By Darren Griffiths

6 Things To Do Before You Become A Digital Nomad

22nd April 2023

The digital nomad community is growing; in fact, one study estimates that there will be one billion digital nomads by 2035! If you are thinking about becoming a nomad yourself, you will be entering a very diverse group; 33% are in their 30s, 29% are in their late twenties and 18% are in the 37-45 age bracket.

But if you are serious about committing to the lifestyle, there are a few things that you will need to do first. It is important to make sure that you get your finances sorted before you leave, and there are a few other things that will also need your attention. From thinking about travel WiFi to clearing debt, here are four things that you need to do before you become a digital nomad.

Every digital nomad should be using a VPN – Virtual Private Network. We’ve tried dozens of VPNs but found NordVPN to be the most reliable in terms of speed, ease of use, customer service and value for money.

Invest In An Unlocked Smartphone That Isn’t Linked To One Provider

You need a phone you can use internationally. If you’ve never traveled around anywhere, then you should know that if you didn’t buy your phone outright, then it’s likely locked to your carrier. That means, if you try to put a different SIM card in it from an international carrier, it won’t work. Replace or upgrade your phone and buy it outright to avoid this problem or having to use subpar phones while traveling.

Reduce Your Debt And Get A Travel Credit Card

If you are an American with debt, that is fairly normal; the average US household has $137,063 of debt! However, debt can become more of a problem if you are a digital nomad, especially if you have lots of local debt. For this reason, you should try to reduce your debt before you start travelling, and you may also want to think about getting a credit card that comes with travel benefits.

Some nomads begin their journey with a more traditional finance option to get them off the ground. Considering personal loans is not something to do without serious thought but it could be the perfect way to get your new life off the ground. It’s important to take your time and explore options before taking this route though. Read impartial assessments such as this Rise loan review and reviews of other lenders before making any big decisions.

Take Advantage Of A Credit Monitoring Service

Find a credit monitoring service who can monitor your credit while you are gone. They will send you monthly alerts about your credit score, which means you won’t come home to find that your identity was stolen months (or even years!) ago. The service can also freeze your credit if you are travelling in another country, which can be very useful for people with complicated finances.

Rent Or Sell Your Home

If you are serious about committing to the nomad life, you should rent or sell your home. This will give you an extra source of income for your new lifestyle, and it means that your home won’t be empty while you are gone. This will also reduce the chance of coming home to squatters!

Get A Skype Forwarding Number To Hand Out

Being a digital nomad is great… but it can get a little frustrating if you struggle to stay in contact with your loved ones. For this reason, you should get a Skype forwarding number that you can hand out before you leave, as then everyone will know exactly how to get in touch with you. The great thing about Skype numbers is that anyone in the world can use the number to contact you, and they are available in almost every area code. This will make it easy and cheap for you to stay in contact with your friends and family… and your mum will probably be very happy to know she can ring you or message you whenever she wants.

Get Travel Insurance

It is also essential to get travel insurance if you are planning on traveling out of the US. Problems can easily arise as you travel, but if you have good travel insurance you don’t need to worry about an accident happening. Make sure that you get travel insurance that will be valid for your entire trip, and make sure that it will cover any emergencies that could possibly arise. Sure, finding travel insurance may not be your favorite way to spend an afternoon, but if you injure yourself you will be very happy you did it!

The life of a digital nomad is exciting and fun, but it is also very different to a traditional life. For this reason, it is important to sort out your finances before you go, as this will make the transition much smoother.

Bonus Tip: Get a Good EDC (Every Day Carry) Backpack

Yes, Travel backpacks are great (and often pretty big). But when you are lugging around your laptop from coffee shop to coffee shop, it’s nice to get an EDC backpack for carrying “normal stuff” (ie your charger, headphones, etc). Most Digital NoMads want to carry less, however, they are often they are small enough to fit into your checked luggage or you can always use it as your carry on.   Its a little counterintuitive, but a little more gear might force you to travel a little slower, but your “everyday” travel will be faster with these types of bags.