Ways to Earn Money While You Travel By Becoming a Digital Nomad
How many times have you hopped on Instagram or Facebook and seen all these gorgeous photos of people working from their laptop while laying on a hammock on the beach or working in a quaint cafe in Paris?
You’ve probably seen it more than you want, and maybe we are guilty too of posting photos of us working remotely from some tropical paradise.
But if you do see so many digital nomads on your social feeds, maybe it is because you want to live that life as well.
To live the digital nomad lifestyle definitely has many perks, but it’s a very different type of lifestyle than what you might be used to, and it will be quite a transition to get adjusted to.
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What is a Digital Nomad? Is it for me?
People who travel and work off their laptops and internet connection are called digital nomads, or location independent professionals.
Now, the thing about becoming a digital nomad is that it’s simple but then again, it’s not.
People on the outside looking in see digital nomads sitting on the beach working, having the time of their life, seems like…
But what people don’t know is that the digital nomad in the picture is under an extremely tight time crunch and has to get four projects done by the end of the day… the beach was the only place where she could focus to get everything done.
Becoming a digital nomad certainly looks glamorous and it truly is most times but it definitely requires a significant amount of hard work, discipline, and dedication to be a successful location-independent professional. The hardest part is probably from the discipline perspective.
You are going to be traveling to some of the world’s most breathtaking destinations. Whether that destination is full of historical buildings or gorgeous beaches and mountainous views, it’s going to be hard sometimes to buckle down and work versus going out and exploring your destination.
That reason alone is why it’s so important to stay focused so that you can start generating a reliable and steady income.
Now, before you start on your digital nomadic journeys, it’s also important to note that there isn’t a set of specific guidelines to follow to officially prepare for this lifestyle but there are some tips on how to help you prepare.
Preparing For Your Digital Nomad Journey in 4 Steps
1. Give Yourself a Realistic Time Frame to Save
When you make the decision to become a digital nomad, you can’t just hop on a plane and go… you have to make sure you’re financially stable before you go.
That’s not saying that you need to have hundreds of thousands of dollars but you definitely do need to have enough money saved up to at least live on for a few months until you start producing a steady source of income.
So, in order to make sure you have enough money saved up before your digital nomad journeys, you need to give yourself at least a year to save.
During that time, you need to continue to work your full-time job and can even pick up a part-time job as well to make sure you’re saving enough money.
It might be hard because you’ll be so ready to go but just stick it out for a year and you’ll be so glad you did once you begin your travels.
2. Map Out Your First Few Travel Destinations and Research Them
While you’re taking a year to save, this is the perfect time to map out the first few destinations you want to visit. You can even make a full bucket list of destinations you want to visit and then narrow them down to the first few places you want to visit.
In selecting the first few places, research them to see what type of internet infrastructure it has, the cost of living, vaccination requirements, and the crime rate.
You might want one of your first destinations to be Ukraine but in choosing that destination, you have to make sure it’s a safe place to visit… it could be one of those countries on the list of most dangerous countries in Europe.
Also, you’ll want to see what types of legal documentation you’ll need to enter the country. Some countries require passports and some require visas or both.
As a safe bet, it’s best to go on and obtain a passport and a visa. It’s best to obtain these legal documents/forms of identification sooner than later because sometimes the process can take weeks up to months at times.
3. Join an Online Digital Nomad Community
Before you start your journeys, sometimes it’s helpful to join a digital nomad community to connect with.
These communities give you access to like-minded individuals on the digital nomad journey. Some of them are newbies and some are seasoned travelers but it’s a great tool to get advice and give tips.
4. Figure Out the Skills You Have to Monetize On
Being that you’re going to be conducting work online, you need to figure out what type of skills you have that you can monetize on during your travels.
Maybe you’re great at web design or maybe you’re great at data entry… Whatever skills you have, you can profit off of those skills, causing multiple streams of income.
5 Ways to Earn Money as a Digital Nomad
In becoming a digital nomad, it can be a little scary at first… the fear of not knowing can be quite overwhelming and even discouraging at times.
But the biggest fear among aspiring digital nomads is the fear of not knowing how they’ll generate income.
The fear is that they’ll be in a foreign country and not have any money to get to their next destination or home…
It’s perfectly understandable to feel that way but generating income during your travels is probably the easiest part of becoming a digital nomad.
You’re probably wondering how it’s so easy but it honestly starts while you’re preparing for your travels.
There are ways to earn an income while you’re waiting on your digital nomad journey to begin that you can also do while you’re traveling. Take a look at some of the best ways to earn a living while traveling as a digital nomad.
1. Seek Remote Work With Your Current Job
If you’re currently working a full-time job, you should speak with your human resources department to see if there are any remote work opportunities. If there are, that’s one source of income that you can just continue to stream while you travel!
Some people will even let their employers know what their plans are and ask if they can work from home for a bit just as a trial run to see if the digital nomad lifestyle is for them.
But first, if you indeed like what you do with your full-time job, but still want to travel full-time, there’s nothing wrong with asking your employer if there are remote work opportunities.
2. Start an Online Business
Starting an online business is the most popular way to earn an income as a digital nomad. In fact, most digital nomads will start their online business while they’re taking the year to save so that by the time they actually do venture out, they’ll have a nice sized customer base that will continue to buy their products.
Shopify is a great option to build your own website. By building your own online store, you’re going to be able to have complete control over your site’s navigation and total design… your website will ultimately be your blank canvas. You can get as creative as you want and profit off of it!
3. House Sit
House sitting is a way to earn in the form of saving. Where you’re earning is being able to hold on to your money by not having to pay for accommodations… and accommodations are the most expensive part of being a digital nomad.
When you house sit, you’re ultimately being provided a place to stay in exchange for watering a few plants and making sure the pets are fed and taken care of.
Now, sometimes you can actually get paid to house sit but in most cases, having a place to stay for free is the payment.
4. Rent Your Home Out
Renting your home out is also a very popular way to earn a steady income while you’re working and traveling as a digital nomad.
Depending on what exactly you want to do with your house, you have the option of renting out your home in its entirety to a single-family, or you can rent out multiple rooms to different tenants.
Lots of digital nomads will use Airbnb for this or they’ll turn to family members and see if they need to rent out some space temporarily.
Renting your home out is a better option because your source of income will be coming in monthly versus completely selling your home and taking the lump sum of money.