When I first started living life as a digital nomad (a while ago now!), there were so many things I didn’t know. Travel, and especially solo travel is a huge learning curve, and every trip teaches you something new about yourself. In the years that I’ve been traveling while I work, I’ve learnt so much about what makes life a little easier on the road and today I want to share some of those things with you, to help you travel a little easier.
Be flexible with your plans
As much as possible don’t set plans in stone. You may find unexpected opportunities in unexpected places, so try to leave space in your plans to linger a little longer or go on to a wholly different location than you had originally pictured.
2. Only book 1 or 2 nights accommodation at a stop before you settle.
Wherever you decide to stay, just book your first night or two initially. Most places will allow you to lengthen your stay once you’re there, unless they are very popular and booked out. That way if you decide you’re not comfortable or you would rather be somewhere else, you can easily move on.
3. Check the wifi where you want to stay before you book it.
This one rather speaks for itself. The world is digital, so unless you are intentionally going for a place to escape the digital world, I recommend checking the wifi of a place before you go. If it’s overlooked, it can be a lot of hassle, especially if you are a digital nomad. Best thing to do is ask about the wifi in accommodations and also what’s available around where you’re staying.
4. Learn the basics of the language
While some English is spoken in most places around the world, basic manners dictate that you should learn at least a few useful words in the local language. Plus you’ll get way more smiles and less hounded in countries that like to haggle, and it’s a great way to get to know local people.
5. Sort your phone ASAP
Getting your connections sorted is a priority when you’re a digital nomad. Make sure to get a local SIM or upgrade to an international plan ASAP to ensure you really can work from wherever you choose, and that a drop in connection won’t stop you interacting with clients and getting jobs done.
6. Charge your electricals every chance you get
There’s nothing worse than running out of battery just as you’re about to send off an email or piece of work to a client, or snap that perfect picture. Free, working plug sockets are not always as abundant as you might be used to, so whenever you see one, give your tools a top up so you can rely on them when you need them.
7. Check taxi meters
If you’re getting around by taxi, try and ensure you get one run on a meter (make sure it starts at a base rate you’re comfortable with). If you can’t find a metered taxi, agree a price with the driver before you set off. On a related note, Uber seems to be almost everywhere these days, so check!
8. Watch out for pickpockets
Not to scare you, but pickpockets are everywhere. When I was in Athens, it happened to me, so always keep your purse stored deep inside your bag, have one arm over your bag in busy areas or get a lock so you don’t have to think about it, especially in touristy areas. By keeping your stuff safe, you can relax and just enjoy your adventure rather than having to spend a day on the phone and other days focused on getting your money sorted. It’s also worth having an international bank when you travel, so when these events do happen you can go straight there to withdraw money.
9. Do activities and go on group trips if you want to meet people
Even if you love traveling alone, having some like-minded buddies to share experiences with can often make them even more rewarding and memorable. Hostels are a great and obvious way to meet people, but if you aren’t really a hostel type of person, why not try exercise classes, sports, activities, group tours or meet ups? It’s a great way to connect on your passions rather than focusing on making friends because of your location.
10. Do what YOU want, not what others want you to do
Don’t feel pressured to make friends, go to events you don’t want to or spend time in company you don’t care for. Your trip is for you so if you want to spend time on your own or do something different than everyone else at your hostel, then do it!
All in all the key to living your best digital nomad life is to get organised and then relax and enjoy it all!
Have you got any favourite travel tips? Why not share them with the freedom seekers community in our Facebook book group.