20 Considerations To Help Choose Your Next Travel Destination

Not sure where to go? Here’s a go-to checklist to help choose your next travel destination.

We touched on a few considerations when we looked at the top digital nomad destinations of 2024, and now, we’re mapping out everything you need to think about when choosing your next travel destination.

We hope the following list makes your life (and decision) much easier! 

Lets go…

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Key Factors and Considerations

From simple things like cost of living to the lesser-thought-about-things like local politics, we thought about it all. 

Here’s our full list of key considerations.

1. Internet Speed / Network Coverage

I’d love to say that safety or cost of living tops the list, but it doesn’t.

Every single nomad need a reliable internet connection.

There’s nothing more frustrating than getting stuck into work and not finding your flow because the internet keeps dropping out.

We use Google to find websites, blogs and other nomads to find recommended cities, accommodation and cafes suitable for remote work.

Free tools, such as Speedtest, can also help to check local internet speeds.

If you regularly struggle to get a strong or reliable internet connection, you need a backup plan, so make sure to get yourself a portable Wi-Fi device or local SIM card with the ability to hotspot. I can’t tell you the number of times mine has saved the day.

Alternatively, if you need an eSIM with hotspot capabilities, we recommend Airalo or Nomad. 

Consideration for next travel destination - wifi speed speedtest
Whenever we view new accommodation, the first thing we do is run a speed test on the wifi. Here's one from our last guesthouse in Bali!

2. Weather

I think it’s fair to say that most nomads prefer warmer weather. We’re talking a year-round summer, and tropical holidays vibes.

There’s also a huge contingency of location independent workers that prefer cooler climates.

Remember to pick somewhere that suits your preference.

Want to ditch the rainy season? Go for it! Keen to travel in autumn? Find your shoulder season. Love a cool winter morning? Find a place where you can lace up your boots. 

The climate can affect your overall well-being and comfort, so be strategic when selecting your next travel destination. 

3. Cost of Living

Cost of living is another ‘top of the list’ factor when picking a destination.

We usually choose places that offer an affordable cost of living, typically the same or lower than our hometowns or current destination.

We like to stretch our dollar as far as it can go. Websites like Numbeo, Nomad List, and Price of Travel offer daily and monthly cost of living estimates to help compare your next travel destination against current living costs. 

4. Quality of Life

Quality of life is crucial, and goes very much hand-in-hand with cost of living.

Will we feel safe? Will we feel like we can properly enjoy life? Can we afford meals out and other luxuries? 

Key factors that contribute to overall quality of life include local culture, food, weather, and recreational activities. Think about your personal preferences and how they align with the local lifestyle.

Consideration for next travel destination - lifestyle factors such as canoeing
Max canoeing in the mountain lakes - Munduk, Bali

5. Visa Options

Visa requirements and regulations vary from country to country. and can significantly impact your ability to stay in a location for the time period you’d like.

Research the visa requirements for your nationality and the specific location you want to visit as early as possible. Some will require an application and approval process.

Note that some countries offer special visas for digital nomads, while others have more restrictive regulations. 

6. Long Term Stay Potential

Once you’ve had your visa approved, is there an option to extend your stay? Can your visa be renewed? Can you visit more than once per year? Can you switch to a more ‘permanent’ visa should you feel settled?

These are the questions we ask ourselves when selecting a destination, particularly one where we may want to create a temporary home.

7. Legal and Tax Implications

Most (not all) destinations require you to enroll as a tax citizen and pay taxes if you reside in the country for at least six months of the year.

While this is the rule, it’s unsure how strictly it’s enforced. These laws, as well as those for driving, opening a bank account or rights for residency are important to consider.

Don’t fall in love with the idea of a place, to then get caught out on the above further down the line!

8. Safety and Political Stability

No one wants to feel endangered every time they leave the house.

It’s important to read up on the safety for foreigners in a destination. Are certain cultures or races stereotyped and discriminated against? Is it safe for women to be alone? What are the crime rates or overall safety concerns?

