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Travel Planning Resources for Digital Nomads

Welcome to our digital nomad travel planning resource!

From finding cheap flights and booking accommodation, to budgeting your trip along the way, these are our favorite digital nomad resources and travel planning tools.

Last updated: 18th April 2024

Table of Contents

Accommodation

Your travel needs will often vary by location, and as such, the booking platform you use will also change. When traveling alone or to a new city, you may prefer to meet people by staying at a hostel with a social atmosphere, scheduled events, and local tours. However, when traveling with friends, a partner, or wanting a private space, hotels and Airbnbs may be a preferred option. Budget, location, and length of stay may also impact which booking platform you choose. As an overall tip, we often opt for locations that offer free cancellation, as plans may change. After traveling and working all over the world, these are our favorite accommodation sites.

Hostelworld

Staying in hostels (both shared dorms and private rooms) have been some of our favorite experiences on the road. Not only is it an awesome way to stretch your dollar when first starting out, but hostels often have daily events to meet other travelers, social community spaces, and free walking tours to explore the area. It’s a great way to meet others and get to know the area before committing to a place long term. Hostelworld is our go-to site with thousands of hostels, fair reviews, and a variety of filters to find the perfect accommodation. We filter for wifi, air conditioning or heating (depending on the location and time of year), and a rating of 8.0 or better. Things like dorm size, ensuite toilets, and co-ed dorms are choices you’ll need to make for yourself. Then, we narrow down the location on the map and always read reviews. Some hostels are known for partying and socializing, while others have on-site libraries and are remarkably quiet. Find the hostel that best fits your needs!

Airbnb

Airbnb is our go-to choice when staying in a destination long term, traveling with a friend, or planning to meet others through coworking spaces, gyms, or other activities. Airbnb is known for its ‘home away from home’ vibe in a variety of options including shared dorms, private rooms and guesthouses, studio apartments, one-bedroom homes, and multi-room homes. There’s an option for every budget and every need. Similar to Hostelworld, we filter for wifi, air con or heating, price, and any amenities important for our trip.  We particularly love Airbnb for its ability to search for accommodation with flexible travel dates and month-long accommodation offered at a discounted rate. You can always reach out to the owner if you have questions or read reviews to learn about wifi speed, nearby construction, and overall guest experience.

Agoda

If we’re planning a quick trip or looking for a hotel-style accommodation, Agoda is our favorite booking site, especially for trips across Asia. They offer unbeatable prices on everything from hostels to hotels, and their app-exclusive deals are a real bonus. We often price check across Airbnb, Agoda, and Booking, to find the best deals. Agoda is our top pick for affordable accommodations, time and time again.

Booking.com

Similar to Agoda, we use Booking.com for quick trips and hotel-style accommodation. As an older site, Booking offers more accommodation options than you might find on Hostelworld, Airbnb, or Agoda. Booking also offers flexible dates and long term discounts, making it a valuable search tool when looking for flexible accommodation. Alongside Agoda, we always check for hidden gems and last minute booking discounts.

Facebook and WhatsApp Groups

A valuable way to find accommodation is through city-specific Facebook and WhatsApp groups. These groups connect us with fellow nomads and locals, offering real time tips, invaluable advice, and support. Whether it’s finding a room in a shared house, the best coworking space, or a doctor recommendation, these groups are an essential tool for any digital nomad. To find these groups, search Facebook for: [City Name] Community, [City Name] Expats, or [City Name] Accommodation. 

Flights

Skyscanner

When it comes to finding cheap flights, Skyscanner is our top pick. Known for it flexible search options, like searching ‘everywhere’ for budget-friendly destinations or ‘cheapest month’, Skyscanner consistently delivers the cheapest dates, connections, and fares. Paired with a variety of third-party sites, we love how it includes budget airlines, offering a full spectrum of options. When our next destination is unknown or our dates are flexible, we use Skyscanner to start the planning process. Learning which locations are cheapest to travel to and/or which dates are most affordable gives us a good starting point. After searching on Skyscanner, we’ll often compare with Google Flights (see below) or directly with airlines (to use miles) or our credit card companies (to use points). Knowing where to start is vital for these other searches. If we’re happy with what we see on Skyscanner, we book directly through Skyscanner using one of the third-party sites they are affiliated with such as Kiwi or Trip.com.

