If I had a dollar for every person I’ve heard say…
“I want to be a digital nomad!”
“Guys, where can I find a digital nomad job?”
“Teach me to be a digital nomad!”
… I’d be one rich bitch.
The thing is, a digital nomad ISN’T a job! It’s a person who happens to have a job that can be done remotely. And there are tons of digital nomad jobs out there too! You may even be able to get into one faster than you think.
Thanks to the internet, everything is done on computers now. I don’t believe offices will become completely obsolete, but damn close to it. Why house a bunch of employees who work behind a desk when they can do everything from home?
Companies are catching on to this massive money saver and they don’t want your ass in their office costing them more money!
It’s a great thing. Having location independent jobs is the future. People don’t have to commute, they can spend more time at home with their family or doing their hobbies, companies save money, people can be happier without having to slog through traffic at 6 am every day… Lots of benefits! Hardly any downfalls.
So what type of digital nomad jobs are there? How does one start?
Want to know the most legit site for finding digital nomad jobs? NOW!
I got you! Check here for current remote positions (no BS!)
Top Digital Nomad Jobs
There’s a lot that can go into figuring this out, but just know, that you DON’T need the experience to work abroad or online. Sure, it would definitely help but being super motivated to take control of what you want in life and moving forward no matter what to reach a goal—this is what you really need.
Read that post above after this if you’re still unsure what location independent job is best for you and also read my post about the realities of digital nomad life so you get the big picture.
Hopefully, this list shows you the world of possibilities with digital nomad jobs and helps you narrow your path for your future career!
➡️ Digital Nomad Tips
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3. Make sure you’re COVERED abroad!
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Digital Nomad Jobs: Writing
Yes, the blogger is telling you to become a blogger. But for a good reason. You can make money in so many ways through your blog and you can literally blog about anything.
There are seven and a half billion people in the world. If you love something and are passionate enough to write about it, the odds are excellent that there are thousands, if not millions, of people who are also into that same thing and want to read about it.
You could blog about anything from world travel (hello!) to knitting, and there will be people interested in your niche. You can build a website for super cheap on WordPress through BlueHost, but if you’re serious, you’ll get on with SiteGround (BlueHost isn’t that great in my experience, they are just cheap!). Just choose a domain name and get to writing!
Of all the digital nomad jobs, this is one of the best out there, and it lays the foundation for many other opportunities. Oh, but let’s not forget, while this is all very easy on the surface, actually making money doing it isn’t! Trust me!
Blogging can take YEARS to actually earn you cash so you REALLY have to love what you’re blogging about and would do it with or without the money. There’s a lot to teach yourself as well. You almost have to be a combo of many of the digital nomad jobs that I’ll tell you about below.
You’ll have to be a graphic and website designer, social media manager, writer, editor, marketer… I wear ALL of these hats. The only way around doing it all is if you have money to pay for someone to do some of these tasks (which you probably won’t in the beginning, like I didn’t)
Now, I have a Pinterest manager (social media manager), a VA (virtual assistant), and even a few writers that help me out! But it took me years to get here so again, I’m placing this at the top of the digital nomad job list but I will say, without a doubt, this one is the hardest to break into and actually make money with.
So… Start it now, but also start something else that will make you money now.
I was a freelance writer and online English teacher while my blog was getting built up in the background.
Ways you can make money blogging:
There are more than just three ways but these are the most common…
You basically let Google, or other advertising networks, put advertisements on your website and you get paid based on the traffic you get to your site. I display Mediavine ads, which as you read this, earns me a bit of money. No clicking necessary, just you scrolling. So… thanks!
- Affiliate Marketing
You get paid for selling a product related to a particular post. For example, in my piece on What to Wear in Morocco, I link to Amazon for an infinity scarf. If you click and buy, I make a commission from Amazon, and it doesn’t cost you a single extra cent!
- Sponsored Posts
Companies will pay you to write a piece on their product or company, or they may have a piece ready for publishing pending your approval.
Other ways include selling your own products and services through your blog.
Resources for Being a Blogger:
RELATED: How To Work Abroad & Travel the World.
2. Freelance Writer/Copywriter
And speaking of freelancing, you could be a freelance writer. Companies across the world are looking for content providers for their sites.
Even bloggers who are busy living the lives they blog about often need a little help keeping the content on their site flowing freely. Set up a profile on a freelance website like Upwork or Fiverr and start applying for jobs that fit your niche.
Make sure you have a niche! There are a million freelance writers out there; your edge will be that you’ve got experience in the field they specialize in, so you’ll be “speaking their language.”
