Being able to travel the world while making money is the ultimate dream for many. However, being able to do this takes a fair amount of planning and research. Otherwise, you may put yourself in a bad position financially and have to give up the dream for awhile. Here are some key tips to help you prepare to be a digital nomad.
Before you start buying plane tickets and booking accommodation, you should ensure that you have a job in place. You may be lucky enough to be able to transfer your current job to a completely remote role, or you may have to search for a freelance or contract position. By working the position from your home for a few weeks or months, you can familiarize yourself with all your tasks. You can work out which tasks require full focus, and what work style works best for you. Some location-independent options are:
Sorting out your finances is crucial to becoming a digital nomad. After all, the work-travel lifestyle is not free and can get quite costly. Thus, you need to prepare yourself for them all and include a good buffer for deposits or bond payments. So, how do you prepare financially?
First, calculate your rough expenses with both a weekly budget and one-off expenses. One-off expenses include your first plane ticket, any vaccinations, and any working equipment you need. This could include a laptop, battery pack, backpack, keyboard, etc. For weekly expenses, research the area you want to travel to. Consider accommodation, food, transportation, income taxes, and coworking spaces if you need them.
Finally, ensure you have an emergency fund, this should be enough to cover you in an emergency. For example, if you need to fly home, or replace work equipment. With these figures in mind, you should aim to have 3-6 months of funds saved before hitting the road. To help you save money faster, consider cutting back expenses and living a more frugal life. Or, sell some of your belongings you no longer need.
Most people have a list of places they wish to go, so, now is the time to decide where you want to start. Take the following details into consideration;
Make sure you check the seasonal weather at your destinations. After all, you may not want to head to a tropical island during monsoon seasons, or during severe heatwaves.
Each country has specific holidays and traditions that they celebrate. Therefore, you may want to plan your trip to coincide with them.
A good internet connection is crucial for a digital nomad, after all, it's how you make your living. Therefore, you must research if the internet is reliable and how fast it is. You can also consider getting a global hotspot.
Depending on your passport and your destination, you may need a work visa. Some countries may just require a visitor visa or no visa at all. Research the options in advance by looking at the country's government website.
For those new to the digital nomad lifestyle, it can be nice to meet others doing the same thing. Check Facebook or Meetup groups to learn about the coworking setups in your destination and make friends.
Once you have a job, and your financial situation sorted it is time to start preparing for your digital nomad life. Now is the time to cancel any memberships or contracts you have. This could include gym memberships, newspapers, internet plans, food subscriptions, etc. It is also the time to give notice for your apartment and any other renting responsibilities. If you are planning to come back within a year, consider asking our landlord if you can sublet your room instead. Remember that many contracts and subscriptions require 30 days' notice so it is important to give yourself plenty of time.
Use the above tips to help you prepare yourself to be a digital nomad. It may seem like a lot of preparation, however, it is worth it to avoid stress and failure. Take your time throughout the preparation process and ensure you are ready for independent living in another country. Then, book your flight and start your nomadic journey.