Choosing to become a digital nomad is a big decision that requires a lot of careful planning and preparation. It’s important to understand that being a digital nomad isn’t just going on a trip to the beach and back.
In fact, it’s a lifestyle choice that encompasses both work and travel. Therefore, don’t make a mistake of thinking that you’re planning a vacation. Instead, you’re about to move your entire life to another country or multiple countries, for that matter.
What’s more, you’ll be away from home, possibly for a very long time, so you have to prepare adequately. That means you’ll need to bring everything you might need, that will help you accommodate yourself for a prolonged period of time.
Moreover, you need to financially secure yourself and ensure that you have enough work to sustain you on your travels. Here’s a checklist for prospective digital nomads:
1. Apply for a visa
Digital nomads have the luxury of choosing whichever destination they want, and since you’re working online, you’re not bound to any specific location. However, picking a country is relatively easy, but actually going there isn’t as simple. You’ll need to apply for a visa and obtain all the necessary documentation for it.
Different countries have different requirements for visa applicants, so you’ll need to familiarize yourself with them before you apply. Furthermore, make sure you apply early on so that you have enough time to have your application reviewed and approved. Simply put, don’t make reservations until you’re sure you can go there, in case you get denied – unless, of course, you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t require a visa.
2. Ensure that you’re digitally secured
It’s obvious that being a digital nomad would be next to impossible without technology. That’s why you need to ensure you have all the necessary tech with you on your travels and that’s it’s properly secured. Digital nomads usually have a laptop and a smartphone on them at all times. Check out these apps to help you work and establish communications with your relatives, friends and business associates.
That’s why it’s important to make sure you’re digitally secured. For example, update any anti-virus and anti-malware software on your laptop and phone. Also, implement strong and complex passwords to make it harder to breach your security. In addition, you should have your own Wi-Fi hotspot on you or a VPN, especially since public Wi-Fi networks are generally unsecured. Moreover, backup your data just in case, so that you don’t lose everything if something goes wrong.
3. Find good accommodations
You don’t have to find permanent residence right away, but you do need to find a hotel, motel, hostel, apartment or some other accommodation before you reach your destination. You can research the local neighborhood yourself or use services, such as Airbnb or Remoter’s coliving section to find an accommodation that allows longer stays at a reasonable price.
Furthermore, if you’re not staying at a coliving, you should also scout places you can work from since although working from home might be enjoyable for a while, it can get easily boring or frustrating depending on your personality. In this case you can also look for coworking spaces or serviced offices located nearby, such as this serviced office in Sydney or these coworking spaces in Europe. Also, take the time to check out local cafés because they can also be a good place to work from.
4. Make sure you’re available
You might not have internet access at all times and getting a new SIM card for your phone in every country is simple enough. However, you can avoid changing cards and ensure that you’re always available. For instance, you can get a Google Voice phone number. That way you’ll have a virtual phone number you can give to your contacts.
Also, it’s integrated with Google Hangouts app, which allows you to receive and send both SMS and phone calls. Another option is to get a Global Skype Number which will enable you to receive calls on any device that has Skype. If you have a portable Wi-Fi hotspot on you, you’re good to go.
5. Get insurance
As mentioned before, you might be away from home for a while. Getting insurance is never a bad idea, even when you’re going on a ten-day vacation. In this case, you have to make sure you’re covered if something bad happens. Aside from health insurance, make sure you have accident insurance as well.
It’s also a good idea to check with insurance companies and obtain coverage for your technology, such as laptops, phones, cameras, etc. What’s more, check if you need to get any vaccinations when visiting some countries. For instance, you need vaccines to protect you from tropical diseases, while for some countries it’s mandatory to get vaccinated before you enter.
As you may already know, you’re not about to go on a short vacation. If you’re not adequately prepared for this lifestyle, your endeavor may not be so exciting or prosperous as you initially thought. Take the time to plan ahead and prepare everything you need so that your new adventure is as enjoyable as possible.
Guest post by Lauren Wiseman
Marketing specialist, curious observer and stubborn dream chaser. With her passion for travel, she realized there was no other way than to change the game and to become a digital nomad. Enjoying life from completely different perspective, she helps her clients grow their personal and professional brands. Lauren is also a regular contributor to bizzmarkblog.com.