10 Tips to Become a Digital Nomad in 2024
Are you looking for a new way to challenge yourself and make money? Maybe you are tired of the 9-5 grind or itching for a change.
If either describes you, it is time to consider becoming a digital nomad.
The digital nomad lifestyle is not going away anytime soon, and it is not hard to see why. Working remotely gives you freedom over where you live and your body's time zone. And if you have ever felt trapped by an office job or wanted to take your career in a new direction but could not because of obligations at home? Then this is the ticket for you.
But there are also some drawbacks to this lifestyle. How do you find a job that lets you work remotely? How do you keep your finances in check while traveling? And how do you ensure that your career continues while you are on the road? We have five tips for making your digital nomad dreams come true.
1. Find a Suitable Job
What you want from your job will depend on your personal preferences. Are you a social person who wants to work in an office environment? Or are you more introverted and would prefer working from home? Do you need to be around people all day, or can you get by with the occasional Skype chat?
Think about what kind of work will let you travel. If travel is essential to you, then it may be worth considering jobs that allow for travel, such as being a freelance writer or designer. Or there may be an opportunity for remote work or telecommuting in your field. It would help if you considered these considerations before wondering how to find remote jobs.
Consider what skills and experience you have that will help you find a suitable job for the digital nomad lifestyle. You may already have some experience in this area. If not, now is the time to start learning about it. For example, if you have been doing graphic design for years but always wanted to try coding HTML/CSS, why not do it now when you are free from commitments at home?
If you are struggling for inspiration, an easy way to get started is to apply for a job abroad e.g. working holiday in Australia, a seasonal job in Canada or teaching English in Asia. This way you will get to experience living abroad, find a place to live and meet new people which can be a benefit especially if this if your first time going to work abroad.
2. Choose a Workation-Friendly Destination
There are hundreds of destinations worldwide and you will need to choose where you want to live. Where you go might depend on the role, company, your budget or just your interests.
In a survey of more than 1,000 American workers, Passport Photo Online discovered that 94% of respondents intended to take a workation in 2022 and later. There is a lot to think about for the digital nomad when choosing a workation-friendly destination.
First, you want to ensure that the country you are going to offers the same internet access you have at home. You want to be stuck in a place with reliable Wi-Fi or cellular service.
Second, you need to consider the cost of living in a particular location. If your budget is tight, you will need to be selective about where you choose. Finally, it is crucial to ensure that there are plenty of opportunities for socializing with other digital nomads, either through meetups or even local events (like music festivals). It will help you feel connected and keep your mind off work.
There are lots of popular places to move to, including, Thailand, Bali, Portugal, Vietnam and Mexico just to name a few. Be sure to also research underrated places for digital nomads which you might not have thought about.
3. Get the Right Equipment
To work remotely you will need a good computer. There are so many laptops, tablets and smart phones available and recommend splashing out to get some of the most modern available. This will really help you when working on the road and also increase your chances of getting paid work. View our guide to the essential travel equipment for digital nomads to find what you might need.
4. Figure Out the Logistics
When working as a digital nomad, ensuring that your logistics are in order is crucial.
The first thing to consider is where you will be living. The best places to live are ones that have a good internet connection and are affordable. You also want it to be somewhere where you can get the kind of work done that you need to do. If the place is too expensive, you may not have enough money left for food or rent. If it has too little internet speed, then you will not be able to get any work done at all.
It's also essential to consider what kind of work setup you need. Do you need a desk? Would it be better for your health if you had an ergonomic chair? How much space do you need? Do you require privacy? Do you want somewhere quiet where no one else can bother you? All of these things should be considered when planning your logistics as a digital nomad.
Ensure that everything is ready to go before leaving home in the first place. It includes things like having a valid passport and ensuring that all of your paperwork is in order so there would be no issues when crossing borders or entering countries. You should also ensure that all your bills are paid ahead of time so that nothing gets left behind or forgotten about while you are away from home.