Momondo

Momondo is a close runner-up to Skyscanner for finding flights, offering the same ‘anywhere’ search option and a handy calendar view. After starting with Skyscanner, we head to Momondo to compare. Its strength lies in including smaller third-party booking sites, ensuring you don’t miss out on some of the best deals available.

Google Flights

While Google Flights offers similar search features to Skyscanner,  we believe Skyscanner does a better job at finding cheap flights. Google Flights stands out in its ability to showcase daily rates as the length of the trip changes. For example, you can compare the cost of a 13 day trip, 14 day trip, 15 day trip, and so forth, until landing on the ‘sweet spot’ which may be a 17 day trip. This is ideal when you know your destination but not necessarily when (or how long) you want to travel for. We also love Google Flight’s price drop alerts and the practical advice it gives such as avoiding long layovers for a few dollars more, insights on when it’s worth splurging for business class, or advising a cheaper rate on an alternative travel date. 

Kayak

Kayak offers a different angle to flight searching. While it doesn’t cover budget flights, its ‘anywhere’ search and flexible date options (+/- 3 days) are ideal for when your plans are open-ended. Especially handy is its feature for those with flexible travel lengths – input a trip duration, like 7-10 days, and Kayak suggests the optimal dates and times to fly within your chosen month. It’s comparable to Google Flights and up to you which platform you prefer. Both are great options!

Expedia

Expedia stands out for more than just its variety of travel options; a key feature we love is the ability to cancel flights within 24 hours – a lifesaver for onward tickets when plans are fluid. Expedia is our go-to choice for those last-minute panic bookings when you cannot get on a plane without proof of onward travel. Not only does Expedia provide great flights options, but historically, most bookings are fully refundable within 24 hours, giving you time to catch your flight, get to your next destination, and properly consider your future travel plans. It’s a great choice for flexibility, offering peace of mind when booking, knowing you have that window to adjust if needed.

The Flight Deal

We subscribe to The Flight Deal‘s daily newsletter. Every day, we receive an email filled with “hacker fares” and airline errors that require you to act fast before the fares are corrected or sold out. This isn’t a go-to resource for booking flights, but it is something we check just in case a special deal pops up. Plus, it goes straight to your email, so it requires no effort at all.

Directly Check Airline Websites

Directly checking airline websites directly can often unveil some hidden deals. It’s worth comparing these prices, especially after clearing your cookies, to ensure you’re seeing the most up-to-date fares. This straightforward approach might just snag you a better deal than what’s listed on popular search engines.

Use Credit Card Points

Another savvy way we book international flights is through credit card points and travel hacking. Our current favorites are Chase Sapphire and Capital One. Stay tuned for more in-depth info on maximizing travel hacking and credit card points for your journeys.

Transportation

Google Maps

Google Maps is an indispensable tool for digital nomads and remote workers on the move. It offers a comprehensive range of transportation modes such as walking, bicycles, scooters, cars, buses, trains, and flights, making it adaptable to various travel needs. The app’s strength lies in its real-time traffic updates and precise GPS timing, which are crucial for efficient route planning and avoiding delays. For those behind the wheel, the audio instructions provide a convenient, hands-free way to navigate (and have been a game changer for us while driving scooters in SE Asia). Additionally, the ability to download maps for offline use is invaluable, especially when traveling in areas with limited internet access. 

Rome2Rio

Now sure how to get from one city to the next? Rome2Rio website and app maps out all the potential routes and modes of transportation as well as the estimated travel time and cost. A route to a remote island may look like a taxi to the airport, flight, taxi to the port, ferry, and then taxi to your accommodation. This site is amazing, as it will map out the entire journey with departure times, ticket prices, and links to reserve your space.

