As more and more people are given the ability to work from home due to health and safety concerns, businesses are realizing that remote work isn’t the terrifying, anti-productivity concept they thought it would be. Many businesses have already allowed for remote work through the rest of 2020, while others are considering making it a permanent change. This increase in remote workers worldwide will likely mean an increase in those wanting to travel while doing so, ultimately creating a greater community of digital nomads than ever before.
Luckily, there are also more remote work travel groups than ever before. Digital nomads have been a rising force over that last few years and there are now legitimate, tried and true, organizations that people can trust to meet their travel and remote work needs.
Why travel with a group program?
Seasoned travelers and newbies alike might wonder why someone would need to pay to travel with a group when you can navigate many countries safely and easily on your own, but there are significant benefits to traveling with remote working groups. For starters, it is a lot easier to maintain a steady work schedule while traveling when you have others working on a similar schedule. You can join friends at coworking spaces, work late nights together if you’re in a different time zone than your office, and plan trips and adventures around your workdays. It creates a thriving work-life balance that’s sustainable long-term.
Traveling with a program also offers security when it comes to a reliable wifi connection, which is one of the most important aspects of working remotely. When you work with a program, they have safeguards in place for things like blackouts, poor connectivity and data shortages. You can visit a new destination with peace of mind that no matter what, you will be able to get your work done.
Lastly, you really can’t beat traveling with a great community of people who are working as well. It offers an amazing opportunity to grow your business if you are a freelancer or entrepreneur, to grow professionally, make connections and to collaborate with others on a global scale. The people you meet are the most valuable aspect of any travel program.
If you are new to the world of remote work and travel, there are a few things you should ask yourself before choosing a travel program:
How long do you want to travel?
Programs vary in length, with some spanning a full year of travel, and others offering month-to-month programs with locations of your choosing. The length of time you plan on traveling can really help pinpoint the best program to suit your needs.
What is your budget?
Remote work and travel groups offer a variety of options that can increase the overall price. Some programs cover flights between locations, a coworking space and living expenses, which will run a much higher cost than those offering coliving spaces without the additional options. Based on your budget you can decide what exactly you would like to have included.
What kind of community do you want to be a part of?
This is arguably the most important aspect of every program since the community you travel with can have a huge impact on your journey. You want to be around like-minded, adventurous people that you feel comfortable around. You can choose to join larger travel groups, that have upwards of 75 travelers, or you can choose a more close-knit program where the group is smaller and more familiar.
Which countries do you want to visit?
Are you looking to visit somewhere specific for a long period of time? Or are you planning on visiting multiple countries over the course of a few months? You can choose programs that offer a set itinerary, or ones that allow you to pick and choose to create your own. There is a lot of room for flexibility when it comes to choosing your destinations.
What is your work schedule like?
Working remotely full-time, vs part-time can mean two very different types of travel. Depending on the flexibility of your work schedule, you might want to choose more work-focused travel groups to get the most out of your experience.
A Few Top Remote Travel Programs
Once you’ve considered the above, it’s time to look into the actual programs that are available. Since remote working has been around for quite some time, there are some great programs available that have made their mark in the digital nomad community and have excellent reviews from travelers to prove it.
Cost: Down Payment of up to $5000 depending on program length, $2000 and up per month depending on the program chosen
Includes: Coliving and Coworking space, Travel between destinations
Remote Year originally started as exclusively a year-long coliving, coworking program, but now offers smaller trip options of four and six months as well. They create travel itineraries for each length of time to choose from based on a specific area (Asia, Europe, Africa, Latin America) and travel in groups of approximately 50-80 people. This is a good option for the hands-off traveler since the program takes care of the itinerary, booking and traveling logistics for you.
