A lot of people ask if the places I chose to nomad to were arbitrarily chosen or planned. If you know me, I’m not the best at doing ANYTHING with zero game plan, so I selected locations based on several factors.
Most of my points may sound a bit obvious. Regardless, I will list everything here and talk about my thought process, so you can use it as your checklist when considering your own trip. It’s important to do your research so you can minimize risks and make for a smoother nomadic journey.
How I Chose My Digital Nomad Destinations
In order to find the right locations of interest, I generally try to check for Wi-Fi, cost, safety, fun, and abundance of nomads.
I would recommend NomadList as your go-to tool to conduct research on each location as it provides a way to search based on most of the points I cover below. If you pay for monthly access you are also able to ask around on their Slack channel for advice.
But even with this platform, I’d do further investigation to get a better picture of the places you want to visit. I normally do additional research through blogs, communities, and more.
- If you want to get work done around the world, a decent wireless internet connection is extremely important.
- How to research: I would use NomadList to look for this, and I would check if there are co-working spaces in the area. I would also look up internet cafes if possible. If needed, I would lastly ask in Facebook groups like Digital Nomads Around the World.
- It is good to reduce expenses, especially if you’re bootstrapping your own business or building passive income. By reducing expenses you’ll be more open to investing money into your business. I normally check for lowered rent prices as well as cost of day-to-day living (food and entertainment).
- How to research: Numbeo, Expatistan, NomadList, blogs, AirBnB, asking in Facebook groups
- As a solo female traveler I had to make sure places were deemed safe to visit. In general however, most places just require a certain common sense, as necessary anywhere you would go (e.g. avoid going out in “sketch” areas/empty streets at night, be wary of who you trust, hold onto your bag in crowds to avoid pickpocketing, etc.)
- How to research: NomadList, blogs, asking in Facebook groups
- Doing the whole digital nomad thing isn’t just about work – it’s about having fun at the same time for the perfect “workation”!
- How to research: NomadList, blogs (checking things you can do in that city), asking in Facebook groups
- Abundance of nomads
- This isn’t a huge priority, but I like to see if there are others
- How to research: NomadList (checking how big their slack channel is per each country), blogs (checking if other nomads have written entries), asking in Facebook groups (seeing if there are specific digital nomad groups for a certain city)
The Roadmap of My Destinations
Many nomads will plan as they go – which is totally fine – but another aim of mine was to show others I could travel within a reasonable budget without sacrificing happiness. In this way, I could encourage those who complain about the costs of travel to go for it.
In order to travel on a budget, I had to plan in advance. In general (but not always true), I find that flights and AirBnBs are cheaper when booked earlier.
- Planning Your Flight Route – You can check my posts here to help with planning your flight route: 8 secrets to finding the cheapest flights, how to use Google Flights to find insanely cheap flights, cheapest way to travel Europe (part 1), cheapest way to travel Europe (part 2).
- Planning Your AirBnBs – You have to be wary that once someone books one day out of a month in the AirBnB you want, you can’t book that month anymore. Also, monthly bookings on AirBnB normally include some awesome discounts. With these two factors in mind, I started researching and booking months ahead of time.
Besides the above factors, I also chose my nomadic route based on three other personal reasons including: 1. wanting to visit certain cities out of interest, 2. wanting to visit countries I’ve never been before and 3. taking into account I wanted to visit my parents in Hong Kong and make music in Korea.
Are there other factors you take into consideration when choosing your nomadic destination? Let me know in the comments below!