The digital nomad lifestyle is highly polarizing. Some people would relish the opportunity to work overseas on their own schedule, while others prefer to be tethered to a desk at their home or office.
If you're considering taking the plunge and diving deep into the digital nomad life, here are some invaluable tips and life hacks to make your travels fun while saving serious money, according to an online digital nomad community.
1. Bring Only One Bag
Although this particular tip can easily apply to traveling, it's especially vital for digital nomads. First, resist the urge to travel with more than one bag! “Having one bag will save you time and money,” one nomad explains. “You want to avoid spending time, money, and energy caring for luggage.”
2. Consider Staying Outside of Cities
While it may seem unexciting to stay outside of city centers, the lack of distractions translates into a better focus on your work and is often cheaper. “Staying outside of the city center can save you so much money, and sometimes an Airbnb, a ten-minute bus ride from the center, is so much cheaper than a hostel right in the thick of it,” advises a female nomad with multiple trips under her belt.
3. Start Saving Before Your Trip
Face it: you don't want to be stressed over your finances during your overseas adventure. That's why it's extra important to start living the nomad lifestyle before boarding your plane! “Start now with eating at home and packing a lunch,” says one traveler. “Try to do this as cheaply as possible. Don't spend any money until your trip. No taxi, no Uber, no bar, etc.”
4. Book Month-Long Airbnb
One of the best tips to save money we can pass along today is booking Airbnb's for one-month stints at a time. One savvy nomad explains it perfectly: Typically, you can get great discounts once you have a month's duration.
Then you may spend your time not stressed, you'll get to know a place, and you'll be able to do the quality of work that will make your employer trust you to do this again. Sounds like a plan to us!
5. Stop By Hostels, Even If You're Not Staying There
You don't have to pay for a bed to take advantage of great offers designed for digital nomads like yourself. Feel free to stop by any hostel you pass by because, according to one traveler, hostels typically have great intel on deals and discounts on the stuff you will want to do.
6. Go Slow
Sometimes the simplest tips are the best. “Go slow,” says countless nomads. Move at a slower pace during your adventure, and your wallet will thank you for it in the end. “Tip to save money: the slower you travel, the more you save,” one particularly frugal nomad confesses.
7. Cook For Yourself
We get it. Experiencing local cuisine is a big part of the digital nomad lifestyle. However, try to fight the urge to eat out every meal. Local food is delicious, but you can still experience that via an amazing home-cooked meal you prepare on your own.
8. Make Friends With Locals
Nobody will know how to help you like somebody who lives in the area you'll be staying in, so take advantage of it! “A great resource for general information and possible money-saving ideas is to get to know people who live in your area,” explains one traveler. Another nomad agrees, saying, “Locals often know the cheapest and best spots to eat or drink.”
9. Check Your Data Plan
You'll be going through a lot of data on your cell phone, so ensure you're set up for success before you begin your journey. Some wireless providers even cater to digital nomads – so it may be the perfect time to switch your service.
For example, T-Mobile has a solid international data plan for most U.S. customers. “I've used it and have never felt limited by it overseas,” confesses one data-hungry nomad. Additionally, it way beats paying for an alternative SIM card.
10. Don't Book Activities in Advance
Finally, one nomad who has spent the better part of three years overseas has come to the rescue of many fellow travelers! “The best piece of advice I have is not to book ‘fun' stuff before you even arrive,” she says. “This will put you behind the eight ball money-wise quickly before you even arrive. Instead, go on fun non-work adventures when you can afford it while you're there.”
We love this simply because it gives you constant windows to be spontaneous and adventurous while keeping some extra money in your pocket!
This thread inspired this post.
This article originally appeared on The Money Dreamer.