How to Become a Digital Nomad & Live/Work from Anywhere [2022]

how to become digital nomad

Being on a beach and making money from a laptop is the dream of thousands of aspiring digital nomads. With just a laptop and an internet connection, digital nomads can work from anywhere in the world – whether they’re exploring Europe, soaking up the sun in Southeast Asia, or enjoying a coffee in a local cafe.

Of course, becoming a digital nomad is not as simple as packing your bags and saying goodbye to your cubicle. There are a few things you need to do before you can start living a digital nomad life.

What is a digital nomad?

The best way to become a digital nomad is to first understand what it is and what it isn’t. Contrary to popular belief, being a digital nomad doesn’t mean working from a laptop on a beach somewhere and sipping cocktails (though that is certainly part of it). It’s actually a lot more than that.

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to make a living, whether that’s through freelance work, online businesses, or some other form of income. The key defining factor is that they’re location independent, which means they can work from anywhere in the world.

Basically, a digital nomad is a term used for people who travel the world with a laptop and a backpack. It used to primarily mean young professionals and entrepreneurs who could up and leave, travel somewhere warm and inexpensive, and play geographical arbitrage with where to live/work.

But the truth is that anyone can become a digital nomad, even with no prior experience or skills. I started LiveWorkAnywhere in 2007 with the goal of figuring out how to become a digital nomad. I bought a one-way ticket to Costa Rica in 2009 and never looked back.

I learned the hard way, on low-bandwidth, shared Internet, and before smartphones existed. I want to help you navigate the hurdles I experienced and get you living the digital nomad lifestyle now.

We’ve come a very long way to 2022. Really, with high-speed Internet being abundant and everyone having a laptop and smartphone, there’s no excuse not to become a digital nomad. The only obstacles typically are planning and preparation, and taking the leap.

I still have the same mission – for every single person to be able to become a digital nomad and be location independent if they choose.

So if you’re curious about digital nomadism or want to become a digital nomad, here’s everything you need to know.

First things first – let’s start with the basics.

Who is a digital nomad?

The term “digital nomad” conjures images of 20-somethings working on their laptops from exotic beaches, but the reality is that anyone can become a digital nomad. As of 2022, almost half of digital nomads across the globe are in their 30s, with roughly 35% being in the 40-59 age group.

A digital nomad is simply someone who works remotely, without being tied to a specific location. This can be done by working for a remote company, or by running a location-independent business.

A digital nomad is someone who uses technology to work remotely, often from different locations around the world. This can mean anything from working on your laptop at a coffee shop in Paris to running a business from your RV as you travel across America. There are many benefits to being a digital nomad, including the ability to work from anywhere in the world and the freedom to create your own schedule.

How to become a digital nomad

The key defining factor of a digital nomad is that they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world, as long as they have an internet connection.

Simply, it’s a person with a laptop who works online and has the freedom to be anywhere, anytime.

Digital nomadism is a rapidly growing lifestyle with more and more people looking to escape the traditional workforce and live a laptop lifestyle.

Before learning how to become a digital nomad, it’s important to understand the two types of digital nomads:

Type One: The digital nomad who wants to live the laptop lifestyle but also maintains a home base. They often have an apartment or condo in a city they frequently return to.

Type Two: The digital nomad who wants to travel the world and work from anywhere. They often have no permanent home base, living out of a suitcase most of the time.

The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone – it takes a lot of planning, self-discipline, and motivation. But if you’re looking for freedom, flexibility, and adventure, digital nomadism might be for you.

Here are some of the most common questions I get asked about digital nomads:

What are the pros and cons of being a digital nomad?

I’d love to tell you that being a digital nomad is all rainbows and butterflies. But, as with everything, you have to balance the good and the bad. Before you decide if you truly want to become a digital nomad, it’s crucial to know the pros and cons of the nomad life.

Pros of becoming a digital nomad

The digital nomad lifestyle is often romanticized as a life of constant travel and adventure. While it’s true that digital nomads do enjoy a great deal of freedom, there are also some very practical benefits to this lifestyle.

One of the biggest advantages is that it allows you to be with your family when they need you and without having to sacrifice your career. With traditional jobs, it can be difficult to take time off for family emergencies or even just for quality time together.

But with a digital nomad lifestyle, as long as you have a laptop and an internet connection, you can work from anywhere. That means that if your family needs you, you can be there for them without having to worry about work because of your location independence.

As for those with young children, you can even homeschool them while you travel the world and work remotely. So if you’re looking for a way to balance your career and your family life, the digital nomad lifestyle is an excellent option.

Another major advantage of being a digital nomad is the ability to make money from anywhere across the globe online – and, never have to stop exploring the planet. The digital nomad life is the perfect way to see the world and have amazing adventures while getting paid to do it.

Being a digital nomad means having a remote job, which allows you to live a nomadic lifestyle. That means you can move around and travel as you please.

Plus, you have the freedom and flexibility to work on your own schedule. You’re your own boss, so you can set your own hours and work as much or as little as you want.