Roadtrippers

Roadtrippers is the perfect road trip companion. This website allows you to map out a road trip (similar to Google Maps), but it will also tell you estimated mileage, drive time, and gas costs. As a bonus, Roadtrippers also shows you hotels along the way, campsites, restaurants, things to do, and even a section called “weird stuff.”

Local Taxi Apps

Throughout most places, Uber (iOSAndroid) and Grab (iOSAndroid) dominate the online taxi apps. Not only are they safe and reliable taxi services, but they provide an estimated cost so if you choose to get a local taxi from the street, you already know what is considered a fair price. If you don’t have cell data, you can order a ride using WiFi and the apps will continue to work once you’ve left the WiFi connection. You can order a Uber or Grab for a friend, pay via credit card or cash, and participate in a rideshare to lower the cost. 

Go-Jek (iOSAndroid) is a popular taxi app in Indonesia similar to Uber or Grab. The difference is that Go-Jek also provides scooter taxis at a severely discounted price. 

12Go

12Go is a fantastic website for bus transportation in SE Asia. Usually, buses are booked at hostels or tourist kiosks, but this website provides information regarding routes, timetables, and prices. We recommend using this website to come up with a travel plan and then book in person so you have tickets in hand. Plus, booking in person always allows for bartering!

EuRail and RailEurope

EuRail and RailEurope are excellent resources for train (rail) transportation in Europe. They provide fares, timetables, routes, and more! You can even input your trip information into the planner to find out if there is a special multi-country pass for greater savings. Whether it’s unlimited regional travel or a certain number of days/weeks/months, these websites will provide you with tons of well-priced options. 

The Man in Seat 61

The Man in Seat 61 is a website that details everything you can possibly think of regarding train travel. Want to know the difference between 2nd and 3rd class? He’s got an answer. Want to know if a coachette is worth the upgrade? He’s got an answer. He even details what the trains look like, which have been renovated, and what to expect on your journey. This is the go-to resource for any and all train travel worldwide. You cannot book your tickets on this website, but you can use it to find out everything you need to know before booking your travels.

Insurance

While we’re not in the position to specifically recommend travel insurance or medical coverage, for those of you considering it for your journeys, here’s a snapshot of our preferred options. These selections stand out for their ability to cover a spectrum of situations – think medical emergencies, sicknesses, injuries, or even the misfortune of stolen belongings, offering reimbursement for these unexpected incidents. They cater to all types of travels, with policies flexible enough for short trips spanning a few days, or more extended adventures up to a year. Be aware that the pricing can vary, influenced by factors such as your age, policy duration, and the destinations on your itinerary. It’s crucial to remember that pre-existing conditions usually aren’t covered, and this insurance should be seen as an additional precaution, not a substitute for your regular medical insurance. It’s all about adding an extra layer of security to your travel plans, ensuring you can explore with less worry.

SafetyWing

SafetyWing is our go-to choice for travel medical insurance and particularly appealing for digital nomads and long-term travelers due to its affordability and subscription-based model. It allows users to purchase insurance even when already abroad and covers medical emergencies, evacuation, trip delays, and lost luggage. SafetyWing’s coverage is global, but it excludes countries like Iran, North Korea, and Cuba. Their customer service is generally well-regarded, and the claim process is straightforward. Prices start at around $45 per month, but vary based on age and include travel to the United States.  It’s important to note, SafetyWing does have a $250 deductible and doesn’t cover certain adventure activities, routine check-ups, preventive care, pre-existing conditions, or stolen/lost personal items. Alternatively, for those seeking comprehensive coverage, SafetyWing offers a more expensive option called Remote Health. While we haven’t personally tried this option yet, its worth exploring if this is something you’re interested in.

World Nomads

World Nomads is a well-established option and is often considered a bit more expensive than SafetyWing. It offers two plans: Standard and Explorer. The Explorer plan is especially suitable for those engaged in extreme sports, as it covers a wider range of activities than SafetyWing. World Nomads is known for its extensive cover, making it a solid choice for travelers who prioritize comprehensive insurance and extreme activities.

