As a digital nomad, you have the freedom to travel the world and work from anywhere with an internet connection. However, living this lifestyle can be expensive, and it’s important to find ways to save money so that you can continue to live your dream without breaking the bank. In this article, we’ll share some tips and tricks for living on a budget as a digital nomad.
Choose affordable destinations
One of the biggest expenses for digital nomads is accommodation. To save money, it’s important to choose affordable destinations. Some popular options include Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. These regions offer a lower cost of living, which means you can stretch your budget further.
Here are a few locations that you can check out:
- Bali, Indonesia – Bali is a popular destination for digital nomads due to its beautiful beaches, affordable cost of living, and vibrant culture. It’s also a great place to connect with other digital nomads, as there are many coworking spaces and networking events.
- Chiang Mai, Thailand – Chiang Mai is a charming city in Northern Thailand that’s known for its low cost of living, delicious food, and friendly locals. There are also many temples and cultural sites to explore, making it a great place to combine work and travel.
- Lisbon, Portugal – Lisbon is a vibrant European city with a rich history and culture. It’s also relatively affordable compared to other European destinations, with a lower cost of living and plenty of coworking spaces and networking opportunities.
- Medellin, Colombia – Medellin is a city in Colombia that’s undergone a transformation in recent years, becoming a hub for innovation and entrepreneurship. It’s also a great place for digital nomads due to its affordable cost of living, pleasant climate, and friendly locals.
- Budapest, Hungary – Budapest is a beautiful European city that’s often overlooked by tourists. It’s also one of the most affordable destinations in Europe, with a low cost of living and plenty of cultural attractions to explore.
These are just a few examples, but there are many other affordable destinations for digital nomads to consider. Ultimately, the best destination for you will depend on your personal preferences, budget, and travel goals.
Use coworking spaces
Coworking spaces are a great option for digital nomads who need a dedicated workspace. These spaces offer high-speed internet, comfortable seating, and other amenities, such as free coffee and networking events. Many coworking spaces offer daily or monthly passes, so you can choose the option that best fits your budget.
Wondering how you can find quality coworking spaces in your destination city? Here are a few tips and tricks:
- Research online – One of the easiest ways to find a coworking space is to search online. There are many websites that list coworking spaces in different cities, such as Coworker, Deskpass, and WeWork. These websites often provide information on the location, pricing, amenities, and reviews from other users.
- Ask for recommendations – If you know other digital nomads who have visited your destination city, ask for their recommendations on coworking spaces. They may be able to recommend a space based on their own experiences. You can use Nomad Grab to reach a digital nomad in your chosen city.
- Check out social media – Many coworking spaces have an active social media presence, where they share updates, photos, and events. By following them on social media, you can get a better sense of the culture and community of the space, and decide if it’s a good fit for you.
- Visit in person – If possible, visit the coworking space in person before signing up. This will give you a chance to see the facilities, meet the staff, and get a feel for the vibe of the space. Some coworking spaces also offer a free trial day, which can be a great way to test out the space before committing.
- Consider the location – When choosing a coworking space, consider the location in relation to where you’ll be staying. You may want to choose a space that’s close to your accommodation or in a neighborhood that you’re interested in exploring.
- Read the reviews – Finally, be sure to read reviews from other users before choosing a coworking space. Reviews can provide valuable insights into the quality of the space, the community, and the amenities offered.
By taking these steps, you can find a quality coworking space that meets your needs and enhances your experience as a digital nomad.
Cook your own meals
Eating out can be expensive, especially in touristy areas. To save money, consider cooking your own meals. This is not only cheaper, but it’s also a great way to immerse yourself in the local culture by shopping at markets and trying new recipes. Most hostels and rental apartments come with a kitchen, so you can easily prepare your own meals.
Here are a few tips and tricks for saving money while grocery shopping abroad:
- Choose accommodations with kitchen facilities – When booking your accommodations, look for places that have a kitchen or kitchenette. This will allow you to cook your own meals and save money on eating out.
- Plan your meals ahead of time – Before you go shopping, plan out your meals for the week. This will help you create a shopping list and avoid buying unnecessary items. It can also help you save time and make meal prep easier.
- Shop at local markets – Shopping at local markets can be a great way to save money and try new foods. Local markets often have fresh produce and local specialties at a lower cost than supermarkets.
- Buy in bulk – Buying in bulk can be a great way to save money on non-perishable items like rice, pasta, and canned goods. Look for bulk sections at supermarkets, or shop at wholesale stores like Costco or Sam’s Club.
- Cook in batches – Cooking in batches can save you time and money. Consider making a large batch of a dish like chili or curry, and then portioning it out for multiple meals throughout the week.
- Use local ingredients – Using local ingredients can be a great way to save money and try new foods. Look for local fruits, vegetables, and meats that are in season, and incorporate them into your meals.
- Pack your own snacks – Packing your own snacks can save you money and help you avoid unhealthy convenience foods. Consider packing items like trail mix, fruit, and granola bars for easy on-the-go snacking.
- Bring your own reusable bags – Bringing your own reusable bags can help you save money and reduce waste. Many supermarkets charge for plastic bags, so bringing your own bags can help you avoid this extra cost.
