Frequently Asked Questions
We've put together a list of frequently asked questions to help you get a better idea of how everything works.
If you're looking for information on what it's all about directly from our members, you may also find it helpful to read through some of the reviews on Facebook or check out Lauren's, Michelle's, or Pia's blog post, where they talk about their experience.
I want to start in 6-12 months. Does it make sense to join now?
Yes. If you’re sure that you want to join for at least one chapter within the next 12 months, it definitely makes sense, because you will save $100. Once you’ve joined, you have 12 months to make a decision on a chapter so that we can apply the credit. As long as you book your first chapter within this time, you will get the $100 credited back. In fact, if you need more time, you can extend this to a maximum of 24 months (see FAQs below for more details on this).
If I join now, how long will my membership last?
12-24 months. Your membership – and your $100 credit – are valid for 12 months. However, if you feel that you need more time, there’s a way to extend this: When you’re ready to book your first chapter, we will ask you what kind of subscription you would like (2 chapters per year, 3+ chapters, 6+ chapters, etc.). Once you’ve set up your subscription, you have another 12 months from that day to ‘use up’ all your chapters. Effectively, you can extend your time to 24 months.
How long does my $100 credit last?
12 months. Your $100 credit is valid for 12 months and will automatically be applied to your first chapter. As long as you book the chapter within the 12-month period, you will get the $100 credited back, even if you book a chapter that starts after the 12-month period.
Do I need to decide on the locations I want to join now?
No. You can decide anytime within the next 12 months. However, we recommend letting us know as soon as you have an idea, so that there are still spots available. Most chapters will book up 4-6 weeks before they start.
Can I try it out for one chapter first?
Yes. We offer first-time members the option to upgrade their subscription. The only condition is that it needs to be done during their first chapter, or up to two weeks after it finishes. For first-timers, this is a chance to see if this really is the kind of lifestyle they were looking for. We're happy to offer this flexibility to protect the experience. We prefer that people who feel that this isn’t right for them have the option to opt out, rather than being forced to continue. By now, we also know that 90% of our members will come back for at least one more chapter – often several more within their first year.
Where's the Tribe going next?
Next Locations. You can also sign up to the newsletter to receive monthly updates and we will send you personal/direct emails based on the countries you told us you are interested in and your availability (your responses to the last form)
Can I get a sneak-peek into next year’s new locations?
In 2019, we plan to add a few more African countries, as well as more chapters in Europe and Asia (Japan and Iceland are on the list!). South and Central America will be split, so that members can choose to be in either place at any time. All in all, we’re planning 52 chapters, in 36 different locations, across 5 continents. We will also announce our first semi-permanent locations, starting with Medellin, Colombia (from mid-January to mid-April), then South Africa, Bali, and Lisbon throughout the year.
Can I choose any country? Can I change continents?
Yes. You can hop between continents and choose any country; take a break from traveling at any time, and come back whenever you want. Freedom is at the heart of this lifestyle. Just bear in mind, that traveling between continents will be more expensive than hopping between chapters on the same continent.
What's the join-fee for?
Marketing costs and the selection process. The join-fee is a one-time payment of $300 that we ask of every member who wants to join the Tribe. Everyone who joins within the deadline receives $100 back as credit towards their first chapter. The join-fee helps us cover some of the costs of marketing and the significant time invested by our admissions team into selecting members who will add value to the Tribe.
There's a $300 join-fee and a $300 deposit. What's the difference?
At the point of being accepted, those who decide to join are asked to pay the fee of $300 (of which $100 is credited back if paid on time) to join the Tribe. The deposits – which are also $300 – are what we ask for to hold your spot in a chapter and to set up your subscription (you can find the different membership options here). For example: For someone who asks for the 3+ chapter membership, we charge a $300 deposit for each of the 3 chapters in advance, so $900 in total would be due to be paid at that moment. We would then hold on to it until the person requests to book a chapter. At that point, the deposit gets applied to their booking. That's how spots in chapters are reserved.
What's the price per chapter?
It depends on your chapter subscription. You can have a look at the How it Works page, where you’ll always find updated prices. The pricing is split into different tiers according to the costs of accommodation in different cities. To find out the price of a specific chapter, check which pricing tier it’s in and then decide which chapter subscription you would like to do.
Can I write this off as a 'business expense'?