Copywriting work is similar to a content writer. You could provide written copy (sales content) for a product or service, and you could do this for companies selling to consumers or companies trying to sell to other companies. As a freelancer, you can work for several clients at the same time and work on multiple copywriting projects. Sometimes a company will only hire you for one project, but other times, it could be a long-term partnership with continuous projects.
Resources for Being a Writer or Copywriter:
Sites for Finding Freelance Writing Work (and more):
Okay, so being an editor doesn’t exactly qualify as writing but requires similar skills.
You may not have what it takes to develop brilliant copy but you could have a brilliant eye for spotting mistakes. You can hire yourself out to check grammar and rhetoric, punctuation and tone. Also, you may fact-check drafts and make sure the structure flows to get the author’s point across. Editors must be able to pay great attention to detail, have quality writing skills and excellent research skills.
There are a multitude of nomad jobs for editors such as proofreading texts for freelance writers and publishing companies. Your clients may have you editing anything from textbooks and research papers to essays and blog posts. Editors are often a vital tool for writers since the right adjustments to their work can take it to the next level.
Offer your services as a great editor, and you can turn a raw piece of writing into a masterpiece. Some writers don’t have time to pay attention to detail, or maybe they don’t have the eye for it. If you do, let people pay you for it.
Resources for Being a Proofreader or Editor:
Digital Nomad Jobs: Creatives
This one is not easy. Photography is a highly competitive nomad job and standing out from the crowd is tough. But if it’s your passion and you truly love doing it, take a shot (literally). There is a high demand for superb photographers, and you can make some good money by putting in the time and effort.
The beautiful thing about photography is that you don’t necessarily have to travel, although it’s life goals to integrate that, right? But nowadays people want destination weddings, and they need a photographer to capture the moments of their big day. Maybe a company has a travel-friendly product, and they need a photographer to snapshot it in action?
Stay driven, pick a niche (are we tired of hearing this yet?) and you’ll be taking amazing shots that will earn you a profit. There are dozens of photography niches to choose from such as landscape, fashion, food, events and the list goes on. Find what inspires you in life and practice your skills to photograph spectacular moments.
It’s a good idea to start making a name for yourself right away. Work for free or super cheap from where you are while you learn the basics. Sell photos to anyone who will pay, then grow from there.
Resources for Being a Photographer:
Yes, this one can be tough too, but it doesn’t have to be as grueling as some make it out to be. This is one digital nomad job where practice makes perfect. Finding the right camera angles, lighting and sound editing are all important aspects to make a fantastic production.
Once you get your hands on a camera and whatever equipment you need, start recording tons of videos for whatever inspires you. Maybe family events, local sports or busy locations? Put together a reel of your best clips and practice editing them into your own miniseries.
After whipping up a video portfolio, you can offer your services locally or in foreign countries. Video weddings and bat mitzvahs can be nomad jobs in whichever city you live. Sell your services to local boards and websites as a “man/woman of the world with a keen eye for video.”
Meanwhile, you could build your own YouTube following, set up your website, and start posting videos of your experiences.
Resources for Being a Videographer:
6. YouTube Channel
Speaking of YouTube, you can make a YouTube Channel for anything nowadays. You can teach lessons, vlog about your travels, rant about motherhood, or engage in political discussions. There are viewers out there for everything!
Once your channel has built an audience, you can make money off advertisements. This nomad job won’t make you a hefty income off the bat, but if it’s something you’re passionate about, money can follow.
Start small by making videos and post them online. It’s the age of video right now. And as digital nomad jobs go, this one can be really fun. People want to see your face and hear you tell your truth. So if you have something to say, say it! People will not only listen, but they will pay you for it. Make your personality shine!
Besides advertisement money, you can also work with brands and make money that way. If you’re into cryptocurrency, you can even start ranking in coins virtually with platforms like Steemit.
Resources for Being a YouTuber:
If you have lots to talk about but don’t like having your face on camera, why not take a shot at being a podcaster? Drop some knowledge on an audience seeking opinions or advice on the subject matter you’re an expert in. People listen to podcasts on their computers, iPods, and smartphones. Your listeners literally have your voice in their back pocket.
Much like other nomad jobs, building an audience is key to a successful platform and the money will not roll in overnight. You’ll need the right tools to produce quality audio, and your personality play a big part in attracting a following. Content creation is important and you’ll have to organize each episode before you air it to the public. Not to mention, having top-notch guests can give your podcast a boost.
You can earn money from advertisements or working with brands, but successful podcasters are experts at diversifying their income.
Resources for Being a Podcaster:
8. Social Media Manager
If you spend a ton of time on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, or LinkedIn, or all of the above, you’re already poised to become a social media manager. Yes, this nomad job pays you to play around on social media all day. It may sound like a piece of cake, but you need to know what you’re doing.