5. Explore Co-Living Communities
If you are a digital nomad, you might be interested in exploring co-living communities. These are shared living spaces where people from all over the world come together to live, work, and play. You can find them worldwide, from New York City to Colorado Springs to San Francisco. According to UrbanCampus, 92% of co-living residents are professionals, and 55% are international travelers.
Co-living communities offer a fantastic opportunity for digital nomads to meet like-minded people and share their passions. They also provide a great way to make friends while traveling, which many digital nomads struggle with when they move around so much.
In addition to meeting new people, co-living communities can also provide many other benefits. They often have access to shared resources such as kitchens and laundry rooms, which means you would not have to worry about buying or renting your appliances when you stay somewhere for only a short period.
And since there is always someone else around, if something goes wrong with your room or property, there is less chance of anything happening.
6. Show the Quality of Your Work
Digital nomads have little chance of face-to-face interaction, little or no need to attend formal job interviews, and the focus of employers is almost entirely on what you offer. What’s more, global governments – including the UK’s – are focusing more on work quality, according to The Guardian. For that reason, the quality of your work is absolutely king when looking for the next opportunity.
Whether you want to work independently or for a company you will need to build a portfolio, and approach the layout of that portfolio from the perspective of a customer. Take web design, one of the most common digital nomad professions. When you consider potential customers, what things would they want you to consider when building a web project? What questions would they ask when looking to hire you?
Focus on your quality, use of new technology, and design experience. Make it abundantly clear what platforms you are experienced with, and why that’s important. Have ready-to-go examples of public work you’ve made, or design pieces to demonstrate your capability.
7. Market Your Skills/Business
Marketing is becoming increasingly important – not just to businesses, but people, too. As a digital nomad, you will be a freelancer, and that means you are as much a business as a one-person design business. It is crucial, therefore, that you develop a “brand voice”. This may be an unfamiliar term, but you’ll be well acquainted with the principle.
Businesses have an overriding sense of self that comes across in their marketing – think of John Lewis, and their emphasis on community and family, or BrewDog and their continuous shabby-chic, ‘rebellious’ style of advertising. Look at what sort of business you plan to do, and tailor your own self-presentation to meet.
That could be an environment-first, clean brand voice, or harnessing the technical language of cutting edge platforms.
With a professional face of the business established, the most important step is to join the wider community. Websites like Couchsurfing and Nomadlist boast thousands of members in different countries, and are the gateway to finding opportunities – both for benefiting quality of life and for employment.
They will also help you to find wifi and smartphone reception, to ensure that your business runs 24/7, and to deal with life’s little incidents that could take your business down for a period of time. Finding a support network will help you to become consistent and reliable, which are qualities conducive to finding and securing further work.
The digital nomad may soon become the world’s most common type of professional. Finding work is the key challenge for those working on-the-go, and marketing yourself is the way to achieve that. Embrace flexibility, enhance your qualities, and be sure to keep connections with other people working in the same industry.
9. Be Social
If you are going to travel solo, its important to look at your mental health, and one of the best ways to to do this, and also avoid loneliness is to try to do as many social activities as possible. Making new friends on the road can really improve the experience of living overseas, and also make it a lot more fun.
10. Do Not Ignore Travel Insurance
The digital nomad lifestyle is fantastic. You get to work wherever you want, set your hours, and travel whenever you feel like it. But there is a caveat. You need to be prepared if something goes wrong while you are on the road, like an injury or a theft. Travel insurance helps you get back on your feet after a disaster.
A lot of people need to think about travel insurance when they are planning their digital nomad lifestyle. They believe that because they are only traveling for a short period, they do not need to worry about anything happening to them. The truth is that you can get sick or hurt no matter how long your trip is, and if that happens, travel insurance can help cover medical bills and other costs related to your injury or illness.
This article has covered some of the best ways to become a digital nomad. Whether you are looking for an exciting new career or want to try something new, becoming a digital nomad is a fantastic way to make money and see the world. So what are you waiting for? Start planning your trip today.