Heymondo

Heymondo is another option that stands out for its comprehensive coverage and user-friendly experience. Heymondo is known for offering tailored solutions for travelers, ensuring that they get coverage that best fits their travel needs. It’s praised for its responsive customer service and easy-to-use mobile app, which includes a chat feature for immediate assistance. Heymondo’s policies often include unique features like real-time notifications and alerts about travel safety and health-related issues in your destination country.

eSIMs

eSIMs are electronic or embedded SIM cards that allow you to connect to a country’s cellular network without having to manually insert a physical SIM card. This is helpful when landing in a new country and immediately being able to connect to the internet when the plane lands, allowing you to forego an impatient wait on the runway and dodgy airport wifi. eSIMs are usually competitively priced and as simple as downloading an app from the app store. Most modern phones (and tablets) allow for this technology, however please check the service provider’s website before purchasing. Also, your cell phone will need to be unlocked from the carrier to add an eSIM (or regular SIM) in a foreign country. We wrote a comprehensive guide about eSIMs including a roundup of the top providers. Below are a few of our favorites!

Airalo

Airalo (iOS, Android) is one of our top two eSIM providers, offering global coverage in over 190+ countries. What differentiates our decision between Airalo and Nomad is usually price. We often search both apps for coverage in the country or region we’re traveling too and then select the deal the best meets our data and duration needs. For us, its smart to have both apps downloaded. You can read more about Airalo in our detailed review, or sign up and use ‘MAX6927’ to get $3 off your first purchase. 

Nomad

Nomad (iOS, Android) is our other go-to eSIM provider. As mentioned above, we often check both apps and compare prices to determine which app best meets our data, location, and duration needs. For us, Airalo and Nomad are often neck-and-neck with competitive prices, ease of use, and overall experience. You can read more about our recent Nomad eSIM experience here, or sign up and use ‘MAXSGTWZ’ to get $3 off your first purchase. 

Holafly

Holafly (iOS, Android) is a great alternative if you are looking for unlimited data. The only drawback is that Holafly’s unlimited data packages do not allow for hotspotting or tethering (which is something we often do), so for us, Holafly isn’t our personal go-to choice. However, if unlimited data is something you’re seeking, then Holafly is your best option! You can read our full Holafly review here and decide for yourself. 

Visa Agents and Services

Sometimes understanding the visa process can be complicated, and in those moments, it’s best to call in the experts. If you have a friend in the country, we recommend reaching out to them for a direct contact to a local agent they trust. If you’re new to the country, the agents and services listed below have been very helpful in our travels, providing guidance and assistance to simplify complex visa processes. 

iVisa

iVisa is our go-to visa service. They take the hassle out of visa applications, offering a streamlined, user-friendly service that simplifies the process. Ideal for digital nomads and travelers, their efficient online platform has saved us from daunting embassy queues or endless paperwork. iVisa also provides up-to-date information, ensuring you have all the necessary requirements for your destination. It’s a reliable choice for those seeking a straightforward path to obtaining their visas.

RushMyTravelVisa

RushMyTravelVisa is the go-to service when we’re in need of a visa quickly. Specializing in expedited processing, they are a lifeline when time is of the essence. Their expert team guides you through every step, making sure your application is complete and accurate, reducing the chances of delays. For travelers with tight schedules, RushMyTravelVisa offers the peace of mind that your visa needs are handled swiftly and professionally.

Finance

Managing finances is tricky enough at home, and it becomes an even bigger question when traveling or living abroad. We’ve put together our top resources to help handle your money smartly and cut down on international fees. From international banking and money transfer apps, to our top budgeting and financial planning tools, managing your money just got a whole lot easier. 

International Banking and Money Transfer

Wise

Wise is a game-changer for those who need to transfer money across borders. What makes it a top pick is its ability to handle multiple currencies at the best exchange rates and with minimal fees. You can even send money to email addresses, making transactions as simple as a click. Its user-friendly app interface takes the complexity out of international payments, making Wise a favorite for those looking for efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their financial transactions.

