Working online whilst travelling is the dream for more and more people, but the logistics this lifestyle implies are often overlooked. Being a digital nomad is more than just typing away on your laptop on a beach next to an ice-cold drink. In order to be able to keep it together as a digital nomad, have a look at the 8 most important things to keep in mind when travelling whilst working online.
Budget, Budget, Budget!
It goes without saying that travelling continuously can get expensive. As most digital nomads are budding entrepreneurs or freelancers, work might not be steady every month, and as such, your income may go up and down. It is thus essential to budget properly, ideally having the funds secure for the next couple of months for extra peace of mind.
Budgeting is especially important when you don’t have lots of savings. Sure, you want to experience your adventure to the fullest, but going out every night might not be sustainable for everyone in the long run. Just like you would do in the case of a regular lifestyle, always try to live within your means. Plus, don’t forget to set up an emergency fund as soon as you leave.
Always Know Where Your Next Wi-Fi Connection Will Come From
Having a trusty internet connection is vital for digital nomads. It’s always a good idea to sort out your internet way before you actually need to get online. This means that you need to do your research to see what the Wi-Fi connection is going to be like in the next place you’re travelling to. Most Airbnb listings mention that they have Wi-Fi, but that is not enough. You shouldn’t trust listings blindly, but instead, ask the host about actual upload/download speeds. You should also have a backup internet source at all times, whether in the form of a local SIM card or a Wi-Fi smartspot.
The Cloud Is Your Friend
Whether it’s important projects you’re working on for your clients, your own business plans or the thousands of photos and videos you made to document your adventure, the life of a digital nomad is filled with gigabytes of data. Keeping everything in the cloud is highly recommended in order to avoid losing it all if you lose or damage your laptop or external hard drive. Having your gadgets stolen is also a possibility when you’re travelling all the time, so do yourself a favour and sign up for a good cloud backup solution such as Google Drive.
Don’t Skimp on Accommodation
It’s easy to try and cut costs by going for cheaper accommodation as a digital nomad, but keep in mind that this is a strategy that could backfire spectacularly. Finding the right kind of accommodation can be daunting even for experienced travellers, and it’s easy to see that your living costs have spiralled because you made the wrong decisions regarding accommodation.
But this doesn’t mean that you should go for the cheapest accommodation you can find in the city you’re going to call home next. If the room or apartment you rent doesn’t allow you to work comfortably, your productivity is bound to suffer, which means that your economy was a false one.
Finding the right type of accommodation, especially in a place where you plan to live for more than one month, takes time, so if you want to be able to arrange multiple viewings, it’s always a good idea to contact a real estate agent in your location.
Make New Friends
The life of a digital nomad is exciting, but can also become a very lonely one, mostly because you don’t live in one place long enough to make friends. The good news is that there are lots of digital nomad events available in most countries, where you can connect with like-minded individuals. These events are great places to make new friends and even if you’re soon be parting ways, it’s easy to keep in touch via Facebook or Skype.
If being social is an important component of your life, coliving might be the right choice for you. Instead of booking an Airbnb, you can get a private room in a communal type of house where you get to live with other digital nomads. There are multiple benefits of coliving, but making new friends is perhaps the most alluring one.
Don’t Forget About Self Care
Many digital nomads that travel whilst working online love their lifestyle, but they also agree that sometimes they feel like they’re always on the run. This is a feeling that’s easy to overcome with the right amount of self-care. From taking care to eat mostly nutritious food to prioritizing your fitness routine, there are lots of ways to take care of yourself when you’re travelling and working.
Eating is indeed one of the greatest joys of continuous travel, but you shouldn’t eat like you’re on vacation every day. Cooking your own food using fresh, local ingredients, is a great way to explore the cuisine of the place you’re living in, not to mention it’s healthier and cheaper than eating out a couple of times a day.
Keeping healthy goes beyond the needs of your body when you’re always on the go. Juggling travel arrangements with work deadlines can take a toll on mental health, so it’s important to stay mindful and make sure you relax properly. Sticking to a sleep schedule, creating a restful environment and taking up yoga or meditation are simple ways to deal with stress and manage your worries.
Be Flexible and Stay Relaxed
Finally, don’t forget that being flexible is perhaps the most important thing when travelling while working online. You need to get used to the idea. That things aren’t going to go exactly according to plan all the time. Learning how to keep your cool when things don’t work out the way you wanted them to and finding rational solutions quickly is essential for being successful as a digital nomad. And last but not least, try not to worry too much. As long as you’re open to new situations and willing to grow, travelling while working could end up being the adventure of a lifetime.