9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

Traveling can profoundly affect one’s soul by broadening one’s perspective and understanding of the world. It can also help break down cultural barriers and prejudices and foster empathy and compassion for others. However, recent travel restrictions have made it challenging to go out and explore the world. So, for now, one good way to plan your next trip or adventure is to watch these inspiring movies about nomads.

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It can be a source of personal growth and self-discovery because it allows people to step outside their comfort zones and gain new experiences and insights. Traveling can also be a source of inspiration and renewal for the soul because it allows people to connect with new places, people, and cultures while recharging their spirits through exposure to new and different environments.

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

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If you’re still figuring out where to go, check out these movies about nomads to help you decide. These nomad movies and documentaries inspire viewers to travel the world by showcasing the beauty and diversity of different cultures, landscapes, ways of life, and even the minimalist lifestyle.

These movies about nomads highlight the personal growth and self-discovery that can come from embarking on a journey, like an epic road trip, solo hike, exploring the Alaskan wilderness, or crossing the Indian Ocean.

Learning about the nomadic life of actual and real life nomads could provide a powerful motivation to help you go after a location independent lifestyle and craft your own real life story filled with your own adventures as you step outside your comfort zone. Additionally, these famous nomad movies can provide a glimpse into the freedom and adventure experienced while traveling and experiencing the digital nomad lifestyle.

Nomadland

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

One of the best movies about nomads is “Nomadland,” which is a 2020 American drama film directed by Chloe Zhao and written by Zhao and Jessica Bruder. The film stars Frances McDormand as a woman named Fern who, following the economic collapse of a company town in rural Nevada, becomes a modern-day nomad, living the van life throughout the American West and camping in Bureau of Land Management sites.

The movie received critical acclaim and has been praised for its stunning cinematography, performances, and portrayal of the nomad lifestyle. The film was nominated for multiple awards, including six Oscars, and won several of them, including best picture and best director, at the 93rd Academy Awards.

Critics have praised the film for its realistic and compassionate portrayal of the nomadic lifestyle and its sensitive and nuanced exploration of themes such as community, loss, and resilience.

The film has been described as a “beautiful and deeply felt tribute” to the nomadic community and has been commended for its ability to convey the sense of freedom and adventure that comes with living on the road, as well as its honest and unflinching depiction of the challenges and hardships that the nomads face.

 

Expedition Happiness

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

Another headliner in the list of best movies about nomads is “Expedition Happiness,” which is a 2017 German documentary film directed by Felix Starck and Selima Taibi. The film follows the journey of a young couple, Felix and Selima, as they renovate a school bus and travel across North America with their dog.

The movie received mixed reviews from critics; some praised the film for its stunning visuals and portrayal of the nomadic lifestyle, while others criticized it for its lack of depth and focus on privileged travelers.

Critics have commended the film for its beautiful and evocative cinematography, which captures North America’s stunning landscapes and natural beauty. They also praised the film for portraying the couple’s relationship and their experience living on a bus.

However, some reviewers have criticized the film for its lack of depth and focus on privileged travelers and for not fully exploring the challenges and difficulties of living on the road, neglecting the issues faced when embarking on a digital nomad lifestyle.

Overall, the movie is visually stunning, capturing the beauty of the nomadic lifestyle and the adventure of traveling with a loved one. Still, it may need a deeper exploration of the challenges and difficulties of living on the road.

Wild

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

Among the movies about nomads released in the past years, “Wild” is arguably one of the most widely acclaimed. It is a 2014 American true story drama directed by Jean-Marc Vallée and written by Nick Hornby. The film stars Reese Witherspoon as Cheryl Strayed, a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail alone as a way to cope with the recent loss of her mother and the dissolution of her marriage.

Critics have praised the film for its powerful and emotional performances, particularly Witherspoon’s portrayal of Strayed, which has been described as “brave and raw.” They also praised the film for its realistic and honest portrayal of Strayed’s challenges and emotional turmoil on her journey.

The film has also been lauded for its cinematography, which captures the breathtaking scenery of the Pacific Crest Trail, and for its ability to convey the sense of independence and self-discovery that accompanies a solo journey.

Overall, the movie is a well-crafted and emotionally powerful film that tells a story of personal growth and self-discovery through the lens of a solitary journey.

Tracks

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

“Tracks” is a 2013 Australian biographical drama film directed by John Curran and written by Marion Nelson. The film stars Mia Wasikowska as Robyn Davidson, a young woman who embarks on a solo journey across the Australian desert with her dog and four camels.

The movie generally received positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its performances, particularly Wasikowska’s portrayal of Davidson and the harsh and unforgiving terrain of the Australian desert.

Like most movies about nomads, it featured spectacular landscapes. It particularly focused on the Australian desert, which was captured in the film’s beautiful and evocative photography.

The film has been hailed for its ability to depict the sense of adventure and self-discovery that comes with setting out on a journey alone. They also gave the performances high marks, singling out Wasikowska for her “compelling” and “nuanced” turn as Davidson.

The film has also been commended for its realistic and honest portrayal of the physical and emotional challenges that Davidson faces on her journey and its exploration of themes such as identity and self-discovery.

The Secret Life of Walter Mitty

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

Another standout in this list of movies about nomads is “The Secret Life of Walter Mitty.” It is a 2013 American fantasy-comedy-drama film directed by Ben Stiller and written by Steve Conrad.

The film stars Ben Stiller as Walter Mitty, a timid and daydreaming photo editor at Life magazine who embarks on a journey to find a missing negative for a photograph that will be the last ever printed in the magazine.

Critics have praised the film for its visually stunning shots and performances, particularly Ben Stiller’s portrayal of Walter Mitty, which has been described as “charming” and “endearing.”

They also found the film’s depiction of the beauty of the world and the process of coming into one’s own to be uplifting and moving.

However, some reviewers and fans of digital nomad movies criticized the film for its slow pacing and for not fully exploring its themes, such as the transition from print to digital media, the loss of jobs and the sense of identity that come with it.

All in all, the movie is a visually stunning film that tells a story of personal growth and self-discovery through the lens of a journey to find a missing negative and the beauty of the world. It’s one of the most inspiring movies for any aspiring digital nomad. But it may need to explore the themes of a nomadic journey it presents fully.

The Way

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

“The Way” is a 2010 American drama film directed by Emilio Estevez and written by Estevez and Jack Hodge. The film stars Martin Sheen as Tom, an American ophthalmologist who travels to France to collect the remains of his adult son (played by Estevez), who died while hiking the Camino de Santiago, an ancient pilgrimage trail in Spain.

The movie generally received positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its performances, particularly Martin Sheen’s portrayal of Tom and its portrayal of the personal journey of the main character.

Critics have praised the film for its performances, particularly Martin Sheen’s portrayal of Tom, which has been described as “poignant” and “moving.” They also praised the film for its realistic and honest portrayal of the emotional journey that Tom goes through as he grapples with the loss of his son and the meaning of life.

The film has also received praise for its superb cinematography, which portrays the stunning scenery of the Camino de Santiago, as well as its ability to express the spiritual and personal revelation that comes with embarking on a pilgrimage.

Overall, it is one of the movies about nomads that’s well-crafted and emotionally powerful. It effectively tells a story of personal growth and self-discovery through the lens of a pilgrimage journey and the loss of a loved one.

 

Eat, Pray, Love

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

No list of movies about nomads is complete with “Eat, Pray, Love.” This is a 2010 American true story romantic drama film directed by Ryan Murphy and written by Ryan Murphy, Jennifer Salt, and Elizabeth Gilbert. The film stars Julia Roberts as Elizabeth Gilbert, a woman who embarks on a year-long journey of self-discovery across Italy, India and Indonesia.

Critics have praised the film for its performances, particularly Julia Roberts’ portrayal of Elizabeth Gilbert, which has been described as “engaging” and “sincere.” They also praised the film for its ability to convey the personal growth and self-discovery that comes with embarking on a journey of self-discovery.

However, some reviewers criticized the film for its lack of depth and focus on privileged characters and for not fully exploring the challenges and difficulties that come with personal growth and self-discovery. The movie has also been criticized for its representation of the culture and spirituality of the places the main character visited.

Overall, the movie is a well-crafted and engaging film that tells a story of personal growth and self-discovery through the lens of a journey across three different countries. But it may need a deeper exploration of the themes it presents and the representation of culture and spirituality of the places visited.

A Map for Saturday

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

“A Map for Saturday” is a 2007 American documentary directed by Brook Silva-Braga. The film follows Silva-Braga as he embarks on a solo journey around the world, backpacking and staying in hostels, to explore the world of long-term solo travel and the people he meets along the way.

The movie generally received positive reviews from critics and was praised for its portrayal of the nomadic lifestyle and the director’s personal journey.

Critics have praised the film for its honest and unflinching portrayal of the nomadic lifestyle and for its ability to convey the freedom and adventure that comes with living on the road. They also praised the film for its portrayal of the director’s personal journey, which has been described as “inspiring” and “eye-opening.”

The film has also been commended for its ability to capture the diversity of experiences and perspectives of travelers from around the world and for its exploration of themes such as identity and self-discovery.

Seven Years in Tibet

9 Movies About Nomads That Will Inspire You To Explore The World

“Seven Years in Tibet” is a 1997 American biographical war drama film directed by Jean-Jacques Annaud and written by Annaud and Becky Johnston, based on the 1952

book of the same name by Heinrich Harrer. The film stars Brad Pitt as Heinrich Harrer, an Austrian mountain climber imprisoned in India during World War II, who escapes and travels to Tibet, where he befriends and becomes a tutor to the young Dalai Lama.