Revolut

Revolut is a go-to for travelers, especially those from outside the U.S., looking to dodge international ATM fees. The app’s standout feature is its free card, which you can preload with funds to manage your travel expenses effortlessly. While Americans might lean towards the Charles Schwab ATM card, for others, Revolut offers a convenient, fee-free way to access money while on the go, simplifying financial management during international travels.

Paypal

Paypal stands as a familiar and reliable service for both money transfers and payments, especially for those who prioritize widespread acceptance and ease of use. Its global presence and user-friendly platform make it a solid choice for sending and receiving funds internationally. Whether you’re paying for services or splitting travel expenses, PayPal’s seamless process and security features ensure your transactions are hassle-free.

Payoneer

Payoneer caters to those who need a robust platform for international payments and money transfers. Its strength lies in its versatility, supporting transactions in multiple currencies and offering services tailored for freelancers and businesses. If you’re working while traveling, Payoneer provides a convenient solution for receiving payments from clients worldwide, making it a valuable tool for digital nomads and remote workers.

ATM Cards

Revolut

Revolut offers a flexible ATM card perfect for international travelers. With no fees on ATM withdrawals up to $400 per month, it’s an ideal choice for those needing access to various currencies without extra costs. You’re also not bound to one ATM branch or network, making cash withdraws an ease. Furthermore, the app’s user-friendly interface makes managing your money on the go a breeze, adding convenience to your travel finances.

Charles Schwab

You’ll need a US address to apply, but Charles Schwab‘s High Yield Investor Checking Account has been a game changer for our travels. Its standout feature is the absence of all ATM fees, international transaction fees, service fees, and account minimums. We also recently we called customer service collect (they paid for our international call), and the help we received was impeccable. Tip: Apply early because it takes a long time to receive the card in the mail.

International Credit Cards

International credit cards can be a smart strategy for managing travel expenses and indulging in a variety of perks as long as you have the means to promptly pay the balance. We’re not recommending using credit cards if you cannot afford to pay the bill, but its worth noting the amazing perks that come alongside using these cards — our favorite is the hefty sign-on bonus redeemable for international flights or hotel stays. Other perks include supplemental travel insurance, reimbursements for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, and airport lounge access offering free food, drinks, and a place to relax on long layovers. Each card offers its own unique features, below are a few of our favorites.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Preferred is our first choice for a travel card, offering a great value for its $95 annual fee. Its prime feature is the 2x points on travel, 3x points on dining, including eligible delivery services, and 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards. These high earning rates make it especially appealing for those who frequently dine out or travel. With a current sign up bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months, and a 10% point boost annually, signing up for this card can easily earn you a free flight within a few months. 

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve positions itself for a premium travel experience. Though it’s $550 annually, $300 is credited back for travel expenses, effectively reducing the cost to $250 per year.  With 3x points on dining and travel, and 5x-10x points on flights, hotels, and car rentals booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, the return on purchases amplifies its value for frequent travelers. While its current 60,000 point sign on bonus stands out against competitors, its most notable feature is access to Priority Pass airport lounges globally, offering comfort during layovers with free food, drinks, and amenities. This card is perfect for those seeking luxury travel experiences and additional perks like a free guest pass for companions. In addition to lounge access, we particularly love this card for its TSA PreCheck and Global Entry $100 application credit every five years. Our recommendation is if you  need to complete a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application, its worth applying for this card and reaping the benefits. However, if you don’t need this, we’re torn between the Reserve and the Preferred. Frequent travelers will benefit from the savings and convenience of airport lounge access, but if you’re settling down in one location, we’d suggest the cheaper Preferred card to meet your needs. 

Capital One Venture Rewards Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Card is very similar to the Chase Sapphire Preferred with its $95 annual fee, yet shines with its double miles on every purchase. This simple yet powerful reward structure earns an unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, a feature that makes every dollar spent a step closer to your next travel goal. With a slightly higher sign up bonus than Chase Sapphire Preferred at 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first three months of account opening and the additional perk of TSA PreCheck and Global Entry $100 application credit, the Capital One Venture Rewards Card stands out as a premier credit card option.  While we personally have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, this card is next on our list to sign up for.

