What Is Travel Insurance?

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.

So what exactly is travel insurance?

In short, it protects you from the unexpected. The longer you travel or the more money you invest in your trip, there are more things that could go wrong.

Travel insurance helps in cases of accidents, injuries, lost belongings, stolen items, trip cancellations, and other emergencies or health-related issues.

What Are the Different Types of Travel Insurance?

Depending on your package, your travel insurance can cover the following:

  • Medical or health insurance
  • Emergency insurance (dental and medical)
  • 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 travel insurance. However, for long-term travel and expensive vacations, the answer is yes, you do need travel insurance.

I used to believe this investment wasn’t necessary and that I would take my chances. 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. But if you’re on a trip for a longer period or more than 100 miles from home, 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. 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 travel insurance, I would have been able to get proper treatment.

What Exactly Does Travel Insurance Cover?

The Unexpected

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

Most plans cover trip cancellation or interruptions, delays, lost baggage, 24-hour assistance, and specific medical benefits related to travel.

Often, travelers need to cancel their trips due to unforeseen illnesses and injuries that prohibit them from traveling, or family member deaths.

The Medical, Lost Items, and Activities

A general travel 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. Typically, insurance companies don’t want to cover skydiving, swimming with great white sharks, or volcano tours. They will, but you’ll end up paying a premium.

Let’s have a look into what each travel insurance element covers.

Medical / Health Insurance

One of the most common travel insurance categories is travel health insurance.

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

Here’s what standard medical or health insurance packages 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

Emergency Medical Assistance

The emergency medical coverage covers 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 packages cover:

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

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, coverage may include the following:

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

Some packages can also include:

  • Flight, hotel, and excursion trip cancellations 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.

Trip Cancellation

This will 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

Most travel insurance packages 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.

24-Hour Assistance

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.

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, travel insurance is a must.

Also, the unexpected can happen, like COVID, and you don’t want to be stuck without coverage.

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’s Not Covered by Travel Insurance?

Standard travel insurance packages may not cover the following instances:

  • Pre-existing medical condition expenses
  • 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
  • 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

The insurance company won’t cover everything, and there’s a certain expectation of personal responsibility. If you leave your bags unattended, you are taking an unnecessary risk.

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.Do I Have to Buy My Plan Before I 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.
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, it’s essential you get long-stay travel insurance. 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

7 Best Travel Rewards Credit Cards

7 Best Credit Cards for Travel Rewards

If you’re a passionate traveler or a digital nomad, travel rewards credit cards are a great way to earn free flights and other perks. But some people are intimidated by the idea of navigating through offers, hidden fees, and complex rules.

As a result, they hold on to their debit card for dear life and use it for everything. Playing it safe won’t get you the fantastic benefits that come with choosing the best credit card with travel rewards.

Fortunately, there is a way to be a better and wiser traveler. In this article, you’ll learn what you need to know about travel rewards credit cards. Also, I’ll suggest seven excellent travel credit cards to consider for your next trip.

What Are Travel Rewards Exactly?

Each time you use your travel credit card for eligible purchases, you earn specific rewards. Essentially, these benefits come in the form of points or miles. The more you use your travel credit card, the more rewards you’ll collect.

Once you’ve acquired enough rewards, it’s easy to use them for airfare tickets, hotels, and other travel-related bonuses. Hence, travel rewards credit cards are not for everyone.

If you don’t often travel for leisure or business, then you probably don’t need it. However, online business owners, remote workers, and savvy travelers should always have at least one travel credit card on hand.

How Do Points and Miles Work?

The travel points system is easy to understand. For every dollar you spend, you gain a specific number of points. Sometimes that means one point per one dollar, but not always.

The type of travel credit card and type of purchase are essential factors. For example, travel rewards credit cards might bring one point per eligible purchase. But, deliver double the points when you book a hotel.

In most cases, travel credit cards are partnered with famous hotel chains and the credit card will carry the brand of both companies.

Take how Marriott partners up with Alaskan Airlines or Delta Airlines with American Express. Often, partnered travel rewards credit cards earn even more points at specific venues.

Alternatively, miles are a type of travel reward you can earn by using an airline credit card. Similar to travel points, travel miles credit cards earn rewards for the money users spend on eligible purchases. Most miles credit cards are branded, but there are a few non-branded options on the market.

How to Choose the Right Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Once you realize that a travel credit card can transform the way you travel, it’s go time. But it’s not enough to simply do the research – you need to know how to choose.

Several crucial factors should guide your decision process. If you want to find the best travel rewards credit cards for travelers, consider these features.

An Excellent Welcome Offer Is a Must

Unquestionably, the best travel cards will come with a fantastic introductory offer. Typically, you’ll also have the minimum spending requirement for the first few months of use. If the rewards are outstanding, you might even have the chance to purchase a free flight right away.

