Freelancers are in an excellent position to travel and explore the world, all while making money and doing work they love. So if that appeals, here are our top six tips for new digital nomads.
Table of contents:
- Tips for new digital nomads:
- The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone, and that’s okay
- What next?
Tips for new digital nomads:
1. Embrace slow travelling
One of the most important things to realise when you are thinking of becoming a digital nomad is that you can take it slow. The actual process of travelling takes time, whether you’re in the air, in the back of a bus, or trying to negotiate a new city.
Of course, you also want to actually see and experience your new home, so building in some time for exploring is essential. Otherwise there’s no point travelling in the first place.
That’s why we will usually travel to a destination for no less than a month. This gives you time to settle into a bit of a routine, have some stability and see what you want to see while also having plenty of time to get your work commitments done.
Travelling in this way means you also have to spend less admin time organising your travel plans. Even better you can save on accommodation costs by booking a month of accommodation, especially using Airbnb.
2. Keep an eye on Airbnb for accommodation
Nine times out of ten, it’s considerably cheaper to stay at a nice Airbnb than at a hotel.
If you do your research, you can normally find great accommodation on the site with no problems. You’ll see the more you use it, the easier you will be able to find some great deals on really nice and comfortable accommodation.
This is one of the tips that make long-term travelling much more affordable for digital nomads – make sure you search for a month’s stay. Airbnb often offers substantial discounts for longer-term stays, making your accommodation very affordable.
Just set your stay length to 28 days+ and you’ll find some listings have additional discounts of 30%-40% applied automatically.
5. Be organised
Working on the road means you have to be extra organised. You need to use your time more efficiently and be able to get work done whenever and wherever you are.
This might mean downloading files you’ll need ahead of a long flight, finishing work for a deadline early, or scouting out local Wi-Fi hotspots in advance.
Being extra organised is a pain, but it’s something you need to get good at. It will help you to get more done and avoid disappointing your clients while you’re on the go.
6. Be open with your clients about your travels
While we’re talking about clients, it usually pays to be honest and open about what you’re doing with your clients.
You should make it clear that you’re abroad, or are working in different timezones because this prevents clients from having unrealistic expectations of you or feeling misled.
There’s nothing worse than a client needing to get hold of you urgently if you haven’t told them in advance that it will be difficult for them to contact you.
Having said that, in some cases, you don’t really need to go into it too much. Most people just care about getting the work done, especially if it’s clearly a remote relationship you’ve established with them. Most people are absolutely fine with remote working these days.
7. Scout out local coffee chains
Coffee shops are great places to work while abroad. Offering an endless supply of caffeine, reliable Wi-Fi and a change of scenery – they are great places to settle in and get some work done.
The best advice if you’re somewhere unfamiliar is usually to try and find a larger chain, like Starbucks, Cafe Nero, or Costa Coffee.
These chains are usually less bothered about you taking up space and settling in for a longer amount of time.
Remember that in some countries, it’s also seen as a little strange – even rude – to break out your laptop in a nice independent coffee shop. So finding a big faceless chain can make it less awkward.
If you are planning to work somewhere smaller and more local – which can be great – it’s a nice courtesy to ask permission before setting up camp for the day.
9. Build a network
One of the biggest issues that digital nomads face is almost certainly loneliness.
Travelling can be lonely if you’re on your own, so look out for other people in a similar boat.
Most places hold meet-ups and activities for digital nomads, which you can attend to meet other people. You can always rely on Facebook groups, either more global like Nomadbase or country-specific to meet fellow freelancers and digital nomads. People in these groups are always friendly and helpful, so don’t hesitate to reach out and ask for help or advice if you need it.
Alternatively, look for co-working offices, where you can get work done among communities of like-minded people.
The digital nomad lifestyle is not for everyone, and that’s okay
The digital nomad lifestyle is not all cocktails at sunset and working from your laptop while your feet dangle in the pool, however.
The first thing to realise is that just because you can work from anywhere doesn’t mean you should.
We’ve all felt the tug of jealousy and adventure prompted by Instagram photos or stories of other freelancers living it up in Bali, but of course, the reality is never that simple.
Some people are simply not suited to life on the road, and there are no problems with that. To get the benefits of travel, you also have to make a lot of sacrifices – think stability, missing important occasions and enraging clients who want in-person meetings with you.
Travelling constantly inevitably means that you will have less contact with local friends and family and that it is harder to lay down roots.
But for a certain type of person, for a certain amount of time, working on the road means your life can be an ever-expanding, eye-opening adventure, which you’re able to entirely fund using your business.
I hope this article will help you to embark on your digital nomad journey and gives an insight into the challenges as well as the amazing opportunities you get to enjoy while travelling.
We will have more articles about the digital nomad lifestyle coming soon, so keep an eye out. In the meantime, if you have any questions about being a digital nomad, let us know in the comment section below!
Until next time,
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