Capital One Venture X Rewards

Capital One Venture X Rewards priced at $395, provides an upscale travel experience with a host of luxury benefits, similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve Card. The $395 fee is subsidized by a $300 credit for bookings within Capital One Travel. This card stands out with its 2x miles on all purchases, and 5x-10x miles on flights, hotels, and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel, making it a lucrative option for regular travelers. With a competitive sign on bonus of 75,000 miles, access to Priority Pass airport lounges globally, and $100 credit for TSA PreCheck and Global Entry, this card is a top competitor for premium credit cards. The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a top pick for its straightforward approach and lower annual fee in contrast to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. 

Budgeting and Financial Planning

Price of Travel

Price of Travel is a valuable website for budget-conscious travelers, especially those embarking on their first backpacking journey. The site excels at providing an estimated cost per day for each city based on a moderate hostel, popular attractions, local transportation, budget meals, and one alcoholic beverage. Not only does it help with preparing a budget, but it gives an idea of what to do in the city. And the best part? You can view a side-by-side comparison of the cities ranked from cheapest to most expensive! Its standout feature, the “Backpacker Index,” ranks cities by cost across different regions or globally. This index is incredibly useful for planning and budgeting, offering a clear picture of expected daily expenses. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to understand and manage travel costs effectively.

Numbeo

Numbeo is an excellent resource for a deeper dive into the cost of living, differing from PriceofTravel by offering extensive data on a wide range of expenses. It provides detailed information on costs like groceries, dining out, and local transportation, making it ideal for those planning longer stays or considering moving abroad. Numbeo’s comprehensive database allows for a more nuanced understanding of day-to-day expenses in cities around the world. It’s a must-visit for those seeking a thorough budgeting tool. 

Nomad List

Nomad List stands out as a dynamic tool for digital nomads, offering a comprehensive platform that blends city data with social networking. It goes beyond just cost analysis, providing insights into factors like internet speed, weather, and social aspects of various global destinations. This site is particularly valuable for its community-driven approach, allowing nomads to connect, share experiences, and offer advice. Ideal for those seeking a holistic view of potential destinations, Nomad List is a crucial resource for planning your nomadic journey. 

TravelSpend

We do not travel anywhere without TravelSpend (iOS, Android).  While Trail Wallet was our trusty budgeting app for over 10+ years, its recent discontinuation has forced us to find an alternative and TravelSpend has emerged as a valuable tool. Available for both iOS and Android users, this app offers essential features like offline functionality, enabling you to track expenses even without an internet connection. Its foreign currency conversion tool simplifies the often complicated task of handling expenses in various currencies, a crucial aspect of international travel. Opting for TravelSpend’s Premium version removes ads and provides advanced reporting, enhancing your budgeting experience. Effective budgeting during travel is important as it helps you avoid overspending, ensures you can afford all planned activities, and allows for emergency funds. TravelSpend assists in maintaining a balanced travel budget, making it an ideal choice for mindful travelers.

Splitwise

Splitwise (iOS, Android) is our go-to app when traveling with friends, a significant other, or groups, as its ideal for tracking shared expenses. The app allows you to add expenses, categorize them, and even settle debts directly within the app, ensuring everyone pays their fair share. Its simplicity in managing group finances makes it a must-have tool for any travel involving friends, family, or colleagues. Plus, it’s available for both iOS and Android, catering to all users. Splitwise takes the awkwardness out of money talk and lets you focus more on enjoying your journey together.

Messenger Apps

WhatsApp

WhatsApp (iOS, Android) is our go-to for staying connected while traveling. It’s a lifesaver for international communication, using our existing phone numbers, so we’re always reachable without the hassle of switching numbers or SIMs. It’s the app we rely on for quick texts, catching up with fellow travelers, or sharing updates with family back home. Simple, familiar, and universally used, WhatsApp keeps us connected no matter where our travels take us.

