you looking for in-person work.
You also have the option to cut completely free of your employer entirely and start up your own online business. The possibilities here are virtually limitless, so much so that we have an entire post on getting your remote business off the ground.
Getting ready for remote work in 2021
What do I need to work remotely?
I’ve learned that although you CAN work from anywhere, you aren’t very productive working from the beach with sand blowing on your laptop and overheating or from your car or from the rock of Gibraltar. This kind of setup puts you at risk of running out of power, losing your internet, getting distracted, or simply not having access to all the supplies you need because you left them in the other room.
Good internet (you can write off part of your internet bill on your taxes)
As you work, you’ll find additional home office supplies that make sense for you and your job. Do you need a paper shredder? A filing cabinet? Don’t go overboard buying too many things beyond the necessities until you know you’ll need them.
You can see our full guide on setting up the optimal home office here.
What does remote work mean for you
Your path into this new work world is yours to make. If you have the desire to embrace online work, then you may find yourself enjoying the freedoms remote work entails. You can write your schedule more freely, travel and live wherever you want to be, and accomplish all your career goals from your own home.
Even if you don’t switch to remote work, the future is still exciting. As the urban-suburban dichotomy begins to shift with remote workers relocating, you may find an opportunity to seek out an in-person job in a place you never thought you could move to before. And your workplace will likely have more remote employees in the future, even if you remain in the office.
No matter what your career, the changing work landscape may be your chance to get out there and reshape your career however you see fit.
What specific skills do I need to work remotely?
Remote work requires you to be self-motivated and a good communicator. Without being surrounded by coworkers or supervisors, you’ll need to keep your own schedule and know when to reach out to colleagues.
As for job-specific skills, you’ll find that nearly all career skills can translate nicely to an online career. Some of the most sought-after skills in remote workers include:
Technical and computer skills
Remote jobs exist for all positions, from beginner to expert, so don’t think so much about how you can gain remote work skills, and instead focus on how you can transition the skills you have to an online job.
What remote work jobs can I get?
The sky’s the limit! Whatever your passion, you can find an online job that taps into your skills and career goals. Some of the most common online positions right now are:
No. Depending on your remote job, you may make more, less, or the same amount as an in-person position. In fact, on average remote workers actually see an annual income that’s $4,000 higher.
It can be hard to say for sure whether transitioning to remote work will see you bringing home bigger paychecks or not, because there are so many variables. Some companies pay employees different salaries based on where they live, which means that if you live in a rural area but your coworkers are in the city, there’s a possibility you may be offered a comparatively lower salary. This is a company-by-company decision, however, and you also have to factor in the cost savings of remote work such as:
Opportunity to live in a cheaper area
Lower childcare costs
Home office tax deductions
How much does it cost to set up a home office?
The answer is as much or as little as you need, depending on your job. You may need $3,000-$5,000 if you’re investing in a new desk, a new computer and upgrading your internet.
If that sounds like a lot, don’t panic. Many people start off their their existing laptop and phone setup and pay very little for their home office. Doing so allows you to give remote work a try without being too financially invested. If you end up going back to the office, then you’re not out anything.
Are remote jobs less stable?
No. A remote job is no more or less stable than its in-person equivalent. How stable your remote job is comes down entirely to the company you’re working for (or the industry you’re in if you start your own business).
Know your worth as an employee and always do your research into a company before applying to work remotely for them. Remote work scams are a valid concern, so make sure you’re ready to spot and avoid them.
Matching your personality traits and types for your ideal remote job or career – Packaging your skills and finding a remote job that suits you
Having a remote job is a dream for many. Thanks to COVID-19 the coronavirus global pandemic, we’ve had to shift to remote much quicker than expected. You may be wondering if you have the personality type for a remote job. The good news is that there is remote work out there for you no matter what personality traits you have!
But how do you know which type of remote job is right for you? When you’re just starting out it can be daunting to figure out what path to take to lead you to the right remote job. And it makes sense to make sure your new remote position is one that’s well-suited to what you’re good at. There are several jobs in which you can translate your skills from offline to online. But first, we decided to take a look at how your remote career maps to your personality type as a starting point to look at the type of remote career that’s right for you.
Mapping a remote career to your personality type
We’re all a little bit different. Knowing your strengths is key to excelling in your remote work.
There are many online resources that can help you build and manage a remote-ready skillset.
We’ve provided a list of courses, broken down by entry level, mid level, and highly skilled, and by area of expertise: marketing, finance, programming, and so on.
Once you’ve found the career that’s right for you, take a look at the Courses on LiveWorkAnywhere to dig deeper into your next remote career.
Have you thought about what skills match your personality type?
Not sure what your strengths are yet? A lot of people don’t think they’re good at anything, when in reality, they’re just not aware of what their strongest qualities are. Taking a quick personality test can give you an idea of what kind of tasks and skills suit you best. You can then identify the personality traits for your ideal online career and see if they match up with your personality type.
This Hubspot blog details seven different career aptitude tests for recent graduates and seasoned professionals alike. General personality tests like this one from 16personalities.com can be helpful, too. No one test is a perfect representation of you. These are just tools to give you an idea of yourself and your strengths and get you started on your path to a remote career.