Even though the standard offers will differ, the general range is somewhere between 40,000 – 60,000 points. Occasionally, you might even receive 100,000 signing points attached to a single minimum purchase. This is enough miles for a free round-trip domestic flight, and even an international flight in some cases. Miles are a great way to take long international trips – which leads to additional perks.  For example, if you have a first class or business class international flight, you can stay in the airport lounges for no additional cost.  Using these bonus miles I’ve been able to travel to multiple continents. 

Additional Spending Bonus Matters

One point per dollar is the standard offer. But the best travel reward credit cards also have special bonuses. If you shop at specific retailers, for example, you earn extra points.

When it’s a brand you already use, then you’ll likely earn many travel rewards fast. Without the spending bonuses, it might take way too long to get enough points to actually use them.

Keep an Eye on the Travel Perks

Traveling is amazing, but it can often be quite exhausting too. For more comfortable experiences, travel perks are the way to go.

That’s why it’s vital to look for travel credit cards that have excellent loyalty programs or other awesome bonuses. The right travel credit card can give you lounge access or free checked baggage services.

If you’re not looking forward to standing in the line at the airport, priority boarding is something you might earn. Let’s not forget about perks such as free hotel stays, no foreign transaction fees, and so much more.

Watch Out for the Annual Fees

No one enjoys paying a credit card fee every year. Unfortunately, most branded travel rewards credit cards do require cardholders to pay an annual fee.

Some premium travel credit cards might even charge over $500 in annual fees. It’s up to you to decide if their services are worth the price.

On the other hand, the average range is between $50-$100 a year. You should be able to get an excellent rewards scheme for your buck, plus excellent travel offers and protection.

Top Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Now that you have a better sense of what travel credit cards can do for you, let’s examine the options. You’ll quickly notice that there are a lot of choices in the travel credit card industry.

But we want to highlight the best travel rewards credit cards for digital nomads, travelers, or remote workers.

Chase Sapphire Reserve Card

This is one of the best travel rewards credit cards for online business owners as well as enthusiastic travelers. If you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first three months, you’ll earn an impressive 60,000 points.

Furthermore, you get a $300 Annual Travel Credit in reimbursements for travel expenses. Soon after you earn your travel credit, you get to earn 3X points on travel. If you use Lyft services frequently, every dollar you spend comes with additional seven points.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome bonus
  • Unlimited 3X points on travel and dining
  • Special benefits for using Lyft
  • Annual travel credit
  • Access to 1,300 airport lounges worldwide

Cons

  • $550 annual fee
  • Large minimum spending requirement

Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige Card

Citi Prestige is one of the best travel cards out there for travelers looking to earn airline miles. If you choose this travel credit card, you’ll get 50,000 Thank You points immediately.

However, strings are attached, and you’ll need to spend at least $4,000 in the first three months to use them.

This bonus translates into $850, which isn’t the greatest but still pretty decent. Every calendar year, you also get up to $250 travel credit for various purchases.

Pros

  • 5X earnings at travel agencies and restaurants
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • 2X fourth-night-free awards per year
  • Excellent travel credit bonus

Cons

  • $495 annual fee

Capital One Venture Card

Capital One Venture Card

If travel miles are the most important reward of all, the Capital One Venture card is the right pick. You can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles.

But only if you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first year of holding the card. In case that turns out to be too much, you can still earn 50,000 miles.

All you have to do is spend $3,000 in the first three months on eligible purchases—no need to worry about miles expiring either. You can keep them on your account for life, and there is no limit to how much you can earn.

Pros

  • 100,000-mile bonus
  • Miles do not expire
  • Low annual fee ($95)
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • High spending minimum

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Travel rewards credit cards for remote workers and online business owners should earn hotel points first and foremost. Those flying for business likely spend a lot of time in hotels, so they might as well make the most of it.

By signing up for this card, you will earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points when you spend $1,000 on purchases. On top of that, you can get 50,000 more points after you spend an additional $5,000 on the next six months.

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transactions fee
  • Excellent perks for purchases at Hilton hotels
  • Great for business travelers

Cons

  • Not ideal option for vacations

Delta SkyMiles Platinum American Express Card

Delta Airlines and American Express are a match made in heaven. You get a limited-time offer of 90,000 bonus miles. It’s an excellent offer, but you have to spend $3,000 in three months to use the miles.

You can earn 3X the miles with purchases made directly with hotels and restaurants too. Also, you get a domestic main cabin round-trip when you choose to renew your card. Plus, the annual fee of $250 is mid-range, considering all the perks.

Pros

  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Free first checked bag
  • An accelerated path to Medallion Status
  • Priority boarding for you and a companion

Cons

  • Expensive airport lounge access

Business Platinum Card From American Express

There are many lucrative benefits to Business Platinum from American Express. For example, you get 100,000 membership reward points in the first three months.

Undoubtedly, the $15,000 minimum spending required sounds shockingly high, but only at first glance. For small business owners who need to travel a lot for work, this is an excellent opportunity.

You will earn up to 5X rewards points on prepaid hotels and flights. Furthermore, you’ll get half an extra point for every dollar spent.

