1. Make a budget.
As a digital nomad, your budget should be your bible. And if you follow it, you can live quite comfortably. To create a successful budget, calculate your living expenditures, the cost of traveling to each destination, staying there, the activities you’ll do there, the costs of working, and how it all affects your savings if you can’t earn a salary for a while.
2. Plan for the worst-scenario.
When you live abroad, It’s crucial to have multiple backup plans in case of any emergencies. Nothing really ever works out the way it’s supposed to. Things happen. What if your truck breaks down? Or what if you get stuck in a foreign country with no backup plan? What’s your plan B and C? You need to set these processes in place to handle the inevitable bumps in the road.
3. Join a digital nomad community.
Digital Nomad communities like Couchsurfing and Nomadlist will help you learn the nuances of the digital nomad lifestyle, and reduce its steep learning curve. Fellow nomads will be happy to answer any pressing questions about your new lifestyle and any areas you plan to visit. They’ll also teach you how to work effectively on the road. And arguably the most beneficial perk of these communities is that you can connect with other traveling professionals, which can lead to new business opportunities, partnerships, and friendships.
4. Make sure you have cell reception or wifi.
If your employer lets you work remotely, show them and your team some respect by being available as much as possible online. Not having wifi or cell phone reception should never be an excuse for missing a meeting or failing to get an assignment done. The same goes for client work, if you’re a freelancer.
To make sure you’ll always have internet connection, consider investing in a cell phone booster and a mobile hotspot mifi device. Cell phone boosters can detect the smallest shred of cell phone reception and send the signal to your vehicle. Mobile hotspot mifi devices strengthen your mobile hotspot service, so you don’t have to rely on a spotty, public wifi connection.
5. Make sure you can communicate with locals.
Knowing the language of the country you’re going to or knowing that they speak your language is crucial for successful travel. Assuming that there has to be someone who will understand English is a dangerous move. But if you must go to a place where you don’t know the native language or they don’t speak yours, use Google Translate or another translation app to navigate your new environment.
6. Research your destinations.
If you’re not living in an RV, find affordable housing on AirBnB or Couchsurf before you arrive to your destination. And make sure your lodging is near a hospital, emergency room or clinic in case of an emergency. You should also research the area to find safe neighborhood to stay in.
7. Draw cash from ATMs.
Airports are notorious for charging ridiculously high currency exchange fees. If you need cash, draw it from an ATM. Your bank will charge you a fee, but it’ll be much lower than the one at the currency exchange desk.
Before you set off …
If an adventurous lifestyle sounds appealing to you, then being a digital nomad can be one of the most rewarding yet challenging ways to live. But if you arm yourself with organization, discipline, and a thirst for learning, you could enjoy an exciting and fulfilling life on the road. Just ask Justin and Ariele Champion. They’re living the alternative American Dream. And they’ve never looked back.