6 travel tips for international digital nomads | Trip
So you have decided to take the road of your career remotely and you are preparing to travel long term internationally as a digital nomad. The remote working lifestyle opens up opportunities to visit all the places on your bucket list. But how do you prepare and what do you pack?
I am a digital nomad, and until the start of the pandemic, I traveled full time for three years. I’ve been to 49 countries, and because I work remotely, I’ve been able to make work part of my travel lifestyle. Living in my suitcase has made it easier for me to prepare what I do and what I don’t need when I’m on the road.
Here are some pre-travel tips to prepare you for a long-term trip as a digital nomad abroad.
1. Choose between checked baggage and hand baggage
Be realistic with yourself about what kind of packer you are. Are you a heavy packer? Do you only need the bare minimum and can buy everything you need on the go?
When you are in a foreign country and away from home for a long time, you may not be able to find all the products that you are used to. Or you might need clothes for different types of weather. Such factors may cause you to consider checking your baggage in order to have more space to pack your bags.
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Some people like to travel with just a large, quality travel backpack that can be carried on planes. This can be handy, especially if you don’t like paying and waiting for checked baggage. However, with a backpack, what you can bring will be limited by airline overhead compartment size restrictions.
The more stuff you have, the heavier the backpack will be. If you take checked baggage with you, you don’t have to worry about carrying it around the airport if it gets heavy, but you will have to check it, which adds time (and potentially costs) to every flight.
There is no right or wrong answer. The most important thing is that you are comfortable when traveling.
2. Pack for multiple climates
Are you going on a long trip that covers several climates? Even in the same country, you may encounter different climates if you explore different types of places during your stay.
Prepare for the weather you’ll be spending the majority of your time in, and add a few key pieces that you can take on random trips.
Some important things, no matter where you are going, include:
- Flip flops: These are useful and versatile for more than just pool-centric activities. They’re thin and light, and also work as home slippers when you don’t want to go barefoot around your hotel or apartment.
- Swimsuit: If you are on the road for a while, your hotel or apartment may have a pool or hot tub. Or you can find yourself on the weekend somewhere where you can swim.
- Lightweight, compressible and versatile jacket: This is the key to a multitude of uses, including wind and rain protection, but also sun protection. In addition, when you travel for a while, you may encounter different weather conditions, so having an easily packable jacket is essential.
- Items that wick away moisture: Consider workout pants and tops that could double up for hiking or casual wear.
- Quick-drying towel: A quick-drying towel is ideal for day trips, training, the beach, or any number of activities. These towels are lightweight and in many cases sand resistant. Also, if you are staying at a hostel, you will notice that they may not provide towels. Have your own towel just in case.
If you’re overwhelmed with having too many things, it may be more effective to pack outfits so you don’t bring in random clothes that don’t go well together.
3. Bring your prescription (and regular) medications
Before you leave on your international trip, fill out any prescriptions you may need and take them with you. You can also ask your doctor to extend prescriptions or get an early refill due to your trips. Your everyday medications may not be readily available in the country you are traveling to, or you may need to see a doctor to get them, which could be expensive because most state-based health insurance plans – United do not provide overseas coverage.
A small thermometer and other important medications to bring include cold medicine, acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and antacids. While these medications are widely available, there are a few basics that might come in handy if you suddenly feel uncomfortable and don’t want to worry about finding the nearest pharmacy. You should be able to pack small amounts suitable for travel for your kit.
4. Consider the international compatibility of devices and pack accordingly.
Voltage and sockets vary by country, so it may seem like all you need to do is bring a converter or adapter to use with all of your small appliances in the house. However, the allowable voltage is important, and if you’re not careful plugging your US devices into a converter and then into a wall could overheat (and break) your devices and / or blow a fuse.
For example, the majority of American hair dryers run on 120 volts. When traveling overseas, you will likely need one that operates at 230-240 volts. Even if you have a converter, you will not get the full power from your American hair dryer because it is not designed to operate at a higher voltage. Instead, buy a dual voltage hair dryer or buy one when you get to your destination.
Always check the voltage of any devices you want to bring with you to make sure they are usable. Otherwise, it is extra weight that you are carrying in your luggage. Some things to consider include electric toothbrushes, electric razors, laptops, tablets, cell phones, hair dryers, and curling irons.
5. Bring the right debit and credit cards
Before taking off on your international digital nomadic journey, put your finances back in place. First, open a bank account that reimburses international ATM fees. Don’t get stuck paying these fees on your debit card.
Second, get a credit card that doesn’t charge overseas transaction fees. These fees can be as high as 3% on every purchase you make in foreign currency. There are many credit cards that do not have an annual fee, nor do they charge an overseas transaction fee. These cards will not have too many benefits, but at least you will avoid fees.
If you want to take it up a notch, get a travel rewards premium credit card. Not only do these cards waive overseas transaction fees, but they also offer rewards on bonus categories, even when traveling overseas.
6. Purchase travel insurance
While not really a wrapping item, think long term travel insurance plans that will cover medical care abroad. Many travel insurance policies, including those provided by a premium travel card, have limits on the length of your absence. These policies will also often help you protect against lost, stolen or damaged baggage and can be useful if you need to replace certain items.
Strategic pre-travel bases for international digital nomadic travel
With smart planning and packaging, you can prepare for a successful trip abroad, whether you are looking to live the life of a digital nomad or simply become a long-term traveler who intends to return to a destination. basis from time to time.