How To Be A Digital Nomad And Live Cheap

The nomadic lifestyle is not for the faint of heart. For most, being a digital nomad means leaving behind friends and loved ones for long periods of time. In many cases, it also means turning their backs on the stability of a predictable income.

Despite these obvious downsides, it can be a dream worth-pursuing.

As a digital nomad, you get to enjoy the unique opportunity to live and work from anywhere in the world. This is definitely the ideal way of life for those who love to travel and have the ability to earn a living while they’re on the go. They get to see new places, make new friends, and explore different cultures.

If you’re planning to hit the road soon, you need to be aware of the realities of digital nomadism. For a start, the lifestyle isn’t necessarily all sunshine and rainbows! You’ll encounter certain challenges as you keep moving from place to place. Case in point, you may find it prohibitively expensive if you’re not observing best practices.

Fret not, however, because we’re here to give you some useful budgeting advice to help you avoid financial headaches along the way. As you can tell from the title, this article is all about how digital nomads can travel on a tight budget.

Accommodation options for digital nomads

First off, you don’t have to stay in costly hotels. If you’re hoping to save money, you should definitely look around for other options.

For example, you can check out private Airbnb rentals in your target destination. Typically, these are less expensive and you get to use money-saving amenities such as a kitchen and washer. Booking stays of a month or longer can yield discounts of up to 50 percent in some cases. Plus, WiFi usually comes as part of the package - just be sure to confirm with the hosts that it’s fast and reliable. 

Of course, budget hotels are also a thing. Just make sure to compare packages and read reviews to find the best deals.  

Another idea is to look for local house sitting opportunities. And guess what? You’ll spend nothing on this. Yes, you get to stay in someone’s house or apartment for FREE. In return, you will need to do basic house chores for the homeowners. This means taking care of their pets or watering their plants.

Legit housesitting platforms include:

Travel tips for digital nomads

The recent rise in fuel costs may have caused some to think twice about traveling. Digital nomads, on the other hand, are always looking for ways to keep moving.

To find cheap airfares, the trick is to book early. Plus you can also use online services such as:

While shopping around, you can even search by city or by date to see available cheap tickets.

As far as public transport is concerned, it’s often best to commute and use local buses, trains, and other options (such as Grab Car). You may also consider renting bicycles or e-scooters to cut your travel expenses further. Avoid private taxis as much as possible.

Workspaces for digital nomads

Sitting on a beach with a laptop may be the fantasy for most. But no, that so rarely happens if you’re a busy digital nomad. In some instances, you’ll be working from your bed to catch up on work.

At other times, you may work from cafes where you can order food and drinks while using free WiFi.

Alternatively, you can look for coworking spaces in your location. Here in New York City, The Farm SoHo offers affordable packages that can meet your needs and budget. Want to stay for a day? We have a day pass for that. We also have hot desks, dedicated desks, or even private offices.  In addition, we’re open 24/7!

The importance of travel and health insurance for digital nomads

Resist the temptation to skip this in an attempt to save money. As a digital nomad, travel and health insurance coverage are crucial. And there are excellent providers out there with reasonable offers.

Some top choices for travel and health insurance are:

Having insurance coverage will give you peace of mind, especially if you’re a frequent traveler.

What about your food?

If you’re not cautious, you may end up spending big bucks on meals. It’s okay to dine out or order takeaways but here’s a warning: Doing that too often will consume a huge chunk out of your budget.

Instead, you should try to put your cooking skills to use. If you’re the adventurous type, you might want to try local delicacies, which are usually cheap yet delicious and nutritious.

Basic tech tools digital nomads need

A laptop and a mobile device are among the most necessary equipment of digital nomads. You will likewise need to install apps such as Slack, Zoom and Whatsapp to stay in touch with your clients, family and friends.

Also, you may want to join online communities for digital nomads. There are numerous Facebook groups out there and they can be a valuable resource if you need area-specific information.  

One essential piece of equipment every digital nomad should have is a portable power bank. This will come in very handy when you don't have access to charging facilities while travelling.

Lastly, don’t forget to buy a local SIM card to get mobile internet access anytime, anywhere. This could be a great back-up in case you end up in places with slow connectivity.

Final thoughts

Ready to pack your bags? As a newbie digital nomad, you definitely want to make the most of your experience. We hope this short guide has been helpful!

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