Personality types and the remote careers that match
The most common personality and career aptitude test, the Meyers-Briggs test, breaks personality types down by four distinct categories.
Introverted vs. extroverted
Thinking vs. feeling
Judging vs. perceiving
Sensing vs. intuition
Here are some examples of remote jobs that pair well with these broad personality categories.
Of course these aren’t laws! If you find you don’t have the personality type for the remote job you want, that doesn’t mean a career in that field is beyond your reach. Experience with remote work can help you get a feel for how your personality type best fits with your desired career. For example, an introverted person can still work in an extroverted field like copywriting or editing.
How to get started
If you’ve never worked remotely before, then you’ll want to brush up on some of the essential skills. Here are some resources to help you kickstart your remote career, no matter which industry you choose.
This is an all-encompassing career management course designed to get your remote career off the ground. You’ll learn how to ace remote interviews, the warning signs of sketchy job positions and how to master the technology required for remote work.
This might be especially pertinent to anyone looking to land a freelance position. Selling yourself and your services to online clients requires a masterful grasp of your “brand”. Learn to start leveraging yourself like a company.
Time management is an essential resume skill for those looking to land remote work. Since you won’t be punching a time card, you’ll need to motivate yourself to get everything done on time.
Also, look at LiveWorkAnywhere courses for general remote work skills courses around productivity, time management, managing remote teams, communication, and skill-specific courses for entry level, mid level, and highly skilled remote jobs.
Remote work traits employers look for
Independent – Independence is essential. You won’t have a supervisor keeping tabs on you all day.
Self-starter – Remote work calls for a lot of initiative.
Responsive – Keeping track of remote workers can be tricky, and employers want to know they can trust you to be available.
Introvert – Introverts handle down time well and are less inclined to feel lonely working by themselves.
Extrovert – Extroverts tend to be great communicators, and can keep their remote coworkers informed.
Focused – There are a lot of distractions in the world of remote work. Employers want employees who can stay focused.
Self-disciplined – Remote workers have to serve as their own supervisors sometimes, keeping themselves on task. Not sure you’re self-disciplined and structured enough to thrive in a remote environment? Don’t worry, you can create this skill set by working hard and establishing a daily routine.
Team player – All-remote teams need extraordinary communication and cooperation to function properly.
Resourceful problem solver – Remote positions call for adaptable employees. There will be times where you will have to get creative to work around technology failings and other issues.
Experience working remotely – While you won’t have this starting out, employers look to see how well you adapt to remote work. One of the most obvious ways is by having worked remotely in the past, and if you haven’t, proving you have the chops to do so by being communicative, resourceful, and a self-starter.
Are you ready to make the move to remote work? Most employers will be drawn to applicants with previous remote experience. If you’ve never worked a remote job before, then now’s the time to put a remote-ready plan in place.
Remote work was once the “Future of Work”. Yet even a casual glance at current remote work stats shows that the future has become the now and working from home is is the norm for many people. But just in case you needed some proof, we’ve compiled a few remote work statistics.
Younger leaders are embracing remote work
Remote work stats show that the younger workforce is definitely at the forefront of remote and flex work. As the younger generations come to occupy more managerial positions, remote work options for staff are becoming more acceptable.
69% of younger managers have team members with remote work options (Source: Upwork)
Younger managers are 28% more likely to utilize remote workers than Baby Boomers. (Source: Upwork)
68% of graduating college students listed remote work as the top benefit in their job search (Source: After College)
Flex work is bridging the gap
Flex work allows traditional businesses a sort of “practice space” for online work. By allowing employees to work remotely just part of the time, companies retain the benefits of both traditional office work and remote work.
In 2015, 30% of the U.S. workforce had the option to work remotely part time. By 2025, this number is expected to rise to 50% (Source: Flex Summit)
American Express saw a 43% increase in employee retention by offering flexible work options (Source: Flex Summit)
Remote work is only increasing
Remote work options are now the norm for many companies. Growth in this sector has sped up in recent years and is showing no signs of slowing down. Remote work statistics show remote work options overtaking their in-office counterparts.
In the next ten years, hiring manager predict that 38% of their permanent, full-time employees will work remotely (Source: Upwork)
The U.S. freelance workforce is growing 3x faster than the overall U.S. workforce (Source: Fast Company)
Companies are seeing the benefits of remote work
Remote work can save companies a lot of money. While guaranteeing the success of remote work does require several unique investments, remote works stats show that these costs often pale in comparison to traditional office overhead.
Creative Commons went fully remote with a 25-person team and saved $250,000 (Source: Flex Summit)
59% of hiring managers today are using freelance and contract workers, up from just 24% in 2017. This number is predicted to increase by 168% in just the next decade. (Source: Fast Company)
Culture is the key going forward
Remote work is fundamentally different from in-office work, and needs a different approach. Policies and work culture must adjust to accommodate an increasingly remote workforce.
Asking remote employees to “shut down” after work hours yields as much as a 20% increase in retention (Source: Flex Summit)
63% of employers have remote workers, yet most currently lack defined remote work policies
LiveWorkAnywhere connects you with resources including articles, products and courses that help you build an online business or find a remote job, allowing you to live and work from anywhere.
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LiveWorkAnywhere connects you with resources including articles, products and courses that help you build an online business or find a remote job, allowing you to live and work from anywhere.