Companies are fast learning that they can get a lot of attention for their products on social media. Writers need people to promote their products for them so they can focus on their writing. All you have to do is set yourself up on your own website, and offer packages to your clients, charging according to the time you put in.
As a social media manager, you’ll represent the brand on all their social media platforms to interact with followers, create content and build their online presence. In today’s digital world, these platforms are one of the best ways to drive traffic to a business website. That’s where you come in, increasing the number of customers to boost the profits for the business.
You’d be surprised how many businesses don’t have this role filled in-house and require a social media expert. If you know the ins and outs of every platform, this a nomad job you need to hop on.
Resources for Being a Social Media Manager:
Just like a social media manager, you need to be media savvy to do well with this one. But if you’re a pro on social media platforms like Instagram, companies will pay you to promote their products to your audience. Literally, all you have to do is mention their product, shampoo, nail polish, etc., and you get paid per post.
OK, there’s actually a lot more work that goes into it, but this is the basic gist. Companies are essentially paying you for your existing influence within your little tribe that you’ve cultivated.
Before you can think about companies paying you to promote their products, you have to build a solid following on your social media page. Gaining followers is no simple task and WAY more difficult than people imagine. It takes the perfect combination of attention-grabbing pictures, imaginative captions, user interaction and a glowing personality.
Although it might take years to build a dedicated group of followers who genuinely love your content, it can lead to awesome partnerships. If you have hundreds of thousands of followers, you might even have businesses contact you to promote their brand.
Resources for Being an Influencer:
10. Graphic Designer
If you have a knack for visuals and creating designs, a graphic designer has your name written on it. Whether you create designs by hand or generate them on a computer screen, many businesses value having sharp graphics to represent their brand. Some businesses need to come up with a new logo that represents their image or create advertising campaigns that attract new customers.
After meeting with clientele, you’ll have a firm grasp of how your artistic talents can help their vision come to life. This visuals you create can include everything from brochures and magazines to images for the business website. Companies of all sizes need talented graphic designers and this gives you the opportunity to work on all sorts of fun projects.
During your spare time, find what inspires you and work on side projects to include in your portfolio. You want to have examples of your work to show potential clients whenever you apply for jobs.
You’ll find tons of graphic design jobs on freelance sites, so don’t be afraid to make this a full-time digital nomad job. Even better, there are now freelance sites that are solely dedicated to graphic designers.
Resources for Being a Graphic Designer
Digital Nomad Jobs: Tech-Savvy
11. Website Designer
If you’ve got website design skills, you can travel the world and do your work remotely right now. Major corporations, small businesses, and individual bloggers trying to earn money online while traveling all have a huge demand for website designers. Many people don’t think of web design as a digital nomad job, but why not? All you need is a good laptop and internet connection.
Whether you freelance or work for a company and receive a salary, there is a lot of flexibility for website designers. However, getting started will be difficult if you’ve never put your skills to the test. Having experience in the field or having a portfolio of live websites you’ve designed goes a long way to helping you get hired. Not only will you have to develop and maintain websites, but you must have knowledge in graphic design and computer programming.
Web knowledge is still minimal for most people, even seasoned bloggers and other people who run a remote business, and they are always looking for a web designer or consultant. Build your own website to showcase your skill with a “Work With Me” page, and then promote yourself on social media and freelance sites.
Resources for Being a Website Designer:
12. SEO Specialist
It’s one thing to design a flawless website, but what about making sure it gets viewed by thousands, or even millions, of people online? That’s where an SEO specialist comes in handy.
SEO, for those that don’t know, stands for Search Engine Optimization. It’s what makes a blog post or website searchable on Google. Great SEO can get an article or website to the top of thousands of Google pages.
SEO specialists use a variety of proven methods that optimize a website to ensure it ranks high in Google searches and drives more traffic. These methods can include content, web design, or advertising to make the website more search engine friendly. You must understand the use of keywords and how they’re utilized by search engines. It’s tricky to learn SEO and even tougher to master it.
And if you understand SEO, even a little bit, build on it and sell your services. You can quickly rise to the top of your market. People will pay big money to get their website noticed by a large audience. Getting a site to the first page of a Google search is worth big money.
Resources for Being an SEO Specialist:
13. App Developer
An offshoot of website design is an app developer. If you’ve got great ideas for apps that can improve someone’s life, companies want to hear about it. You can end up creating the next Map My Run or other fitness app.
