Five Tips to Prepare for Life as a Digital Nomad
Have you ever thought about living in an exotic location? What about working on a beach in Thailand or sailing around the world? Of course, many of us wish we could live on our own terms and not be tied to a desk job for the rest of our lives. But considering it and doing it are two different things. However, some people take the plunge and make it a reality. They figure out a way for traveling and adventure to become a way of life. But how? What are some things to consider, and how do you support yourself while constantly on the road?
Planning and preparation are essential. This may sound like the opposite of living a free-spirited life, but to live like a digital nomad, you need to figure some things out. Some are obvious, like where you want to travel first, but there are other considerations too. SafetraveRX, an app that is designed to keep you safe while traveling, highlights five things you should plan for before you hit the road.
Most countries have restrictions on the length of time you can stay there. If you are going to be hopping from place to place all the time, then a tourist visa will be okay. However, if you decide to stay put for more than three months and work remotely, you will most likely need a work visa. One positive result of COVID is that more people are taking advantage of remote employment, so some countries now have special visas specifically for digital nomads and location-independent workers. As of late 2020, 13 countries offer some form of remote work visa. Some significant advantages include living and working in a foreign country without needing to apply for residency or citizenship. However, you must be engaged and work for a foreign company, not a business in your host nation. And it allows you to stay longer than traditional tourist visas. The normal stay period is around six months to a year; some can be up to two years. You may also be able to reapply and continue living in the country once your initial visa period is completed.
2) Supporting Yourself
So, you're not independently wealthy, which means you have to figure out how long your savings will last while you're traveling or figure out a way to support yourself. Spend a few days looking at Nomad List and Numbeo to compare the cost of living in your current location with where you're headed. Fortunately, you can usually find ways to earn money if you have a laptop. Some remote working opportunities require more soft skills like organization and working well with different types of people. Jobs like virtual assistants might fall into that category. In other cases, more experience and proven skills are necessary for positions such as graphic or web designers, content creators, freelance journalists, and social media managers. Other opportunities might include teaching English at a school or as a tutor. The bottom line is that if you are motivated and want to figure out a way to earn money while living an adventurous life, there is more opportunity now than ever before to do just that. Try out Workway.info to find countries connected to nomadic work opportunities.
3) Living Accommodations
You can always stay at a hostel, Airbnb, or an economical motel, but why not try co-living? Loneliness is one of the most significant downsides of living life as a nomad. Co-living allows for social interaction, flexibility, relatively inexpensive accommodations, and a place that feels a little bit more like home. For recommendations on the best services around the world, click here. Another option and an excellent way to get more familiar with the culture is to stay with locals with numerous services that make it easy and safe to find a host family.
4) Bank Accounts and Credit Cards
You already have a bank account and credit cards, so you’re probably wondering why you need to consider alternatives. Well, let's take your bank account first. If your bank charges ATM fees for using other terminals, that can add up quickly while you're traveling. And those other banks where you’re accessing their ATM may also charge a fee, so now you are paying twice. Charles Schwab is a good choice because it offers unlimited worldwide ATM fee rebates. Regarding credit cards, you will want a travel credit card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, which can be as high as 3%. There’s no reason to pay these if you don’t have to. Premium travel credit cards waive foreign transaction fees and offer bonus points and perks in specific categories such as dining, airlines and hotels.
5) Technology Considerations
Suppose you have a phone plan with a U.S. provider. In that case, you'll probably have to pay a lot for roaming internationally, or your data will be capped at a lower speed after you've exhausted your free international data allowance. A common way around this is to buy a prepaid SIM card with a data plan at your international destination. Secondly, if you’re going to live and work as a digital nomad, you should purchase a VPN from a reliable provider. It will make it easier for you to log in to U.S.-based sites and watch your favorite shows from your streaming services. You can click here to get a list of some of the best VPNs.
The bottom line is that becoming a digital nomad involves a lot of considerations. Unless you have a trust fund, you must carefully prepare to make it a reality. That said, where there’s a will, there's a way, and if you want it badly enough, you will make it work. And you will become a part of a select community. After all, very few people can really claim to be a nomad.
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