How to choose the best digital nomad destinations
Digital nomads have existed for as long as remote work has been an option, but the number of people pursuing this lifestyle has skyrocketed as a result of the pandemic. Many people who didn’t think working remotely was an option now realize they can work from anywhere. From a sunny beach location in Mexico, to a quaint European village, as long as there is internet, you can work from wherever you want. As a result of this boom more and more cities are finding ways to cater to the nomadic lifestyle, and some are better set up than others. But how do you know how to choose the best digital nomad destinations?
Before you set on your nomadic journey of a lifetime there are some factors you want to consider to ensure you’re truly able to thrive as a digital nomad. If you don’t plan accordingly you might find yourself in more challenging situations, which can generate unnecessary stress.
Make sure you have access to everything you need at a destination you choose, and that the destination is the right place for you. Read on to find out everything you need to know before starting this lifestyle!
Digital nomad visa options
A standard tourist visa for a country won’t necessarily serve you as a digital nomad. It’s important to check out the digital nomad visa options for any country you want to visit before making your decision. These residential permits allow you to live and work longer in countries and have special requirements. Many countries want to attract digital nomads because they help the economy there and promote their country as an attractive destination. But they also include certain requirements which you need to meet to obtain the visa.
Some of these requirements may include medical insurance, proof of income, background checks, and more. Most of them can be easily filled out online and they are not hard to obtain, but they may be pricey or have stipulations such as not working with clients based in the country.
These visas vary from country to country and can offer short or long stays, usually from 90 days to a year. Certain countries will require you to pay for the visa, like Barbados, while others will not charge you for it, like Croatia.
Some of the easiest digital nomad visas to get include:
Georgia – This is a booming tourist destination that has opened up for remote workers during the pandemic. The best part about this visa is that it allows you to open a bank account as soon as you arrive.
Anguilla – This idyllic island has high-speed internet, affordable international calling, and online payments, among other benefits.
Bermuda – White sand beaches and the Atlantic ocean are attractive to digital nomads from around the world, especially when you know that they encourage all nationalities to apply for digital nomad visas.
Romania – This eastern European country is part of the EU and has great infrastructure while having a lower cost of living than other EU countries.
Antigua and Barbuda – 95 miles of coastline, long sand beaches, and coral reefs are some of the best aspects of this Caribbean country. Here you can stay up to two years, while the application process takes only 14 days.
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Cost of living
One of the most important factors that will dictate how to choose the best digital nomad destinations is the cost of living. Each digital nomad is on a different budget, and you need to pick your destination accordingly. The sweet spot is a location is one that has all the amenities you need, but is also inexpensive. Living a long-term digital nomad lifestyle means budgeting is a must-do practice.
If you’re still in the planning stages of your nomadic journey and trying to decide exactly how you want to live, work, and travel, budgeting is crucial. Calculate your overall cost of living in your chosen destination and compare it to your average monthly income. Make sure that you are easily able to cover your costs, while still having enough to save for a rainy day, and enjoy your life as a nomad.
For digital nomads, creating and sticking to a budget that is within their means is essential. If you don’t prepare ahead, your trip may end up being cut short, or you’ll spend more than you anticipated.
The majority of your spending will fall into one of these categories:
- Coworking space
- Internet and phone plan
- Eating out
- Health insurance
- Emergency fund
Working from a cafe or Airbnb might be there preferred option for some digital nomads, but in the long term, it is much better to consider coworking options in your destination. Digital nomads can find themselves feeling lonely at times and being surrounded by like-minded people is the biggest advantage of coworking offices.
Other great benefits of coworking spaces are high-quality desks, chairs, and consistently fast internet. There is an opportunity for networking that can also boost your confidence, motivation and creativity. Also, using these spaces is cost-effective, because most of them offer meeting rooms, free coffee and snacks, high-speed internet, and various networking and educational events included in the price.
Digital nomad community
Finding your community and a safe space with other digital nomads is crucial if you want to succeed in this lifestyle. This doesn’t necessarily mean only meeting people at events and meetups. you can start with digital nomad groups on Facebook, or connect through LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram.
Knowing a few people in the destination you are traveling to and getting recommendations is helpful, even if it’s just online. As the digital nomad community is growing you can find digital nomads just about anywhere, but in smaller cities without established coworking spaces it’s harder to connect. Finding these communities online is a great way to determine where the nomads are hanging out, and if the destination is conducive to a nomadic lifestyle.
If networking and social connections are very important to you, then you should choose your destination strategically and travel to digital nomad hubs like Mexico or Estonia. Search for destination-specific Facebook groups and check websites like NomadList and Meetup.com.
The biggest question when choosing the best digital nomads destinations is if there is affordable, safe, and comfortable accommodation. When you find the apartment on Airbnb, Facebook marketplace, Booking.com or another housing website do thorough research on the location.
Like with coworking spaces, some destinations offer coliving spaces too. These types of spaces are more affordable than apartments and usually are either in great locations in the city center, or just a short bus drive from the city center.
Before making a choice, ask yourself if you want to live alone or with roommates, if you can afford the accommodation that you like and if there is public transportation nearby. Also assess how far is it from your coworking space, and if it is in a safe area of the city.
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A good quality internet connection as essential for digital nomads as a roof over your head. Without high-speed internet, you are not able to work and earn the money that you need for your lifestyle. Some destinations, however beautiful, might not be a good fit for you if they don’t have a good internet connection.
If you are someone who has to make video calls, you will need at least 1.5 to 2 Mbps for one-on-one calls, but if there is a group call you should look for a 3 Mbps connection. It is the same when you work on the cloud, or you have to upload photos and videos regularly.
Naturally, safety is a top priority, particularly if you’re traveling alone. It’s usually a good idea to conduct some research before you choose a destination to figure out which parts of the city you’d like to live in. Take into account the normal aspects such as lighting and transportation, and ask other digital nomads about their experiences to determine the safest areas to live. Try living close to your coworking space, so that you spend less time commuting.
How to choose the best digital nomad destinations
Living as a digital nomad is a never-ending adventure but it can be stressful without adequate planning. If you want help choosing the best digital nomad destinations get in touch with us! We will advise you on the pros and cons of every destination.
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