From researching the healthcare system to investing in a traveler’s mail service, here are the 16 answers to the question, “Can you share your best tips for others who want to mix their careers with world travel?”
- Research the Health Care System
- Travel Off-Season
- Try Planning Nonstop Flights or Minimize Layovers
- Dream Big, but Be Pragmatic
- Invest in a Mobile Hotspot
- Be Prepared for Any Discomfort on Your Travel
- Think About Where You’re Staying and the Budget
- Gain Passive Affiliate Marketing Income
- Watch Out for Complicated Tax Situations
- Use a Co-Working Space
- Build Income Streams Around Your Ideal Lifestyle
- Always Prepare a Backup Plan
- Never Underestimate Weekends
- Sort Your Documentation, Then Your Budget
- Get a VPN
- Invest in a Traveler’s Mail Service
Research the Health Care System
As a digital nomad, it’s important to research the healthcare system in the countries you plan to visit. Make sure you understand how to access care, what type of insurance is available, and what coverage you might need. Be prepared for any potential health issues that could come up while you’re traveling.
I’m sending out this advice because my daughter, 3 years old, ended up in the IC with a heart rhythm disorder in a foreign country. She was a healthy kid, but it happened. This can happen to anyone. We have private insurance, yet we ended up in the state hospital, which was very traumatizing for her.
Now we know how to get the right care next time, but this time we were in an emergency and not in a position to find a private clinic that could help us. Just make sure you’re prepared for a similar situation; it’ll make a huge difference, for yourself or your child.
Angie Makljenovic, Blogger & Content Creator, She Can Blog
If you’re looking to save money, traveling during off-peak season is the way to go. Peak season usually falls between June and August in Europe, December through March in Latin America, and October and April in Asia.
Prices drop significantly during these times, so it’s definitely worth it if you can plan your trip accordingly. Tourist spots will be a lot less crowded during this time, so you can access the attractions without having to wait too long. Many hotels have lower prices during this time.
Demi Yilmaz, Co-Founder, Colonist.io
Try Planning Nonstop Flights or Minimize Layovers
Limiting your flight time is a great way to save time when traveling. You should always try to book nonstop flights. Make sure that any layovers are only a few hours long.
As a result, the first advice I would give to someone looking to book a flight with a layover is only to book a flight with a layover of less than an hour. You might save time, but only if everything goes according to plan.
Flight delays are common, especially when traveling abroad. After learning this advice the hard way too many times, it is better to realize that flights won’t hold out for you. If your flight is a little later, they might depart without you, even if it’s with the same airline.
You then lose a full day or more of travel time. You should also allow yourself enough time to pass through customs (if necessary) and arrive at your next terminal on time.
Axel Hernborg, Founder & CEO, Tripplo.com
Dream Big, but Be Pragmatic
I was working from internet cafes and on various desktops before “digital nomad” was a thing. And it grew into my life, as I now own a business in Japan and work in other parts of Asia while maintaining my US citizenship.
Having a dream and a special romantic feeling about being a digital nomad is great. Backing your dreams with pragmatic research is what will help you make it. Read up, watch videos, take courses, and talk with mentors about:
- visas and work regulations
- tax responsibilities at home and abroad
- actual daily living expenses (add 50% to any estimate you hear)
- medical and physical needs
- and what you really want to be doing every day.
The place alone will not change you because it’s still you; you are the same as back home. The entire experience can change you in wonderful ways or can waste years of your life and chunks of your savings. You do have savings, right?
Adam Goulston, PsyD MBA, MS, Owner & Manager, Scize
Invest in a Mobile Hotspot
Traveling with a mobile hotspot is an essential tool for digital nomads who need reliable internet access while on the go. With a mobile hotspot, digital nomads can access the internet wherever they are, without having to rely on unreliable public Wi-Fi networks or expensive roaming charges.
A mobile hotspot also allows digital nomads to connect multiple devices to the same internet connection, allowing them to work from multiple locations without having to worry about finding a reliable internet connection.
Having a reliable internet connection is essential for digital nomads to work while they travel, and a mobile hotspot is a perfect solution.
Carly Hill, Operations Manager, VirtualHolidayParty.com
Be Prepared for Any Discomfort
Digital nomads’ life is indeed full of surprises. Imagine living a few months in Mexico, spending the summer in Spain, and moving to Bali to avoid the European winter while being able to work from anywhere.
It sounds like a dream comes true. But it is not always as easy to find five-star facilities as you expected on your journey. I personally will advise everyone who wants to mix their career with travel to be prepared for any discomfort that they will experience.
Whether lack of Wi-Fi, comfortable beds, or even food poisoning. This might be the last thing that we think of when we travel as digital nomads. And no matter how much research you do, the reality is not always the same, therefore it is best to prepare yourself.
Georgi Todorov, Founder, ThriveMyWay
Think About Where You’re Staying and the Budget
As a digital nomad, it is easy to spend a lot of money on accommodation. Before you go abroad, think about where you’re staying and how much you can spend.
You could save on rent by storing all your belongings in a storage box and don’t rent anywhere long-term. This, however, requires a bit of planning and organization to not end up without a bed to sleep in. Alternatively, you could try to sublet your flat whilst away. The latter depends on your rental agreement and the location.
Julia-Carolin Zeng, Director, Charlie on the Move
Gain Passive Affiliate Marketing Income
The idea of digital nomadism is to create a lifestyle that allows you to travel the world while earning an income. I’ve traveled around the world twice and lived and worked abroad as an ex-pat. Expat packages are getting harder to get and you need to build a passive affiliate marketing income.