The movie generally received positive reviews from critics. It was praised for its performances, particularly Brad Pitt’s portrayal of Heinrich Harrer, and for its portrayal of the culture and spirituality of Tibet.

The film has also been commended for its cinematography, which captures the stunning landscapes and culture of Tibet and for its honest and unflinching portrayal of the story’s historical context, including the Chinese invasion of Tibet.

Overall, the movie is a well-crafted and evocative film that tells a story of friendship and personal growth through the lens of a journey to Tibet and the people and culture encountered along the way.

Conclusion

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Travel-related or digital nomad movies can be a great way to explore the world without leaving your home, and they can inspire, educate and entertain you. They offer a glimpse into the freedom and adventure experienced on the road.

Many movies about traveling feature characters on a journey of self-discovery; these stories can be relatable and inspire personal growth in the viewers.

More importantly, movies about traveling can inspire anyone to travel and pursue the digital nomad experience. By showcasing the beauty and diversity of different cultures, landscapes, and ways of life, movies about traveling can spark a sense of curiosity and adventure in viewers.

They can also highlight the personal growth and self-discovery that can come from embarking on a journey and stepping outside one’s comfort zone. Additionally, digital nomad movies or films about traveling can provide a glimpse into the freedom and adventure that can be experienced while traveling, inspiring people to plan their trips.

However, it’s important to note that digital nomad movies are a form of storytelling, and the representation of a place or culture may not be entirely accurate or reflective of reality. Nonetheless, this list of remarkably inspiring and most famous nomad movies can still push people to explore the world and have their own experiences and perspectives as digital nomads.

Best Video Conferencing Lights for Digital Nomads [2023]

A video conferencing light plays a crucial role in Zoom meetings and other video calls as it greatly impacts the visual quality of the video and can affect the overall experience of the conversation.

Good lighting can enhance the appearance of the person on camera and make the video appear more professional and polished. On the other hand, poor lighting can create shadows, uneven lighting, and glare, which can make the video appear dark, unprofessional and hard to see.

Best Video Conferencing Lights for Digital Nomads (2023)

What is video conference lighting?

Video conference lighting is a type of lighting setup that is designed to enhance the visual appearance and create a flattering angle for a participant during a video conference call, such as Zoom calls.

It is typically placed on or near the webcam or camera and provides additional light to the face when natural light is insufficient, making the user appear more visible and vibrant on the video call.

Video conferencing lights can be used in a variety of settings, including homes, offices, and other professional environments, to improve the overall quality of video calls and make them more effective for communication. Some of the best lighting setup options are LED lights because they provide bright and even light, and they don’t get hot.

Pros and cons of using a video conferencing light

Best Video Conferencing Lights for Digital Nomads (2023)

Pros of using a video conferencing light:

  • Improved visibility and video quality: Proper lighting can help to reduce eye strain and make the video more comfortable to look at for long periods of time. Additionally, it can help to bring out the person’s facial expressions and get rid of harsh lines caused by poor face lighting, making it easier to read emotions and nonverbal cues which is important for effective communication.
  • Greater flexibility: Video lighting can be used in a variety of settings, such as at home, in a conference room, or on the go.
  • Increased productivity: With improved visibility and video quality thanks to an additional light source, users are better able to communicate effectively with their colleagues and clients.

Best Video Conferencing Lights for Digital Nomads (2023)

Cons of using a video conferencing light:

  • Additional cost: A video conference lighting setup can be an additional expense, especially if you need to purchase a separate device or accessory.
  • Additional setup: Depending on the type of video conferencing light or studio lighting kit you choose, there will be additional setup required before video or Zoom calls.
  • Potential for distraction: Some users may find that the light is too bright or distracting, which could impact their ability to focus on the call. This is why they prefer natural lighting as much as possible or an overhead lighting setup instead.
  • Power source: Some lights require to be plugged in, pretty much like a desk lamp or a light stand, which can be an inconvenience for those who want to take the light with them when they travel.
  • Intrusive: Some people may consider it intrusive to have a bright light shining on their face during video calls or Zoom meetings, especially if they’re not used to it.

Overall, using a video conferencing light can have many benefits in terms of visibility and video quality, but it also has some downsides to consider, such as cost and setup. Ultimately, whether a video conferencing light is right for you will depend on your specific needs and preferences.

Best video conferencing lights for digital nomads

Best Video Conferencing Lights for Digital Nomads (2023)

When choosing a video conferencing light, there are several factors to consider:

  • Lighting type

    Different types of lighting, such as LED, fluorescent, or incandescent, can provide different levels of brightness and color temperature. Most users want their equipment to make them seem like they have natural lighting instead of artificial-looking “Zoom lighting.”

  • Brightness and color temperature

    The brightness and color temperature of the light will affect how well the user is seen on the call, and also how it affects the overall ambiance of the room. More importantly, it’s crucial to choose a video lighting that offers you a flattering light.

  • Size and shape

    Video conferencing lights come in different sizes and shapes, from handy ring lights to the more complicated three point lighting setup, and choosing the right one will depend on the space and equipment available.

  • Portability

    Some video conferencing lights are portable and can be easily moved from one location to another, while others, like those including panel lights, are designed to be mounted in a specific location.

  • Adjustability

    Some video conferencing lights can be adjusted in terms of brightness and color temperature, which can be useful in different lighting conditions.

  • Battery-powered or plug-in

    Some lights require to be plugged in, which can be an inconvenience for those who want to take the light with them when they travel.

  • Compatibility

    Some lights are designed to be used with specific devices or camera setups, so make sure that the light you choose is compatible with your equipment.

  • Price

    Video conferencing lights can vary widely in price, so consider your budget when making your choice.

By considering these factors, you can choose a video conferencing light that best suits your needs and preferences.

Best overall video conferencing light: Lume Cube 18-inch Wireless Light

Source: Lumecube

The Lume Cube 18-inch Wireless Light is a portable, wireless LED light that could be a good option for video conferencing.

Pros of Lume Cube 18-inch Wireless Light

  • Wireless: The light can be controlled wirelessly via Bluetooth, which allows you to adjust the brightness and color temperature without having to physically touch the light.
  • Brightness and color temperature: The light has a color temperature range of 3200K-6500K, and it’s fully adjustable to match the room light. It also has a brightness of up to 1500 LUX, which is enough for video conferencing.
  • Portable: The light is lightweight and small enough to be easily transported, making it a good option for those who need to take their video conferencing light with them on the go.
  • Battery-powered: The light has a built-in rechargeable battery which allows you to use it wirelessly and it also has a battery life of up to 90 minutes at full power.
  • Compatibility: The light is compatible with Lume Cube App, which allows you to control the brightness and color temperature with your smartphone.
Source: Lumecube

Cons of Lume Cube 18-inch Wireless Light:

  • Price: The $199.99 price tag of this light may be considered expensive compared to other options on the market.

Best USB light for video conferencing: Logitech Litra Glow Premium LED Streaming Light

Source: Logitech

The Logitech Litra Glow is a high-end premium LED streaming light that is specifically designed for video conferencing, streaming, and content creation. It is a small, portable and versatile light that can be mounted on any camera, laptop screen, and tripod.

Pros of Logitech Litra Glow Premium LED Streaming Light

  • Bright and daylight-balanced light: With a color temperature of 6000K, the Logitech Litra Glow provides a bright, daylight-balanced light that helps to reduce shadows and illuminate the face, making it ideal for video conferencing and streaming.
  • Portable and versatile: The Logitech Litra Glow is small and lightweight, making it easy to take with you on the go. It can be mounted on most cameras, laptops and tripods, providing a lot of flexibility in terms of positioning.
  • Dimmable: The Logitech Litra Glow is dimmable from 100% to 1%, so you can adjust it to the best lighting intensity to suit your needs.
  • Built-in rechargeable battery: The Logitech Litra Glow has a built-in battery that provides up to 3 hours of continuous lighting, which is convenient for users who are frequently on the go.
Source: Logitech

Cons of Logitech Litra Glow Premium LED Streaming Light

  • Price: The Logitech Litra Glow is a premium product and its price of $59.99 is relatively high compared to other Zoom lighting or video call light source options.
  • Battery life: The built-in rechargeable battery provides up to 3 hours of continuous lighting which is not very long, so if you plan to use the light for a longer time, you may need to bring a power bank to recharge it
  • Size: The Logitech Litra Glow is quite small, so it may not be able to brighten dark videos or provide enough light for larger spaces or for use in darker conditions.

Best clip-on light for video conferencing: Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light

Source: Auxiwa

Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light is a popular video conferencing light due to its portability, adjustability, and ease of use.

Pros of Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light:

  • Clip-on design: The light attaches easily to the top of a laptop or computer monitor, making it easy to use during video calls.
  • Adjustable brightness and color temperature: The light has 36 LED bulbs that can be adjusted to three different brightness levels and three different color temperatures, which allows you to customize the lighting to suit your needs.
  • Portable: Ring lights are generally lightweight and small enough to be easily transported, making them good options for those who need to take their video conferencing light with them on the go.
  • Affordable price: The light is relatively inexpensive at $15.99 compared to other options on the market.
Source: Auxiwa

Cons of Auxiwa Clip-on Selfie Ring Light:

  • Battery-powered: The light requires 2 AAA batteries to operate which can be an inconvenience for those who want to use it for long periods of time.
  • Quality of light: Some users have reported that the light is not as bright as they would like, and that the color temperature can be inconsistent.

Best video conferencing light if money was no object: Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit

Source: Rotolight

The Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit is a popular video conferencing light kit that includes a camera-mountable light, a ring light, and a tabletop light, making it suitable for different video conferencing needs.

