Do you dream of becoming a digital nomad? If so, the good news is it’s never been easier.
With that said, the life of a digital nomad requires careful planning and preparation. Doing so saves time and money while preventing common headaches and hassles.
With this in mind, let’s take a look at nine tips for those looking to become digital nomads in the near future:
Significant life changes are always better if done with money in the bank. Becoming a digital nomad is no exception. While the exact amount varies depending on the situation, aspiring nomads should aim for several thousand dollars of savings before starting off on their international adventure. That amount should cover an assortment of surprise expenses and other hiccups that happen while making a major transition. Think of it like a cushion you can fall back on in the event of theft, job loss, or other costly inconvenience.
Get your travel documents in order
Are you planning on bouncing around from one country to another? If so, you’ll need an up-to-date passport and other travel documents, depending on where you’re from and where you’re going. Check your state department’s website to ensure you have all the required travel documents before departure. These days, that could include your vaccination card, so don’t forget to check! The last thing you want is to be turned back at customs because you lack the credentials required to enter another country.
Search apartments online
Housing is an essential factor for digital nomads to consider. You probably can’t afford to stay at a hotel for weeks at a time, and your plans don’t exactly fit into the six-month lease format. With this in mind, use apartment search websites to help find short-term living arrangements with roommates. Make a point to ensure you have access to listings in whichever cities you plan to visit in the coming months. If you time it right, you should have no problem seamlessly moving in and out of living spaces every few months.
Get familiar with your surroundings
The sooner you familiarize yourself with a new city, the sooner you’ll be able to relax and unwind. We recommend getting a head start prior to your arrival; thanks to Google YouTube, and other online tools, it’s easy to search for articles, images, videos, and other useful information regarding a strange place. That way, when you arrive, you’re less likely to be disoriented and more likely to be able and willing to navigate around town.
Find a steady source of income
Traveling around the world doesn’t come cheap. For instance, the average price of international airfare runs around $3000 roundtrip. Unless you’re lucky enough to live off a trust fund, you’ll need a source of income. Fortunately, there are several opportunities for individuals to earn a decent living online. Consulting, customer service, freelancing, teaching, and tutoring are just a handful of opportunities available to those who qualify. You could also make some side money with a successful travel blog, writing about your life as a digital nomad.
Limit yourself to one backpack and one suitcase
The life of a digital nomad calls for a minimalist approach to personal possessions. In other words, limit your belongings to those that can fit in one standard-sized piece of luggage and one backpack. Doing so forces you to keep things simple. It also helps you stay organized while traveling. While there’s nothing inherently wrong with bringing another bag or suitcase with you, it will make life easier if you stick to the suitcase-backpack combination.
Stay in touch with friends and family
Everyone back home is wondering how you’re doing as a digital nomad. In addition to regular updates on social media, make a point to reach out to close friends and family while you travel. Doing so reassures them you’re safe while also staving off homesickness.
Check your taxation situation
Bouncing around from one country to another can make things complicated come tax time. For instance, Americans working overseas should know the federal government still expects them to pay taxes on their income. Speak with a local tax professional to determine what you’ll need to do in order to pay your taxes on time.
Remember, “When in Rome…”
“When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” This ancient saying speaks to the importance of going along with the cultural norms and expectations of a given place. While we’re not suggesting you do anything that goes against your moral convictions or religious beliefs, it’s important to keep an open mind when traveling abroad. You may find yourself gagging at the sight of local delicacies or chuckling at native fashion trends; do your best to keep these thoughts and feelings to yourself and do your best to play ball. Doing so is respectful to your hosts and beneficial in terms of getting a true sense of a strange and unfamiliar culture.
The life of a digital nomad is fun and exciting. It’s also fraught with a variety of potential challenges. Those who plan accordingly stand the best chance of making a successful go at traveling the world at their leisure.
Julie Steinbeck is a freelance writer from Florida. She enjoys covering topics related to business, health, and travel.