Signal and Telegram

While we typically initiate conversations on other platforms, Signal (iOS, Android)  and Telegram (iOS, Android) are known for their robust security features. Signal stands out for its end-to-end encryption, ensuring that our messages and calls remain confidential. Telegram offers similar encryption and is favored for features like self-destructive messages, adding an extra layer of privacy. We keep these apps handy for instances where secure, private communication is paramount, especially when traveling in areas with strict digital surveillance or discussing sensitive information.

Voxer

We use Voxer (iOS, Android) specifically for client communications, as it provides a clear boundary from our primary messaging system, WhatsApp. This separation helps in maintaining professional interactions distinct from personal ones. Additionally, Voxer offers walkie-talkie-style voice messaging, which can be more efficient and personal than typing out texts or emails. This feature is particularly useful for quick, on-the-go updates or when a conversation requires the nuance of voice. 

Facebook and Instagram

Facebook and Instagram, along with other social media platforms, are our staples for staying connected. Whether it’s friends back home, fellow travelers, or local acquaintances, these platforms offer an easy way to maintain relationships. They’re accessible without a phone number over both Wi-Fi and local data, making them convenient for sharing updates, photos, and experiences from our travels. These platforms allow us to engage with a wide network with ease, keeping our social connections vibrant and updated, no matter where we are in the world.

Bumble, Tinder and Hinge

Apps like Bumble (iOS, Android), Tinder (iOS, Android), and Hinge (iOS, Android) are not just for dating, they’re also great for meeting new friends, especially while traveling. Tinder is widely available globally, Bumble is present in many areas, and Hinge is common in places with more permanent communities. It’s crucial to be upfront about your intentions and practice safe meet-up habits, such as informing someone of your plans, meeting in public places, and trusting your instincts. 

Other Apps

Google Translate

Google Translate (iOS, Android) is a necessary app to have if you find yourself lost in the middle of nowhere or looking to read the cough medicine label at a local pharmacy. Download the local language when you have wifi and Google Translate will use your camera to convert images of text to the local language. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done. Alternatively, if you have wifi or data, you can translate text into written or spoken form for communicating with locals. 

Duolingo

Duolingo (iOS, Android) is our top pick for a free language learning app. It’s a great supplement to real-world practice, especially alongside lessons with locals. Its fun, interactive lessons help reinforce what we learn from native speakers, making it a valuable tool in our language learning journey.

Google Drive

Google Drive (iOS, Android) is an essential tool for us, especially for creating, storing, and sharing files on the go. Its cloud storage capability ensures our important documents and files are always accessible, no matter where we are. We rely on it not only for its convenience but also for its collaboration features, allowing us to easily share travel plans, work documents, and photos with fellow travelers and colleagues. The option to pay for additional storage is a bonus, giving us the flexibility to expand our space as needed. 

VPN and Security

VPNs, or Virtual Private Networks, are vital for digital nomads, offering a secure way to access the internet while traveling. They encrypt your data, protecting you from the risks of using public Wi-Fi, which can often be unsecured and expose you to data breaches. VPNs are not just about security; they also enable access to region-restricted content. For instance, you might find that certain websites or services like Netflix have different libraries or are blocked in some countries. By using a VPN, you can bypass these geo-restrictions, ensuring you can access familiar content and essential websites from anywhere in the world. For digital nomads, who frequently rely on various internet sources, a VPN is a key tool for both protecting privacy and ensuring uninterrupted access to online resources. Here are our top VPN picks that balance security, ease of use, and accessibility for those living the nomadic lifestyle.

NordVPN

NordVPN is our VPN of choice and it stands out for its extensive global server network, fast speeds, and stable connections. It offers obfuscation and Threat Protection, and can protect up to 6 devices simultaneously on a single subscription. NordVPN is particularly adept at bypassing local censorship and provides 24/7 customer support, which is crucial for digital nomads needing assistance in real-time. We choose it for its high ratings, consistent coverage, low cost, and ease of use. 