Maybe. Due to the work element and the networking several of our members have been able to count WiFi Tribe stays as a business expense against taxes. This applies mostly to freelancers and entrepreneurs/business owners. Of course, it’s best to seek the advice of a professional accountant and lawyer from your home country to be sure that it’s as possible and recommended.
What am I paying for? What’s covered?
The community. This is definitely our biggest value-add and what we’re most proud of. Any member who has joined us, coming from another traveling community, has told us that the Tribe feels so much more like family than anything they’ve experienced in other groups. We highlight this because we want to make sure that those people who truly care about this, find their way to the Tribe. On the other hand, those who are just looking for logistics to be arranged for them, who don’t care to contribute to the experience, and who prefer doing their own thing, definitely won’t be good candidates for the Tribe.
To give you an idea of how much this matters to us, our acceptance rate for applicants – from start to finish – is 17%. That’s a lot of potential money ‘left on the table’ in favour of a better experience.
Our selection is based on values and personality traits. If you’re curious about the values that guide our selection, you can have a look at the Tribe page.
Of course, there are a few other things that we provide, but it all comes back to our passion for building the most tight-knit community. We look for houses – or in bigger cities – apartments that are very close together to make it natural for the Tribe to spend time together. The area of the city matters too. We try to be centrally-located, so that you can experience what it means to really live in the city and explore it together. Naturally, all standard bills (electricity, gas, water, taxes, etc.) are also taken care of.
And, it’s in our name, so it’s definitely worth mentioning: There will be WiFi.
Of course, we take this part very seriously. We make sure that we have the best WiFi connection available in our area. There can be ups and downs in WiFi speeds, and in some countries, even occasional power outages, but we always have MiFi devices (mobile data hotspots) available and set up as backups. Should the WiFi ever drop the ball, these backups will always save the day. This way, we make sure that everyone can continue working without missing a beat. We know the importance of a reliable connection for work and we’ve been doing this for 2+ years now.
Apart from that, this is not set up like a scheduled retreat with lots of handholding. Instead, we simply like to think of it as an alternative way of living – a different approach to going through life. The Tribe is for people who love to design their own lives and to contribute positively to the experience of those around them. Tribers co-organise trips, activities, and food plans. There's always something going on over the weekends, food planning almost daily, and even a few smaller events and activities during the week. There's definitely no shortage of adventure!
What’s not covered?
Flights, transportation, food, insurance, activities, and planning. While we explore and adventure as a group, members are responsible for these things themselves.
We firmly believe that if you want a real community to form, it needs to be based on the give and take that naturally happens in any well-functioning society. Everyone needs to be willing to contribute in whatever way they see fit. It’s how Burning Man has become such an iconic and powerful experience of human connection.
If course, it also helps members to better budget for their specific dietary requirements, activities, travel plans, and lifestyle preferences, instead of having to pay for things that you might not want or need.
Affordable flights are especially common if booked in advance, and European, Asian, and Central American destinations can be very affordable (often less than $100) when you're already on the continent. We recommend Skyscanner.net or Momondo.com for finding good flights.
How do I pay the join-fee?
Credit card or PayPal. We provide a link in the acceptance email to a from where you can make the payment. If prefer PayPal, please send let us know and we’ll pass you the PayPal account to send it to.
How many people are there per chapter?
12-25. That’s our minimum and our maximum, but most of our chapters now have between 16-22 members. When we first started WiFi Tribe, we decided that we would never want to be more than 25 of us in a chapter. We believe that there is a sweet-spot for a group size where there are enough people to always find something to do, but without being so many that it breaks us apart. Once groups get too big, cliques form, and then they basically end up feeling really small again. That totally defeats the purpose of a tribe.
What’s the average age?
30. That’s a guess, but it feels pretty accurate. Most of our members are between 24 and 38, with a handful outside of that range on either end.
Do you balance genders?
Usually, yes. We usually manage to keep the gender balance at 40-60%. On average, we have had more females than males across all our chapters in the past. When the genders are very off-balance (e.g. 75% of one gender), we will close spots for the gender with the majority until is is rebalanced, but it isn’t always possible to get to our target of 40-60%.
Is the Tribe culturally diverse?
Yes. We’re the most culturally diverse travel community of remote professionals. For every 10 Tribers on a chapter, there will be, on average, 6 different nationalities represented, and we’re proud that our global community now represents 49 nations from around the world. With the Tribe, you will see each country through the eyes of all the different cultures and nationalities standing next to you.
