The following is a list of practical guides, essential tools, and useful resources that I’ve used for living and working in countries around the world. Organize your tax affairs and find the best accommodation for your budget, subscribe to informative newsletters on nomad-related topics, get paid, join a community, stay connected, and stay on the right side of the law with your visa situation.
Communities & Blogs
Freedom Surfer – Probably the most straightforward source of actionable advice for serious digital nomads who want to open bank accounts overseas, learn about health insurance, automated bookkeeping, EU VAT, Tax residency, and retiring overseas. There’s a paid community that includes access to extra content and an engaged Slack group of like-minded world travelers.
Expat Empire – Get advice on moving overseas, visa procedures, overseas job search, working in another country, and digital nomad best practices from Expat Empire. Founder David offers consulting services for fellow digital nomads that aim to help you travel the world indefinitely or live in a new country long-term. There’s a roadmap, 1-on-1 coaching, and timeline planning to make the process run smoothly. Get 5% off any service by adding [email protected] to the “Referred By” field of the scheduling form.
Check in Price: Travel Economics – A great resource for expats willing to travel, move, or invest abroad. Check out the informative YouTube channel, hosted by Jon, which breaks down the pros and cons of living and investing in different cities and countries.
The Wandering Investor – Location independent entrepreneurs and digital nomads are in a strong position to benefit from internationalization and diversification (of their investments). Diversifying your portfolio is one of the best ways to protect it. Host, blogger, and investor Ladislas Maurice shows you how to invest your hard-earned money in emerging markets and places that regular investors overlook. The blogs and YouTube videos Ladislas produces on a regular basis will be of great interest to anyone looking to invest overseas.
Find out how to open a bank account in Panama, get residency in Colombia, and buy real estate with cryptocurrency. Learn which tax havens in Europe welcome digital nomads and why you should invest in African nations.
Reddit – active subReddit where you can learn what other nomads are up to, ask for advice, and discover trends as they happen
Taxes.pages.dev – Free, open-source advice on digital nomad taxes, international taxes for freelancers, digital nomads, remote business, independent contractors, and small business owners. If you need to get up to speed on the basics of taxation, read this glossary.
Location Indie – Excellent community for location independent entrepreneurs.
The Global Citizen – Julius van der Beek gives free advice and paid consultancy on saving tax as a digital nomad.
Nomad Capitalist – Andrew Henderson’s business focuses on helping six and seven-figure entrepreneurs save more money on tax by building geo arbitrage systems. While Andrew’s services are aimed at high-earning or high-net-worth individuals, most of the information he offers for free on his website and YouTube channel is useful for digital nomads no matter what their stage of the journey.
Points To Be Made – Tim Lai’s guide to maximizing airline and hotel points is an excellent resource for straight-talking advice on saving money on two of the biggest expenses of travel.
No More Tax – Advice for Europeans looking to reduce their tax burden with strategic business and personal tax residency options.
Tax-Free Today – Tips for entrepreneurs, digital nomads, independents, and investors tired of over-regulation, taxes, and bureaucracy in their home countries.
The Nomads Accounting blog has some easily digestible articles for UK residents on topics like the Portuguese NHR scheme, digital nomad taxes, territorial tax systems, crypto tax, Estonia E-Residency, and the Thailand Special Tourist Visa.
Nomad Flag Expat Consulting – I offer advice and coaching on anything related to working abroad, starting a business, relocating, finding a country to move to, getting remote work, and setting up as a digital nomad. [note: I’m not an accountant or tax advisor]
- Digital Nomads Around the World
Work From Anywhere – started by Chartered Accountants who previously held senior finance roles for global multinationals, this remote work tax services business understands digital nomad tax issues.
WFA developed algorithms to help identify which countries present the greatest tax residency risk. Online forums and Facebook groups are full of bad tax advice from digital nomads who do not comply with tax laws. Do yourself a favor and talk to experts at Work From Anywhere before you make life-changing decisions. The website offers several excellent free resources: a digital nomad tax residency risk map and a compliance framework. Both will help you make informed decisions and avoid headaches in the future.
Remote.com – Perfect for anyone running a business online with employees in different locations. Remote will take care of the messy stuff so you can spend less time on paperwork and more time growing your business. The service makes the process of hiring remote employees, anywhere in the world, as seamless as possible. Remote uses a regulated solution to set up local legal entities in covered countries. Business owners can onboard, manage, and pay their Remote employees in a simple online application.
Papaya Global – Remote workforce and payroll management. If you’re planning to hire staff for your digital nomad business or remote work venture, you know the frustration of international tax, payroll, and hiring. Recruiting employees abroad without a local presence or legal entity can pose compliance issues. Papaya Global is a worldwide payroll leader that removes the stress of international contracts and compliance for businesses and freelancers who want to hire staff.
Firstbase – Incorporating a company in a foreign country can be time-consuming, expensive, and complicated. Whether you’re just starting out or already established, the last thing you should worry about is spending countless hours understanding complicated legal documents. Form a company in the US with Firstbase from anywhere – abroad, in the US, or from your phone.
Business Anywhere – form an LLC or Corporation in all 50 US States without traveling to a single office. Get your new business entity going by filling out a form. A cost-effective way to avoid mistakes and have a brand new business or LLC for digital nomads in a matter of days.
PrivacyPost – A privacy-focused virtual mailbox and business service for location independent entrepreneurs, digital nomads, and Expats. Founded by an American expat living in Lisbon, Portugal.
Xolo – a service offering a fast-track to setting up and running an EU business in Estonia (a popular place for digital nomads to incorporate their businesses). With e-residency, you can access Estonia’s digital business environment from anywhere in the world! Xolo also offers a modern invoicing tool with a business banking account that has integrations with payment gateways such as Wise, PayPal, and Stripe.
