In another life, I like to think I was a digital nomad. Though I’m a full-time freelancer, I am very much a homebody who mostly works from her home office. Still, I love to travel, explore, and work from new places when I can because I’m in love with the lifestyle of digital nomads everywhere.
That begin said, working away from home isn’t always easy. Not only do you have to find a quiet place (hopefully), but you also need a secure internet connection, consideration of global time zones, and a flexible schedule. I’ve had my fair share of working around the globe in hostels, hotel rooms, and airports, and I can say with confidence that it’s always stressful!
If you’re a digital nomad (or an aspiring digital nomad), these home hopping tips help keep you safe and sane when working online. Perfect for freelancers, remote workers, and business owners, these home hopping tips ensure you get more done without compromising on your travel plans.
The lifestyle of digital nomads has become vastly different over the last few years as remote work has become more popular. The flexibility to travel and experience new parts of the country or even the globe while keeping a consistent paycheck is an attractive opportunity for many.
But, how do you thrive while constantly on the move? If you’re always picking up and heading somewhere new, it’s difficult to stay consistent with your schedule and your working hours. Here are the best home hopping tips for digital nomads who don’t have a consistent home office.
Pick Accommodations Carefully
Digital nomads are constantly on the move to new places and experiences. How do you pick your new work from home (WFH) digs? This is even more tricky if you’re switching locations weekly, monthly, or more frequently. These home hopping tips help you choose the right space to get more done.
Keep the necessities in mind
There are some unavoidable necessities for remote work. Wi-Fi, a quiet place to make business calls, and the ability to backup your work are all basic requirements.
When choosing your accommodations, you will want to research these amenities. Many nomads opt for hostels or hotels, but not all are created equal, and sometimes a well-reviewed Airbnb is going to be your best option.
Sam’s tip: Even Airbnbs can be tricky, and I’ve had some with spotty internet! When in doubt, message the host about internet connectivity, and let them know you plan to do work there to make sure it’s the right fit.
Know how much space you need
If you’re looking for accommodation that is for relaxation and sleeping, your needs will be different than if you want to be able to relax and work. If you would rather keep your work and relaxation separate, look into co-working spaces where you can rent a desk or an office, have consistent internet, and meeting rooms for any local clients.
If you’re interested in having a place you can go back to after a day of exploring, consider short-term rentals through places like VRBO and Airbnb. Most of these rentals have a dining room or desk space that can double as a home office.
Consider your privacy and security
Short-term rentals can be especially useful if you have high-value equipment that you take with you, and if you want to have somewhere that you have keys to with limited or no access by other people.
Make sure that you have a checklist of any valuable technology with you. This can make packing easier, and ensure that you arrive at your new digs with the same items you left your last place with. More importantly, always travel with a lock or portable safe just in case, and don’t leave valuables out in the open when you’re away from your room.
Find something in your budget
Airbnbs can help you stay within your budget while having the advantage of locked doors and warm showers. Hosts will often offer special prices for month-long stays, and you can easily check reviews, communication methods, and ratings from previous tenants.
This adds a layer of security to your choice of accommodation. Also, carefully consider the cost of food and other consumables that you’ll have to take with you on the go. Your budget can be the trickiest part of remote travel as a digital nomad.
Choose something with convenient transportation.
If you have flown to another location or aren’t able to drive, you will need to keep available transit in mind when picking your next location. Keep track of busses, trains, and any transit options like Zipcar. This can help you stay within your budget while exploring a new city.
This is also true if you plan to work from home mid-day or might need to return quickly for a call or meeting. It’s usually better to choose something central to cities, but this depends on your needs.
How to Keep Your Body and Mind Healthy
Nobody wants to just survive and while digital nomads may lend themselves to a certain amount of minimalism, it can be stressful at times. Building routines, having necessary items that you travel with, and giving yourself a chance to breathe are all important aspects to keep in mind.
Take care of your body first.
Travel takes a toll on the body. Making sure that you stay physically active will keep you productive, centered, and reduce any pain from long periods in the car or on a plane.
Incorporating walking into your routine can be a simple way to explore your area, meet new people, and keep you moving throughout your day. This is especially true if you work for long hours and stay in one small space.
Build routines you can take with you
Whether it’s a morning cup of coffee or yoga in your bedroom, make sure that you know the routines that make you feel at home. Finding simple routines that can be taken with you can keep you feeling connected and like yourself.
Make sure that you always have the supplies for these, whether it’s a journal, your favorite tea, or even a favorite face mask. Not only will these help if you feel a sudden bout of homesickness, but they keep you sane.
Keep yourself safe
If you’re entering the digital nomad life now, you will want to take extra precautions during travels to make sure that you stay safe. While Airbnbs now have a special note when hosts have committed themselves to create clean, COVID safe environments, make sure that you keep supplies with you to clean and disinfect any new accommodations.
Always be mindful of your surroundings and share your updates with loved ones back home. While the digital nomad lifestyle is fun and exciting, it needs to be taken seriously.
Pack for adaptability
Last but not least, though you will need to pare down your packing severely for this lifestyle, consider multi-use items, especially those that can be used for cooking, comfort, and durability.
Some items have a surprising number of uses, and doing some research can reveal tricks for using Coca-Cola or white vinegar for cleaning and the versatility of universal chargers for everything from your phone to powering lights.
The life of a digital nomad can be exciting and fulfilling. Making sure to stay within your budget, find the right accommodations for your needs, and building routines to take with you can make it all the more so.
About the guest author
Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but professional development topics are his favorite. When he isn’t writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.
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