The mobile app world is booming right now and the demand for creative developers is off the charts. With the evolution of smartphones, the app development industry will continue to thrive for a long time. If you already have skills in computer programming and source code, you already have a leg up on the competition.
Even better, a degree in computer science or information systems will help you stand out amongst other aspiring app developers.
If you have the computer skills to develop programs, you can let your imagination run wild. There could literally be an app for anything. And you can build this app from anywhere. That’s the epitome of a digital nomad job.
Resources for Being an App Developer:
14. Tech Support
Maybe you work in tech support for an established company, but your employer won’t consider the idea of working remote. However, more companies are jumping on the idea of letting their employees work outside the office and this is great news for those who work in IT.
If your employer refuses to let you work from home, find a company that will! There are tons of customer service and tech support positions that would make great digital nomad jobs. You just need to be available for phone service or internet chats at certain times of the day. You can resolve hardware, software, IT systems, and network issues over the phone or through chat just like you would in person.
If you find the right company, or build one, you could arrange your schedule to check your email inbox regularly enough to take on tech support tasks at your leisure.
Resources for Being a Tech Supporter:
Digital Nomad Jobs: Teaching
15. Consulting & Coaching
Got a law degree or Personal Trainer certificate? You could run a consulting business from your laptop anywhere in the world. Set up personalized plans for clients and design packages around the level of support each client needs.
You could be a writing coach or a life coach, helping people hold themselves accountable to the goals they have established. Build a website showcasing your abilities and include a “Work With Me” page to show future clients what you offer and how to contact you.
Make sure to find your niche and that you’re passionate about the service you are providing potential clients. When people seek consultants or coaches, they expect an expert in the field who can provide tons of knowledge. You may need a certificate to prove your expertise depending on which career path you choose.
Marketing and networking are two crucial skills you’ll need to promote your services and attract a steady flow of clients. Build a website, find your target audience and promote your business on social media to drive traffic to your site.
Resources for Being a Consultant and Coach:
You can literally teach or offer a service doing almost anything! These are just a few examples:
- How to Become a Top Freelance Consultant
- How to Teach Yoga Teacher Online
- How to Be an Online Fitness Coach
- How to Be a Marketing Consultant
16. Online Teacher
So many teachers want to travel, and they have summers off too! But so few of them realize they already have nomad jobs. As a teacher, you could also use your language skills to teach English or another language online. English has become the universal language and there is a high demand around the world for native speakers.
Becoming an online English teacher is often a gateway nomad job for many people looking to travel abroad.
And there are tons of companies that allow you to teach children or adults online from the comfort of home. If you want to create your own online teaching business, you can promote your skills and charge clients the rate of your preference.
But English isn’t the only subject you can literally teach any language.
Really, you could teach anything online. Get paid to tutor kids or business professionals online. You could even set up your own YouTube channel with lessons on anything from Chemistry to History and then advertise for your private lessons via Skype.
Resources for Being a Teacher or Tutor:
Digital Nomad Jobs: Languages
Translators are always in high demand, and much of the work comes in the form of location independent jobs. Connect to the right company, and you could make a ton of money.
Again, it’s always a good idea to have a website that showcases your services; write a piece in both languages on the work you do, your linguistic background, and your services. Promote yourself on social media platforms to attract potential clients, especially professional ones.
If you have a certificate or passed a proficiency test, highlight that accomplishment on your website and resume. It’s one thing to be fluent in a second language, but proving you can speak, read and write in the language like a native speaker is a treasured skill.
If you translate copy, you can actually combine two skills, copywriting and translation. The important thing is to pick a niche, such as law, finance, copywriting, education, and then sell your services in that arena.
Resources for Being a Translator:
- A Guide to Becoming a Translator
- How to Make Money as a Freelance Translator
- Steps to Becoming a Professional Translator
Don’t speak a second language? No problem! You can translate the spoken word to the written word of your native tongue for good money. Essentially, anytime a company takes minutes on a meeting, or a courthouse uses a stenographer, those events need to be transcribed into a typed document that can be filed somewhere for posterity.
You could be that typist. And all you need is a laptop with whichever doc software the company requires, and they will typically provide that software for you.
The job requires excellent listening skills, lightning-fast typing, attention to detail and an eye for grammar. If you can turn audio files into an error-free document, this nomad job can open doors into numerous professional industries.
Resources for Being a Transcriber:
Digital Nomad Jobs: “Desk Jobs”
Got a knack for pitching a product and closing the deal? More sales take place over the phone or through internet chats, and this could be a natural fit if you’re passionate about the product you’re selling. Find a reputable sales company that will let you work remotely or sell your own product.
In fact, you could hire someone to write content for you around your product. For example, you could be a jewelry maker or designer. Hire a content or copywriter to promote your products on your website and sell your items on your site.