How to become a digital nomad

One more benefit for digital nomads is that there’s no such thing as office politics. No more water cooler gossip, no more backstabbing colleagues, and no more worrying about what your boss thinks of you. No more having to tiptoe around the delicate egos of your co-workers or kiss up to the boss in hopes of getting a raise.

Of course, that’s not to say that there isn’t any politics in the digital world – after all, there are still plenty of people vying for attention and clients. But digital nomads are quick to point out that politics are very different when you’re not dealing with people face-to-face.

When you work online, though, it’s easier to focus on improving productivity, becoming more efficient remote workers, and honing their digital nomad skills to land highly coveted remote jobs.

Finally, the digital nomad life is often one of increased motivation and effectiveness their remote jobs. Whether it’s the stunning beaches of Bali or the rolling hills of Tuscany, there’s no doubt that working surrounded by natural beauty can be a huge boost to creativity and productivity.

Being able to work remotely means that nomads are not tied to one location and can choose to work from wherever they desire. This flexibility often leads to nomads seeking locations that offer stunning natural beauty, as the peaceful surroundings can help boost their innovative spirit and ingenuity.

After all, there’s nothing quite like working from a sun-drenched beach or a snowy mountain cabin to get the creative juices flowing.

Cons of becoming a digital nomad

The nomadic life isn’t for everyone. It isn’t all Instagrammable avocado toast and #wanderlust. In fact, most digital nomads eventually crumble under pressure and give up on their nomadic dream. For those who manage to stick it out, there are a few disadvantages to contend with.

First, there’s the matter of constantly being on the move. Remote work may be freeing in some respects, but it can also be exhausting. You never really get to put down roots anywhere, and you’re always saying goodbye to friends and colleagues.

Second, there’s the issue of isolation. Most digital nomads work remotely, which means they don’t have the opportunity to socialize with co-workers or meet new people on a regular basis. When you’re living out of a suitcase, it can be difficult to connect with people on a deeper level.

Third, it can be really tough to stay focused when you’re constantly on the move. There’s no such thing as a “normal” day when you’re a nomad, which can make it hard to stick to a routine or get into a productive flow state to quickly fulfill your remote job responsibilities.

Fourth, let’s not forget about all the logistical challenges that come with living a nomadic life – think finding a place to live and work that has good stable internet connection. Whether you’re working from a co-working space in Bali or your van parked in a campsite in Joshua Tree, reliable internet access is not always guaranteed.

How to become a digital nomad

This can make it difficult to stay in touch with family and friends back home, as well as stay on top of work deadlines. Living a nomad life often means having to deal with unreliable internet connections and a lack of reliable infrastructure.

Fifth, the nomadic lifestyle has a few hidden costs that can add up quickly, such as health insurance and travel expenses. You’ll need to find a way to pay for your own health insurance. This can be a challenge, as most traditional health insurance plans don’t cover nomads who are constantly on the move.

There are a few options available, such as nomadic insurance plans or international health insurance, but they can be expensive. Make sure to do your research before choosing a plan.

Finally, there’s the question of financial stability. For most digital nomads, being financial unstable is just a part of the package. Remote work gives us the freedom to pick up and move to wherever we want, but it also means saying goodbye to the stability of a regular paycheck.

Because when your income is derived from remote work, there’s always the possibility that you could lose your job or clients at any time. And even if you do have a steady stream of work, the nomadic lifestyle can be expensive, since you’re always on the move and often have to pay for things like accommodation and transport in advance.

So, if you’re thinking about becoming a digital nomad, just know that it’s not all glamping and yoga retreats. There’s a lot of hard work and uncertainty involved. For those who live nomadically, financial insecurity is just a fact of life. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing.

Sure, it can be scary not knowing how much money you’ll have coming in each month. But it also teaches us to be resourceful and budget carefully.

How to become a digital nomad: Where to start

There are a variety of ways to make money as a digital nomad. There are many online businesses that can be started with minimal investment. However, the first step is to figure out the path you want to take towards digital nomadism.

There are a few ways to become a digital nomad:

Path One: Quit your job and travel the world. This is the path I took and it’s not for everyone. It requires a high-risk tolerance. I tend to leap and then figure out the steps.

Path Two: Transition into digital nomadism gradually. If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can start by working remotely a few days a week. Once you’re comfortable with that, transition into working remotely full-time. You can kick off with a side hustle then move into that or ask your boss for a few days per week to prove you can be productive.

Requesting that arrangement from your boss shouldn’t be a problem. After all, the remote working trend is not new, and it appears to be taking off due to the changes caused by COVID-19.

How to become a digital nomad

In 2021, many companies are beginning to offer their employees a chance at permanently being able to do their jobs from home. In 2021, 42% of US employers report that their staff have to work from home. While we have yet to see permanent changes, 66% of the respondents are optimistic that remote work will become a fixture in time.