Pros of Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit

  • Brightness and color temperature: The lights have a color temperature range of 3200K-6500K, and it’s fully adjustable to match the room light. They also have a brightness of up to 1400 LUX, which is enough for video conferencing.
  • Adjustable: The lights can be adjusted to suit different lighting conditions, whether you’re in a conference room or working from home.
  • Portable: The lights are lightweight and small enough to be easily transported, making them a good option for those who need to take their video conferencing light with them on the go.
  • Battery-powered: The lights have a built-in rechargeable battery which allows you to use them wirelessly and they also have a battery life of up to 90 minutes at full power.
  • Compatibility: The lights are compatible with Rotolight App, which allows you to control the brightness and color temperature with your smartphone.
Source: Rotolight

Cons of Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit:

  • Price: The Rotolight Video Conferencing Kit is a good option for those looking for a versatile video conferencing light kit that can be used in a variety of settings, but it may be considered expensive at $300 compared to other options on the market.

Best video conferencing light for those on a budget: Razer Kiyo Ring Light

Source: Razer

The Razer Kiyo Ring Light has received positive reviews as a video conferencing light. Many users have found that the ring light helps to improve the lighting in their video calls and makes them look more professional.

Pros of Razer Kiyo Ring Light

  • Bright and even light: The Razer Kiyo ring light provides a bright, even light that helps to reduce shadows and illuminate the face, making it ideal for video conferencing and streaming.
  • Adjustable color temperature: The Razer Kiyo ring light has an adjustable color temperature that ranges from 2700K to 6500K, allowing you to choose the right color temperature to suit your needs.
  • Built-in camera: The Razer Kiyo ring light has a built-in camera with a resolution of 720p, which is convenient for users who want to use the light and camera together.
  • Adjustable brightness settings: The Razer Kiyo ring light is dimmable, allowing you to adjust the brightness to suit your needs.
Source: Razer

Cons of Razer Kiyo Ring Light

  • Camera quality: The built-in camera has a resolution of 720p, which is not very high quality and may not be suitable for professional use.
  • Size: The Razer Kiyo ring light is quite small, so it may not provide enough light for larger spaces or for use in darker conditions and may be unable to eliminate harsh shadows in a Zoom video or other video conference call.
  • Compatibility: The Razer Kiyo ring light is designed to be used with specific Razer devices, it may not be compatible with other devices.

Good lighting is key to good communication

best video conferencing light

Good lighting is important for good communication in Zoom calls or any other video conference because it helps to ensure that the person on the other end of the call can see you clearly. When the lighting is poor, it can create unwanted shadows and make it difficult for the other person to see your face or read your facial expressions.

This can make it harder for them to understand what you’re saying, or to gauge your emotional state. Good lighting can help to eliminate these problems and make it easier for the other person to see and understand you.

Additionally, good lighting can make you appear more professional and put-together, which can help to establish trust and credibility. Poor lighting can give the impression that you’re not taking the call seriously, or that you’re not prepared.

Furthermore, good lighting can also help to reduce eye strain and fatigue, making it more comfortable for you and the other person to participate in the call.

best video conferencing light

In summary, good lighting can help to improve the visual aspect of video conferencing, making it easier for the other person to see and understand you and making you look more professional and trustworthy. It also helps to make the call more comfortable for all parties involved.

While there is no one “best” lighting for video conferences and Zoom calls, the ideal choice will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, some factors to consider when choosing a video conferencing light include the type of lighting (such as LED bulbs or fluorescent), the color temperature and brightness of the light, the size and shape of the light, and whether it is portable or mounted.

Ultimately, the best video conferencing light will depend on the specific needs and preferences of the user, as well as the space and equipment available to them.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

What Is Travel Insurance

Whenever we go abroad, we tend to focus on the positive aspects of our trip – hotel bookings, sightseeing, indulging in local specialties, etc. But there’s one crucial aspect some people tend to overlook – travel insurance for digital nomads.

What Is Travel Insurance For Digital Nomads?

Basically, travel and health insurance for digital nomads protects you from the unexpected especially when you’re in a foreign country. The longer you travel or, the more money you invest in your trip, the more things could go wrong.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

Travel insurance helps provide insurance and medical coverage for digital nomads in cases of accidents, injuries, lost belongings, stolen items, trip cancellations, and other emergencies or health-related issues. These types of global health insurance plans from travel insurance providers include medical coverage,

What Are the Different Types of Travel Insurance?

Depending on your digital nomad insurance package, your travel insurance coverage and nomad healthcare plan can include the following:

– Medical or health insurance coverage

– Emergency insurance (dental and medical) and emergency evacuation

– Electronics, baggage, and other personal belongings

– Trip cancellation

– COVID-19 insurance

– Repatriation

– Car rental

– Recreation or adventure travel

Do I Need Travel Insurance?

The answer here mainly depends on the duration of your trip. For short trips, you may not need digital nomad insurance.

However, for long-term travel and expensive vacations, the answer is yes, you do need travel insurance for digital nomad health insurance such as medical expenses, routine check ups emergency evacuation, trip interruption, and even trip cancellation insurance.

I used to believe that insurance for digital nomads is an unnecessary investment and that I could simply take my chances. I felt no need to reach out to any insurance company at that time. I carry only a traveler-friendly credit card (think American Express Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Venture Miles Rewards, American Express Platinum Card), which does help as a backup for digital nomads in times of medical emergencies.

But if you’re on a trip for a longer period or more than 100 miles from your home country, it’s best you get travel insurance.

Once, I was in a cafe in Morocco during Ramadan. A waiter accidentally dropped a tray and spilled burning hot tea on my arm.

My wrist burned like never before and shortly after was covered in giant bubble blisters. The cafe owners went to the kitchen, cut a tomato in half, and brought it to my table.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

They also gave me toothpaste to cover my wrist. Yes, they offered me toothpaste and tomato for my burn.

While this combination was unique, it wasn’t entirely effective. If I’d had taken the time to talk to an insurance provider before I left my home country and invested in private health insurance coverage for digital nomads, particularly international medical insurance, I would have been able to get proper treatment.

What Exactly Does Travel Insurance For Digital Nomads Cover?

The Unexpected

Travel insurance for digital nomads protects you in case things go wrong on a trip or long-term travel.

Any travel insurance company or insurance provider with a reputable name offers digital nomad health insurance plans that cover trip cancellation or trip interruption, delays, routine health exams, lost luggage, 24-hour assistance, medical emergencies, and specific medical benefits related to travel.

Often, digital nomads need to cancel their trips due to unforeseen illnesses and injuries that prohibit them from traveling, or family member deaths. Having international health insurance would go a long way in these situations.

The Medical, Lost Items, and Activities

A general remote health insurance package doesn’t cover adventure travel or additional risk outside of what might be considered standard, lower-risk travel or recreational activities like kayaking. This type of digital nomad insurance also doesn’t generally cover the medical needs linked to pre existing medical conditions and medical bills for ongoing medical care.

Typically, international health insurance companies or travel insurance provider businesses don’t want to cover skydiving, swimming with great white sharks, or volcano tours. Some digital nomad insurance companies and nomad insurance providers will, but you’ll most likely end up paying a premium.

Let’s have a look into the coverage limits and what each travel insurance element offers digital nomads.

Medical / Health Insurance

One of the most common travel insurance categories for digital nomads is travel health insurance.

If you are a remote worker or digital nomad, having a health insurance policy or a more specific digital nomad health insurance in your home country isn’t enough. The longer digital nomads stay away from home, the higher the risk of something going awry.

Here’s a list of what standard medical or health insurance packages from any reputable company cover:

– Hospital stay, including operating room usage

– Physician services

– X-rays, laboratory tests, and similar analysis

– Drugs, anesthetics, medicine, and other therapeutic expenses

– Ambulance ride services

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

Emergency Medical Assistance

The emergency medical expenses covered in most travel insurance companies’ plans for digital nomads include the costs of any life-threatening treatment you receive locally.

For example:

  • Sudden illness, injury, or a medical condition with the potential of causing severe harm
  • Dental injury
  • Dental infection
  • Broken tooth

Dental Insurance

Here’s what standard dental insurance plans cover:

  • An unexpected infection
  • Broken tooth
  • Accidental mouth or jaw injury

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

Pandemic-Related Travel (COVID-19)

You may have suffered the misfortune of being mid-travel when the world went into lockdown in 2020.

Prior to traveling, ensure that you are vaccinated and check the following sites:

In the event of a pandemic, travel medical insurance coverage may include the following:

  • Emergency medical insurance
  • Emergency medical evacuation
  • Trip delays or interruptions if contracting COVID-19

Some travel medical insurance packages can also include:

  • Flight, hotel, and excursion trip cancellations are covered by your Travel Protection Plan

This type of coverage is possible if you’re diagnosed with COVID-19 before the scheduled departure, and the doctor has advised you to stay home.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

Trip Cancellation

The best digital nomad insurance plans will offer to reimburse you for non-refundable, prepaid expenses if you need to cancel your trip before departure. Some common reasons include injury, sickness, or a family member or companion’s death.

Luggage/Baggage & Personal Belongings

Insured nomads and long term travelers enjoy travel insurance packages that include baggage insurance and help and reimbursement with the following:

  • Lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged belongings on your trip
  • Lost, stolen, or accidentally damaged checked-in baggage or sporting equipment by the common carrier
  • Stolen or damaged travel visa, driver’s license, birth certificate, or passport

Accidental Death and Dismemberment

Nobody wants to think about this happening, but you will want to be covered if it does.

