15 Digital Nomad Tools for Budget Conscious Travelers
Today there are more remote workers than ever before in history. People are leaving behind their traditional office jobs in search of adventure, and they’re bringing their work with them. Thankfully, technology is making travel easier. The rise of innovative apps is helping travelers streamline their life on the road. As a full-time traveler myself, I balance my time between exploring local culture and working on a start-up. In this article, I’ll share my favorite budget friendly digital nomad tools for saving time and money while increasing productivity.
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Editor’s Pick: Top Digital Nomad Tools
1. Trover App
This app is a like Instagram for travelers. It’s a place where travelers can upload and share their favorite destinations with other nomads. The beautiful photo galleries are the perfect way to discover new destinations. What makes Trover unique is the huge network of travelers that connect on the app to discuss their favorite places. You can exchange stories and tips and even create lists of places you want to explore. Trover is the best travel app for gaining inspiration from fellow travelers. If you suffer from wanderlust, this digital nomad tool just might be the cure.
2. Hip Camp
An Airbnb for campsites, this new travel app is transforming the way travelers think about accommodation. For starters, it opens up a whole new avenue that hotels and boutiques haven’t really given much credence to – the great outdoors. This website is quintessential for anyone who enjoys spending a night under the stars with a bonfire by their side. What I like most about this website is I can easily search for land to camp on all around the USA. Hip Camp opens up unique accommodation opportunities that would otherwise not be available. This cool new website enables landowners to keep their space filled with nature, instead of selling or building on top of it. For camping enthusiasts, it’s a dream come true. Campers can pitch their teepees and re-wild in the grand elegance of Napa, Yosemite, Sequoia, Lake Tahoe, and many other locations in all fifty states.
Nomad Budget is a personal finance app for travelers. If you’re tired of using currency converters and spreadsheets, you’re not alone. Created by travelers Nathan & Adriana, Nomad Budget is a travel expense tracker that helps you keep track of your spending while abroad and save money. It allows you to create a target daily budget and watches your spending so you don’t have to. Best of all, it works completely offline and has over 150 foreign currencies to choose from. It works seamlessly in every country. Foreign expenses are instantly converted into your home currency using the latest conversion rate. Beautiful charts display your spending by category so you know exactly how much you’re spending on food, accommodation, and sightseeing. Nomad Budget is the perfect budgeting app if you’re going on a trip and you don’t want to overspend.
Cost: Enter first 25 expenses for free, with option to upgrade to the full-version for $4.99
Stay in the know with the latest travel technology. This website was built by travel entrepreneurs who wanted to give back to the community. Inspired by the concept of Startup Stash, Traveller Stash curates the very best of trending travel technology and delivers it in one clear-cut space. This website offers sixty top travel resources to help fellow explorers plan their upcoming trips with ease. The key idea here is to make traveling more convenient. Indexed resources include everything from flight hacks to package handling services and backpacker tips. Digital nomads and vacationers alike can now find the best tools and resources for an upcoming trip on Traveller Stash.
5. Trip Advisor
Create epic bucket lists for things to do in new cities. Trip Advisor is a megalithic resource for travel reviews and recommendations. With an ever growing user-base comprised of knowledgeable expats and locals, travelers can find answers to pretty much any question they have about a particular destination. Their comprehensive list of attractions around the world helps itinerants discover interesting sites, tours, and experiences. What I love most about Trip Advisor is the ability to create custom bucket lists for an upcoming trip. I can save all my sightseeing ideas and restaurant picks in one place and then come back to it later. A notable feature is being able to see all of my favorite spots displayed neatly on a map. I can easily pair sightseeing with nearby dining which makes itinerary planning a cinch.
Stay organized with your tasks and team members. Trello enables entrepreneurs to create a fluid workflow that inevitably increases productivity. This is a life-changing application. As someone who has issues staying focused and prioritizing my tasks, this app has completely transformed the way I plan my day. The intuitive design allows me to effortlessly create multiple to-do lists. Users have the ability to create teams and share tasks with their team members. Permission levels allow users to maintain control over project management, delegate priorities according to color tags, apply due dates, and archive completed tasks for accountability. Notable features include being able to drag-and-drop tasks, move lists around, and automatically splices chunk text into separate tasks. This is a life-changing app. After discovering the capabilities of Trello, it has become indispensable to my workflow.
The easiest way to communicate and share files with team members. Slack is a messenger application that works on your desktop or on your phone. So what makes Slack different from other messenger apps? Founded by tech guru Stewart Butterfield, Slack is a cloud-based tool for team collaboration. When team members want to communicate with one another, they can organize their conversations with custom “channels” that are either open (for transparency) or private (for sensitive topics). Team members can easily drag and drop all types of files including PDFs, images, and spreadsheets. You can even video call your co-workers or set up a digital conference! All downloads, files, and direct messages are cleverly stored for later so that users can search for archived conversations. What I love most about Slack is the ability to preview URL links and GIFs in my messenger window. Instead of sifting through a thousand emails with hard to find attachments, I can just open Slack and have all my business communications in one spot. In summary, Slack has reinvented the way business professionals communicate online with their associates.
Cost: Free with paid upgrades for large teams
8. Sky Scanner
Find the cheapest flights to your favorite destinations. Sky Scanner compares millions of flights from various airlines and offers the least expensive flights from point A to B. Whenever I need to book a flight, I head to this website to find the best deals. Some clever features include being able to type in “Everywhere” into your destination. It allows you to see your options in a multitude of countries and cities along with pricing information. Sky Scanner doesn’t charge any hidden fees, but instead links you directly with the airline to book your ticket. Sky Scanner also has convenient filtering which allows you to sort the results by duration, lowest price, departure time, and even by a specific airline.