Path Three: Start a digital nomad business. This is the path most digital nomads prefer as it gives them the most flexibility and freedom. Actually, over 53% of remote workers point out that flexibility is the most highly appreciated perk they enjoy in being a digital nomad. You can work from anywhere, anytime, and don’t have to quit your job.

If you’re ready to take the leap and become a digital nomad, here’s a step-by-step guide to help you get started and give you an idea on how to become a digital nomad.

Step One: Plan Your Escape

The first step is to plan your escape. For the remote worker, the appeal of the digital nomad lifestyle is obvious: freedom. But with that freedom comes a great responsibility: choosing the right destination.

After all, not all remote-friendly destinations are created equal. Some offer access to fast internet and a vibrant community of other remote workers, while others are nothing more than a remote wasteland where you’ll be lucky to find a decent cup of coffee, let alone a strong Wi-Fi signal.

So how do you choose the right destination for your digital nomad adventure?

Some popular digital nomad destinations include:

For starters, there’s Bali. This Indonesian island is a mecca for remote workers, thanks to its laid-back vibes and idyllic setting. Bali has everything a digital nomad could want, from beautiful beaches to jungle trekking and amazing food. Plus, it’s relatively budget-friendly and easy to get around.

If you’re looking for a more urban experience, Taipei is quickly becoming one of the most popular digital nomad destinations in the world. There are plenty of coworking spaces and cafes where remote workers can set up shop, and the city is incredibly easy to navigate. And, thanks to its convenient location and relatively affordable cost of living, Taipei is an ideal base for exploring Asia.

How to become a digital nomad

Another popular digital nomad destination is Thailand, and it’s not hard to see why. The country has a great climate, friendly people, and plenty of remote work opportunities. Plus, it’s relatively inexpensive to live here, which is important for location-independent workers who need to watch their bottom line.

Meanwhile, remote workers who are looking for a change of scenery will find Puerto Rico appealing with its mix of sun, surf, and culture. Best of all, it’s relatively easy to become a digital nomad in Puerto Rico. There are no special visas or permits required, and the cost of living is relatively low.

Mexico is also a convenient destination for digital nomads who want to be close to the United States. With its close proximity, it’s easy to hop on a plane and head back to the States for a quick work trip or visit with family and friends. And, of course, Mexico is also a popular tourist destination, so you can enjoy all the benefits of living in a beautiful country with plenty of things to do and see.

Barcelona is another great destination for digital nomads. The city has a lively atmosphere and is packed with bars, restaurants, and cafes. There are also a number of coworking spaces that offer reliable internet connection, which makes it easy to find a place to work. In addition, Barcelona is well-connected, with excellent public transportation and an airport that offers direct flights to many European cities.

If you have no specific country in mind, you can start your search with the kind of accommodation you envision living in.

For example, what better way to achieve location independence than by living on a boat? While it may sound like a lifestyle reserved for the rich and famous, there are a number of affordable options for would-be digital nomads.

Houseboats, for instance, can often be rented for a fraction of the cost of an apartment, and many marinas offer special rates for long-term tenants.

How to become a digital noamd

If you’re a remote worker who wants to take the show on the road, there’s no better option than a yurt. These circular dwellings have been used by nomadic peoples for centuries, and they offer all the comforts of home while still providing a sense of adventure. Plus, they’re surprisingly easy to set up and take down, making them the perfect option for the digital nomad who likes to move around frequently.

Most importantly, yurts can be easily adapted to any climate, whether you’re looking to escape the winter cold or enjoy a summer in the mountains. So if you’ve ever dreamed of living a life of location Independence, a yurt just might be the perfect option for you.

Step Two: Quit Your Job (or transition into digital nomadism gradually)

If you’re ready to quit your job and become a digital nomad, here are the steps to take:

  • Talk to your boss about working remotely. This is becoming more and more common as technology allows us to work from anywhere.
  • Give notice and start transitioning into working remote a few days a week.
  • Transition into working remotely full-time.

If you’re not ready to quit your job, you can transition gradually into digital nomadism by:

  • Working remotely a few days a week.
  • Taking vacation time to travel and work from different locations.
  • Starting a digital nomad business.

Step Three: Earn income online

The next step is to generate revenue. There are a few ways digital nomads earn income:

  • freelancing
  • consulting
  • online courses
  • blogging
  • affiliate marketing

Assess your skillset. What kind of work can you do online? Are you a web developer? A graphic designer? A writer? Once you know what kind of work you can do, start reaching out to clients and employers in your field. Many companies are now open to hiring remote workers, so don’t be afraid to ask around.

Find something you’re good at and start offering your services online. Once you have a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.

Step Four: Get Organized

The next step is to get organized and start planning your travels. Where do you want to go? How long do you want to stay there? What are your accommodation and transport options? Once you have all the logistics sorted, it’s time to hit the road and begin your digital nomad life.

If you choose to become a digital nomad gradually instead of jumping right into it, make sure to set up a workstation in your house with a good internet connection, power outlets, and a comfortable chair.

