We are careering towards the end of an eventful year and I don’t know about you, but it’s around about now that I start doing some evaluating on what I want next year to look like and be like. You ask yourself questions like “What things do I want to experience?”, “What goals do I want to set myself?” For us remote workers, alongside those questions, one question we’re 100% asking ourselves is “WHERE do I want to go next?” If you’re new to being a digital nomad, how do you choose your destination in the first place?
There are a number of factors that need considering in order to make sure your next destination ticks off everything on your list – both for travel and working requirements. Below, we’ve listed our most important features of any destination that you may want to consider when selecting your next place to stay!
Once again, please feel free to look through some of our Top 3 articles that cover various continents; they’ll cover all the bits you need to know and give you a starting reference point. But we’ve only covered 9 cities so far and there’s a whole world out there to experience, so keep reading for some helpful tips to make sure you choose your city well!
1. Know Your Purpose
Before even looking for your next destination, clarify in your mind what the purpose of this trip is. What do you want to get out of your next location? Every person has different priorities when travelling, whether that’s to lie back and enjoy a gorgeous, tranquil beach, to immerse yourself completely in a new and exotic culture in a bustling city, or simply to find a quiet space to allow you to focus on yourself and your career.
Whatever your priorities are, defining them before continuing with your search for your next destination will allow you to narrow down locations much more smoothly and find a place that totally suits what you need for your next trip.
2. Cost of Living
Many digital nomads live on a tighter budget in order to enjoy the luxury of long-term travel, but that also means that the cost of living in our next destination is an essential consideration. Costs to look out for in your next destination include:
Other ‘costs’ to consider include internet connection (see below), air quality, population density, and weather. Check out Nomad List for a great breakdown of the cost of living for a range of top digital nomad destinations. For our tried and tested places, why not have a look at our Top 3 articles; we’ve covered Asia, Europe, and one of our favourite continents ever, South America!
3. WiFi Connection
Us remote workers need to be a little more practical than the typical traveller, and that means making sure that you can enjoy yourself and get your work done in your next destination. Unfortunately, some places just aren’t equipped for you to be online for hours a day, and you’ll find yourself spending far too much time trying to get simple tasks done due to poor connectivity.
Save those remote places for when you can actually take a little time off from your responsibilities. There are still hundreds of destinations to choose from that will satisfy your travel bug and also let you get your work done comfortably.
Meeting people can be difficult at times as a digital nomad, and this can feel extremely isolating if you’re spending several months in one spot with no one to talk to. For this reason, you may want to do some research on your chosen potential destinations and find out what the digital nomad community is like there.
You may quickly find that your destination is a ‘hub’ for remote workers, with Facebook groups already set up and many social events for you to attend and meet like-minded people. If not, this isn’t cause alone to cross that destination off your list – but it will at least prepare you with the knowledge that you’ll need to make a little more effort to connect with people while you’re there.
5. Social Life
Who doesn’t like to blow off a little steam after a hard day tackling tasks amongst a crowded coffee shop and wavering internet connection?! You may be more of a cosy-bar type of person, or you may love to go all-out and hit the town at the weekends; whatever your preference, looking into the social aspects of your next destination is a great way to determine if it’s the spot for you.
Linking to the above point, a great social scene in a city is also a good indicator that you’ll be able to mix and meet with other travellers easily – if there is more of a quiet vibe for families and couples, you may have to prepare for an isolated trip if you still intend to visit that destination.
6. Coworking Spaces/Cafe Scene
Some remote workers are perfectly content getting their work done in the quiet of a hotel room before setting off to explore the city. Others of us prefer to take our laptops with us and explore our new neighbourhood by touring the cafe and coworking scene while getting our work done at the same time.
If you enjoy finding a comfortable cafe or coworking space to tick of your tasks while sipping on a cappuccino, be sure to check out the cafe scene in your next destination before you arrive!
The cost of accommodation in a destination is an important consideration for choosing your next place to stay, but equally important to consider is the location of your accommodation itself, living space, and amenities.
If you favour being right in the action, you’ll want to make sure you can find reasonably priced accommodation in the city centre, rather than 30 minutes away by public transport. Likewise, if you’re going to be staying for several months and like the option to cook for yourself, do some research into the typical set-up for flats in that destination, as some rented properties may only come with a basic fridge and kettle set up. Checking the availability of supermarkets and local shops nearby is also a good idea.
So those are our top tips and our major considerations for choosing where to go; it’s always good to have a base to start on. You may need to think about more than the above or less, but whatever destination you choose to visit next, know this: you don’t need to force yourself to travel just because you’re living the digital nomad/remote working lifestyle.
You have the luxury of also staying put, as much as you do to travel to any place in the world. Don’t force it, and your next destination will come to you intuitively – and that’s the way to make sure you always enjoy the freedom of this lifestyle.
What destinations are next on your list?