At the same time, you could sell your digital product, an Ebook or How-To Guide, if you are indeed a writer.
If you’re quick to respond to leads, deliver a stellar presentation, know how to respond to objections and can close the deal, there’s a lot of potential with this nomad job.
Resources for Being a Seller:
20. Virtual Assistant
This field is new, growing, and thriving. If you have been an assistant in the past, an admin, or have great attention to detail, you can make a ton of money handling people’s personal business, correspondences, and appointments. You could even start your own virtual assistant consulting firm.
You’d be surprised how many online businesses need help with administrative tasks or simply don’t want to do the work themselves. If you’re organized and skilled at managing multiple office tasks, then you could relieve lots of stress from overwhelmed business owners.
Your daily tasks can include answering phone calls/emails, organizing your client’s calendar, scheduling meetings, content creation, research, social media management and making travel arrangements. By taking the administrative work off their hands, your clients will have more time to expand their business.
Highlight any past administrative work on your resume and promote yourself on social media or your own website. Networking will take time, but stay persistent to get your name out there to potential clients.
Once you make a name for yourself with a handful of clients, you can establish your own company and hire employees, all of whom you manage remotely, offering them digital nomad jobs as well, taking a small fee for the connection.
Resources for Being a VA:
- How To Become a Full-Time Virtual Assistant
- How to network as a Virtual Assistant
- Skills Needed to be a Virtual Assistant
21. Work Remotely for Your Company
Perhaps you don’t even have to leave your company. Check with your HR department, run a search on your company website, and you may find that your company already offers remote work. You could find a travel position or the opportunity to work from home, which means from Tahiti or Thailand.
Hey, if you never ask your boss about the possibility, you’ll never know what he/she might say. Make a list of talking points and develop a detailed presentation emphasizing why your job can be done from home. You can create a digital nomad job for yourself without having to switch jobs or change careers.
In fact, many companies will help you figure out how to negotiate a remote or travel position with your company, even if it doesn’t already offer it.
Resources for Being Your Own Boss:
Digital Nomad Jobs: Entrepreneurial
22. Day Trader
Big money is waiting for you here. If you are good with numbers and patient enough to learn the ins and outs of the stock market, get into this location independent job. Day trading can provide you with a ton of money if you are comfortable with buying and selling stock.
You’ll need to understand how the market works, how it’s regulated, and which stocks should be held onto and which can be sold off quickly for a profit. After some trial and error, this could easily become a full-time profession, remotely, which makes it one of the potentially most profitable digital nomad jobs out there.
Resources for Being a Day Trader:
23. Drop Shipping
Someone who runs a drop-shipping store sets it up online, in a niche market, like knitting products, phone screen protectors, etc. and sells those products on the site. The catch is that the product is not yours, and you don’t ship it yourself. So, you are a middleman (or woman!) between a producer and a warehouse.
The advantage to your customers is that you sell all the products on one site so they can compare and contrast each item. All you do then is take orders and have the warehouse(s) you connect with ship them.
The key is marketing your site to attract more customers who are looking for your product(s). If you select the right niche, sell a product in high demand and partner with a reliable supplier, then you could have a lot of success in the ecommerce business. Once you set up your website, you can run ads on social media platforms to target the audience you believe is interested in your products.
Resources for Being a Drop Shipper:
MUST READ NEXT:
- Start freelancing, it’s pretty much the way to start in most of the jobs on the list.
- Here are some free online tools you can use to make working online easier.
- These are all the realities of being a digital nomad you should keep in mind.
- Here are 56 websites for you to work “from home” wherever that may be!
- Use these side job ideas NOW so you can travel sooner.
- Find out all the countries that offer Digital Nomad Visas
Things to Note About These Digital Nomad Jobs:
And my apologies if some of these things are very obvious but I think I’m a bit obligated to state some of these things for the few special people out there that may stumble on this…
- Each job listed here is a REAL job that pays.
- Each job here likely won’t need a work visa but that’s because remote work is still a gray area. Please look at the country you wish to live and travel in for information regarding visas and their take on remote workers.
- Please note, I’m not a job board, and no, I can’t help you find an actual job. I provide FREE information in regards to how you can find work, what type of work is available etc, but I will not help in finding you an actual job.
- Some jobs on this list are temporary, one-off, or side gigs, but most of them are legit part-time or full-time jobs. It all depends on the opportunity you find.
- Lastly, I have provided resources above for every job but the best way to find more information regarding specific jobs is to Google it. Remember, if you don’t have experience, you just need motivation!