The way it works is you name a beneficiary, and that person will receive benefits in the unlikely event of your death or a dismembering injury during your travels.

There are different types of AD&D coverage:

  • Flight Accident – This insurance is only valid if the incident happens on board
  • Common Carrier – This package covers incidents that occur on trains, airplanes, or cruise ships
  • 24-Hour – This is the most comprehensive package that covers you during the whole duration of the trip, regardless of whether you’re on a common carrier or not

Evacuation

Evacuation covers transportation to a medical facility for medical care.

Repatriation

Repatriation covers your return home expenses for medical care.

24-Hour Assistance

Travel insurance companies provide 24-hour assistance when you need help, such as booking a flight after a missed connection, locating lost luggage, or finding a doctor.

Some insurance companies will also offer concierge services for reservations as well as help seeking legal counsel.

I Have Medical Insurance in My Home Country. Does My Health Insurance Cover Me While Abroad?

Being covered by your medical plan in your home country does not mean that you will be covered under your policy while you are away. Things like routine checkups, pre existing conditions, or non-emergencies are not covered.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

That doesn’t mean you can’t get dental work at a local dentist, prescriptions, or general health checkups. Many countries have low-cost medical care, and you don’t need insurance at all.

Often, the out-of-pocket cost can be less than what you’d spend at home. I’ve had dental work in several countries, and the most I’ve spent was 50 USD.

However, as remote work continues to trend upward and more and more people choose to travel and work remotely, finding the best digital nomad insurance is a must.

Also, the unexpected can happen, like COVID, and you don’t want to be stuck without coverage, particularly for emergency assistance, medical evacuation, sky-high hospital bills and other medical bills, cancellation coverage, urgent need for medical facilities, and even lost baggage concerns.

The tomato and toothpaste combo in Morocco didn’t take away the burn or prevent scarring (just in case you wanted to try it).

Now, when I jumped off a platform into Victoria Falls Gorge in Zimbabwe attached by a rope swing, travel insurance may not have covered me had the rope swing broken, which leads me to …

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

What’s Not Covered by Travel Insurance?

Standard travel insurance packages and insurance service may not cover the following instances:

  • Pre existing conditions
  • Non-emergency treatments or surgeries, including routine physical examination expenses
  • Pregnancy or childbirth, with the exception of pregnancy complications
  • Any medical expenses after your return to the US, or home country coverage (depending on the digital nomad insurance plan)
  • Expenses surpassing the usual and reasonable charges
  • Expenses your regular medical insurance covers at no cost, for a deductible, or a co-pay
  • Everything from the “Limitations and Exclusions” policy section.

As for dental insurance, most plans won’t include:

  • Standard checkups
  • Teeth straightening
  • New teeth and fillings that may come as a result of pain-relieving treatment
  • Significant dental work including crowns, implants, and similar
  • Purchasing the policy after the initial pain
  • Non-urgent care

The luggage insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Unsupervised baggage

While being insured nomads is a step closer to ensuring your safety, it’s realistic to keep in mind that the insurance company won’t cover everything.

There’s a certain expectation of personal responsibility even for insured nomads. If you leave your bags unattended, you are taking an unnecessary risk.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

You’ll need to report the matter to the local authorities immediately and submit proof of receipt that the items are yours, along with evidence of the value. The insurance company will factor in depreciation.

The more documentation and receipts you have, reporting promptly, the better your chances of the claim process going smoothly.

If something was lost on a plane, for example, you’ll also need to show proof that you sought compensation through the airline.

FAQ About Travel Insurance

Do I Have to Buy My Plan Before I Leave?

Technically, you can get a travel insurance plan after the official beginning of your trip.

You are free to choose the dates of your insurance policy, and those dates can only cover a certain period of your stay.

However, if you want to have common carrier insurance or be covered for the whole duration of your trip, you should buy your plan before you leave.

When Do I Need to Buy My Travel Insurance?

I guess you want to purchase a quality travel insurance plan but also save where you can.

If so, it’s best to get travel insurance within the first two weeks of making your first deposit for the trip. You’ll often qualify for bonus coverages for purchasing the insurance at this time.

What Is Travel Insurance? [2022]

Note that most insurance companies will let you purchase your package up until the day of your departure.

Is Travel Insurance Retroactive?

No, travel insurance is never retroactive. This means you can’t get reimbursed for the expenses that happened before your policy went into effect.

Will My Rental Car Be Covered?

Generally, you purchase protection for rental car damage through the rental car company (e.g., Hertz, Sixt, Avis).

Also, you can buy it through your credit card (e.g., Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, United Explorer Card).

Travel Insurance Can Be Worth the Investment

Whether you’re planning to work abroad or simply travel for an extended time period, becoming insured nomads is an essential step to ensuring your safety.

As Medicare doesn’t cover medical expenses outside of the US, getting a travel insurance package is your only way of avoiding unexpected health and other emergency costs when abroad.

Get a Travel Insurance Quote

Digital Nomad Quotes | Inspiring Words About Silence

Digital Nomad Quotes | Inspiring Words About Silence

The modern world is a loud and chaotic place. From the beep of a car horn to the blare of an alarm clock, it often feels like we’re surrounded by noise. But silence is important too. It gives us a chance to rest and recharge, to reflect on our day and connect with our thoughts.

For digital nomads, silence is particularly important. That’s why it’s vital for us to learn how to find quiet places to work remotely. It helps us to focus on our work, to find new ideas, and to connect with our true selves. In a world of constant noise and distraction, silence provides a much-needed respite. It allows us to hear our own thoughts and to connect with our inner voice. 

Working remotely can be isolating, and it’s all too easy to become disconnected from the world around us. By taking a few moments each day to appreciate silence, we can stay grounded and present in our work. In a fast-paced world, silence is a precious commodity. And for digital nomads, it’s an essential part of maintaining a healthy work/life balance.

Digital Nomad Quotes | Inspiring Words About Silence

Here are some enlightening quotes about silence to inspire digital nomads in a quest for a serene and calm environment to either fulfill their remote job roles or simply enjoy the quiet of their environment.

  1. “I’ve begun to realize that you can listen to silence and learn from it. It has a quality and a dimension all its own.” ― Chaim Potok
  2. “How much better is silence; the coffee cup, the table. How much better to sit by myself like the solitary sea-bird that opens its wings on the stake. Let me sit here for ever with bare things, this coffee cup, this knife, this fork, things in themselves, myself being myself.” ― Virginia Woolf
  3. “Silence is a source of Great Strength.” ― Lao Tzu
  4. “Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn? Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends? Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer to a question you’ve been asked, or the hush of a country road at night, or the expectant pause of a room full of people when someone is just about to speak, or, most beautiful of all, the moment after the door closes and you’re alone in the whole house? Each one is different, you know, and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.” ― Norton Juster
  5. “Speech is silver, silence is golden.” ― Thomas Carlyle
  6. “Silence is the sleep that nourishes wisdom.” ― Francis Bacon
  7. “Silence is better than unmeaning words.” ― Pythagoras
  8. “Everything that’s created comes out of silence. Thoughts emerge from the nothingness of silence. Words come out of the void. Your very essence emerged from emptiness. All creativity requires some stillness.” ― Wayne Dyer
  9. “Listen to silence. It has so much to say.” ― Rumi
  10. “All men’s miseries derive from not being able to sit in a quiet room alone.” ― Blaise Pascal

For many people, silence is golden when they are trying to get work done. When we’re bombarded with constant noise, it’s hard to focus on a single task. Silence allows us to focus and avoid distractions.

Digital Nomad Quotes | Inspiring Words About Silence

This is especially true for those who work remotely or are digital nomads, as they often have to create their own workspace wherever they happen to be. In a café, silence allows us to focus on our work and tune out the conversations around us.

In our homes, silence allows us to focus on our families and spend quality time with them. By creating silence in our lives, we can create more space for productivity.

But even if you’re not working in a remote location, silence can still be helpful in getting things done. If you find yourself easily distracted by noise, try working in a quiet room or even wearing headphones to help block out external sound.

Of course, silence isn’t always possible or practical. But if you’re looking to boost your productivity, it’s worth giving silence a try. It just might help you get the job done.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

Woman on a Bench in Paris Texting

To help you understand how to use your cell when traveling overseas (and what it means if you do), I’ve addressed some of my most frequently asked questions so you know exactly what to expect if you decide to keep in touch with family and friends via your mobile phone while on your next far-away adventure.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

How to Text Internationally for Free

Questions answered in this post

Can I Text Someone in Another Country for Free over WiFi?

Usually, to send an SMS or text messages, you need to be connected to a cell tower. That’s not always the case though. Times are changing and cell phone carriers are making it easier than ever to stay connected.

For example, T-Mobile has introduced texting and calling over Wi-Fi. This allows you to communicate using Wi-Fi or an internet connection as though it were a cellular connection. You still need to be careful though. Just because you’re on Wi-Fi doesn’t mean your carrier won’t charge you for data usage, international calls, and international texting.

Your best option for free international texting, video calls, and international calls over Wi-Fi while overseas is to use a third-party messaging app. Using a free app will make international texting free and allow you to communicate with your friends and family for free even when you’re in other countries – as long as you’re on Wi-Fi.

Will My Phone Use Data When I Am Connected To Wi-Fi?

It depends. Your phone cannot use both mobile data and Wi-Fi at the same time. Your phone may have settings, however, that allow you to use mobile data to connect to the Internet instead of Wi-Fi when you have a poor connection.

For example, iPhones have a feature called “Wi-Fi Assist.” When toggled, you’ll keep your internet connection (via cellular data) if your Wi-Fi slows down.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

The good news is, according to Apple, your iPhone won’t make the switch when you’re data roaming.