Step Five: Hit the Road

Now it’s time to hit the road! Start by booking your flight and accommodation. Once you’re in your destination, start looking for co-working spaces, cafes with good WiFi, and places to stay.

How do I make money as a digital nomad?

The digital nomad lifestyle offers a lot of freedom, but it also requires you to be more organized and self-disciplined than the average person. If you can master those two things, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a successful digital nomad!

There are many ways digital nomads make money while they travel. The most popular include freelancing, consulting, online courses, blogging, and affiliate marketing.

How to become a digital nomad

Freelancing is a great way to make money as a digital nomad. You can work in a variety of industries and fields, from writing and editing to web design and development.

To get started, create a profile on a freelancing platform like Upwork or Fiverr. Then, start bidding on projects that interest you. Once you land a few clients, you can transition into working full-time as a digital nomad.

Consulting is another great way to make money as a digital nomad. If you have expertise in a particular field, you can offer your services to companies and individuals all over the world.

Another excellent way to generate income as a digital income is through starting a blog. You can monetize your blog through advertising, affiliate marketing, or selling digital products like e-books and courses.

Affiliate marketing is also a wonderful way to make money as a digital nomad. It involves promoting other people’s products or services and earning a commission for every sale you make.

To get started, sign up for an affiliate marketing program like Amazon Associates or CJ Affiliate. Then, find products or services that you believe in and start promoting them on your blog or social media channels.

How to earn passive income as a digital nomad

Passive income is the dream, particularly for a digital nomad – you never have to stop traveling. However, setting up passive income takes work.

As a digital nomad, an ideal way to continue funding this lifestyle is to generate passive income. This way, even when you’re not working, you can still earn money.

Investing in real estate as a digital nomad can be a terrific way to generate passive income. It’s the best way that I’ve found over the years to travel and have income. You can buy properties in desirable locations and rent them out to short-term tenants.

Or, you can purchase dividend-paying stocks and bonds or online real estate investment funds that will provide you with regular income payments.

How to become a digital nomad

Starting your own online business is also a fantastic way to earn passive income, as digital nomads often have a lot of flexibility in terms of what they can do. A survey among digital nomads worldwide in 2022 revealed that most are self-employed, with more than 65% owning their own business.

For example, you could start an online store that sells products related to your niche. Or, you could launch a blog and sell digital products like e-books and online courses.

There are many different ways digital nomads can generate passive income. By choosing a couple of methods that interest you, you can create a reliable stream of revenue that will help fund your travels for years to come!

If you’re interested in generating passive income as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best ways to do it.

How to find digital nomad jobs?

What are the best digital nomad jobs? Where can you find them?

There is no one-size-fits-all answer to these questions. The internet has opened up a whole world of opportunities for remote workers. With a little ingenuity and some hard work, it’s possible to find digital nomad jobs that offer the ideal blend of location independence, remote work, and decent income.

The best way to find these jobs is to start by looking at the skills that you already have. That is, the best digital nomad job for you will depend on your skillset, interests, and goals. Wondering where to begin?

To find remote job openings, start by searching job boards and websites that specialize in this sector. In the past, remote jobs were mostly reserved for highly skilled professionals with in-demand skills, such as software developers and designers. However, with the rise of the internet and the growing popularity of the digital nomad lifestyle, there are now a number of job boards that target digital nomad communities.

These job boards offer a wide range of remote jobs, from customer service and administrative positions to online marketing and social media jobs. Because they cater to remote workers, they often have a number of free resources online and tips for landing a remote job. If you’re interested in working online, be sure to check out one of these remote job boards.

How to become a digital nomad

Once you’ve found a few promising leads, it’s time to start applying. When applying for remote jobs, be sure that your profile matches the job description and highlight your digital nomad skills, such as the ability to work independently and manage your time effectively. With patience and effort, you can land the perfect remote job and start enjoying the freedom of working online.

While this digital nomad lifestyle has a lot of benefits, it can also be difficult to find steady work. That’s why I put together this guide on how to find digital nomad jobs. It features a list of skills, courses, and even personality traits to help you with your digital nomad journey.

The courses include suggestions for those just starting out, or you are already mid-career. You can choose a niche and become highly proficient in that niche.

What kinds of online businesses are best to start for digital nomads?

Digital nomads are a growing breed of entrepreneur. These remote workers are not tethered to a traditional office, and they have the freedom to work from anywhere in the world. If you’re a digital nomad, or if you’re thinking about becoming one, you might be wondering what kind of online business is best to start. Here are a few ideas to get you started.

There are many different types of businesses digital nomads can start.

A business you can jumpstart immediately is freelancing. If you have skills in writing, web design, social media marketing, or any other area, you can start offering your services to clients online. However, remote work is not for everyone.

If you’re the type of person who needs structure and support in order to get work done, then freelance remote work is probably not for you. You need to be able to motivate and organize yourself in order to be successful in this remote profession.

How to become a digital nomad

However, if you’re the type of person who thrives on independence and enjoys being your own boss, then remote work can be an excellent option.