Benefits and Challenges of Being a Digital Nomad
Ah, the digital nomad life. It sounds dreamy, right? Traveling the world, working from exotic locations, and living life on your own terms. But is it all sunshine and rainbows? Let’s dive into the benefits and challenges of being a digital nomad because, let me tell you—there are not-so-glamorous things about this life too.
- Flexibility: One of the biggest benefits of being a digital nomad is the flexibility to work from anywhere, at any time. Want to take a midday break to explore a new city? Go for it! Need to work in the evening to accommodate a client in a different time zone? No problem. I’m also my own boss on top of it so my schedule is MEGA flexible.
- Adventure: Traveling to new places and experiencing different cultures is a huge perk of the digital nomad lifestyle. From hiking volcanoes in Indonesia to sampling street food in Mexico, the world is your oyster… or taco… or whatever you want it to be!
- Personal growth: Living and working outside of your comfort zone can be challenging, but it can also lead to personal growth and development. You’ll learn to be adaptable, self-sufficient, and open-minded. I’m grateful for this one as I think I wouldn’t have grown as much “back home.”
- Building a network: As a digital nomad, you’ll meet people from all over the world and build a network of like-minded individuals. Who knows? You may even meet your next business partner or client on the road. I mean, I met my life partner abroad, so there’s that too! I will say though building a network while on the road is challenging, which brings me to…
- Loneliness: While the digital nomad lifestyle can be exciting, it can also be isolating. Without the structure and routine of a traditional office or life, it can be challenging to form meaningful connections with others. I know I just mentioned network above, and that’s great and all, but when you mix travel in, it means everyone is everywhere! You can mitigate this by trying to stay places longer.
- Finding a work-life balance: When your work and life are intertwined, it can be difficult to switch off and disconnect. It’s important to establish boundaries and prioritize self-care. This is even worse if you’re self-employed. Or even worse, self-employed and a travel blogger! That’s me—it’s rough sometimes!
- Unpredictability: Travel delays, unreliable Wi-Fi, and other unexpected challenges can throw a wrench in your plans. It’s important to be adaptable and have backup plans in place but also it’s OK to have a mini-breakdown too, because shit happens. It can wear you down sometimes!
- Financial instability: Freelancing and remote work can be unpredictable, leading to financial instability and uncertainty. It’s important to have a solid financial plan and emergency savings in place and know that this lifestyle is amazing but can get rocky randomly. I once had to live on $10/day for 1.5 months, waiting for my first payment to come in on a remote job I started—EEK!
Top Tools and Apps for Remote Workers Abroad
As a digital nomad, having the right tools and apps can make your life easier and more efficient. There are many options available, but here are some things I use…
- Asana: A project management tool that helps you keep track of tasks and deadlines. I’m not being dramatic when I say I’d die without this tool.
- Notes: Good ol’ Notes app that allows you to save ideas and information from anywhere—Literally would be lost without it.
- E-SIMs and Data: How can you live without this?! There’s a lot to say so peep this post on international SIM cards.
- Google Drive: A cloud-based storage service that allows you to access your files from anywhere—How would remote life move along without it?!
- Maps: Google Maps AND Maps.Me – Both are essential apps for navigating new places and finding local hotspots. This one is obvious!
How to Choose the Best Destination for Digital Nomads
Choosing the right destination as a digital nomad is important for your productivity, quality of life, and overall happiness. There’s really no real answer I can give you, only you can answer this. So here are some things you should ask yourself…
- Consider the cost of living: Budget is key, my friends! Research the cost of living in potential destinations to make sure it aligns with your financial goals. For example, cities like Chiang Mai in Thailand or Medellin in Colombia offer a great balance of affordable living costs and a high quality of life.
- Check the Wi-Fi situation: Trust me, a reliable internet connection is your digital lifeline. Make sure your chosen destination has fast and stable Wi-Fi. Pro tip: Nomad-friendly places like Bali, Estonia, or Lisbon are known for their tech-savvy environments. Use Reddit, Google, and check Nomad List.
- Embrace the time zone dance: If you’re working with clients or a remote team, consider the time zone difference. You don’t want to be conducting meetings at 3 a.m. (unless you’re a night owl, of course!). Being in a similar time zone can make collaboration much easier.
- Explore visa requirements: Before packing your bags, check the visa requirements for your target destination. Some countries offer digital nomad visas that allow you to work legally from their country for longer (remember what we talked about above regarding staying longer to prevent loneliness/lack of community!). Otherwise, here’s help on figuring out how long you can stay without the use of special visas.