How Do I Turn Off My Cell Phone Data So I Don’t Get Charged Roaming Fees While Overseas?

To understand roaming fees, it’s important to first understand what cellular roaming is.

International roaming is when your phone uses cellular data to access the Internet using a different cellular network than your carrier. Depending on your network carrier plan this setting may or may not be included with your international data plan. If it’s not, and you’re traveling overseas, you could incur some very large fees for international communication like SMS messaging and video calls.

Even if you aren’t actually using your phone to make calls or texting internationally, many apps use data in the background without you realizing it.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

To avoid charges from roaming, you have a few settings on your phone depending on your needs:

  • Airplane Mode
  • Turn off cellular data
  • Turn off roaming

Although turning off cellular data and data roaming will prevent your phone from using data, these won’t necessarily stop phone calls and SMS messaging. To completely avoid these costs when traveling abroad, be sure to set your phone to AIRPLANE MODE.

Airplane Mode

The simplest way to ensure you won’t be charged for roaming is to put your phone in Airplane Mode. Airplane mode will prevent you from using cellular data abroad as well as receiving unwanted international messages and phone calls. Additionally, with Airplane Mode on, you can still enable Wi-Fi which allows you to access the Internet without worrying about data plan roaming charges.

Here’s how to enable Airplane Mode based on which smartphone you have:

iPhone

Go to Settings and the very top option is Airplane Mode. Set this to ON and wait for the airplane icon to appear. Then go to the option below it for Wi-Fi. You can set this to ON so it picks up any network that is available; otherwise, just leave it off for now.  Airplane Mode Iphone From Settings

  • Additionally, you can simply swipe up from the bottom of your screen and tap the top left airplane icon. If you wish to enable Wi-Fi, simply tap the button below the airplane button and wait for it to turn blue. Airplane Mode Toggle Iphone

Android

Click Menu and go to Settings. Under Wireless & Networks, select MORE. You will see that the top option is Airplane Mode. Check the box and wait for the ON button to turn blue.

Turn Off Cellular Data

The next best way to avoid data charges is to completely shut off cellular data. This restricts all cellular data to Wi-Fi instead, keeping you from using data unintentionally for things like emails, browsing apps, and app notifications.

With cellular data shut off you can still receive text messages and phone calls, which means if your plan charges you for these, you should just turn your phone to Airplane Mode.

To turn off cellular data on an iPhone go to Settings -> Cellular and toggle the Cellular Data switch to off. Additionally, you can also swipe up from the bottom and toggle the button next to the airplane from green to grey. Turn Off Cellular Data Iphone

On an Android, you have more options. There are also tools that allow you to warn you when you’re approaching your monthly limit. You can also choose to use apps only over Wi-Fi.

Turn Off Roaming

Turning off roaming means that you won’t access other cellular networks when you’re out of your cell phone carrier area. Depending on your plan, you may be able to roam and enjoy unlimited texting without being charged.

Better safe than sorry though, it’s good to also put your phone in Airplane Mode when abroad.

To turn off roaming on an iPhone, go to Settings -> Cellular -> Cellular Data Options. Toggle the roaming switch from on to off.

To see how to turn off roaming on Android, you can visit here.

(Note: If you do not have a smartphone (i.e., iPhone, Android phone, or Windows phone) or a phone that allows you to turn off your data and still access Wi-Fi, then you should turn your phone completely OFF while traveling.)

If My Data Is Turned Off, Will I Still Get Charged?

As long as your phone’s data is turned off, then you cannot be charged for any data roaming charges, even with Wi-Fi enabled. You may still be able to send and receive phone calls and text message. This means depending on your cell phone plan, you might still get charged. To be completely sure you won’t be charged, you should enable Airplane Mode.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

In other words, the safest way to use your phone abroad is while you are in Airplane Mode. No carrier fees will apply, and you can still enable Wi-Fi.

What Is The Difference Between Cellular Data and Wi-Fi?

The difference between carrier’s network cellular data and Wi-Fi is that cellular data is transmitted over your cell phone network (think of your cellular network like AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint), whereas Wi-Fi data is over a wireless Internet network, such as what you would have when using Starbucks Wi-Fi.

Should I Get A Local SIM Card or International SIM Card?

If you’re planning on using your cell phone overseas to make cheap calls, or for text messaging, it is probably a good idea to change your SIM card. You may also need to unlock your phone. If your carrier doesn’t have an option for extended stays, then you’re going to need a new SIM card.

When getting a SIM card for international travel, you have two options:

  • International SIM Card
  • Local SIM Card

While they both have their own benefits and drawbacks, international SIM cards are ideal if you plan on moving around while overseas, while a local SIM card is great if you just plan on spending all of your time in one country.

Here’s some more information on both:

International SIM Card

When you’re planning to travel abroad, international SIM cards are usually the best way to go. They’re best used by someone who is traveling to multiple countries, as it’s difficult to keep track of phone numbers, unlimited data plans can get expensive, and some data carrier options can be limiting.

With an International SIM card, you get a designated phone number, and you can manage your entire account in one place. Additionally, an international SIM card is great because you can get everything set up and ready to go before you even leave – without any language barriers.

Although they can be slightly more expensive than a local SIM card, typically the small increase in cost is worth avoiding the hassle of getting a local SIM when you arrive at your destination.

One SIM Card and World SIM are some of the possible choices you have when selecting an international SIM card.  OnceSimCard

Local SIM Card

Another option if you want to get Internet while traveling abroad and not roaming, is to get a local SIM card with a data plan. Most SIM cards can be purchased at a local gas station, drug store, or, of course, one of your cell phone carrier’s stores or kiosks.

What Is the Difference Between a Local SIM Card and a Regular SIM Card?

The difference between a local SIM card and your regular SIM on your phone is that, with a local carrier, you will have a local number. This means that friends and family trying to reach you will have to text you on your local number.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

For example, let’s say you go to Berlin, Germany and you get a local Vodafone SIM card. Your phone number will begin with “49,” which is the country code. It’s a great option for texting within the city, but not such a great option for contacting mom.

You do have a few options when getting a local plan, though.

  • Buy a phone with a SIM card that you can recharge. These usually start at around USD $20 and you can add credit as you go.
  • Buy an unlocked cell phone and purchase a SIM card. I currently have an unlocked iPhone 7 Plus with a T-Mobile SIM card on the US-based Magenta plan. This means that I don’t have to change out to a new SIM card when I arrive in a new country and I get unlimited data and texting, Wi-Fi calling, and in-flight texting. Plus, if my plan goes over, data doesn’t shut off, it just slows down. This can come in very handy when you would have otherwise been stuck with zero Internet. Also, with the T-Mobile plan in the US, you can call many other countries for only $15 per month, and international texting is free.
  • Buy a phone with dual SIM, like the Sony Xperia .

Here are some examples of local SIM card providers:

  • Mexico – TelCel (wider coverage) and Movistar (cheaper)
  • Germany – Vodafone, E-Plus, and Telekom
  • USA – T-Mobile, AT&T, and Boost

Can I Use My Phone As A Mobile Hotspot While Overseas?

Most major carriers allow you to use your compatible smartphone to act as a mobile hotspot. You just have to turn your phone on as a hotspot and connect to it via your wireless device.

However, as of this writing, I carry my mobile phone as a hotspot, as well as carry 2 additional mobile hotspots depending on whether I’m traveling in Europe or in the Americas.

If you decide to use your phone as a mobile hotspot when traveling overseas, be sure your plan includes data roaming, otherwise you’ll be racking up a huge bill.

What is Mi-Fi?

Mi-Fi is a brand name for a wireless device that functions as a mobile Wi-Fi router. Your device may or may not technically be a Mi-Fi device, but the term has become shorthand for any mobile hotspot.

A mobile hotspot will typically work in a wide range of countries. Many of these devices use “virtual” SIM cards that allow you to change regions with just a few buttons.

Does my Mi-Fi work in other countries?

It isn’t enough to simply have a mobile hotspot, you need to be certain that your device is actually going to work in the places you travel. Many countries actually have different service frequencies, which means a lot of devices (even “unlocked” ones) may not work all over the globe.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

When you purchase a Mi-Fi device, be sure to check how many frequencies it supports. The more it supports, the better it will do on your globetrotting adventures. For an in-depth guide, check out Best Mobile Hotspot Devices [2022].

Subscription vs. non-subscription Mi-Fi devices

Traditional Mi-Fi devices are non-subscription. You insert your SIM card and the device creates a mobile Wi-Fi network with a password that you can connect your devices to. However, in the last few years, a new breed of Mi-Fi device has become prominent: the subscription model.

Think of subscription Mi-Fi like a hotspot crossed with a global data plan. With these devices, you have the option to swap out the SIM card associated with your global plan and replace it with a local SIM, giving you 100 percent control over when you use your plan data and when you don’t.

How to Text Overseas: What Services or Apps Can I Use?

Most travelers and remote workers want to know how to receive text messages overseas without roaming. They want to know ways to send free text messages and voice messages, get free data, or other free services while traveling abroad.

Typically, you aren’t technically sending SMS messages or “international texting” when you have Wi-Fi on and data off, but you can still enjoy SMS messaging or send text-like messages to your family and friends using services like these.

Even now with Wi-Fi-enabled ways to send text messages and calls, your provider still may charge you the same as for a normal text message.

(Note: If you have AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, or a regular T-Mobile cellular plan and you set your phone to Airplane Mode, you will not be able to send text (SMS) messages.)