You can offer your services as a virtual assistant. Also known as a VA, a virtual assistant is a remote worker who provides administrative, creative, or technical support to clients from a remote location.

Depending on the freelance clients’ needs, virtual assistants could oversee everything from social media management to graphic design to customer service. Versatility is key when it comes to being a VA. This is a great option if you’re organized, detail-oriented, and good at managing your time.

Another option is to launch a remote job board. This can be a great way to help businesses connect with talented workers from around the globe. To succeed in this business, you’ll need to have a strong understanding of the market. You’ll also need to put together an effective marketing strategy to reach your target audience.

One more excellent track for digital nomads is starting an online store. The internet has made it possible for anyone to become an online entrepreneur, and there are a number of platforms that make it easy to get started. However, there are a few things to keep in mind before you launch your e-commerce empire.

First, you need to choose a niche. What are you going to sell? For example, if you’re a travel blogger, you could leverage your own blog to sell travel guides or e-books on your website. Second, you need to decide how you’re going to fulfill orders. Are you going to dropship? Finally, you need to establish a remote work schedule and lifestyle that will allow you to run your business effectively.

Fortunately, there are a number of free resources online available to help you get started as a digital nomad. Once you have the basics down, you can start selling your products and services online with relative ease. You can sell physical or digital products related to your niche.

If you’re interested in becoming an online entrepreneur as a digital nomad, I suggest checking out my guide on the best businesses to start.

Where can I find digital nomad communities? 

A full-time digital nomad can go anywhere. But, one of the biggest challenges digital nomads face is loneliness.

There’s no shortage of digital nomad communities out there. Digital nomad communities can be found all over the world, from the beaches of Bali to the streets of Berlin. You might say that there are too many of them!

There’s no one digital nomad community – they’re spread all across the globe. You can find digital nomads in big cities, small towns, and everywhere in between. There are even digital nomad communities in remote locations, like deserts and mountains. But don’t worry, we’re here to help you find the perfect one for you.

The first step is to decide what kind of community you’re looking for. Do you want a large, active community with tons of events and activities, or a smaller, more intimate group? There are pros and cons to both choices, so it’s important to decide what’s most important to you.

Once you’ve got a general idea of the kind of community you’re looking for, the next step is to start your search. The best way to find a digital nomad community is to search online. There are a number of online forums and groups dedicated to digital nomads, and many of them are very active.

You can also find digital nomad meetups in most major cities, and these are a great way to meet other digital nomads, gain new friends, and learn about the lifestyle.

Finally, if you’re traveling to a popular digital nomad destination, such as Bali or Chiang Mai, there are likely to be a number of digital nomad communities already established there.

For those who feel chained to their desk by the digital world, digital nomad communities may seem like a far-off dream. However, these digital oases are more common than you might think. Just a few of the most popular include:

  • NomadBase: A digital nomad community located in Thailand that is open to digital nomads from all over the world.
  • Nomad House: A digital nomad community located in Spain that offers temporary co-working space and lodging for digital nomads.
  • The Dojo: A digital nomad community located in Bali that offers a variety of amenities for digital nomads.

So, whether you’re looking for online or in-person digital nomad communities, you should have no trouble finding what you’re looking for.

Digital Nomad Checklist: Guide to Freedom

The digital nomad lifestyle is one of freedom and flexibility, but it’s not necessarily an easy one. There’s more to it than just packing your laptop and heading off into the sunset.

In order to be a successful digital nomad, you’ll need to plan ahead and make sure you have everything you need to stay productive (and sane) while working remotely.

How to become a digital nomad

If you’re thinking of taking the plunge into the world of remote work, there are a few things you’ll need to check off your list first. Here’s a digital nomad checklist to help you get started:

A good laptop

This is pretty much essential for any digital nomad, so it’s non-negotiable. To find the best laptop for your digital nomad needs, it’s important to do your research.

Remember, not all laptops are created equal. While there are many great laptops on the market, some are better suited for digital nomads than others.

In general, digital nomads should look for laptops that can handle the demands of remote work, such as video conferencing and multitasking, and promise long battery life and a good selection of ports.

If you’re constantly on the go, you’ll want a laptop that’s lightweight and portable. But if you’re mainly working from coffee shops and co-working spaces, you might prefer something with a little more horsepower. And of course, price is always a factor.

It’s vital that you look for a machine that can handle all your work needs whether you’re a freelance writer, graphic designer, or web developer, there’s a laptop out there that will suit your needs. You’ll need something reliable to work on, after all!

A good internet connection

Digital nomads are a growing tribe of people who have embraced the freedom of working remotely. Whether it’s for a short-term project or an extended period of travel, digital nomads rely on portable wifi to stay connected and productive.

While the digital nomad lifestyle has its perks, it can also be fraught with challenges, particularly when it comes to finding reliable internet.

In fact, 65% of remote workers from the United States consider having a reliable internet connection as the leading concern when they’re choosing a destination or accommodation even just for short vacations trips.