Pros

  • Up to $200 in annual Dell credits
  • Easy access to Global Lounge Collection
  • 35% airline bonus redemption
  • Elite status in Marriott and Hilton hotels

Cons

  • $595 annual fee
  • Authorized user fee

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Hyatt isn’t as big of a name as some of its competitors. However, it’s still a worthy contender in the category of best travel rewards credit cards for digital nomads and travelers.

The rewards rate varies. You may earn one point per one dollar you spend on some purchases. But also get nine points per dollar if you buy in Hyatt hotels. The introductory offer is not impressive but relatively decent.

You get automatic 30,000 reward points if you spend $3,000 in three months. Although, you can earn an additional 30,000 if you focus on purchases that bring more points in the first six months.

Pros

  • $95 annual fee
  • Free night at Hyatt every year
  • Automatic Hyatt elite status
  • Ideal for business travelers

Cons

  • Fewer hotels than some competitors

Pick Your Winning Travel Credit Card and Pack Your Bags

The best travel rewards credit cards market truly holds excellent choices for frequent travelers. For the most part, you’ll have to pay some annual fees to get the best service. The initial rewards are essential, but they won’t matter much if you can’t spend the minimum purchases.

Also, the process of choosing the best card will heavily depend on your needs. Do you mostly travel for business or leisure?

Earning hotel points, for example, will be less important to those only staying in rentals. Others who depend on hotel accommodations for business purposes need an excellent travel credit card to earn points. In any case, the travel credit cards we’ve talked about are great options in so many ways.

Digital Nomad Quotes

digital-nomad-quotes

Digital Nomad Quotes for aspiring digital nomads, travelers, and anyone who seeks inspiration for travel.  Here are some quotes that will make your toes tingle and make you want to be on the road now.  Know of any other quotes?  Please add some in the comments or send us some!

1.  I don’t know where I’m going, but I’m on my way – Carl Sandburg

I don't know where I am going but I am on my way

 

2. I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list – Susan Sontag

I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list

 

3. I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me – Laura

I was never going to go if I waited for someone to come with me

 

4. To travel is to take a journey into oneself – Danny Kaye

To travel is to take a journey into yourself

 

5. I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it – Alexander Sattler

I would rather own little and see the world than own the world and see little of it

 

6. Chris Michel – Everyone Has a Story … It’s your story, you write it.

Chris-michel---everyone-has-a-store...-write-your-own-story

 

7. A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving – Lao Tzu

11

 

8. Once a year go somewhere you’ve never been before – Dalai Lama

Once a year go somewhere you've never been before

 

9. The road you travel has twists and turns. The life of an entrepreneur has ups and downs. Hang on and enjoy the ride – Libby Tucker

The road of an entrepreneur

 

10. Every few hundred feet the world changes – Roberto Bolano

Every few hundred feet the world changes

 

11. The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step – Lao Tzu

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step

 

Getting Comfortable on a Plane: How to Pack, Where to Sit, & More

Getting comfortable on a plane - how to live and work anywhere

Getting Comfortable on a Plane – Some Handy Tips

When you’re traveling around the world, living and working from anywhere, you’ll likely find yourself on a plane once or twice, if not hundreds of times. And while it’s great to be able to use this mode of transportation to get wherever it is you want to go, flying isn’t always the most comfortable way to move about – especially on long flights.

Fortunately, there are a few different things you can do to make your air-based travels less daunting and more enjoyable. This starts with learning how to pack, where to sit, and other valuable tips that will make it easier (and more fun) to get from where you are now to wherever it is you want to be.

Getting comfortable on a plane starts with packing first…

How to Pack

Pack Lightly

Your primary goal should be to not bring too much with you on the plane.  The easier you can slip in and out of your seat without worrying about grabbing or tripping over all of your things, the more efficient and less stressful both your trip and your neighbor’s will be.

Focus on Necessities

So, what should you pack in your carry-on so you can travel comfortably without taking a bunch of things you don’t necessarily need?

For starters, you want to make sure you have your airline ticket, passport or visa (if applicable), driver’s license, money, medical card, and any other documentation you need on hand for your travels.

You also want to make sure you have any medications you’ll need with you, including anything you take over the counter.

Carry enough money to get you to and from the airport and to buy some food.  Always make sure to have at least one credit/debit card (2 or more is better in case one is lost/stolen/not working).

Eye masks are great if you plan on sleeping during the flight, along with earplugs or noise-canceling headphones. A travel pillow can provide your neck some much needed support (Alaska Airlines and some other flights will have adjustable headrests, so you might want to check before taking your own pillow), and you might want to consider an inflatable footrest to enhance the comfort of your legs (or rest them on top of your carry on).

Clothing

As far as clothing is concerned, take an extra pair of socks in case it gets cold on the plane.

You also want to have a sweatshirt or light jacket in case it gets cold. Plus, it doubles as an extra blanket and/or pillow that doesn’t take up any additional room.

Throw in an extra pair of underwear and a clean shirt as well in your carry on.  If your luggage is somehow misplaced, it will at least make you feel a little better to put on some fresh clothes after a long day of travel.