To text with a family member, a friend, or go on group chats while abroad, make sure your Wi-Fi is turned ON and that you both have one of the following services on your phones:

How to Send Texts Over WiFi

iMessage

This option causes the most confusion and the reason is that if you and five of your friends all have iPhones, each iPhone user can engage in “text messaging” as if nothing ever changed. However, you aren’t actually sending international texts; you’re just using Apple’s messaging service to send correspondence (or send “text messages”) back and forth over a Wi-Fi connection. Therefore, you can only converse with others who are also iPhone users or use an Apple device.

Does iMessage Work Internationally?

With iMessage, you can still send text messages and receive messages abroad while data is turned off. You can iMessage free internationally. And if you’re in Airplane Mode but have Wi-Fi set to “on,” then you can receive iMessages which appear like text messages but they will be in blue versus green, like this:

iMessage Blue vs. Green Messages

Ultimately, you will not receive the green message when you are abroad and your cell phone data is turned off. So, if you have data turned on and you see green messages – look out! You may be getting charged insane rates. Remember, Airplane Mode – on; Wi-Fi– on.

Google Voice

 This one has been around for a while and is still quite functional, but not the most popular messaging app. To use it, simply download the Google Voice app, sign up for a Google Voice phone number (free in the U.S.), and you can send international texts back and forth from that number. They will appear on your phone via the app, allowing you to send messages overseas as much as you’d like!

Google Hangouts may start to soon replace Google Voice, but for now, it’s still a great option and I use it all the time for international messages and even voice messages. At the very least, it’s like having a second number on the same phone so you have two options. Give friends and clients your Google Voice number so you’ll always have a local US number for international texts.

WhatsApp

WhatsApp became very popular when it was acquired by Facebook for $19 billion. To utilize it, just download Whats App, find your friends, and send messages back and forth. It’s not the first of its kind, but it is fairly popular and growing in popularity. If your friends are tech or travel savvy, or if they/you are European, you’ll most likely find them here. It’s a must-have app for travelers or for communicating and texting your friends overseas.

To use WhatsApp (and all the other apps), you must be connected to Wi-Fi.

A kind of fun feature of WhatsApp is that you can send MMS, or picture messages, for free as well – all over Wi-Fi.The images will also automatically be added to your photo album on your phone (at least on iPhone). No more asking your friend to share an album with you and no more having to ‘save image’; it just shows up.

Viber

 Not dissimilar to Google Voice and WhatsApp, Viber takes the best of the two and combines them. Once you download the app, you find your friends who are also using Viber, and you can connect immediately. The nice thing about this particular messaging app is that, not only can you send free messages back and forth inside of the app, but you can also make free calls. Viber even uses your cell phone number as your identifier.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

There are a growing number of options for sending messages to family and friends, and these are just a few. For instance, GroupMe is another popular group messaging app that allows you to communicate with a number of people at once (and you can still use emoji!).

For more international texting options while traveling overseas, I suggest you read: Top 7 Communication Apps to Use While Travelling.

How Can I receive SMS Messages Overseas?

When traveling overseas, you have a few different options for receiving SMS messages:

Option 1 – International plans via US carriers

For most providers, you have an option to use an international plan, which covers international texting. Here are some common providers, and some of the options available for international plans:

T-Mobile

The T-Mobile Magenta plan is great for short trips, where you don’t plan on staying abroad for an extended period plan. With the T-Mobile Magenta plan, international texting and data are unlimited in 210 countries and nations. This plan also includes calling landlines in 70+ countries, or calling and texting to cell phones in 30+ countries. You can check to see what kind of coverage you will have here.

Verizon

Verizon offers multiple plans for either short or long term international trips international plans depending on how connected you need to be.

If you’re having a difficult time deciding which plan you need, Verizon also has a great guide to help you pick out what plan or upgrade you will need for your travels.

Sprint

With Sprint, you have free unlimited SMS and basic data abroad with any smartphone enabled plan in 200+ countries. You only have to pay $.25/call while abroad.

AT&T

AT&T offers a passport plan for either short term trip or for extended international stays.

Option 2 – Google Voice Phone Number

If you’re looking to ditch your cell phone contract, Google voice is a great option. This allows you to be able to send and receive text messages and phone calls via Wi-Fi, making this a much cheaper option. All you have to do is set it up and tell your friends and family about your new phone number.

Additionally, if you’re not on Wi-Fi, Google voice will transcribe the audio so you can read it later. You can use the google voice app to text or you can text via Wi-Fi anytime you’re on Wi-Fi.

Can You Text on Airplane Mode?

This varies depending on each provider, but as a general rule, anytime you need to have your cellular data shut off for more than 2 days (48) hours, you may not receive the messages sent to you.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

Each provider will have a unique “retry” period, in which it will attempt to send the message. If the message is not delivered within this period, the provider will stop trying to send the message, and it will be discarded.

Summary Of International Texting

Just to hammer the main points home –

DO NOT send SMS messages or text messages while traveling overseas unless you want to pay out the nose for them. (Also remember that it’s usually not possible to send SMS over Wi-Fi.)

You CAN receive SMS messages/texts, but you might pay for them. So turn off your cell phone data by putting your phone in Airplane Mode and turning on Wi-Fi.

You CAN receive messages (non-SMS) over Wi-Fi, for free.

You CANNOT send or receive SMS messages (“texts”) via your cell phone carrier when you are in Airplane Mode.

Can I text via SMS? A Guide to Sending & Receiving Texts Internationally [2022]

Eventually, we may not even need cell phone carriers to keep in touch but, until then and until you get rid of your cell phone plan, be careful of extra charges when traveling overseas. They’re simply not worth it when you have so many free options available.

Again, just remember that SMS is always associated with your carrier (AT&T, T-Mobile, Sprint, etc.) and a message can be either a text message synonymous with SMS or a non-SMS text message image, or other form of communication.

What Have YOU Learned about Sending SMS or Text Messages Overseas? What Would You Like to Learn?

Do you have other questions or see anything I’m missing? Please feel free to drop your questions or comments below.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

Top 7 International Communications Apps To Use While Traveling

Best Way to Communicate Internationally: Top 7

While it is certainly nice to get away, it’s also nice to stay in touch with family and friends along the way. Whether you want to share your stories and pictures of your travels, or send SMS messages to simply say, “I’m okay,” it’s necessary to maintain contact with those you love. And even though it sounds like something that should be rather easy, it can actually be daunting to figure out how to receive text messages overseas without roaming or find the best communications apps to stay in touch.

You can’t necessarily just pick up your phone and call (especially if you are travelling overseas) and some of your “normal” communication methods aren’t available when you’re out of your service area. So, what are you to do to stay in touch?

Thankfully, cell phone plans now often have an international plan that covers international texting and offers mobile data roaming. Most major carriers, such as T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint, provide a few different options that enable you to seamlessly turn on your phone the minute you hit the ground and be able to communicate in multiple countries. No need for those old Internet cafes!

Downloading a good travel or communication app is a great first step. And, since I’ve been shopping for the best way to keep international communication channels open with my loved ones, I’d like to share with you the top communication apps that I’ve found to help you communicate while traveling abroad.

If you’re looking for business communication, then your international plans and mileage may vary with some of these apps as most were designed with personal communication in mind. However, depending on your job, you may still get some use out of these.

Now, if you’re eager to make sure you don’t lose touch with friends and family while you travel abroad, here are 7 apps to stay connected via your phone abroad.

Best App for International Calls & Messaging: Best Choices

1. Zoom

 

Zoom communication app logo

Let’s start with the big one. A few years ago, Zoom was something you might have used for work. Fast forward to life post-2020, and it’s a household name thanks to remote workers. You might have even heard grandma say something like “Do you want to Zoom this weekend?” (Who would have thought that would happen!). But it’s hardly surprising since it is no doubt one of the best ways to communicate internationally.

The best part is you only need 4mb of download speed to access Zoom! Maintaining a good wi fi connection on a video app is so much easier than it was in years past.

You can see other important speed requirements for your remote work lifestyle here.

Zoom has a chat function, where users can keep receiving messages and sending messages both within and outside of actual calls. But, it’s primarily a video conferencing platform. Of all the options on this list, this is the one with the most crossover between personal life and work. For example – ever had a virtual Zoom happy hour? Cheers!

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

You can host multiple people on the same call, much like Skype. Beware that the free app or the free version will limit your call length to 45 minutes if you have more than two people on at once (but there’s nothing stopping you from ending the call and immediately redialing to reset your time limit).  Zoom is a great way to stay in touch with multiple family / friends / colleagues all at once whether you’re in the same home country or other countries.

It’s a good way to keep in touch, receive messages, and reconnect with your community as traveling overseas can sometimes be lonely.  Plans start at just $15/month if you want unlimited time and people on the call.

2. Facebook Messenger (and Facebook) 

 

Facebook communication App Logo New

You can use the Facebook Messenger app to have instant access to conversations with family and friends. You can send multimedia messages instantly over your phone’s data and make video calls to loved ones overseas or even just within the local country area, making Facebook Messenger one of the best ways to communicate internationally.

Of course, you can use the Facebook app to get an update on everyone’s lives or give your own update and feel as connected as you would if you were right there next to your people.  You can even share your travel photos on your Facebook page as you take them, which helps you keep track of what you did and when.

3. WhatsApp (now owned by Facebook) 

 

Whats App Logo

WhatsApp is a popular messaging app for travelers, the only hitch being that your friends have to also have the app to receive messages and send messages with you. So, if you do plan on using this free international texting option when traveling overseas, you’re better off asking the people you intend to contact to download it on their mobile device before you go. Other than this minor inconvenience, Whatsapp is no doubt one of the best free app for international texting to date.