Fortunately, there are now some great portable wifi options available for digital nomads, making it easier than ever to stay connected while on the go. Portable wifi hotspots offer a fast, reliable way to get online, whether you’re working from a coffee shop in Bangkok or a hostel in Rio de Janeiro.

Since they rely on cellular data networks instead of wifi hotspots, they’re much more reliable than relying on public wifi. Moreover, the fact that they’re small and lightweight makes them easy to take with you wherever you are in the world.

A place to live 

For digital nomads, the world is their oyster – but finding a place to stay can sometimes be a challenge. Fortunately, there are a few great resources that can help digital nomads find housing in their next destination.

First, there are websites specifically devoted to digital nomad housing, like NomadBase and Roam. These sites offer a variety of options, from co-living spaces to private apartments, and they make it easy to find housing that fits your budget and lifestyle.

How to become a digital nomad

You can also try search engines like Booking, VRBO, and Airbnb, which often have an extensive selection of digital nomad rentals available for a few weeks or months at a time. Most digital nomads choose co-living spaces specifically designed for the digital nomad lifestyle.

Finally, don’t forget about good old-fashioned networking – tell your friends and family you’re looking for somewhere to stay, and they might be able to show you the ideal place to suit your needs.

A comfortable place to work 

You’ll need to be comfortable working remotely. That means being able to stay focused and motivated without an office environment or set hours. You’ll need to find some remote work-friendly spots.

Coffee shops and libraries are always good bets. Some even enjoy working in hotel lobbies. But, co-working spaces are overall the best option for most digital nomads when it comes to remote work.

With the growing number of digital nomads, it comes as no surprise that there are also a growing number of coworking spaces that cater specifically to this group. These coworking spaces often offer features like fast Wi-Fi, plenty of outlets, and comfortable seating. In addition, some digital nomad coworking spaces provide amenities like bike storage, showers, and on-site cafes.

One great option is to search for digital nomad coworking spaces that offer a variety of seating options, like standing desks, lounge areas, and private meeting rooms. This way, you can mix up your workday and avoid sitting in the same spot for hours on end.

Another tip is to look for coworking spaces that have lots of natural light and plenty of outlets for charging your devices. And finally, be sure to check out the amenities offered and ensure they offer everything (or at least most things) you need.

Noise canceling headphones / earbuds

You’ll be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and trust me, you don’t want to hear your seatmate’s phone conversations. A pair of noise-cancelling headphones will come in handy, both for blocking out distractions and for making video calls in public places.

In picking what’s right for you, keep in mind that digital nomads need headphones that are durable and portable. We often work in coffee shops and other public places, so we need headphones that can stand up to a lot of wear and tear. Since the digital nomad lifestyle means being always on the go, we need headphones that are easy to pack and carry with us.

A sturdy backpack

For the digital nomad, a backpack is not just a fashion statement – it’s an essential piece of gear. After all, when you’re constantly on the move, you need to be able to pack light and stay organized. That means your backpack serves as your office, your bedroom, and your home away from home. So it’s important to choose the right backpack for the job.

First and foremost, it should be spacious and well-designed, with plenty of compartments for all your digital devices and cables. Second, it should be comfortable to wear, with padded shoulder straps and a hip belt that distribute the weight evenly. Finally, it should be stylish – because let’s face it, you’re going to be spending a lot of time in coffee shops and co-working spaces, and you want to look good while doing it.

A travel adapter

As a digital nomad, I’ve come to rely on my travel adapter to keep me connected while I’m on the road. Whether I’m working from a remote location or simply keeping in touch with friends and family, my travel adapter is an essential part of my kit.

If you’re going to be working from all over the world, you’ll need an adapter that can handle multiple types of plugs. After all, you can’t exactly do your work from a cafe if you can’t plug in your laptop!

Some adapters are designed to work with a variety of different electrical outlets, making them ideal for use in countries with diverse power standards. Some also usually come equipped with multiple USB ports, so digital nomads can charge all their devices at once. Many models even come with built-in surge protection, ensuring that delicate electronics are protected from power spikes.

A virtual mailbox

As a digital nomad, I often find myself on the move, with no permanent mailing address. And if you rely on friends or family to hold onto your mail for you, they might eventually get tired of playing postal worker.

Even if you have a forwarding address, it’s not always convenient to get to your mail in a timely manner. That can be a problem when it comes to things like bills, packages, and other mail. Fortunately, there’s a solution: virtual mailboxes.

A virtual mailbox is a digital service that provides you with a physical mailing address. This can be particularly helpful if you need to receive mail while you’re travelling.

Whenever you receive mail at that address, the virtual mailbox provider will scan it and send you a digital copy. You can then view and manage your mail online, and even have it forwarded to your current location.

Virtual mailboxes are perfect for digital nomads who need a reliable way to stay on top of their mail.

Communication apps

If you’re a digital nomad, chances are you’ve got a pretty good handle on remote work. But what about remote communication? Just because you’re not in the same physical space as your team doesn’t mean you can’t stay in touch and stay productive.