Distractions

You also want to have a few things with you to occupy your flight time. This could include work, some downloaded movies or podcasts on your smartphone or tablet, or even your favorite game apps. Some airlines do offer in-flight TV and Internet services, but not all of the planes are equipped with them, so you want to have your own activities available in case you find that you are traveling on one of them.

Food & Beverage

Some healthy snacks are great to throw in your carry-on in the event that you get hungry and your flight doesn’t include meals or you didn’t have time to grab something in between flights. A few to consider include trail mix, fruit, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or cheese and crackers.

You can’t bring beverages from home due to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) regulations, but you can always pack an empty water bottle in your carry-on and just fill it at an airport drinking fountain after you get through security. This one simple move can save you some cash and is good for the environment.

A Few Bonus Items – Staying Fresh

Anti-bacterial hand gel is nice to have on hand as germs can spread quite easily in both airport and plane settings. You might also want to pack some lip balm and hand lotion as the air in planes can be very dry, especially on long flights.

Speaking of long flights, taking toothpaste and a toothbrush will allow you to freshen your mouth before you land… which allows you to feel fresh all around.  Deodorant is a must and so are wet towelettes which can go a long way in lieu of a shower.

Now that you’ve got everything you need, let’s talk about where to sit…

Where to Sit

Most airlines allow you to pick your seats when you purchase your tickets. If you’re flying on one of them and you can, try to find a seat that has no passenger next to you so you have more room (although, this can change if the flight fills up).

However, if you’re on an airline that doesn’t allow you to preselect your seat, then at least check in online as early as you can (usually 24 hours before the flight is scheduled to depart) so you can choose your seat then.

The seat that is best for you depends on a number of different factors, such as where you’re going, how long of a flight, and also your body type. I almost always pick a window seat toward the front of the aircraft. That way, if the flight is crowded, especially on shorter-duration flights, I can get off quicker once we land.

But if the flight is 10 hours or more, then it really doesn’t matter how quickly you plan to exit the plane, so where you sit matters a little less. Ideally, you probably want to choose one closer to the bathroom, but you don’t want to be so close to it that people are constantly moving around you, opening and closing the lavatory door (with sometimes unpleasant odors).

The aisle seat is great for a short flight but, if you have any part of you sticking out into the aisle, you will get bumped. This is true whether it is by one of the restless passengers that is going for a mid-flight walk or the infamous drink and food cart that has been known to strike more than a few funny bones and knees.

If you plan to sleep on your flight, the window seat is your best option as, in addition to not getting bumped, you also have a place to lay your head (If you’re a sleeper who drools, your seatmate will appreciate this tremendously!).

Some people prefer exit row seats thanks to the extra leg room, which is nice, especially if you are tall. I find that flying standby on a buddy pass will sometimes land you in one of these seats at no extra cost.

And even with short legs, this row of seats can often make for a nicer flight. But be aware that the seats in these rows don’t recline, so if that feature is important to you, then you might want to stick with a regular seat option.

Wherever you are sitting, if the flight is not full and you want a different seat, just ask the flight attendant if you can move once everyone has boarded. Or, if you have a few extra dollars and want to upgrade, you can always go for economy comfort or first class and enjoy the perks that those particular sections of the plane have to offer.

What else should you know when traveling comfortably, whether you’re flying internationally or domestic?

Additional Flying Tips for Increased Comfort on Your Plane Ride

Some other tips to consider when flying on an airplane include:

  • Start your travels well-rested. Although it may sound like spending your in-air time sleeping is a great idea, it doesn’t always work that way. So, the more sleep you have beforehand, the easier it will be for you to handle the stresses related to both short and long-term travel.
  • Start hydrating before you go. Begin drinking extra fluids a couple of days before you go as travel can be very dehydrating. Water is the best choice (don’t forget to bring a bottle with you and fill up after passing through security)
  • Wear loose clothing. Remember: the longer the flight, the more comfortable you want your clothing to be.
  • To avoid the ugly arm rest fight, place your sweatshirt or jacket inside your seat and rest part of it on the armrest between you and the passenger next to you. That way you’re not spending your entire flight fighting for elbow space.
  • Get up and walk around a bit. Ideally, you want to do this every hour or so (particularly when on long flights) to keep your circulation flowing.

Finally, if you travel a lot, it may be worth it to stick to just one airline so you can earn their specific perks, such as free upgrades and early boarding.

If you have a lot of experience traveling on a plane, what are some tricks that you’ve learned to make your flights more comfortable? Please share in the comments below!

Top Digital Nomad Friendly Airports Worldwide

The Digital Nomad’s Guide to the Top Airports in the World

One of the great things about being a digital nomad and living and working anywhere is that you get to travel. Of course, this

means spending time in various airports as you go from one glorious destination to the next. So, which ones are best when it

comes to keeping in touch with your business, family, and friends?

