Pro tips: How to Lead the Lifestyle of a Digital Nomad

Being able to work remotely while traveling was once a distant dream. For many freelancers, programmers, and consultants, this dream has become a reality, allowing them to replace the regular 9-to-5 job with something more flexible and exciting.

If you are thinking about transitioning to a digital nomad lifestyle, these couple of pro tips will help you get started.

Calculate how much money you’ll need

This is the first step you need to make when starting a life as a digital nomad (aside from finding a location-independent job, that is). Because the living expenses vary greatly from place to place, it’s hard to tell exactly how much money you’ll need. Your safest bet would be to save up as much as you can before taking off. Ideally, it would be around 3-6 months of rent.

Generally speaking, living in Asian countries tends to be much more affordable compared to Australia or North America. Aside from your destination, there are other factors that will determine how big of a budget you’ll need. These include:

  • Season of travel
  • Who you’re traveling with
  • How long you plan on staying
  • Accommodation
  • Activities
  • Food

Looking for the right location

One of the major perks of digital nomad lifestyle is being able to travel the world while earning an income. Having the opportunity to move to any place around the globe and stay as little or as long as you want is what attracts most people to this lifestyle in the first place. When searching for the most popular destinations for digital nomads, you’ll often see Thailand, Indonesia, Portugal, and Spain at the top of the lists. All you have to do is pick a country you’re most excited to visit.

Will it be a major metropolis or a smaller city? You decide. With a decent traveling budget and a location-independent job, the possibilities are pretty much endless.

Finding accommodation that suits a nomadic lifestyle

Right after you’ve found the ideal place to travel to, it is time to look for accommodation. While Airbnb and hostels seem to be popular among digital nomads, Airbnb can be expensive while hostels can’t provide enough privacy for those who work remotely. Studios, on the other hand, aren’t as pricey and can provide you with peace and quiet so you can focus on your work, which is why they’re particularly popular in major metropolises such as Hong Kong.

In fact, there are many reasons why renting a service apartment in Hong Kong is a common practice among digital nomads who travel there aside from affordability and privacy. These apartments are also conveniently located, come with housekeeping services as well as Wi-Fi, which is a big plus when working remotely. They’re designed with practicality in mind, and they’re generally much safer compared to other accommodation options, which is essential when staying at a new place.

Sticking with a regular work schedule

Leading a lifestyle that allows for flexibility means you are the one who’s in charge of everything. You get to decide when and how much you want to work. You also get to pick when you want to take a break to just relax or explore the new city you’re visiting.

However, not having a strict work schedule to stick to can also make it more challenging for you to get the work done, affecting your productivity, performance, and ability to focus. To prevent yourself from procrastinating, develop a working routine you can stick to. Whether it means getting up before dawn and working until lunch or tackling work late at night, if it works for you, go for it.

Working from the beach and other myths

When it comes to working as a digital nomad, many people assume that they’ll be able to work from the beach. This is mostly because of the pictures that usually pop up after you look up ‘digital nomad’.

While the visual metaphor is certainly appealing, it’s not as good as it sounds. Sitting down to work on your laptop surrounded by noise and distractions means you won’t be able to get stuff done. Moreover, you may have to turn on the brightness of your laptop screen to the maximum, causing your battery to last shorter. Plus, you won’t be able to plug it in to charge and there will probably be no Wi-Fi. It makes more sense to find quiet surroundings, get the work done, and then head to the beach where you can relax completely.

Wrapping up

Freedom, financial flexibility, independence – the digital nomad lifestyle comes with many perks. It may be challenging at times, though. However, if you plan everything carefully and set a budget and schedule you can stick to, this can be the ride of a lifetime.

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