There are a number of great communication apps out there that can help digital nomads stay connected not only with their teams but with their family and friends back home as well.

Slack is a great all-in-one communication tool that can be used for everything from real-time chat to video calls. Zoom is another great option for video calls, and it’s especially handy if you need to share your screen or record a meeting. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key, consider using WhatsApp or FaceTime. If you need to collaborate on documents, Google Drive is an essential tool for digital nomads.

How to become a digital nomad

In today’s increasingly connected world, more and more people are choosing to become digital nomads, working remotely from wherever they happen to be. While this lifestyle comes with many advantages, it can also present some challenges, especially when it comes to communication.

Fortunately, there are a number of apps that can make it easy for digital nomads to stay in touch with colleagues, clients, and friends. If you need more help in choosing the best communication apps for your digital nomad lifestyle, you can check out this article.

Local sim card 

Getting a local sim card is now less important if you have an iPhone or Samsung that has a T-Mobile plan. You can get off the plane, turn on your phone in 152+ countries, and it will work seamlessly.

However, there are still some great local sim cards if you want to save on rates and get a local number. Getting a local number is great for long-term travelers who don’t want higher phone bills, less data, and don’t want to rely on Facebook messenger, WhatsApp, and other apps to communicate while abroad.

If you do go the route of using your phone, there’s a trick I’ve used for years that still works to get a local US number while abroad.

Google voice

If you’re a digital nomad, Google Voice can be a lifesaver. It’s a US-based phone number that you can use while living abroad, and it’s perfect for keeping in touch with clients, family, and friends.

Here’s how to set it up:

First, create a google account if you don’t already have one. Then, go to Google Voice and click on “Create a new account.” Follow the prompts to choose your Google Voice number. You can select a number from any area code in the US.

Now that you have your Google Voice number, you can start using it right away. Simply give out your Google Voice number when someone asks for your phone number.

Prepare a Pre-Travel Checklist

For a digital nomad looking to go on a next adventure, it’s important to check out this pre-travel checklist before you hit the road. From ensuring that your laptop is backed up to packing your nomad essentials, this checklist will help you make sure that you’re prepared for anything.

How to become a digital nomad

First and foremost, be sure to back up all of your important files before you leave. Whether you’re working on a new website or just have some photos that you don’t want to lose, backing up your files will give you peace of mind while you’re traveling. You can use an external hard drive or cloud storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive.

You should also make sure your passport is up to date and that you have all the necessary visas for your destination. Don’t forget to make copies of all your important documents, organize your finances, and set up a budget for your trip. This will help you avoid any unwanted surprises later on. Look into travel insurance to protect yourself from any potential risks as well.

To ensure you have everything you need, check out this full digital nomad pre-travel checklist.

Conclusion: Is Being A Digital Nomad Worth It?

For the longest time, the traditional 9-5 office job was the only way to make a living. But in recent years, that’s started to change. Thanks to the internet, more and more people are finding ways to make money online – and that’s led to the rise of the digital nomad.

So what is a digital nomad? In short, it’s someone who uses technology to work remotely, usually from a different location each day. That might mean working from a coffee shop in Madrid one day, and then from a beach in Bali the next.

These days, more and more people are opting to pursue the digital nomad lifestyle. There’s no doubt that the digital nomad lifestyle is alluring.

And who wouldn’t want to trade in their stuffy office and soul-sucking commute for a life of sunny beaches, tropical drinks, and working from wherever the wifi is strong? But is this idyllic lifestyle really all it’s cracked up to be? Is being a digital nomad worth it? That’s a tough question to answer.

Here’s the truth: The answer depends on what you’re looking for in life.

If you value freedom and flexibility, then the answer is probably yes.

If you’re looking for stability and security, then you might want to stick to the traditional 9-5 lifestyle.

If you thrive in adventures, you will be forever altered.

If you’re open to immersing yourself in new cultures and learning about how the rest of the world works, it’s absolutely worth it.

If you’re the kind of person who doesn’t want to be away from family and home, then this isn’t the best option for you.

If my family has a medical emergency, I get to go there right away with no questions asked and no restrictions to consider. Is that worth it? What’s the price or value of not being able to take care of your parents?

Being a digital nomad is the ultimate flexibility. To me, it’s worth it!

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 | Inspiring Words for the Modern Traveler [2022]

digital-nomad-quotes

There’s something about the digital nomad lifestyle that is inherently inspiring. The feeling of being free to explore unfamiliar places and cultures leaves one with an unquenchable sense of curiosity. Quotes by famous and not-so-famous people alike often capture this feeling perfectly.

Whether you’re an aspiring digital nomad, a seasoned backpacker, or just looking for some wise words to inspire and motivate yourself on your journey in life – these will be perfect!