Here are some favorites for digital nomads from around the world, as well as what to expect when you are in them:

 

Budapest Airport – Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Airport offers free Wi-Fi for the first two hours you are there. And if you need to print something, you can do so by using

their passenger lounges. They even supply meeting rooms if  you happen to be there at the same time as someone else on your

team and want to find a quiet place to chat about work.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Budapest.jpg

 

O’Hare International Airport – Chicago, Illinois

Find yourself at O’Hare in Chicago and you will enjoy the first 20 minutes of Wi-Fi free, with the option to pay $6.95 for an

additional 24 hours of service through Boingo, which means that you can access Internet through any of their locations during

that time period. If you need to power up any of your devices, there are numerous charging stations located throughout terminals

1, 2, 3, and 5. Plus, download the FlySmart app and you can find all of their amenities and services rather easily.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Chicago

 

Heathrow Airport – London, England

Heathrow offers four hours of Wi-Fi free, even offering an additional four hours at no extra charge if you join their Heathrow

Rewards loyalty program. They also have pay-as-you-go computer desks scattered throughout the airport, if that helps. If you

want to print anything, you’ll have to do so before going through security though as there aren’t any public printers available

after that point.

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Austin-Bergstrom International Airport – Austin, Texas

Austin-Bergstrom gives you 90 consecutive minutes of Wi-Fi free per day through Boingo. To purchase more time, the rate for

24 hours is $7.95, or you can get Boingo Unlimited for a couple bucks more, or $9.95 per month. You might even want to stop

at Knot Anymore Massage (by gate 13) while you are there and get out all of the kinks that travel can sometimes create.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Austin

 

Suvarnabhumi Airport – Bangkok, Thailand

This airport offers two hours of free Wi-Fi daily, which gives you some time to catch up on emails or send notes to various

members of your team. You may also want to visit their Internet Café if you want to use their computer systems and not take

the time to set up your own.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Bangkok.jpg

 

Seattle-Tacoma (Sea-Tac) International Airport – Seattle, Washington

If you’re lucky enough to spend time in the Seattle airport, you will have access to free Wi-Fi, as well as under-your-seat power

outlets available at most every gate. They also offer MP3 chargers at various kiosks in the concourses. And if you want an

Internet-enabled phone, you can rent one for $0.35 per minute (there is a $5 minimum for this service).

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Seattle.jpg

 

New Delhi Indira Ghandi Airport – New Delhi, India

New Delhi airport offers Wi-Fi a number of ways. For instance, if you have a Boingo account, you can simply log in through them.

You can also purchase a paid plan at 99 INR for one hour or 199 INR for three hours or obtain a scratch card from the

Lounge/Counter located inside the terminal. And if you have to switch airports while there, they offer a complimentary shuttle bus

that runs between domestic and international airports.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_New Delhi

 

 

McCarran International Airport – Las Vegas, Nevada

McCarran allows you to check in for your flight right from your mobile phone. It also offers free Wi-Fi in all public areas of the

airport. Don’t forget to take a break from working while you are there and put a couple coins in their in-airport slot machines. Who

knows? You may just win enough to fund your next travel adventure!

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Las Vegas.jpg

 

Incheon International Airport – Seoul, South Korea

At Incheon, you can rent a mobile phone if you’d like, or send a package or letter via their in-terminal postal services. You get

free Wi-Fi as well, which makes this airport great for all types of business and communication purposes.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Seoul.jpg

 

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) – San Franciso, California

Free Wi-Fi is also available at SFO, with work stations and power outlets located throughout the terminals (some near the food

court so you can replenish your energy physically as well as electronically). It’s almost like having your own office space, just

make sure you don’t leave anything behind.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_San Franciso

 

Schönefeld Airport and Tegel Airport – Berlin, Germany

Stop at either Schönefeld Airport or Tegel Airport in Berlin and you can quickly know where all of their services and amenities are

through an app, which is available through ITunes or Google Play. As far as Wi-Fi is concerned, only your first hour is free, but

that may be enough time to catch up quickly before taking your next flight.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Berlin

 

John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) – New York, New York

At JFK, there are a number of ways you can get Internet access. For instance, you can pay hourly ($4.95 per hour) or daily

($7.95 per day). They also have a monthly subscription option for $9.95 if you want unlimited access to various spots around the

globe. Additionally, there are charging stations available pre- and post-security so you can power up your devices pretty much

anywhere in the airport.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_New York

 

Kuala Lumpur International Airport – Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Kuala Lumpur offers three hours of free Wi-Fi in most areas of the airport. They also have multimedia phone kiosks which give

you access to the web as well. They even have pay phones if you have any calls to make, or postal services if there is something

you need to send something out via regular mail.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Kuala Lumpur.jpg

 

Barcelona-El Prat Airport – Barcelona, Spain

Travel through Barceloa-El Prat Airport and you will only get 15 minutes free Wi-Fi, whether you are in terminal 1 or terminal 2.