Usually a quick Google search and a glance at a few blogs with first hand experience will quickly answer these questions. Personally, I’d trust these first-hand experiences over what you read or hear in the news.

Other things to consider are the likelihood of natural disasters and the current political stability. If it’s about to enter hurricane or typhoon season, maybe it’s best to choose another destination.

Similarly, if its an election year, political unrest could be more prevalent. Make sure to stay informed about the current political situation and any potential risks by talking to nomads who are currently living in the area for feedback about the local government’s attitude towards digital nomads and remote workers.

9. Language Barriers

While English is widely spoken in many parts of the world, there are still a lot of places where English is not the primary language. This can pose challenges in communication – both in daily life and in emergencies.

Learning some basic phrases in the language is helpful, and also shows an intention to meet locals where they’re at, rather than just expecting them to speak English. And it always comes in particularly handy when you’re in more remote regions.

In our experience, learning the language can be a lot of fun and open you up to a world of new connections with the locals.

I’ve had various bursts of learning Indonesian during my time in Bali. Both of us had the most success hiring a local teacher – Jonny even learned the basics via online tuition prior to arrival! 

Consideration for next travel destination - learning the language
Max's attempt to learn a language (Bahasa Indonesia) in a day.

10. Healthcare

The availability of medical facilities, and the quality and cost of healthcare services are important to consider.

Not all healthcare systems are created equal.

Just because a country is ‘cheaper’ or more affordable, doesn’t necessarily mean that their healthcare is lacking. For example, Thailand is an affordable destination and has superior healthcare. 

If the country you’re considering does not have the best healthcare system, are there any options nearby, should you (god forbid) have an accident and need emergency transport to another hospital? Flights within Southeast Asia are easily under $100 USD and can get you to a nearby destination with excellent healthcare in only a few hours. 

Make sure you have your travel health insurance sorted. It’s definitely helped us out more times than we can count.

I mean, I did break both of my feet in 2021 and SafetyWing had my back (I’ll save this story for another time).

11. Accessibility

You also need to think about accessibility.

How easy it is to get to, and, once you’re there, how easy is it to move around?

This includes the availability and cost of flights, the ease of obtaining a visa, the quality of public transportation, and, most important of all – the walkability.

Or, if a city isn’t walkable, is it safe (and easy) to learn to drive? Many of our friends learned to drive a scooter in Thailand or Bali during the pandemic, so proved to be quite an easy learning curve. I would never recommend it now, particularly on the likes of the busy streets of Vietnam, without taking a few lessons first.

And remember to get your international drivers permit sorted, too!

Most nomads choose destinations that are easy to get to and easy to live in

12. Infrastructure

Infrastructure includes internet connectivity, transportation, utilities, and public services. A place with a well-developed infrastructure will have reliable electricity, clean water, an efficient public transportation, and accessible public services.

While this may seem excessive, I promise you it matters when you live somewhere for an extended period of time.

For example, Bali has a bit of a trash problem and you’ll often see it lying in streets, rivers, and on the beaches (especially during rainy season!). There’s limited recycling and limited infrastructure to implement new ideas for making improvements here. This then impacts the cleanliness of the tap water, and how often people get sick with ‘Bali belly’. 

A well-built infrastructure ensures a comfortable living and working environment for digital nomads. While this may not be seem crucial for you, definitely make it a part of your considerations when planning your next longer-term destination. 

13. Time Zone / Work Schedule

This is particularly important for digital nomads who work with clients or teams in different parts of the world. A significant time difference can pose challenges in scheduling meetings and meeting deadlines.

World Time Buddy is an excellent website for mapping out meeting time across time zones.

Consideration for next travel destination - international meetings and time zone considerations
Meetings with participants from all over the world!

14. Lifestyle Preferences

What surroundings spark joy for you?

Is it the endless hustle and bustle of a city, the serene calm of the countryside, or the laid-back vibes of a beach town? Choose a destination that gets you excited! 

And, just because you traditionally enjoy the calming countryside, doesn’t mean you can’t escape to the big city for your next travel destination.