Affiliate marketing is one way that digital nomads can make money online. When someone clicks on an affiliate link in your blog post or social media post and then purchases the product from the merchant, you get a commission for the sale.
As an affiliate marketing manager for well over a decade. I work with digital nomads living in Chang Mai, Thailand with a tax-free income in Dubai. The working world is changing, but you need to take control of your paycheck to not just sell your time. Like my dad always told me, you don’t get rich on a salary, and you have to take some risks to live a travel lifestyle, which he wrote about in his book.
Brian Hawkins, Marketing Manager, GhostBed.com
Watch Out for Complicated Tax Situations
US-originating digital nomads might be in for a bit of a rude shock if they choose to earn money in the local currency in their nomadic destination, which often seems like a smart thing to do as you take a broader range of clients.
This opens you up to some very complicated double taxation policies, as the US is one of a few countries that taxes its ex-pats on earnings made in a foreign country where you, presumably, will also need to pay local taxes.
This, naturally, isn’t an issue if you continue to work only for US-based firms as you travel but this also can occasionally lead to a headache with getting an apartment abroad, for example, as you might have a hard time proving your earning capabilities without local proof.
Kate Kandefer, CEO, SEOwind
Use a Co-Working Space
To be a successful digital nomad, one needs a robust internet connection. Without an internet connection, you can’t work.
Sometimes your internet equipment may not work well, but you have a deadline to meet or an emergency work to finish. In those situations, a co-working space comes to the rescue.
Enrolling in a co-working space gives you the right environment for working. It’s like a mini office where you can work with no issues. Also, co-working spaces have other advantages. For instance, working alone can be tiring. You may crave to work with others. During those situations, it’s best to work in a co-working area. Your mind will be at peace, and you can work well.
Ryan Knoll, Owner, Tidy Casa
Build Income Streams Around Your Ideal Lifestyle
The best advice I can give to those who want to have a career and travel the world is to first start out by getting crystal clear on your ideal day-to-day life.
Once you’re absolutely sure of that picture of your lifestyle, only then should you figure out what kind of knowledge, career, income streams, etc. you need in order for that to happen.
Don’t force your current skill or job situation into being able to provide what you want. It’s better to open up your mind and consider the possibilities from a blank slate.
If you align everything you do around flexibility and location independence, you can go anywhere you’d like. Happy travels!
Ken Marshall, Chief Growth Officer, RevenueZen
Always Prepare a Backup Plan
Think 10 steps ahead when preparing for a trip and have a backup plan for likely scenarios that could hinder you from working. You don’t want to be caught off-guard in the middle of nowhere with your device batteries on empty or with unstable Wi-Fi, making you unable to finish your deliverables. This puts your work in peril and will surely ruin your trip as well.
Pack backup gadgets, like a tablet or an extra smartphone, in case something unfortunate happens to your work device. Bring a portable prepaid Wi-Fi router so you’re assured of your own Internet connection. Keep your devices fully charged beforehand and bring power banks to expect long hours on the road. Always have a failsafe, so your work won’t get compromised while you explore the world.
Mark Woodbury, Co-Founder, Minerva Equity
Never Underestimate Weekends
I think even though it may seem like we’re stating the obvious, weekend getaways are crucial. Just a few days away from home will do wonders for your energy levels and keep your restlessness in check until your next long vacation.
Traveling by rail, ferry, or even by vehicle to local locations is a better alternative to flying for small distances if you want to be a thoughtful and ethical traveler.
After all, a quick weekend getaway close to home can be just as fulfilling as a long trip abroad. Every trip counts. People simply don’t understand what they’re talking about when they claim a trip isn’t a trip until you’ve traveled for hundreds of miles or spent millions of euros.
Salim Benadel, Director, Storm Internet
Sort Your Documentation, Then Your Budget
First things first, make sure all your documents are in order before you leave home. Make copies of important papers like your passport or driver’s license, so if the originals get lost or stolen while traveling, you can easily replace them with backups.
Also, research any visas that may be required to live and work abroad; many countries will require an official document confirming the length of stay before granting entry.
Next comes budgeting—know how much money you need to bring with you and plan accordingly! Research currency exchange rates beforehand so that when it comes time to pay bills or purchase goods, there won’t be any surprises at the register.
And don’t forget about taxes—make sure all applicable tax forms are filled out correctly before leaving home to avoid any financial penalties down the road!
Jamie Irwin, Director, Straight Up Search
Get a VPN
Similar to how you’d secure your valuables in a safe, you also need to secure your online data while abroad, and a virtual private network (VPN) is the ideal way to do this.
These services encrypt your internet traffic and disguise your online identity so your data can’t be stolen. This is important because as you travel abroad, you’ll be connecting to many Wi-Fi networks, so your emails, personal messages, and banking information can all be compromised if you’re not careful.
A VPN gives you the peace of mind to work with the assurance that your personal information is safe, no matter where in the world you are.
Dakota McDaniels, Chief Product Officer, Pluto
Invest in a Traveler’s Mail Service
If your job requires you to keep track of and receive physical mail while abroad, it might make sense to invest in a traveler’s mail service such as Traveling Mailbox or Amazon Hub Lockers.
A mail service like this allows you to maintain a physical address in the US and receive, open, scan, and store your mail online. This way, you won’t have to worry about missing any important documents or correspondence while on the road.
Many of these services also provide a virtual phone number and mailbox rental options, which can be useful for those who need to receive calls and messages from clients or family back home.
Ryan Delk, CEO, Primer