So, while this particular location doesn’t exactly give you a lot of no-cost time to keep in touch, it does give you some if there is an

important message that needs to be sent out or if you quickly want to check your inbox.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Barcelona

 

Mexico City International Airport – Mexico City, Mexico

Mexico City International Airport offers cell phone services and postal services, but it doesn’t seem to offer any type of Internet

service. In other words, don’t expect to get too much business done if you wind up here, that is, unless you have your own

Internet connection device.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Mexico City

 

Tallinn Airport – Tallinn, Estonia

Tallinn Airport not only offers free Wi-Fi, they also have 14 different kiosks you can use if you prefer to keep your laptop in its

case. And if you want to conduct your business in a quieter location away from the normal hustle and bustle of the airport, you

can gain access to their business class Nordea Lounge for €30.

digitalnomadfriendlyairport_Tallinn

 

There you have it, your digital nomad guide to some of the top airports in the world. Now the only question you have to answer is

which one you’re going to go to first!

A Pre-Travel Checklist – Some things to do before traveling

Pre travel list - Live work anywhere

There are a few things I do each time before I leave on a trip to make sure that I have no hiccups and can continue to keep my schedule, life, and work – in continuous flow.  Here is my travel checklist and some tips I’d like to share.

1. Check Schedule & Calendar 

Staying productive from anywhere is the true goal of a remote worker, freelancer, or digital nomad.  Your clients, schedule, and calendar matter.

Plan For Existing Meetings

First, take a look at your calendar to see what meetings you have coming up.  Make sure that you plan your flight and all your time in transit around that meeting or call.  Leave yourself enough of a buffer between flights, metro stations, taxis, ubers, etc so that you can get there in time to have your call and actually have the head space to make sure it’s effective.

Everyone is different but you never know if the taxi will be late or overcharge you and your head is in haggle mode when it should be in sales mode.  Be mentally prepared and give yourself the time to focus on the call in a quiet space with good wi-fi.

Set Your Upcoming Schedule

calendar liveworkanywhere pre travel planning Next, decide if you need to schedule any other meetings that week.

Make sure your flight and travel plans are scheduled around your meetings and that you will have strong wi-fi and quiet, low-noise for meetings.

Figure out how you will work around the upcoming meetings.  If you’ve committed to being there, it’s important to show up, and you need to plan accordingly – or rearrange early.

Confirmation Meetings

Even more importantly for travel, confirm your clients or business partners will be there (it’s a pain to reschedule, especially on the road, beside the obvious fact that people need to honor and respect each others’ schedules).

I don’t always tell my clients that I’m traveling.  Not because I’m hiding anything but to keep them from panicking.

This is a double edged sword.  If I say I’m leaving, they tend to panic.  It’s that knee-jerk reaction that we are still programmed to believe that traveling means shutting off.  This is changing.  Soon, clients will just say “okay, safe travels, talk to you at our next meeting.”  Some clients already just know and say something like “… wherever you are in the world.”

Set Expectations & Be Accountable

The truth is – just show up.  Be accountable to yourself and to others.  In general, meetings are canceled or rescheduled all the time.  If you’re not traveling, yet you are in the same city and had to reschedule, it’s viewed as normal.  But, if you tell people that you’re traveling then people tend to think your’e on vacation and you rescheduled for that reason, which portrays irresponsibility and can backfire on you.

Traveling while working personally makes me even more accountable.  I don’t like to waste my own time especially when on the road.

Practicing integrity and being a person of your word, and consistency, is what is important.  Not the place.  Meeting goals, deadlines, and being accountable are what matter most.

2. Bring Food & Water 

You never know when you’ll have an extended layover, the drinking fountain breaks down, or the stores close early.  Make sure you have enough supplies for a just-in-case situation.  Plus, it’s nice to have snacks and not be parched.

First thing I do (after security if in an airport) when traveling is to fill my water bot Brita-Water-Filter-Bottle-liveworkanywhere-pretravel-planning tle.  Even though you have to empty it before security if you’re getting on the plane, you never know when you’ll be stuck without something to drink.  So find a water station and fill up.

Ideally bring a water bottle that has a filter, like a Brita filter, so that you can safely drink most tap water, depending on where you go.

Buy snack food.  Packing nuts, dried fruits and granola bars ensures you’ll never be stuck starving.  They take a long time to go bad, plus you can avoid the $20 dollar sandwich at the airport.

3. Banking & Financial 

Set Travel Alert

Important – set your travel alert with your bank.  Have you ever tried using your card only to find out it’s not working?  It always happens at the worst time – when you’re about to pay for your next meal (that you’ve already eaten!), about to buy that sweater you’ve had your eye on, or need money to pay for a taxi.  Figuring out how to call or contact your bank when you’re out and about overseas can be an especially fun challenge.

Setting an alert ahead of time will avoid all of this!

Reciprocity

Additionally, look online at which bank(s) offers reciprocity so you can save on ATM fees.

bank-reciprocity-liveworkanywhere-pretravel-planning

For example, I bank (partly) with Bank of America.  You can google “set travel alert with <add your bank name here>” to find out if you are able to save on fees with your bank.