Cost: $900 – $2000 per month depending on room choice, location and time commitment
Includes: Coliving space (with coworking areas), access to masterminds, skillshares, and Slack community, weekly group activities
WiFi Tribe offers a Live-Around-the-World membership where travelers can choose how many months they want to travel and can join different locations across 5 continents and 25 cities. The destinations are set up as “chapters” and are four to six weeks long. This is a great option for travelers who value flexibility and who like to travel in a close-knit group. Each destination allows only 15-25 travelers so that groups are kept small, to help facilitate a closer community feel.
Cost: $1860 – $2190 per month depending on time commitment
Includes: Coliving space and Coworking space, group activities and events
Hacker Paradise offers two locations per month for members to choose from, along with itineraries of as little as two weeks up to a full year. While there are less monthly destination options, the flexibility allowed in timing can be valuable. They also offer a cheaper plan at $1200 for those just looking to be a part of the community and events, but who would like to find their own housing.
Venture with Impact
Cost: $2000 and up depending on location
Includes: Coliving space and Coworking space, Volunteer Placement
Venture with Impact offers four-week coworking retreats around the world with the added bonus of giving back to the community you are traveling in. The program works with local nonprofits in cities like Chiang Mai, Medellin and Lisbon, to partner remote workers with their perfect skills-based volunteering opportunity. If you are looking for an experience that combines your current remote work with unique volunteer opportunities, this could be your ideal program.
No Desk Project
Includes: Coliving space and Coworking space, Transportation
The No Desk Project is a members-only online booking platform that allows you to choose from their themed experiences. They offer volunteer experiences in Phnom Penh, a dance-focused experience in Buenos Aires, art appreciation in Hvar and more. For those looking for a specific type of immersion in different cities while traveling with a group, this could be the program for you.
Top Remote Working Destinations
Ok, so now you may have an idea of what kind of program would work best for you, but you still need to choose where you want to go. This is the most exciting part of working while traveling! The world is your oyster and you get to where is you want to explore.
While you can truly choose to work from anywhere, there are certain cities that are just made for working remotely. When it comes to great wifi, cultural experiences, cost of living and overall livability, Bali, Cape Town, Medellin and the many islands of Thailand consistently top the list.
Bali has drawn remote workers in droves over the years with its idyllic beaches, lush rice fields and affordable pricing. So many people visit Bali as digital nomads that the country has become fully equipped for that style of working. There are stunning coworking locations to choose from at every corner, along with inexpensive luxury villas. With a low cost of living and so much to see and do, this remains one of the top destinations for remote work.
We can’t mention Asia and not include Thailand on the list. The islands specifically offer an array of coworking spaces with views overlooking crystal clear waters, street food that you’ll think about for years to come and a peaceful, laid back environment to work from. The islands also offer so many different adventures to choose from, including scuba diving, exploring ancient temples, traveling through jungles, or joining authentic cooking classes, that it’s no wonder remote groups tend to flock here year-round.
South Africa has almost too much to offer its travelers. It is a gorgeous country that combines beach and surf, with mountains, safaris and luxury wine tours. There is truly something here for every type of traveler and it remains a top destination in many remote travel programs. You can find many cafes and coworking spaces to choose from and excellent internet speeds to keep up with all of your work as you go. There is even wifi at the top of one of its greatest attractions, Table Mountain, where you can work while soaking in epic views of Cape Town. It is a destination not to be missed!
Colombia has climbed in popularity among remote workers in recent years, particularly the city of Medellin. It offers affordable living in a vibrant city with excellent food, art and culture. It is also an ideal jumping-off point to visit other parts of Colombia like Cartagena and Bogota. You can enjoy boisterous nightlife and still get your nature fix with paragliding, hiking and more. It also offers many state-of-the-art coworking spaces to choose from along with world-famous Colombian coffee.
Wherever you choose to go, and whichever group you choose to travel with, you will be getting so much more from yourself both personally and professionally. Group travel has shaped the digital nomad community over the years, and with the incoming spike of remote workers from this year, we can expect to see more people choosing to travel with programs like these. Get the most out of your work/travel experience by joining a remote group that can offer you flexible memberships, a supportive community of passionate remote workers, and adventures of a lifetime.