Surfshark

Surfshark on the other hand, offers great value for money without compromising on quality. It includes features like an ad-blocker and VPN split tunneling. Its unique selling point is the unlimited device connections, making it ideal for digital nomads who often use multiple devices. Surfshark also provides consistent speeds and doesn’t keep logs of online activities.

LastPass

LastPass, while not a VPN, is an invaluable password management service, especially crucial for digital nomads juggling numerous online accounts. It securely stores and manages your passwords, ensuring you don’t have to memorize complex login details for each site or risk using simple, easy-to-hack passwords. LastPass also generates strong, unique passwords for your accounts, significantly enhancing your online security. It’s an essential tool for anyone who needs to access various online services securely, especially when frequently connecting to different networks and devices while on the move.

Wellbeing

Maintaining mental, physical, and emotional health, is paramount for digital nomads and frequent travelers. The constant changes and challenges of a nomadic lifestyle can take a toll, making it crucial to prioritize self-care. It’s not just about staying fit or eating healthily; it’s about nurturing your mental and emotional resilience. These are a few of our favorite apps that support a balanced, healthy lifestyle on the road.

5 Minute Journal

5 Minute Journal (iOS, Android) prompts you to write simple daily affirmations, items you’re grateful for, and ways to make the day great. This practice, taking just five minutes a day, can help you cultivate a positive mindset, increase mindfulness, and keep you grounded, no matter where you are in the world. It’s an ideal resource for anyone looking to enhance their mental well-being with a consistent, manageable routine.

Headspace

Headspace (iOS, Android), known for its ease of use and versatility, is an excellent meditation app for beginners and seasoned practitioners alike. It offers a range of meditation lengths to fit any schedule, perfect for busy digital nomads. The app starts with basic sessions that guide users through the fundamentals of meditation, making the start of your mindfulness journey as smooth as possible. Headspace offers free introductory content and the option to subscribe for full access to its extensive library if your choose to explore more resources for stress management, focus improvement, and better sleep.

C25K

C25K (Couch to 5K) app (iOS, Android) is a fantastic fitness tool for travelers and digital nomads, particularly for those new to running or looking to gradually build their endurance. With numerous fitness apps available, C25K stands out for its simplicity and accessibility, especially when you don’t have consistent access to a gym. The program is designed to ease beginners into running, combining walking and running in a way that gently increases stamina and fitness. It outlines a structured 9-week plan, with 3 runs per week, each lasting about 30 minutes. This approach makes it feasible to fit into a busy travel schedule and can be done anywhere, whether you’re in a bustling city or a quiet countryside. C25K guides you through each workout, making it an ideal choice for those who want a straightforward, effective way to stay active while on the move.

Books

Books are more than just a way to pass the time; they can be a source of inspiration, wisdom, and comfort, especially for digital nomads and travelers. While we love getting sucked into a great novel, these are a few inspiring reads that launched our desire to embrace to nomad lifestyle. 

The $100 Start Up - Chris Guillebeau

The $100 Start Up is a compelling read for digital nomads, offering inspiration and practical advice on building a successful venture with minimal investment. The book showcases various success stories, demonstrating how individuals have turned their passions into profitable businesses. We love it because it focuses on low-cost, creative entrepreneurship that digital nomads can do anywhere in the world. 

The 4-Hour Workweek - Timothy Ferriss

The 4-Hour Workweek is another inspirational book for those aspiring to break free from traditional 9-to-5 routines. It introduces the concept of lifestyle design and offers strategies for creating a life that balances work and leisure, a concept that aligns perfectly with the digital nomad ethos. The book is filled with tips on automation, outsourcing, and efficient time management, making it a must-read for anyone looking to adopt a more nomadic lifestyle.

Vagabonding - Rolf Potts

Vagabonding is a classic among travel enthusiasts and digital nomads. This book dives into the art of long-term world travel, providing practical advice and philosophical insights on life on the road. Potts emphasizes the importance of taking time to discover the world and oneself, offering an inspirational guide for those looking to embark on their own vagabonding journey. This book is particularly appealing to digital nomads for its celebration of simplicity, adventure, and the transformative power of travel.

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