5 Best Places for Digital Nomads to Work From
Where you can work from, and what you need to know
· 6 min read
The digital nomad lifestyle has gained immense popularity in recent years, with more people realizing the potential to work remotely from anywhere in the world. If you are preparing to embark on the digital nomad lifestyle, we have got you covered with some things you need to know, along with a list of some the best countries to go to as a digital nomad.
Why be a digital nomad?
The best way to “travel like a local”? It's to be one. It's not just about spending long amounts of time at a destination, but rather, it's to try spending your daily lives there. And yes, that includes actually having to work.
While there are some countries that offer working holiday visas, allowing you to work as a visitor, this often comes with restrictions surrounding age or nationality. There is also the consideration of whether a working holiday is practical - not everyone will be able to drop their jobs back at home to go on a working holiday.
And this is where the option of becoming a digital nomad comes in (subject to your work and employer allowing you to be one). Being a digital nomad means you work remotely, from anywhere around the world. This allows you to explore and fully experience the the local lifestyle of various cities and countries, without having to give up your work at home.
How to decide which country to go to as a digital nomad?
Ultimately, the country to go to really depends on what you are looking for out of working remotely. However, there are a few practical questions that you should also consider:
- How long do you want to stay in the country?
- How long can you stay in the country?
- Do you need a visa? Are there digital nomad visas? What are the requirements?
- Will you be able to afford the cost of living?
- How fast is the internet? What about mobile networks?
- Are there co-working spaces? Are public spaces remote work-friendly?
- What is the climate like?
What is a digital nomad visa?
Digital nomad visas fill the gap between short-term tourist visas and long-term work permits. They often allow you to stay in a country for a longer period of time than a regular tourist visa, but much shorter than a long-term work permit. In Europe, for example, digital nomad visas often allow you to stay in an EU country for up to a year.
Can I remote work from countries that don't offer a digital nomad visa?
Travelling and working remotely has always been a bit of a grey area, especially around the area of taxes. However, as long as your company allows you to work remotely, and you don't break the laws and regulations surrounding your entry visa to the country, you technically can work out of those countries, even if they don't offer a digital nomad visa.
Check what your visa allows you to do and what you are not supposed to do. Some of the most common rules to watch out for is that you probably should not be working for a company from that country, or getting paid by an entity in that company.
Best cities for digital nomads to work from
1. Tallin, Estonia
Estonia, commonly referred to as the 'Silicon Valley of Europe', is the ideal place for digital nomads who work in tech. It is also the first country in Europe to launch the digital nomad visa, allowing visa holders to stay in the country for up to one year and a possibility to extend it by a further six months.
The capital, Tallinn, has a large growing community of digital nomads. There are many resources and facilities set up for digital nomads, and while prices may have been driven up as a result, the cost of living there is still generally very affordable. And it's not all about work - you will also find plenty of opportunities for you to enjoy the fine food and explore the great outdoors during your time there!
2. Bali, Indonesia
In every 'best place for digital nomads' list, you are almost definitely going to see Bali on the list. Bali has always been a popular holiday destination due to its pristine beaches, tropical weather, laid-back lifestyle, and very affordable prices. But it is not just a great destination for vacations, Bali is also an amazing place for digital nomads!
With a vast selection of co-working spaces and high-speed WiFi, it is very easy for you to continue working remotely from Bali. However, it is important to note that Bali currently does not offer digital nomad visas, so you might need to consider doing some visa runs if you are planning to stay for extended periods of time.
3. Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, like Bali, has long been a popular destination for digital nomads looking for a sun-spotted lifestyle and a low cost of living. Popularity also means there will be a lot of people, and prices are on an upward trend.
However, it is important to note that free Wi-Fi is not always easily accessible in Mexico, so that might be a consideration for you - though there are definitely ways to circumvent that by doing sufficient research and choosing where you hang out. Or simply by getting a Nomad eSIM for Mexico to help you stay connected.
Mexico doesn't offer digital nomad visas, but their regular tourist visas allow most nationalities to stay for up to six months. Be sure to double check your stay-entitlement before heading over!
4. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Many people might find Kuala Lumpur to be a dull city - and it probably is. But Kuala Lumpur is a good base if you are planning to explore Southeast Asia. It is well-connected to other cities in the region, and is nowhere as expensive as the neighbouring Singapore. For foodies, Kuala Lumpur is a city where you can be sure to enjoy yourself. With a wide variety of regional and local cuisines to choose from, you will be spoilt for choice during your stay there.
The capital city of Malaysia is also well equipped with co-working spaces and high speed internet, making it a great choice for remote working.
5. Madeira, Portugal
What better place to be a digital nomad than at a digital nomad village? A digital nomad village has been created at the island of Madeira in Portugal, attracting many digital nomads from all over the world. While Lisbon and Porto have traditionally been the more popular destinations for digital nomads in Portugal, Madeira is also starting to grow in popularity as the area gets developed to attract digital nomads.
There is a growing number of co-working spaces equipped with good Wi-Fi on the island. And the remote location provides a good respite from the hustle and bustle from the city, allowing you to take the time to appreciate the outdoors and soak in the nature during your stay there. Portugal has a digital nomad visa that allows you to stay for up to a year.
Get a Nomad eSIM to stay connected
One of the most important things about being a digital nomad is that you need to ensure you are well-connected as you move around. And one of the best ways to stay connected as you move between places is to get an eSIM!
Why you should get a Nomad eSIM
There are many benefits of using a Nomad eSIM, especially as a digital nomad:
- Easily switch between eSIMs: You can easily switch between eSIMs with just a few taps on your device. You no longer have to fumble with your physical SIM cards or SIM trays to change SIM cards when you travel between countries.
- Save on roaming fees: Nomad offers a variety of plans for many countries internationally. These international plans are much more affordable than international roaming rates, and the variety of plans give you the option of choosing one that is most suitable for your needs. If you will be travelling across multiple countries, regional plans are also available so that you can stay connected with a single plan.
- No hidden fees: Fees are transparent - what you see is what you get. You don't have to worry about any hidden or unexpected costs.
- Share your data: Nomad's eSIMs also allow you to tether and share your data across multiple devices. If you are somewhere without a good Wi-Fi connection, simply turn your device into a hotspot and share your data from your Nomad plan!
How to get a Nomad eSIM
It's easy to get a Nomad eSIM. Simply create an account on the Nomad Web Store or iOS/Android apps, find a plan that is suitable for your needs, and proceed with the check out! Upon successful purchase, you will receive an email that includes the installation and activation instructions for your plan.
Note that since you will need a stable internet connection to purchase and install your eSIM, it is advised to buy your eSIM before you fly, so that you don't have to worry about not getting connectivity at the airport after landing.