There are some credit cards, like the Delta Sky Miles card from American Express that allows you to save on international fees completely.  For ATM cards, check with your bank.  To the right is an example from Bank of America.

https://www.bankofamerica.com/deposits/manage/how-to-pay-when-traveling-abroad.go

4. Keep Local Currency Pocket Change  

Bring enough cash to cover at least the way to the airport / train station and enough for the return trip when you land.  I usually bring $20 USD or Euros each way for the airport and the subway or bus trip.   If there’s some left over, I get to buy local snacks.   pocket-change-liveworkanywhere

Another $20 USD in my bag for when I land.  Enough for breakfast and a bus ticket.

If I have local currency ahead of time, I usually carry about the equivalent of $20 for when I land.

If you don’t have local currency, all you have to do is pull cash out of the ATM at the airport wherever you land.  The rate of exchange may be a little high (unless it’s on the reciprocal bank list) but it’s generally cheaper than going to the currency exchange bureau.  When I land, I suggest taking out around $100-$200 USD or the local equivalent.  This is enough to get you started with transportation, food / coffee, and a little extra for the unexpected.

Try to pay with a card (now that your travel alert is set) and save the cash for incidentals and until you arrive at your destination and until you know the next ATM spot where you’ll do your next cash withdrawal.

5. Necessities Checklist  

This can vary but for me the necessities are:

  • passport-us-liveworkanywherepassport
  • ticket booked with confirmation (and make sure I check in online beforehand to avoid long lines)
  • credit cards (1 main, 1 for backup)
  • laptop and power cord
  • international power adaptor that covers the country(ies) I’ll be going to
  • money ($20 usd each way)
  • map (or picture of map) of transportation, i.e. subway maps for New York City
  • smartphone
  • contact information while abroad dispersed to family, friends, and clients
  • bathroom kit i.e. toothbrush (though I can buy this when I land if I forget it)

I always have my necessities with me.  I can leave from anywhere and go anywhere at pretty much any time with just a backpack.  What I don’t have I pick up when I arrive, like toiletries.  It’s always fun to buy shampoo in which I recognize the brand but cannot understand the label.

6. Accommodations Check  

I am pretty adventurous but I like to know where I’ll sleep when I land, especially if I am jet lagged from a long i accommodations-packing-list-liveworkanywhere nternational flight.  Usually arranging the first day or first week in a place will give you time to get oriented – and you can go from there!

One day versus one week is very different.  I tend to book only one day if my destination is not so far away and there’s not a huge time or cultural change.  I will book up to one week if it’s farther away, there’s a big time change, and if there is a language or huge cultural change.

I landed in South Africa today, for example, and I’ve booked an AirBnB apartment for 8 days to not only see the city but to get myself situated and talk to locals about where to go next.

So, fellow traveler, what’s on your pre-travel checklist?  Do you have an item on your necessities list that you don’t see listed?  What’s your priority when landing in a new place?

Why Hostels are Great Places to Stay

Hostal el Patagonico, hostel in patagonia, puerto natales

Hostels in the US are not very common.  There’s a perception as well about hostels for many in the US.   They aren’t clean, your stuff will get stolen, etc.  But, I’ve stayed in hundreds of hostels all over the world and I dig hostels.  Here’s why:

  • meet people from all over the world
  • never feel like you’re traveling alone
  • always located in a great part of town
  • always have guides, maps, etc to help you know where to go
  • not expensive for a place to lay your head for the night (since you’re probably traveling to see the sights, after all)
  • much more character than a hotel
  • almost always have wifi and power as well as a common space
  • common kitchen which allows you to do your own cooking

The downsides and how to overcome them:

  • always carry an eye mask and ear plugs (hostels can be noisy at times and depends on the hostel)
  • bring shower shoes as a general practice though you may not need them
  • bring your own shampoo and soap, and have a towel just in case
  • bring a lock.  most hostels have storage lockers but you generally provide your own lock.

I have never had anything stolen from a hostel.  I’ve never had a bad experience… except for a random incident in El Salvador.  But, now I have a story to tell.  And, I was safe.

Hostels, particularly for solo travelers, are great places to stay.  You will always meet people and you’ll usually be in a part of town that’s easy to get around.  Staff generally are multilingual and very helpful.  If you’re up for an adventure, try a hostel.

Some of my favorites include:

El Patagonico, Puerto Natales, Punta Arenas, Chile

La Maison du Patriote, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

La Esperanza, San Juan del Sur, Nicaragua

Generator Venice, Venice, Italy

Las Ramblas, Barcelona

Top 7 Communications Apps To Use While Traveling

Top 7 Communication Apps to Use While Travelling

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 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 a daunting task when you’re counties or countries away.

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, like T-Mobile, Verizon, and Sprint allow you to seamlessly turn on your phone the minute you hit the ground and be able to communicate.  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 communicate internationally for keeping in contact with my loved ones, I’d like to share with you the top communication apps that I’ve found to help you communicate while overseas.

If you’re looking for business communication, then your 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’re out of the country, here are 7 apps for you to choose from.