- Seek out a supportive community: Connecting with like-minded folks is vital for a fulfilling digital nomad experience. Look for destinations with a thriving nomad community, coworking spaces, and events where you can meet fellow adventurers. Although, these spots tend to cost a bit more and get a bit overhyped, so it’s a fine line to walk here.
- Follow your passions: Do you love surfing? Are you a foodie at heart? Choose a destination that aligns with your interests and hobbies. Whether it’s catching waves in Costa Rica or indulging in culinary delights in Italy, combining work and passion creates a truly fulfilling nomadic lifestyle. I have to choose spots that offer something outdoorsy, that’s why I usually find good hiking or surfing destinations.
- Consider safety and infrastructure: Your safety and comfort matter! Research destinations with a stable political climate, low crime rates, and reliable infrastructure.
Best Countries for Digital Nomads
There are many countries that offer excellent infrastructure, affordable cost of living, and a great quality of life! Here are some that I personally love mixed with some other popular spots that are high on the digital nomad radar.
- Portugal: With its sunny beaches, charming cities, and affordable living costs, Portugal has become a hub for digital nomads in recent years. The country offers a startup-friendly environment, fast Wi-Fi, and a thriving expat community. It’s one of my favorite countries, I’m often in the Algarve.
- Mexico: From the bustling streets of Mexico City to the beach towns of Sayulita and Puerto Escondido, Mexico has something for every digital nomad. The country boasts affordable living costs, delicious cuisine, and a vibrant culture. Again this one is high on my list, AND Americans get six months visa-free.
- Thailand: Known for its friendly locals, beautiful beaches, and mouth-watering street food, Thailand is a popular destination for digital nomads and where I first started too! The country offers reliable Wi-Fi (excluding the islands), it’s affordable and laid-back. I loved living and working in Thailand.
- Colombia: From the colorful streets of Cartagena to the trendy neighborhoods of Medellin, Colombia is a gem for digital nomads. While I found Medellin to be OK for living, I LOVED the country overall.
- Spain: With its warm climate, stunning architecture, and delicious cuisine, Spain is a popular destination for digital nomads too, and they just introduced a digital nomad visa. I’m obsessed with Spain, and I plan on basing here more in the future.
- Vietnam: Hanoi is bustling and the beaches of Da Nang are calling! Vietnam is a top destination for digital nomads too, and it’s pretty obvious why.
- Germany: If you’re looking for a stable and reliable destination, Germany is a great option. The country is known for its high standard of living, efficient public transportation, and a thriving startup scene. Although getting their working visas isn’t for the faint of heart if that’s what you’re after.
- Costa Rica: Known for its stunning natural beauty and laid-back lifestyle, Costa Rica is a popular destination for lots of people, especially digital nomads. It’s not nearly as cheap as its neighbors, though!
- Bali, Indonesia: Last but certainly not least, Bali is a top destination for digital nomads seeking a tropical paradise. The island offers a lot, and I love Bali, but I haven’t been since it’s blown up and I’m kinda scared to now! Ha! I’m sure I’ll visit again soon.
How to Manage Your Finances as a Digital Nomad
Managing your finances as a digital nomad can be challenging, but there are ways to make it easier! I got some tips for ya…
- Create a budget: Before you embark on your digital nomad journey, create a budget that includes all your expenses and income streams. Make sure to include a buffer for unexpected expenses and emergencies. Don’t forget flights and visas too!
- Fee-free ATM cards: Banking abroad is inevitable for digital nomads, and getting an ATM card with no fees is a MUST otherwise, you’re throwing money away. I use Charles Schwab. I NEVER use money exchanges.
- Consider your taxes: No advice here, I’m not a tax professional, and this stuff gets confusing! Get yourself in the know with all the rules or hire someone! I did it myself for many years, but it’s gotten more complicated the bigger my business gets, so I’ve hired a CPA to assist that specializes in taxes for nomads.
- Use a travel rewards credit card: A travel rewards credit card can help you save money on flights, hotels, and other travel expenses. It’s literally free money. Make sure to choose a card with no foreign transaction fees and a good rewards program! Read more about travel cards here.
- Save for retirement and invest: As a digital nomad, it’s important to plan for your future and save for retirement, and sometimes, depending on your job, you’re left to deal with this ALONE! I loved using Acorns for investing as a “dummy” and for my Roth IRA.
- Track your expenses: Keeping track of your expenses is key to managing your finances as a digital nomad. Use a budgeting app (I like Money Lovers) or a spreadsheet (eek!) to track your spending, plus it’s great notes for the future, I love looking back and knowing what I spent each month.
- Use Wise: Transfering money and dealing with different currencies? Wise is the answer! There’s also the Wise Travel Card.