What are people’s professions?
Anything remote. Most of the members of the Tribe are entrepreneurs, designers, developers, marketers and writers. But the ‘long tail’ is… long. We’ve got photographers, videographers, project managers, teachers, a few accountants, a few producers, a handful of poker players, a DJ, a 3D artist, a startup attorney, a human rights consultant, a podcast launch consultant, a senior cybersecurity researcher and a heap of other creative professions that can be done remotely.
Will someone from the team be there?
Yes. There is always someone from the team on-location, often two of us. In fact, we’ll arrive a week early to make sure everything is all set for when everyone else flies in.
Is there an online community?
Yes. We have a global Slack community with 300 Tribers at the time of this writing. As soon as the join-fee is settled, we add you to our online communication platform. There are channels there on tons of different topics, and lots of members have used it to get in touch with other Tribers before joining a chapter. Once we’re on-location, Slack becomes our main group communication tool!
Do you have backups if WiFi goes down?
Yes. We always have MiFi (mobile WiFi) backups, usually with LTE/4G speeds, occasionally 3G, depending on what’s available in the area and the country. In most countries, the mobile data is even faster and more stable than local internet connections, which makes it a perfect backup. The MiFi devices use local SIM cards to generate a WiFi internet connection that you can connect to like normal WiFi.
These backups are important, because even in the countries with very stable internet connections, it’s still possible to have power outages, issues with internet providers, or fluctuations in internet speeds (during internet ‘rush hours’). We setup and test the backup solutions in advance of the beginning of every chapter to ensure that internet-related disruptions are minimal.
How many people per shared room?
2-3 people. Most of our shared rooms are for two people, but there are also several locations with 3-person rooms. We never do more than 3 people per room nor a hostel-style set-up with several bunkbeds crammed into a room.
What do you prioritise when you look for places?
WiFi, togetherness, working space, location – in that order. WiFi is definitely the most important factor. If it’s not workable, it’s not an option for the Tribe.
Closely followed, is togetherness. For us, this means any set-up that naturally brings the Tribe together. We’ll prioritise houses or apartments with lots of bedrooms, then those with large social areas, and when we’re spread across apartments in a city, we aim for places that are at a 5-minute walk from one another.
Basic working space with enough chairs and tables is a non-negotiable. Where possible, we’ll try to find accommodations that offer a little more work-space comfort than needed, so that we can move around and switch things up. We’ll also aim to be close to coworking spaces and cafés with WiFi where possible.
Of course, location matters a lot too. If we’re in a city, we want to be able to quickly get to the happening places. Ideally, we’ll be at walking distance, if not, then a short and inexpensive cab or public transport ride away. When we’re in more remote locations or in beach towns, we’re optimising for a different experience, but we’ll still make sure all important amenities are easily accessible.
How many people get accepted?
17%. According to our last statistic, we accept 17% of applicants. At each stage we filter out applicants who we believe are unlikely to fit right in, and for who the Tribe may not be the right community. Of course, it’s not perfect, and we still make mistakes – every 2-3 chapters we realise there’s someone who didn’t quite fit in – and we use these learnings to improve the application process.
Can I get info from past participants before I pay?
Yes. Your best option is to have a read through some of the blogs that members have written about their experience with the Tribe; here’s Lauren's blog post (joined for 3 chapters), Pia's (joined us for 6 chapters), Michelle's (joined for 3 chapters), or Daniele's (will be traveling with the Tribe for a full year) where they talk about their experience.
If you’ve still got questions, or you’re just curious to find out more, try to reach out to them and they may have a few spare minutes to get back to you! You may also find it helpful to read through some of the reviews on Facebook and to have a look at the Tribe page
I want to join. What are the next steps?
Once you’ve settled the join-fee payment, we’ll add you to our online community, so that you can start meeting the Tribe and planning your next chapter. Then, once you know where you want to go, just send us an email and we’ll help you get your chapter subscription set up. For each chapter that you choose to do, we collect a $300 deposit, so for a 3+ chapter membership, we would ask for 3 x $300 to set up the subscription. Each of those deposits gets fully applied to any chapter you want to do in the future. That’s how we reserve spots.
Please note: the $300 deposits to set up your chapter subscription are different from the join-fee. For all new members who joined within their deadline, the $100 credit will also be applied to their first chapter.
Still have a few questions? You can check out our How it Works page for details on the membership options and other answers: