If working remotely from anywhere in the world sounds like your dream job, perhaps it’s time to pack up your life and embrace the lifestyle of a digital nomad.
Although working and seeing the world is an amazing opportunity, there are a few things you should know before hitting the road.
Here are eight pieces of information you’ll need to help you along the way.
1. Don’t Leave Home Without Insurance
Most travelers understand the importance of travel insurance. For a digital nomad who is always in the air or on the road, a good healthcare insurance plan is absolutely vital.
This is because the longer you travel, the greater the risk of an accident, illness, or another medical emergency. The Best Travel Insurance for digital nomads is one that will give you long-term, global coverage.
Look for a plan that covers natural disasters, emergency medical evacuation, and repatriation – you never know what could happen while you’re far away from home.
2. Don’t Bank on One Income Stream
Unless you are employed full-time by a company and you have benefits, you qualify as a freelance worker. As a freelancer, there are no guarantees that your financial situation will remain stable.
Freelancers don’t get given notice when clients no longer require their services because their clients have very few obligations.
So when a client decides to end a contract, you’d better have at least one other source of income – otherwise, you risk having to end your digital nomad dream early or taking out a loan just to make ends meet.
Some good alternative sources of income are affiliate marketing, freelance writing, graphic design, book sales, tech SEO, and running ads on your blog site – the more diverse your skill set, the better.
3. Always Carry Cash and Backups
Always have cash on hand – $100 in clean, unmarked bills is a good standard to live by. Try to get as many credit cards, bank cards, and international prepaid cards as you can get your hands on.
If you only have one or two bank cards and you lose them, you won’t be able to access your bank account until you get a replacement. This is a digital nomad’s worst nightmare. Imagine being in a foreign country without any way to get your money?
Always keep your cards and cash in different places so that you’ll have a backup, and always keep enough money somewhere safe for a flight home.
4. Invest in Good Luggage
When you are a digital nomad, you literally carry your life around with you. Your entire wardrobe, your office, and all your worldly possessions are packed up into suitcases. That’s why it’s important to make sure your luggage is sturdy and comfortable to carry.
Purchase a good, medium-sized backpack to carry your laptop, a lockable hand luggage suitcase (with wheels) for your equipment, a sturdy back-packer-style backpack for your clothes and toiletries, and a smaller, foldable bag that you can use when you want to travel light.
5. Join Local Nomad Groups Online
The best way to settle into a new environment is to find other like-minded people who have been in the same situation and can offer advice.
The best way to find other digital nomads in your area is to search for them on Facebook. Search for digital nomad groups in the area you’re currently residing in and join them.
These groups are a great place to make connections and meet people in your area, and you can also ask questions about finding the best accommodation, networking, scams to watch out for, and any other services you may need.
6. Be Flexible
Chances are you decided to become a digital nomad because you wanted to break free of the nine-to-five work schedule – that’s what being a digital nomad all is about, after all!
Remain flexible with your travel plans and learn to go with the flow – this way, you’ll be able to stay longer in places you are enjoying and move on from the ones that don’t meet your expectations.
As a digital nomad, you get to set your schedule –and it doesn’t have to be rigid at all. Of course, how much you work will depend on your finances, but what’s most important is creating a work-life balance that works for you.
7. Live Like a Local
As a digital nomad, you will have a unique opportunity to enjoy your destinations in ways that a tourist can’t. Learn to speak a bit of the language and engage with the locals to find out where the best places to visit and eat are.
Engaging with the locals will also give you important insights into things like living expenses, local laws and customs, what areas to avoid, the best places to shop, and learning about their culture.
8. Always Share Your Travel Plans
If you are traveling on your own, always inform a close friend or relative of your plans – supply dates and addresses of the places you plan to go and tell them if any of these plans change.
Keeping someone in the loop about your whereabouts is not just safer; staying in contact with a loved one will also ensure that you are receiving emotional support.
While sharing your plans with someone is a good idea, don’t make them public on social media – you never know what someone will do with this information.