Here are some digital nomad 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

12. “Not all those who wander are lost.” – J.R.R. Tolkien

13. “And then there is the most dangerous risk of all — the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.” – Randy Komisar

14. “We wander for distraction but we travel for fulfillment.” – Hilaire Belloc

15. “To travel is to live.” – Hans Christian Andersen

16. “The world is a book, and those who do not travel read only one page.” – Saint Augustine

17. “The more I travel, the more I realize that fear makes strangers of people who should be friends.” – Shirley MacLaine

liveworkanywhere

18. “Traveling is a brutality. It forces you to trust strangers and to lose sight of all that familiar comfort of home and friends. You are constantly off balance. Nothing is yours except the essential things: air, sleep, dreams, sea, the sky — all things tending towards the eternal or what we imagine of it.” – Cesare Pavese

19. “If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.” – Paulo Coelho

20. “What you’ve done becomes the judge of what you’re going to do — especially in other people’s minds. When you’re traveling, you are what you are right there and then. People don’t have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road.” – William Least Heat Moon

21. “Risk more than others think is safe. Dream more than others think is practical.” – Howard Schultz

22. “To travel is worth any cost or sacrifice.” – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

23. “The man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait till that other is ready.” – Henry David Thoreau

24. “There are no foreign lands. It is the traveler only who is foreign.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

25. “A person susceptible to “wanderlust” is not so much addicted to movement as committed to transformation.” – Pico Iyer

26. “No matter how much experience you have, how many degrees you have, or how well known you have become — there is always something new to learn. Don’t rest on your past experiences. If you do nothing to improve your skills, you won’t stay where you are.” – Laura Spencer

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27. “A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” – Albert Einstein

28. “Jobs fill your pocket, but adventures fill your soul.” – Jamie Lyn Beatty

29. “Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” – Seneca

30. “Adventure is a path. Real adventure, self-determined, self-motivated, often risky, forces you to have firsthand encounters with the world.” – Mark Jenkins

31. “Man cannot discover new oceans unless he has the courage to lose sight of the shore.” – Andre Gide

32. “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

33. “Once a year, go someplace you’ve never been before.” – Dalai Lama

34. “To my mind, the greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time, to be in a position in which almost nothing is so familiar it is taken for granted.” – Bill Bryson

35. “If you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Lewis Carroll

36. “To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.” – Freya Stark

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37. “If you’ve got an idea, start today. There’s no better time than now to get going. That doesn’t mean quit your job and jump into your idea 100 percent from day one, but there’s always small progress that can be made to start the movement.” – Kevin Systrom

38. “The way to get started is to quit talking and begin doing.” – Walt Disney

39. “For all of the most important things, the timing always sucks. Waiting for a good time to quit your job? The stars will never align and the traffic lights of life will never all be green at the same time. The universe doesn’t conspire against you, but it doesn’t go out of its way to line up the pins either. Conditions are never perfect. “Someday” is a disease that will take your dreams to the grave with you. Pro and con lists are just as bad. If it’s important to you and you want to do it “eventually,” just do it and correct course along the way.” – Timothy Ferriss

40. “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.” – Marcel Proust

41. “If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.” – Jean-Paul Sartre

42. “If a man would move the world, he must first move himself.“ – Socrates

43. “To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries.” – Aldous Huxley

44. “In 20 years, you will be more disappointed by what you didn’t do than by what you did.“ – Mark Twain

liveworkanywhere

45. “Travel isn’t always pretty. It isn’t always comfortable. Sometimes it hurts, it even breaks your heart. But that’s okay. The journey changes you; it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness, on your heart, and on your body. You take something with you. Hopefully, you leave something good behind.” – Anthony Bourdain

46. “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” – Lao Tzu

47. “I travel not to cross countries off a list, but to ignite passionate affairs with destinations.” – Nyssa P. Chopra

48. “Long-term travel is not an act of rebellion against society; it’s an act of common sense within society.” – Rolf Potts

49. “The most beautiful in the world is, of course, the world itself.” – Wallace Stevens

50. “You shouldn’t focus on why you can’t do something, which is what most people do. You should focus on why perhaps you can, and be one of the exceptions.” – Steve Case

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51. “A year from now you will wish you had started today.” – Karen Lamb

52. “I am not the same, having seen the moon shine on the other side of the world.” – Mary Anne Radmacher

53. “Live life with no excuses, travel with no regret.” – Oscar Wilde

54. “Tourists don’t know where they’ve been, travelers don’t know where they’re going.” – Paul Theroux

55. “Vocation is the place where your deep gladness meets the world’s deep need.” – Frederick Buechner

56. “It is never too late to be what you might have been.” – George Eliot

We hope you enjoyed these digital nomad quotes! These words have never failed to inspire us to go on a daring adventure, explore secret destinations and unknown lands, or just wander around this wonderful world, with no fixed plans reveling in the location independent lifestyle we chose to live.

If these quotes about digital nomads motivated you to make some changes in your own life, be sure to check out our blog guide on How to Become a Digital Nomad. It features tips and strategies on flourishing with a digital nomad lifestyle, including a guide on remote jobs, how to travel light, and ways to choose one’s destination for first timers.

What about you? What are your favorite nomadic life quotes, and why? Share them with us in the comments below.

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

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?