Location independent workers can live in a different city each month, as they earn their paycheck. The first step of becoming a digital nomad is to find jobs which can be made remotely, then you have to find the right tools and gadgets to get the job done. Except for WiFi, here are the top tools a digital nomad needs in order to work from anywhere.
Long story short, here are the most important tools and gadgets you need to have.
Where to go
Nomad List and Work From are two platforms where you can find the best city you can call home in the next weeks. The website allows you to chat with other nomads and browse a list of cities, filtering them by essential features for a nomad, such as WiFi, the weather or the cost of living.
Work From is the little brother of Nomad List and it allows you to find work places around the globe. Each place is rated by other digital nomads, so you will know if there are vending machines around the workplace and how many power outlets are there, before you even step foot into the country.
Maps… an important topic for every traveler, but many digital nomads refuse to admit they need maps. When you are ready to face the reality, you need to know Google services don’t work all around the world. To be more precise, in China, they are blocked, so you will need Baidu Maps. Nokia Here is another app you can rely on in Asia. Another problem Google Maps is not solving is the public transportation directions: when you need to know which bus or train to take, download the local public transportation apps.
Maps are great when you are traveling, but one of the problems of a digital nomad is the taxi. Getting around is already tough in some areas of the world, especially when you don’t speak the language, but taxi drivers make it a nightmare. To skip the struggle of “talking with hands” to a taxi driver and the fear of being robbed on a dark street, you need to download couple of taxi apps. Uber is a good pick, as it works in most cities, but you might want to try EasyTaxi, Didi Kuaidi and GrabTaxi to find licensed taxi drivers.
Airbnb is the all time favorite for all digital nomads, but there are other great accommodation apps out there. Hostels, Hotels, Couchsurfing and Hostelbookers are some of the platforms you can use from your mobile or from a laptop to find a place to sleep during your nomad days. Look for last minute discounts and make sure you check the WiFi option.
What other digital nomads say
When you are traveling to a new place you want to know how other digital nomads rate it. For this, you can look on Yelp and TripAdvisor, where other nomads can rate the restaurants, museums, hostels and more. LonelyPlanet and Wikitravel are other two platforms where you can get insights on the places you are traveling to. If you want to contribute to these sites, you can add your own reviews. Instagram is another great platform: type in the destination with the hashtag and you can see what people are doing and saying.
Serious digital nomads have to rely on a VPN service if they want to continue to work across the world. Free services abound, but you should consider signing up to a paid service, which doesn’t limit your access to a secure connection. A VPN enables you to use the internet without having to submit to the random censorship imposed by governments in China, Vietnam or another country. With help from your VPN you can access social media platforms, live streaming and payment platforms, which are usually blocked by countries, along with games and mature content. A reliable VPN also protects you from hackers. Choosing one particular VPN service is hard, so you have to test several and then decide which one is best for you.
The list of apps and gadgets you need is really long, which means this article ends here, but stay tuned for a second episode.