By utilizing these helpful hints, digital nomads can cook their own meals while traveling and save money on food costs. Whether you’re staying in a hotel, Airbnb, or hostel, cooking your own meals can be a fun and rewarding way to explore local cuisine and enhance your travel experience.
Use public transportation
Taxis and rideshares can quickly add up, especially if you’re using them every day. To save money, consider using public transportation. Many cities have affordable options, such as buses, subways, and trains. You can also rent a bike or scooter to get around, which is often cheaper than taking a car.
Don’t be afraid of public transportation when traveling abroad! Here are a few tips and tricks for using public transportation safely:
- Research your options – Before you arrive at your destination, research the local public transportation options. This can help you plan your route and avoid confusion and frustration once you arrive. Chat with a digital nomad on Nomad Grab to figure out your options before arriving.
- Purchase a transportation pass – Many cities offer transportation passes that allow you to use multiple modes of transportation, such as buses, trains, and subways. Purchasing a pass can save you money and make it easier to get around.
- Use official transportation apps – Many cities have official transportation apps that provide real-time information on routes, schedules, and delays. Using these apps can help you plan your route and avoid getting lost.
- Be aware of pickpockets – Public transportation can be a target for pickpockets, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings and keep your valuables close to you. Consider using a cross-body bag or backpack to keep your belongings secure.
- Be respectful of local customs – Different countries have different customs when it comes to public transportation. For example, in some countries it’s considered impolite to talk on your phone or eat on the train. Be aware of these customs and follow them to avoid offending locals.
- Be prepared for rush hour – Rush hour can be a stressful and crowded time on public transportation. If possible, try to avoid traveling during peak hours to make your journey more comfortable.
- Know your stops – Make sure you know which stops you need to get off at, and keep an eye out for landmarks or signs that can help you identify your stop.
- Ask for help if you need it – If you’re unsure about which bus or train to take, or if you get lost, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Locals are often happy to assist visitors and can provide valuable information about the local transportation system.
If you put these tips and tricks into practice, digital nomads can use public transportation while traveling abroad and save money while getting around. Just remember to be aware of your surroundings, respect local customs, and be prepared for the occasional rush hour or delay.
Take advantage of free activities
Just because you’re on a budget doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Many cities offer free activities, such as museums, parks, and festivals. These are a great way to experience the local culture without spending a lot of money. You can also find free walking tours, which are a great way to learn about the city’s history and architecture.
Worried that you won’t be able to find free activities when you’re a digital nomad? Here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Research online – Before you arrive at your destination, do some research online to find free activities in the area. You can use search engines, travel blogs, and social media to find free events, museums, and other attractions. You can chat with a digital nomad before traveling to find free activities when you land.
- Use local resources – When you arrive at your destination, look for local resources that can help you find free activities. These may include tourist information centers, local newspapers, or community bulletin boards.
- Explore parks and nature reserves – Many cities have beautiful parks and nature reserves that are free to explore. This can be a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the natural beauty of your destination.
- Take advantage of free walking tours – Many cities offer free walking tours that provide a great way to explore the local area and learn about its history and culture. These tours are often led by knowledgeable locals who can provide valuable insights into the city.
- Attend free events – Many cities have free events, such as concerts, festivals, and cultural events. These can be a great way to experience the local culture and meet new people.
- Use public transportation to explore – Public transportation can be a great way to explore a new city and see the sights. Many cities offer affordable or free transportation options that can take you to different neighborhoods and attractions.
- Take advantage of free food samples – If you’re looking to save money on food, look for free food samples at local markets and festivals. This can be a fun and delicious way to explore the local cuisine.
- Use local libraries and museums – Many libraries and museums offer free admission or events. These can be a great way to learn about the local culture and history.
By keeping this information in mind, digital nomads can take advantage of free activities while traveling abroad and save money while exploring a new city. Just remember to do your research, explore local resources, and be open to new experiences. You can also use the checklist for becoming a digital nomad to make sure you’re as prepared as possible before making the trip.
Q: Is it possible to live on a budget as a digital nomad?
- A: Yes, it’s definitely possible to live on a budget as a digital nomad. By choosing affordable destinations, using coworking spaces, cooking your own meals, using public transportation, and taking advantage of free activities, you can stretch your budget further and live your dream without breaking the bank.
Q: What are some affordable destinations for digital nomads?
- A: Some affordable destinations for digital nomads include Southeast Asia, Eastern Europe, and Latin America. These regions offer a lower cost of living, which means you can save money on accommodation, food, and other expenses.
Q: How can I find affordable accommodation as a digital nomad?
- A: To find affordable accommodation as a digital nomad, consider using websites such as Airbnb, Booking.com, or Hostelworld. You can also join digital nomad groups on social media to connect with other travelers and find recommendations for affordable accommodation.
Q: How can I save money on transportation as a digital nomad?
- A: To save money on transportation as a digital nomad, consider using public transportation, renting a bike or scooter, or walking. You can also find carpooling options or use apps such as Uber or Grab to find affordable rides.