Every trip can be unique! 

We often ask ourselves these seven essential questions every time we move to a new city. 

15. Community and Networking

A strong community, network of other digital nomads or expats can significantly enhance your experience in a new location.

It can provide a sense of belonging, opportunities for networking, and a support system in case of emergencies. When selecting a location, finding one with a digital nomad presence or expat community in the area is advantageous.

We’ve mapped out the top digital nomad destinations of 2024 and each of these excel in their DN community and network!

16. Cultural Differences

Cultural differences can greatly affect your overall experience and quality of life in a new location.

You should think about social norms, customs, etiquette, and the general lifestyle of the local population.

For example, should women cover their shoulders in certain areas? Are bikinis appropriate swimwear? What are the rules regarding shaking hands? 

While some of these may seem small, I’d suggest researching other nomads’ experiences in that country for feedback about integrating into the culture. 

17. Food and Dietary Restrictions

The availability of food that suits your dietary needs and preferences is an essential factor to consider when choosing a digital nomad location.

Is the location vegetarian-friendly? Do you need dairy free or gluten free options? How accessible are ‘healthy’ foods?

Some locations may have a huge range of food options that cater to different nutritional needs, while others may have limited options.

If this is an issue for you, it’s best to research first. 

Consideration for next travel destination - dietary restrictions
That's a vegan pancake stack at Bukit Cafe! - Uluwatu, Bali

18. Availability of Accommodation

The availability, quality, and cost of accommodation are crucial factors to consider when choosing a digital nomad location.

Many places have a high availability of short-term rentals, while others require a longer commitment. 

We often check Airbnb, Agoda, and Booking.com to access the prices and variety. Once we’re in a location, we join Facebook groups, WhatsApp groups, or look locally for in-person deals.

19. Availability of Coworking Spaces

Comfortable coworking spaces that provide a productive work environment and an opportunity to network with other digital nomads, should not be overlooked.

Cities with a variety of coworking spaces generally indicate that it is a digital nomad-friendly city with strong wifi, growing community, and variety of networking options. Also, the more coworking spaces available, the greater the chance of you finding your dream destination to work from. 

20. Leisure and Recreation Activities

Finding a place with ample outdoor activities, cultural events, and social activities is going to make your life much more enjoyable as a digital nomad. Choose a location with easy access to nature and outdoor activities if that aligns with your preferences.

If you like to surf, pick a destination such as Bali or Sri Lanka. Interested in hiking? Nepal might be your go-to place. Love diving? Then you might prefer to setup in Koh Tao, Thailand. 

There’s something for everyone so choose wisely. 

Consideration for next travel destination - hobbies and activities such as surfing
Max surfing at Gerupuk - Lombok, Indonesia

Can you think of anything else for your next travel destination?

We’ve covered just about everything we can think of, but is there anything we’ve missed? If you’re sitting here wondering ‘where next?’ and there’s a huge topic we’re missing, please comment below and let us know! 

Actually, we’d love to hear some of your ideas related to the digital nomad lifestyle. If you want your voice to be heard on the DNG site, contact us to join the #DNGCollective. 

Our mission is to create the world’s most trusted resource for digital nomads and remote workers, and we need your help.

Get in touch! 

Max quit her corporate job in 2013 to take a chance building businesses online while traveling the world. Armed with an adventurous spirit and a can-do attitude, Max has traveled to more than 50 countries, embracing slow travel as a digital nomad and long-term living in places such as Thailand, India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Max currently resides in Bali where she oversees content creation for DNG as our resident travel aficionado.
Picture of Max Pankow
Max Pankow
Max quit her corporate job in 2013 to take a chance building businesses online while traveling the world. Armed with an adventurous spirit and a can-do attitude, Max has traveled to more than 50 countries, embracing slow travel as a digital nomad and long-term living in places such as Thailand, India, Nepal, and Indonesia. Max currently resides in Bali where she oversees content creation for DNG as our resident travel aficionado.

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