It is connected by using your phone numbers, except you won’t get charged cell phone rates or data roaming fees when using Whatsapp. Now part of Facebook’s family of apps, this messaging app functions similar to Facebook Messenger and is great for sending messages, multimedia messages, and virtually unlimited texting particularly with those who don’t have a Facebook account.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

WhatsApp gained a lot of popularity by travelers and anyone without the same cell phone plan or international plans on their mobile devices or sim cards but need to stay connected.  As data increased and cell phone SMS messaging was too expensive, WhatsApp gained a lot of traction and is still widely used today worldwide. It also is known for being somewhat of a replacement for GroupMe and other group messaging chats, as you can quickly and easily form groups.  Like Messenger, you can also do calls and video calls.

4. Instagram (now owned by Facebook) 

Instagram communication App Logo

Another best way to communicate internationally is in the Facebook family, Instagram is primarily a social media platform for sharing photos, but that hasn’t stopped it from becoming one of the go-to ways to send unlimited texts with people across the world both for work and for pleasure.

Like the other apps, you have access to data or Wi-Fi, then your Instagram is good to go. You can go live on Instagram to communicate with a lot of people at once, or you can stick to the private messaging app function. It’s a lot like Facebook’s messenger app, except that it is not a separate app; it’s baked into the app proper.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

Facebook has made it even easier to communicate between apps as they now allow you to cross-post and cross-message on the two platforms, Instagram (IG) and Facebook Messenger.  Instagram users can send messages (yes, even international messages) to contacts on Facebook Messenger without leaving the app and vice versa. That way, it somehow makes international texting free for anyone who has an account.

Instagram doesn’t work very well on a desktop, it’s meant to be used on your phone. And like WhatsApp and Facebook, you can only reliably communicate with people who also have the app. So download it before your next travel date and make sure your important contacts are in your friends list.

5. iMessage and FaceTime

My friends and family have long been giving me a hard time about having limited contact when traveling in other countries. Typically, I was on my computer using Skype or Google Voice, but now, with unlimited mobile data, 5G, and nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi on my mobile device, I typically communicate in real-time via a messaging app called iMessage. That is, I can now iMessage free internationally as long as I have an internet connection or cellular data.

FaceTime is also a must-have messaging app. It rings on the receiver’s phone as though it’s a normal call, making it ‘seamless’ on the caller’s end. That’s what it’s all about anyway, right? Never missing a beat and being able to travel full time and still earn a living?

6. Skype

No travel app list would be complete without including Skype. It’s the one communication app that has been around the longest and it likely still has the highest adoption rate worldwide when compared to any of the other apps available for overseas communications.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

If you don’t have Skype installed or if you want to be able to call your computer, you can get a Skype To Go number. This includes an answering service for when you’re away and you can even send texts from your purchased number in a manner similar to Google Voice.

People who choose to use Skype regularly can easily send international messages or instant message (IM), voice call, or video call others within their timezone or colleagues in other countries. Skype is like the older sibling to Zoom. It’s now owned by Microsoft but still widely used worldwide and often a household term for those who use it to say “Skype me” – undoubtedly one of the best ways to communicate internationally.

7. Google Hangout

 

Google Hangouts communication App Logo

Calling all Google fans! Now that Skype is part of Microsoft (and many of us would not survive without our Google Apps suite), we’ll probably all use Google Hangout at some point.

You have to have a Google+ account to use Hangouts, so that is something to keep in mind. Also, I find that the bandwidth needed is more than that of Skype, so it’s already a little more clunky to get started.

Another consideration for this particular travel app is that you have to have it in another Google window versus open in another app. This is an advantage for some, but I personally love having the ability to switch to another app quickly.

So all things considered, it may not offer the best way to communicate internationally. However, despite any shortcomings that Google Hangout has, your family and friends will love the animated faces and hats you can wear while talking face-to-face!

Honorable Mentions

Here are a few extra apps that didn’t quite make the list, but which are also worth a look.

1. Google Voice

Google Voice allows you to forward your calls and also lets you answer them from your computer. So it’s arguably one of the best ways to communicate internationally. I used to forward my local number to my computer and it was completely seamless, nobody knew if I was in the office or on the beach. Google voice routes your call to any number you set up.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

While I’m still a fan of Google Voice, you don’t really need it anymore if you have a comprehensive phone plan. With companies like T-Mobile are offering cell phone plans with coverage in as many as 152 countries, you may not have a need for Google Voice.

2. Slack

If you work remotely you and your team most likely have used Slack at some point.  Slack modernized communication for teams,particularly remote teams looking for the best way to communicate internationally. So though we’ve talked mostly about family and friends, it’s no secret that remote work is growing in a post-Covid world, and Slack is one of those apps you’ll be referencing often from your app library to communicate with work or with online communities.

3. Viber

I honestly haven’t used this particular travel app much, but an Australian venture capitalist that I met at a Women 2.0 conference was telling me about it and I’ve heard nothing but good things since. It’s also quickly growing in popularity, so if you’re looking for something that you’ll be able to use with many friends, Viber is becoming a communication app option that you’ll want to consider. Who knows? You may even find it to be the best way to communicate internationally as you might be very satisfied with it.

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

Viber allows users to call and receive SMS messages via Wi-Fi free of cost. So, Viber to Viber international calls are of course free. However, for calling unregistered landlines or mobile numbers, users are required to pay – but thankfully the rates are quite low. It’s also a great way to share media such as, images, audio, and files. For making calls to numbers that lie outside of the Viber network, you can opt for a subscription or pay-as-you-go approach.

If you need to make an enormous number of calls abroad, we recommend going for the subscription option, which turns out to be cost-effective for high volumes.

4. Webex

Another best way to communicate internationally is through Webex – a communication app for travel and a business conference platform. Use it to connect with colleagues abroad or make calls internationally. It’s in fact one of the oldest communication apps that leverages a solid data exchange method. One of its remarkable advantages is that it requires a low bandwidth while offering great security.

Best Communication Apps: Conclusion

Top 7 International Communication Apps To Use While Traveling [2022]

Really there’s no way NOT to communicate anymore while being remote, thanks to the availability of some of the best ways to communicate internationally. Social media apps like Snapchat and TikTok or gaming apps like Roblox and Discord allow you to be connected anywhere to your community.

There you have it. These are the top seven apps available for people who travel overseas or even those who venture out domestically.

What apps do you use to keep in touch while traveling?

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

baby boomer on laptop

If you come from the baby boom generation, then you face some unique issues when it comes to work. Baby boomers who have had a job for 20 or 30 years (or more) are usually thinking about retirement, but aren’t necessarily ready to not work either because you don’t want a lot of free time on your hands or you can’t afford to financially.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

With the ever-changing times and the demands of the world these days, labor statistics show that more and more people from the baby boom generation are worried about their social security.

Some of you may have even lost your job due to the economic downturn and now find yourself trying to compete with people half your age, with some still in high school, for a position or company you’re not even interested in and really don’t want. What are you to do with your life now? Instead of pushing carts at Walmart, have you considered working remotely?

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

Baby Boomers and Working Remotely

Luckily, the Internet spans most areas of the world, allowing you to work from anywhere. You can set your own schedule and create your own routine (enabling you to work around family and other obligations) right from the comfort of your own home.

These days, you don’t need to be living in urban areas just to keep a good job. You can easily be employed in a great company despite not living in a city. After all, virtually all the jobs you can think of are available at your fingertips.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

Additionally, baby boomers have built up certain high level skill sets in various industries thanks to a combination of decades of service, perhaps higher education, growth with employers, and insights gained from dealing with customers and various clients.

More importantly, I would argue that these skills are 100% transferable to the LiveWorkAnywhere model for many boomers. Needless to say, this greatly increases your online work options as a baby boomer looking for a full or part-time career.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

By 2020, freelancers are expected to make up 50% of the full time workforce.

The number of freelance workers is projected to outpace full-time workers by 2020. The economy is rapidly shifting to a more contingent workforce, with recent estimates by the Freelancers Union of 42 million American independent workers, up from 10.3 million workers in 2005.”  – Forbes

There are several jobs and projects in which you do not have to actually be there in person to perform.  If you’re a baby boomer who had a career as a trademark attorney, for example, perhaps you could transfer your skills to consulting and meet your clients via web and phone.

It’s no longer expected that you meet with customers or clients face-to-face in your company office all the time. Technology offers so many boomers a myriad of benefits these days, and the convenience of not driving to a congested city for a single meeting but still being able to deliver on your job is one of them.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

If you were a sales executive or a customer service representative, your efforts for growth in your career can be trimmed thanks to the benefits of remote work. Get rid of the car, use a US-based number, and make calls from wherever you live. You can even hire a team to do the majority of the work for you or offer you assistance while you focus on client acquisition and customer satisfaction.

Perhaps there is another service you can offer to your existing client base and customers? Something you can do without even leaving your house. Baby boomers have many online work options, creating new growth pathways for their careers without the need to go to the city, lowering their living expenses, and allowing them to live and work remotely.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

Telecommuting is not a buzzword, it’s a reality. Many boomers should accept that this is the future for several industries. It’s time to start embracing the benefits and putting in the efforts to turn into the boomer computer generation.

You start with your dream and your skills and work backward to find flexible employment that can offer you great income and that you will enjoy at your age. That’s all fine, you say, but what if you’re one of the baby boomers who don’t have time to start with their dream? What if you’re a baby boomer who needs something NOW?