  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. 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 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, 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! 

You can host multiple people on the same call, much like Skype. Beware that a free account 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.  It’s a good way to keep in touch 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 Facebook Messenger app to have instant access to conversations with family and friends. You can send messages instantly over data and also make calls to loved ones overseas, which makes 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 communicate with you. So, if you do plan on using this option when travelling overseas, you’re better off asking the people you intend to contact to download it before you go. Other than this minor challenge, Whatsapp is no doubt one of the best ways to communicate internationally.

It is connected by using your phone number, except you won’t get charged cell phone rates when using Whatsapp. Now part of Facebook’s family of apps, it functions similar to Facebook Messenger and a great way to stay connected, particularly with those who don’t have a Facebook account.

WhatsApp gained a lot of popularity by travelers and anyone without the same cell phone plan.  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 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 communicate 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 app’s private messaging 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. 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 to contacts on Facebook Messenger without the leaving app and vice versa.

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 travelling. Typically, I was on my computer using Skype or Google Voice, but now, with unlimited data, 5G, and nearly ubiquitous Wi-Fi on my phone, I typically communicate in real-time via text by using iMessage.

FaceTime is also a must-have. 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.

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 instant message (IM), voice call, or video call. 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.


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.

Viber allows users to call and message each other 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 communciation apps that leverages a solid data exchange method. One of its remarkable advantages is that it requires a low bandwidth while offering great security.

Conclusion

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, 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?

Downsizing to 4 Boxes : An Experiment in Minimalism

an experiment in minimalism

I spent the past 10 years wanting to travel. I spent the last 10 years accumulating stuff. Finally, I drew a line in the sand. I was going no matter what. Not an easy decision and something in need of planning but well worth the effort.

I decided to reduce my life down to FOUR BOXES. I had two houses, a car, a cat, a relationship, tenants, a business, a job, a car, a social life, photos, cd’s, DVDs, furniture, paperwork – you name it!

What I decided to do was make a list of the things that were most important to me and what I couldn’t do without. Then, I decided to get rid of everything else. It’s unbelievable how much ‘stuff’ we can build up! After simplifying my life and liberating myself and reflecting, I really don’t know how or why we do it. Of course there’s the old “keeping up with the Jones’s” or simply adding more things for the space we have available. Either way, it’s not fulfilling and somewhat narrow minded. To release yourself of the ‘ties’ we have, whether real or imagined, is quite the freeing experience.

My list:

  • Picture albums (with a backup digital copy)
  • Legal paperwork for house / business / etc
  • Precious items that were gifts or could not be replaced

Really that was about it. I had two houses at the time and I made a plan to sell the first one. It took 3 and 1/2 months but finally after cleaning, prepping, and marketing it sold. Huge check off the list!

minimalism experiment four boxes
That’s it! Can you believe it?

What next?

My job. My car was easy, I got in a small bumper crash and it decided no longer to run. So, I invested in the city bus. I had a heart to heart with myself. In another post I talk about the loathe I have for the corporate world, and although a great opportunity for me (there are many if you are a glass-half-full person), I released the chains and gave my notice.

Everything else was easy. Several trips to Goodwill, many posts on Craigslist, happy and willing friends to offload stuff onto, digitizing all music and movies, and online storage for everything that was important to me (with backup).

I’ll go through little by little what I use for tools to help me be mobile and work virtually.

I wasn’t able to sell my other house since, as we all know, the market went South. But it still feels good to have a place to call home and go back to. For several months I tried to find the right tenant to occupy my home. Giving them a few deposit slips and contacts in case something goes wrong or needs fixing and voila! Off to Central America to prove that living and working abroad can not only cost you less in stress and also in the dollars you spend.

Life Without a Cell Phone

Life Without A Cell Phone | Live Work Anywhere

From my home wifi, to airport seatac wifi, to SFO airport wifi, to Gogo InFlight, Boingo as backup, to rail Wifi on the BART…

Convince me that I need AT&T.

I’ve been without my phone for several weeks. Other than people asking me why I’m not using my other number, and me not being the best atreturning voicemails (same as always), nobody has noticed. I have an iPhone and use iMessage with friends. I use Google Voice with others. I’m covered.

I’m actually better now at returning calls than I was before. Google Voice lets you READ your voicemails. I know how to prioritize them. They may have spelling errors or some incorrect words, but you get the gist and at the very least a quick laugh.

I never answer my incoming calls anyway. Not usually. Everything I do work-wise is batched and scheduled. Plus, now you can carry around Wifi devices like Roku, Clearwire, and those from AT&T and Verizon. There are also a bunch of other options if you look hard enough.

“What about an emergency?” I hear you say. What did we do 10 or 20 years ago? We found a way to contact the people we needed. Texting with a cell phone can actually create an emergency! Learning to be patient and flexible goes a long way.

Not having a phone can actually help you manage your schedule more intentionally. And it can even help you calm your nerves!

Sent from my iPhone via Wifi

Do you use a cell phone? Why or why not?