How to Stay Productive While Working Remotely
Staying productive as a digital nomad can be a challenge, as there are many distractions and a lack of structure in your day. Some tips for staying productive include:
- Create a designated workspace: Picture this—a cozy nook in a café or a desk in a bustling coworking space. Find what works for you! This can be a challenge, and no, working by the pool on a sunny day isn’t realistic!
- Embrace routine (but not too much!): Let’s face it, spontaneity is one of the joys of being a digital nomad. However, establishing a loose routine can work wonders. Set a flexible schedule that includes focused work blocks, breaks for exploration, and maybe even a surf sesh to rejuvenate the mind!
- Harness the power of productivity tools: Our nomadic ancestors didn’t have these nifty tools, but lucky for us, we do! Utilize time-tracking apps like Toggl and website blockers to stay on track and beat distractions.
- Prioritize like a pro: With so many tasks and adventures competing for your attention, it’s crucial to prioritize. Make a to-do list and identify your most important tasks. Tackle them first, so even if a spontaneous adventure pops up, you’ve already conquered the essentials.
- Limit the lure of distractions: Social media, email, and cute animal videos on YouTube can be productivity killers. Set specific times for checking your email and scrolling through your social feeds. Consider using apps like Forest to tame the temptations.
- Embrace the power of “me time”: Self-care is non-negotiable, my friends. Take breaks to recharge your mind, body, and soul. Whether it’s a walk in nature, a workout session, or a Netflix binge, these rejuvenating moments will boost your overall productivity.
- Find your focus playlist: Ah, the sweet sounds of productivity! Curate a playlist of instrumental music, ambient beats, or whatever tunes get you in the zone. Bid farewell to distractions and let the rhythm guide your focus. For me, as a writer, I NEED focus music to get anything done. My partner listens to heavy metal to work… find what works for you!
- Embrace the art of batching: Multitasking may sound impressive, but it’s a productivity myth. Instead, try batching similar tasks together. Group your emails, schedule meetings back-to-back, or dedicate specific time slots for content creation. Watch your efficiency soar! In fact, I batch work and travel too! I sometimes grind for a whole two months just to take one month off to travel. It’s amazing, but not every digital nomad will have this flexibility. This is life goals and trust me, I had to work hard to get here. You likely won’t give type of freedom off the bat.
So Where To Start? Which Digital Nomad Job to Choose?
Obviously, this is for you to answer, but I do have some things for you to keep in mind.
Unfortunately, creative jobs are some of the hardest to make money doing. With jobs like becoming an Influencer, photographer, videographer, blogger, or YouTuber, you need to start NOW because you love it, but don’t expect to make money for a while—potentially years.
For some of the easiest jobs, or at the ones that don’t require much to start, I’d go for transcribing, translating, writing, teaching, virtual assisting… These jobs have a lower threshold to cross and start making something. They are all pretty flexible as well, so you can work on something on the side.
Here’s a timeline of my 11 travel jobs and what jobs I did to help keep me on the road longer.
With anything in life, if you want to do something, you need to work for it. I’d highly suggest learning some new skills on a free platform, research more about the job you really want, and start putting yourself out there!
HINT HINT: Go back up and click on some of the other blog posts for more info!
➡️ Digital Nomad Tips
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2. Find LEGIT remote jobs!
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3. Make sure you’re COVERED abroad!
Check out the best travel insurance for digital nomads.
Whoop whoop! Another massive resource regarding how many opportunities there are to work abroad and remotely! Did you see my 71+ jobs abroad list for other ideas that can land you a job abroad? You can do both a job abroad and a digital nomad job at the same time even. I used to.
It’s hard to have excuses with so many opportunities, so what’s it going to be? Excuses or hard work? I chose the latter many years ago and couldn’t be happier with my decision.
Which digital nomad job is the job for you? Let me know in the comments!
Nina Ragusa is an adventurer, messy bun master, breakfast fan, and full-time travel blogger. She’s been abroad since 2011 and blogging on Where in the World is Nina? for nearly as long. Nina helps people like you move around the world while making money. She loves talking about how to work abroad and online to travel longer!
Awesome! Thanks for the detailed post Nina. Hoping to start freelancing from next year and some of these options sound very exciting!
Thanks, Carryn! They are all so viable! 🙂 Good luck!
Blogging seems interesting , especially the part about sponsored posts. So how would you get work writing sponsored posts? I am very interested.
Hi Nicole, lots of things go into it. First, you’d need a decent blog to start with which is not easy. There’s plenty of resources out there on how to go about it but many of the times you’re just approached.
Oh thank you for the response. I have a blog. I know what you mean when you say it’s hard. lol