Here’s a tip for saving even more money! Once you find a great flight on Sky Scanner, you can then go directly to the website of that particular airline to see if your ticket will be cheaper.
Turn off that pesky blue light on your computer so you can go to bed. If you’re having a difficult time sleeping, the light radiating off your computer screen might be to blame. Studies have shown that blue light can have an adverse effect for sleep patterns. Flux takes care of this issue by eliminating this blue light so that your body can carry out its natural resting cycle without interference. After downloading flux, you can tell the application what time you plan to wake up and it will automatically adjust the lights on your computer. As evening approaches, the light on your screen gradually adjusts to a reddish orange glow. This altered lighting has a drowsy effect which physiologically motivates the user to stop using their computer and go to sleep. Flux is great for digital nomads who need that extra push to turn off their electrical devices late at night.
Easily manage multiple browser windows on your desktop. Creating the perfect workspace is one of the most important ways in which to increase productivity. After-all, having a messy desktop can instill feelings of cluttered thoughts, confusion, and serve as the ultimate distraction playground. Moom helps you to manage all of your windows so you can work better. It’s like playing Tetris with your browser windows. You can easily size them down and position them on your screen with just one click. This is a very valuable tool for programmers who need to have multiple applications open at once.
11. Disk Inventory X
Running out of space on your laptop is a problem almost everyone runs into at some point. Luckily, Disk Inventory X is the solution to a filled hard drive. Developed by a Ph.D student who became obsessed with the idea of visually graphing his hard drive inventory, this app was created to help others save time and energy. Disk Inventory X shows you the files sizes of various folders and applications with helpful “tree-maps” graphics. It allows you to know exactly where your biggest files are on your computer for easy clean up. It sorts your folders by size so you can instantly see which files are taking up the most space. It quickly analyzes any hard drive and provides a visual report within seconds. If your computer has freezing issues, Disk Inventory X can save the day!
12. Work From
Finding the perfect coffee shop to work from while traveling can be quite a challenge. Work From is a comprehensive list of the best coffee shops to work from around the world. This wonderful website collects user-aggregated data in order to suggest cafes in every city around the world. Their motto is “scouted by real humans in over 1,250 Cities.” The requirements are simple. Good wifi and power outlets. This database of work-friendly locations is growing every day and includes bars as well as co-working spaces. The Work From blog also offers inspiration for remote workers and they even have a Slack chat community (#Workfrom) where freelancers can meet potential employers. Work From is the best way for digital nomads to find public places to work from at the drop of a dime.
13. On The Grid
Described as a neighborhood guide for explorers, On The Grid is a curated list of local gems and secret spots put together by creative designers. It’s a place where locals can give their top food & shopping recommendations. Anyone can become a curator and recommend cool spots for visitors to check out on their next trip to far away destinations. Metropolitan areas are cleverly broken up into separate neighborhood guides and the list of cities is growing every day. Los Angeles alone has thirty-eight neighborhood lists! On The Grid has garnered international appeal for its straight-forward approach and lack of pretension. With exotic cities such as Beirut, Bogotá, and Brooklyn, it’s no wonder culture seekers are flocking to this website for the best insider tips of where to dine and lounge.
UpWork is the largest online workplace for freelancers. It is an incredible platform for digital nomads and creative professionals, but it is especially valuable for programmers. With a specialization in the tech industry, UpWork is transforming the way in which people view remote work. From logo creators to content writers, Upwork is a great way to find paying clients. Earning an income while traveling sounds like a dream, but UpWork is turning that into a reality for many. It connects a thriving community of talented developers, designers, and consultants with one another to create the perfect team. Users can either post a job and search for a candidate or hire an expert. The best part is that all payments are handled through their website. UpWork is the go-to place for finding a gig and funding your budget travel adventures.
15. Nord VPN
Did you know Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are all blocked in China? It’s sad but true. Many different countries around the world enforce regional restrictions in order to limit what their citizens can see on the internet. The easiest way to avoid digital censorship while surfing the web is to use a “virtual private network” (VPN) service. Nord VPN is one of the best online encryption and privacy applications out there. With two thousand servers to choose from in over sixty countries, Nord VPN enables its users to override any regional restrictions. Nord VPN allows you to have a safe wifi so you can easily check your bank statements and shop online in communal hotspots. They even boast a no-log policy which is pretty neat. Lastly, they even use a 2048-bit SSL encryption system. This means your data will remain private, even when you use your laptop in the most public spaces.
Cost: Yearly subscription of $5.75 per month
I hope you enjoyed this overview of the top digital nomad tools for budget conscious travelers. As an itinerant, these apps have had a beneficial impact on my way of life. Working abroad has become easier with the aid of these helpful gizmos. I can now travel non-stop, spend less money, sleep more, locate cheap lodging, and find flight deals – all on the go. The world for digital nomads is becoming more convenient and this is just the beginning.
Don’t forget to check out all of Finding Beyond’s Digital Nomad Desires content.
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About the Author
Adriana discovered her passion for travel after a five-week camping trip through Central America. After graduating from the University of California of Santa Cruz, she decided to buy a one-way ticket to Bangkok to explore the world. She’s lived in Bali, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, and a few other places where durians are plentiful. Adriana & her husband Nathan are the creators of Nomad Budget, a travel expense tracker app. They also make weekly travel vlogs on their Youtube channel. Follow them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.