Being a digital nomad is a dream for many people. It may be something that they strive to do their whole working lives. Or for a shorter, possibly set period of time. Maybe you are considering becoming one? Maybe you already are? If your love of travel can be combined with your career and you have the option to mix both, why not? However, it is easy to get swept up in the lifestyle. This can lead you to forget a few vital things. Therefore, we have put together this post highlighting some of the things you need to remember if you are a digital nomad. Or if you are in the process of considering becoming one.
Research The Cost of Living
It is important to research the cost of living for the destination(s) you want to visit. If you are new to whatever you are doing career-wise, there is the possibility you won’t be rolling in it just yet. Therefore, you may need to consider destinations where accommodation, restaurants, internet access and buying things, in general, are reasonable/cheap. For example, South East Aisa/Indonesia are often the places to head if you are looking for a good standard of living without shelling out a fortune. This may mean you may not initially be able to visit your top destination(s). However, if the work keeps coming your way and you can earn more, as the old saying goes the world’s your oyster.
Have Suitable Insurance
Travelling outside of your home country usually means you will be liable for any costs incurred if something were to happen to you or your belongings. Therefore, it is important to have a suitable insurance policy in place. This is to ensure you are not left out of pocket. Insurance companies such as SafetyWing offer specific insurance for nomads which could be perfect for your needs. They offer policies which will cover you if are in an accident or fall sick and need medical assistance. Their policies also cover things such coverage for travel delays, lost checked luggage, emergency response, natural disasters and personal liability. All of which are vital to have cover for.
Look For Cheap Travel Options
If you plan to travel around whilst being a digital nomad then be sure to look for cheap travel options as you have one of the greatest resources available to you – flexibility. Obviously, some of the main times to avoid are popular holiday periods i.e. religious and school holidays. This will save you a pretty penny straight away. Then because you are likely not to have a fixed schedule check out various flight price comparison sites of which there are many and look at different times/dates which again could save you a lot of money. Also, check out smaller cities and less popular destinations together with other types of transport options if you really want to make savings.
Even if you plan to hit the road and never return, packing light is something you really should consider. Moving or emigrating is one thing. These are examples of changing where you live permanently. Therefore, you will want and probably need all your things with you as you start a new life somewhere different. However, if you are a digital nomad the likelihood is you will want to move around and see the world without the shackles of stuff tieing you down. So, simply pack the bare minimum or at least enough to get you started. Another benefit of packing light is the less you pack the lower baggage fees you will have to pay when moving around. Especially if flying.
Entrust Someone Back Home (If Necessary)
Even if you are living a digital nomad lifestyle, there may still be the possibility that you have things ‘back home’ that could need attention once in a while. This could be related to a property you may be renting out, unexpected mail that needs forwarding to you, banking needs etc. Therefore consider entrusting someone back home to deal with these on your behalf or to contact you if needed. A family member or close friend is an ideal person to take the pressure off you while you are out of the country and deal will any issues that may arise. Remember to leave anything you think they may need i.e. keys, bank details and contact information with them before heading off.
Consider The Future
While the benefits of being a digital nomad may suit you more than a standard 9-5 in your home country, it is always advisable to consider your future. For example, as a digital nomad, you are unable to benefit from things employed people are. For example, sick pay. If you were to become ill and unable to work, you would need to ensure that you had enough savings to cover your living expenses through that period. Also, a company pension is something that you would not be able to rely on once you were at pensionable age. Therefore, even though spending money is fun, think about paying into a saving account and possibly paying into a private pension to cover you in your senior years.