Everyday Americans are encouraged to travel more, while also pursuing careers in accounting, design, and freelance writing. Working from home is breathing new life into burned-out employees and relighting the flames of creativity as people discover a new way of working that has also been surprisingly productive for today’s U.S. commerce. You and your family may want to consider living on the move in 2021, with the rise of the digital nomad.
Remote working trends
Employees can schedule long- or unexpected trips thanks to the flexibility of the virtual office. Working remotely is an attractive offer: there is usually no required daily commute and employees can work in an environment best suited to their work style. It can be a way to live on the road for some employees.
Studies show that many employees have become more productive since moving to a remote format thanks to fewer distractions. Employees are able to focus on their work and not be distracted by other people. FlexJobs found in a recent survey that digital nomads work less, too. Around 70% of digital nomads work less than the majority of the population, working 40 hours a week or less. Even more impressively, another survey reports that about 4% of digital nomads support themselves with less than ten hours of work each week.
A digital nomad is able to live a sustainable life, which has helped it gain popularity. Remote work participation has increased 140% since 2005. Google searches for “digital nomad”, which was spiked by COVID-19, jumped from 1,300,000. in January 2019, to more than 4,520,000 in April 2021. According to the 2020 State of Independence study by MBO Partners, 19 million Americans have plans on becoming a digital nomad within the next two to three years, which is an 18% total increase since 2019.
Things to consider when you move from your home to a life on the road
Before you decide to make the move to digital nomadism, here are some things you should consider. The lifestyle of a digital nomad is very different to traditional work-from home life. This means that you will need to adjust your plans. Here are some tips to help you prepare for your digital nomad lifestyle before you set out on your journey.
Cars vs. travel vans
Travel vans have long been associated with a nomadic lifestyle, but there are many digital nomads today who opt to use an everyday car. There are pros and cons to each, which generally include the following (though each individual vehicle make and model may prove to have unique considerations):
Whatever your choice, it is worth taking the time to plan how you will protect your vehicle. Even if your vehicle is not intended to be used as a bed, it will still be used for a lot. It is important to ensure that your vehicle is covered for every mile. This not only means having an active driver’s license and vehicle registration, but also considering a full coverage auto insurance policy in case you experience any losses along your travels.
How to safeguard your finances
Your vehicle is an essential part of your digital lifestyle. It can be used as your home, office, and transportation. Regardless of which vehicle you choose, you will want to be sure that you protect it with the right amount of insurance so you do not risk financial devastation if the unexpected happens.
While it is always important to consider the cost of car insurance, you also want to ensure that you have adequate coverage. You may have different needs depending on your travel plans. Your existing insurance policy might need to be changed or replaced. If you plan to travel in a van, your vehicle may be considered a mobile house and will require RV insurance. Make sure you carefully review your insurance policy before you take to the roads.
A licensed and experienced insurance agent can guide you through the options available for your vehicle. When searching for auto insurance coverage for your digital nomad lifestyle, researching the best car insurance companies is generally an excellent place to start.
It is important to have internet access for all purposes, including work-related concerns such as video calls and email capabilities. You can surf the web, stream your favourite programs, and communicate with family and friends. It is important to plan for internet access because of its importance. There may be alternatives if you don’t have Wi-Fi or LTE.
- Satellite or hotspot: There are two options for satellite or hotspot purchase. However, before you make a decision on which type of service you want, you should consider the pricing and plans available. You should also consider any usage caps or additional fees, as well as the service areas.
- Hotspots in your area: Local businesses may offer hotspots for free if you don’t plan to use the internet often. Be sure to comply with any usage restrictions.
The limited space on the road can be a major problem. This may lead to nomads living a minimalist lifestyle. Even if you have a yard sale that sells off your stock, it is possible to still need storage for your belongings when you are not there. You can store your belongings securely in a storage unit or locker at a very affordable price.
There are many resources that can help you choose the right setup for your home on wheels. There are many resources to help you save space, including YouTube tutorials and Pinterest dream boards. You could build a mobile home office in a converted van, or go camping with your car. There are many options.
Considerations about cost
Life on the road spares you from many of the traditional expenses of everyday life, such as renters or homeowners insurance and utility bills. But, being a digital nomad has its costs.
- Gas: It doesn’t matter what vehicle you drive, gas can be quite expensive each month. Budget accordingly.
- Insurance: Auto insurance is a necessity. Due to increased risk, it may be necessary to have auto insurance at a higher cost than average.
- Internet: Your internet plan and provider will determine the cost. If you’re not careful, rates for usage could rise and cause expensive data overages.
- Maintenance: Your vehicle may need to be winterized each year, requiring antifreeze, winter wipers or snow tires.
- Water: Filling up your water pipes on the road can be costly. You should budget for the possibility that your water bill will rise quickly due to usage.
Comparing buying new and used
If you are thinking about upgrading your vehicle, there is the additional consideration of whether to buy a used versus new car or van. Each has its pros and cons.
It can be hard to find parking for your vehicle when you travel. These options could offer a safe and affordable parking spot for digital nomads:
- Groceries open 24 hours a day
- Street parking
- National parks
Before you turn the ignition off, make sure you check with local businesses and obey all local laws. KOA campgrounds offer electric and water hookups. Many road-weary travelers want to be able to take advantage of more modern amenities once in a while. It is important to plan ahead to make sure you have the right features and that you are able to use them.
These tips can help you decide if the nomadic lifestyle is right for your needs.
- For a healthy work-life balance, split your time between travel and work.
- Keep to your “new normal.” routine.
- Keep your presence at work regardless of whether you are communicating via email, phone, or video.
- To create clear boundaries between personal and professional time, minimize distractions.
- You may find it very rewarding to have long-distance friendships, which can be invaluable for your companionship during your travels.
- You can have fun working in a coworking space, but still get to know your colleagues.
- Connect with other digital nomads to share your unique challenges.
- Make sure you invest in the right products to ensure that you have all the equipment and accessories necessary for your job. You can get everything you need, from a laptop case to a portable stand that makes remote work more enjoyable.
- Keep in mind the time zone changes as you travel.
- Be patient and know that you are constantly changing as a digital nomad. As your needs change, you can adapt and continue to adapt.
It can be a difficult decision to leave the safety and comforts of your home and live a nomadic life. It is possible to travel the coast while still being connected to work with today’s internet.
Bankrate expects to see an increase in remote work over the next few years. There are also a growing number of states, cities and counties that offer to pay remote workers to move to the area. As more people discover the benefits of remote work and the nomadic lifestyle, this trend may also become more popular in the coming years. Start by ensuring you have a reliable internet connection, a reliable vehicle, and the right job opportunity. This could allow you to start a digital nomad lifestyle.