Transferrable Skills for Baby Boomers Looking to Work Online

If you are in need of augmenting or supplementing your income, there are several online positions you can do right now from home with just a computer. Here is a list of skill sets that are great for remote, online work:

Less specialized baby boomer skills

  • Admin support
  • Bookkeeping
  • Writing
  • Copywriting
  • Proofreading
  • Paralegal
  • Translation
  • Virtual assistant
  • Telemarketing
  • Telesales
  • Blogging support
  • Market research
  • Advertising support
  • Customer service representative
  • Medical research

More specialized baby boomer skills

  • IT & Programming
  • Graphic Design
  • Animation
  • Online Sales
  • Accounting
  • Blogging
  • SEO
  • Advertising
  • Technical writing
  • Consulting
  • Patent / Trademark / Legal
  • Medical equipment consulting

What Are The First Steps for Baby Boomers Who Want to Work Remotely?

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

This is where the work begins, so here is a step-by-step guide to help baby boomers transition to online work as smoothly as possible.

1. Build Your Online Profile

Are you on LinkedIn?  If you are, is your profile current?  How many connections or friends do you have? Unlike previous generations where word of mouth is enough, the baby boom generation needs to network to succeed in the remote world.

You should have at least 500+ so, if you don’t, then you need to get busy. Join groups in your field and network with others. Search for friends in schools where you earned your high school diploma and where you completed higher education.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

Look at your company list or places of employment and find previous employers and employees, customers, business partners, team members, and other people you collaborated with on projects in the past. Connect with other baby boomers and people of the same age or from previous generations who work remotely in your field so you can learn from them.

2.  Build Your Professional Profile

What are your skills?  To answer this, simply take your resume and transform it into a business portfolio.  If you were an attorney, for instance, make a list of all of the professional services that you would offer and include some key milestones from your career.  Package yourself to market yourself.

How Baby Boomers Can Work Remotely from the Internet

3. Transfer Your Profile

Create a website (there are several ways to make a free website – weebly.com, wix.com, wordpress.org, squarespace.com, and Google sites, just to name a few) where you can showcase all of your talents.  If you don’t want to spend time creating and marketing a site yet, then you can at least sign up on a site like Elance.com where you can build your own profile and have them market it for you within their freelancer marketplace.

4. Build Your Routine

Know how many hours you are available, the income you want to make (be sure to look around so you are price competitive with the market – too low is okay to start, but doesn’t show high quality; too much and you’ll drive potential customers away), the employment benefits you want to receive from future employers, and what your monthly revenue goals are in each position you plan to pursue. The more you know what you want, the easier it is to create the routine to get it.

Boomer with computer

5. Get Started

Nothing new is ever easy.  You will be challenged.  But you spent your entire professional career meeting challenges head-on and look how far you’ve come.  You can transfer your skills and create supplemental income or even prepare to hit the road with your new business and be successful no matter what stage of the game you are in – even as a baby boomer.

Tell me – what other questions do you have?  Where should we dig in deeper?

Please leave a comment below.

 

Virtual Mailbox: How to Get Your Postal Mail when Traveling Abroad

How to Get Your Postal Mail When Traveling: Virtual Mailbox - via LiveWorkAnywhere

No one has embraced the all-digital lifestyle more than our band of globe-trotting freelancers and entrepreneurs. We run our businesses on laptops and wi-fi from beaches, villas, cruise ships…and airport terminals, parked cars, and rural bus stations.

We do everything via email, Trello, Slack, and other messaging and organizational apps. We hold conferences using Skype, Zoom, or GoToMeeting. Living the nomadic life means we use everything we can to stay flexible, available, and above all, free.

But the rest of the world hasn’t entirely caught up to us.

Death to Snail Mail

No matter how hard we try, there are still companies and government agencies who insist on recording a real street address and sending snail mail to that home address. Paper messages that have to travel to a fixed, physical location, and that often needs a prompt response.

The need to have a physical address to receive mail is the one remaining thorn in our ever-roaming paws, and for a long time, there wasn’t a good solution.

You can have the local post office hold your mail and accept packages, but when you’re gone for weeks or months at a time the odds are good you’ll miss something important.

You can receive postal mail by having it forwarded to a physical address anywhere in the world, but that type of postal service has a host of problems: expensive international forwarding fees, mail that doesn’t keep up with your frequent travels and multiple destinations, and the need to plan ahead for packages delivered instead of enjoying spontaneous trips.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

You can have the package delivered or postal mail sent to the actual street address of a friend or family member, then ask them to look for anything important. However, the privacy and reliability concerns are real especially when you’re not the primary box holder.

I’ve been doing this awhile, and I’ve tried practically all solutions to this mailing address conundrum. That is, I’ve explored how to get a PO box without an address.

The best solution I’ve found, far and away, is a virtual mailbox.

Short of not having any snail mail sent to a permanent address or commercial address to begin with—which is still a dream of mine, but one the world has yet to accommodate—it’s the best thing out there when it comes to staying up to date with all of your important correspondence.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

There are a few virtual mailbox services out there that can handle general delivery requirements like receive mails and package receiving services. But, not all virtual address providers are created equal. So, I do have a favorite, and I’ll let you know who it is in a second.

First, I want to explain the concept of a virtual mailbox just so we’re all on the same page.

(Page! Get it!?…OK, moving on…)

How Virtual Mailboxes Work

This modern “postal service” is pretty simple, really, like most ingenious things are.

You get a mailbox and a real street address provided by your virtual mailbox service, which you can claim as your business address or office address if you’re a business owner and want to appear more professional. When sending out your “street address,” you might want to add business hours to your postal address information for receiving packages to amp up your professional image.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

This is a real, honest-to-goodness street address where you can get your parcel delivered. The USPS acknowledges this mailing address and will actually deliver packages to the “home address” you provided along with all of your mail.

It’s just like how you receive mail via a post office box with a physical address or a private mailbox with a mailing address that you typically rent from the USPS or any number of PO box address providers.

The key difference is that the top virtual mailbox providers give you a completely unique street address, which looks more professional and inspires a great deal more trust than a package acceptance service provider or post office boxes.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

Another difference with a virtual mailbox service is what happens after the mail is delivered, though. Instead of simply holding your mail until you either come pick it up or have it forwarded to a new location, a virtual mailbox service opens and digitally scans your mail (ensuring complete privacy, of course), then uploads the digital images to an email inbox so you can read your mail from anywhere in the world.

You can also have your postal mail forwarded to a mailing address or a home address, of course, and packages delivered can be sent along wherever you happen to be, too. I find that the more we become digital, the less I need to physically forward my mail. But this is a handy option.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

A quick bulleted recap for the article skimmers:

  1. A virtual mailbox company contracts with a physical location to aggregate postal mail in one location, in multiple cities.
  2. The postal mail is received and the front cover of the mail is scanned.
  3. You then receive an email letting you know that the mail has arrived.

Some Types of Postal Mail You Might Receive (and don’t want to miss):

  • Client Checks
  • Bank Statements (go digital if you can)
  • Mortgage Statements
  • Student Loan Documents
  • Legal Documents

Virtual Mailbox Signup Process

When you sign up for a virtual mailbox service, here is the signup process in action step by step:

  1. Select an address in one of the designated pick up cities, location, or even just a nearby state. For example, I have a mailbox in New York. I live there part-time, but I don’t have to in order to have a local address. It can also help make your business look more official by having a local mailbox (versus PO Box) especially in a world renowned city even when you’re in a completely different location.
  2.  Select a plan that suits your needs and budget
  3. Give out your new address to clients and agencies
  4. Receive an email when new mail is received
  5. Decide if you want to open it (have it scanned), download, delete, recycle, or forward to a physical address.

Important: Make sure to include your MAILBOX number or the mail will not be delivered.

Virtual Mailbox Services: EarthClassMail vs. Traveling Mailbox

I have personally tried two of the leading virtual mailbox services:

  1. EarthClassMail
  2. TravelingMailbox

EarthClassMail Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

A catchy name and a service I used for years, EarthClassMail, offers

  • A physical address for your business
  • Mail scanning
  • Secure mail shredding and handling
  • Free physical mail storage for 30 days
  • Check deposits

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

Prices start at $19/month for personal and $139/month for business accounts.

See a list of virtual addresses for EarthClassMail.

TravelingMailbox

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

TravelingMailbox offers three plans that you can pay for annually or monthly.

The lowest tier includes 40 envelope scans and 35-page scans per month, which I’ve found is usually plenty for me. The mail comes in, I get a PDF of each envelope emailed to me, and I decide what I want to happen with each envelope.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

Nothing gets opened and scanned unless you select that option, so you don’t end up burning through your monthly scans on junk mail. There’s no additional cost for shredding the mail you don’t want, and forwarding mail and packages only costs $2 (plus postage fees—but by bundling your mail, Traveling Mailbox helps you save there, too).

TravelingMailbox vs. EarthClassMail via LiveWorkAnywhere If you end up receiving more envelopes and/or needing more pages scanned than your plan covers, overage charges are only $0.25 per envelope and $0.50 per scan, and if you’re paying monthly you can switch to a higher plan if you’re expecting a higher-than-usual volume of mail in a given month.

Virtual Mailbox: Get Your Postal Mail Anywhere You Are [2022]

Tip: Save the PDFs of your important mail in Dropbox, Google Drive, and/or on your computer and delete them from your Traveling Mailbox account to avoid going over your storage limit and getting hit with additional charges.

Depositing Client Checks from your Virtual Mailbox – a Quick Hack

Remarkably, I still have clients who prefer paying by check. Traveling Mailbox offers a check depositing service, where they mail your checks straight to your bank to be deposited, but they do (understandably) charge a handling fee and postage.