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Seven tips to become a digital nomad

The life of a digital nomad seems very attractive, and the thought of working from a hammock on some beach can easily make one swoon with envy. What we call digital nomads are remote employees who journey to different locations on a regular basis. They make use of modern devices to work from hotels, coffee shops, libraries, or co-working spaces with a laptop or smartphone connected to the internet.

Digital nomads are a diverse bunch, and there are many types out there. Some of them live on sailboats, traveling the waters as they work, while others travel all over their countries in an RV or campervan. The general idea of being a digital nomad is total freedom of movement while working online. Remote work is not as simple as it sounds, though it demands a lot of hard work to get the right income stream. It requires even more dedication to keep that income stream going. To learn more about remote work, check out our article on it here*.

If you are considering switching to the life of a digital nomad, below are some of the most important things you should think about, especially if you are planning to travel the world.



1.  Choose the right city.

Before you move into just any city, do your research. Some cities already have an active digital nomad community, and having such a community to connect with is crucial if you are starting out. When thinking about the city you want to reside in, it would go a lot smoother if you had the built-in support of an established nomad community.

Cities like Playa Del Carmen in Mexico, Medellin in Colombia, and Canggu in Bali are very popular digital nomad destinations. There are many more out there, and doing your research on Google and Reddit can get a lot of your destination-related questions answered before you decide to go there.


2.  Select the appropriate bank account and credit cards

In the United States, some banks may charge you a small fee when you make use of their ATMs with the card of another bank. Your own bank may charge you a small fee when using its ATM too. If you are not careful about picking the right bank, you may find yourself paying two sets of fees every time you need to get cash.

It is easy to save yourself such trouble by choosing a bank that gives you back the fees from using the ATM. Charles Schwab is the most common choice for digital nomad banking because it offers unlimited worldwide ATM fee rebates.

You would also want to obtain a travel credit card. It is best to get one that does not charge foreign transaction fees as some of them can be as high as 3%. Getting a premium travel credit card would help you avoid paying those pesky fees, and they also offer bonus points for certain categories.


3.  Figure out what to do with your things

Before becoming a digital nomad, the easiest option for you is to finish your apartment lease and store up your stuff in a safe storage facility or even with family. It may be more difficult if your situation is more complicated. You are not out of luck, though, and if you own a house or an apartment, you can consider renting it out on a long-term basis. This is a perfect way to reduce your total costs, and you might even make a profit.


4.  Pick a location that fits your working hours.

The easiest locations to work from are those that have overlapping time zones with your job. If you have a U.S-based client, for instance, it is best to pick a location that matches the time zone of the United States. Avoid moving to locations really far away, like Asia, where the time difference can be up to 10 to 12 hours. This makes it almost impossible to have any kind of social life or a healthy routine to go with your work.


5.  Identify the skills you need.

Before you can make money online, you need to figure out what marketable skills you possess. You can drastically increase the likelihood of landing a well-paying job by working on the knowledge and skills you have studied for in the past. The most common skills in remote work include things like writing, computer design, or marketing. As a digital nomad, you can start by finding freelance gigs that allow you to begin earning a small income while working on your skills.


6.     Get travel insurance.

Local healthcare may be relatively expensive, depending on where you want to travel to. It is important to consider getting travel insurance or travel medical insurance. You never know when an emergency might strike, and it is best to be covered in the event of that. Most health insurance plans in the United States do not have international coverage.


7.  Create a plan and stick to it.

It is important to set plans and goals as a digital nomad, and it is especially important to stick to them. For this kind of lifestyle to work for you, you need to be precise on what you want, where you want to stay, and for how long you may want to stay there. Routines may seem repulsive, but they are essential for getting things done. The good part about the digital nomad lifestyle is that you can choose the routine you want.

Having an alternative source of income, such as a passive income stream, is a good idea in the event that you do not succeed at one path. It can act as a safety net and a good platform for you to get back on your feet afterward.

Always remember that your planning shouldn’t only be about your income. Aspects of healthy living such as insurance, healthcare, and local laws should also be addressed.


You can get started on being a digital nomad much quicker than you think, and with hard work and a little bit of luck, you can begin in just a few weeks. There is so little to lose and so much to gain, and it’s about time you started chasing your dreams!

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