Freshbooks – bookkeeping for digital nomads
Finance & Banking
N26 – An excellent online bank with headquarters in Germany. Available to citizens of the European Single Payments Area (SEPA) and the United States. Zero-fee accounts, free foreign currency ATM withdrawals worldwide, car hire insurance, travel insurance, and other perks. Personal and business account options. Probably the best digital nomad debit cards in Europe
Wise – The best money transfer and currency exchange platform. Wise and N26 have an agreement that makes working with both services easy. Personal and Business accounts available.
Monzo – a true online bank for UK and US residents. Free ATM withdrawals with the Mastercard debit card.
Freedom is Everything – This newsletter is packed with great information on the latest visa policy changes, living abroad advice, freelancing opportunities, work abroad advice, accommodation, and airline offers (including points and deals). The website’s creator, Cam Woodsum is a full-time digital nomad and a passionate ambassador for the location independent living movement.
Remote Hunt – all about remote working, remote jobs, and travel tech.
Dollar Flight Club – I was impressed with the quality of flights and the detail put into the newsletters from this flight concierge service. If you’re a digital nomad with a base airport and you travel a lot, Dollar Flight Club’s newsletter is great for curated flight deals. It works with European departure airports as well.
Digital Nomad News – curated articles for location-independent folks.
Got a newsletter you think should be added to this list? Sign up for my newsletter and reply to the first message.
Most “digital nomad health insurance” and travel insurance businesses get their policies through third-party insurance companies like Allianz, but they simplify the process to suit your lifestyle at the right price. I’ve used both of the following digital nomad travel insurance services over the years.
Safety Wing – Safety Wing is offering travel medical insurance for anyone while living or working outside their home country. And COVID-19 coverage is included.
World Nomads – Buy or renew your policy, claim online and get advice about your cover from any device – whether you’re on a beach in Thailand, or at home in Australia. World Nomads also offers a range of adventure activities and sports coverage. Simple and straightforward.
Use this world map to find out which countries are open for tourism, which allow fully vaccinated travelers, and which borders are open with restrictions.
Flights & Travel Planning
App In The Air – Track itineraries, store boarding passes, get airport gate alerts, and manage miles. You can also book flights directly through the app.
Weather Spark – check the average temperature, rainfall, hours of daylight, wind speed, and more for any month, day, or hour, in this free tool that can help you plan your stay around the world in advance.
Maps.Me – The most detailed offline maps for travel in any city. Also offers travel planning tools.
Rome2Rio – The best transport planning tool. What Rome2Rio does differently is that it offers all the transport options between two places and combines modes of transport to show the fastest, cheapest, and most convenient routes.
Travel Math – A solid resource for travel planning. Get the flight times, distances, nearby airports, driving costs, time difference, and more between two locations. Great for quickly figuring out where to go.
Numbeo – Get consumer prices on everything in any city and compare them to any other city. Numbeo also has comprehensive crowdsourced crime rate figures, property prices (rent and buy), health care indexes, quality of life indexes, pollution indexes, and more.
Expatistan – A great resource for planning on where to live, base yourself, or even just rent for a while. Particularly good for people looking to work locally in other countries. Find out exactly how much you’d need to make to live in another city or how much you’d save by moving.
LivingCost – Uses crowdsourced and public data sets to provide detailed prices and living costs for cities as well as a great comparison calculator.
WiFi Map – Find the best Wifi around and city. Get internet speed reports and the password to the wifi network.
Onward Ticket – Buy a temporary onward ticket to show airline staff and immigration officials. Digital nomads often book one way flights to destinations. Airlines and immigration often want to see a return flight or onward booking. This is a way to get around the red tape for a very small fee.
AirHelp – Get compensation for a delayed, canceled, or overbooked flight. The team at AirHelp does this all day so leave your claim with them and pay them a small fee for the work.
Kiwi.com – Search your departure country, destination country, and a month to get the best flights in and out of countries in an entire month. Perfect for the digital nomad with a flexible agenda. The ability to do country-to-country searches (instead of specific airports) is one of the standout features of Kiwi.com that would appeal to location-independent and time-rich digital nomads.
Skyscanner – Another very popular flight search engine with similar features to Kiwi
👉 Read about other flight search engines and flights hacks
International Tax Bites – learn about personal and corporate tax residencies, permanent establishment rules, global tax, and sources of passive income. Very useful and important stuff.
Inside International Tax – a show by KPMG for US citizens with a global outlook.
Check out this list of the best nomad, remote work, and travel podcasts to load up on your mobile phone.
Airbnb – probably the most popular accommodation website for digital nomads. It has served me well over the years, but prices are increasing fast.
Flatio / NomadX – an alternative to Airbnb for stays of at least 2 weeks. I haven’t yet had any luck with the platform and there are some fake listings on there so do some due diligence and keep payments “on platform”
NestPick – lots of student accommodation mixed in with some good deals for remote workers and nomads. It’s hit and miss on quality and some fake deals but look around and you might get lucky.
Nomad Stays – reasonably priced nomad-approved accommodation in coliving houses, residences, or villas.
Outsite – You’ll need to become a member to book a stay but these curated locations all include fast Wifi, a community, and workspaces that Digital nomads will love. If you’re looking for an instant community and guaranteed quality coworking/coworking space, browse the locations before making a booking. Get $50 Outside credit with that link.
Coliving – Coliving is a popular option with sociable, outgoing nomads. Plus it’s a good way to stay in nicer apartments at a lower cost. Coliving offers virtual tours and payment protection.
Nexstand – banish back, back, and wrist pain with a laptop stand that elevates the screen to eye height.
Mountie – Use your iPad as a second screen by attaching the iPad to the side of your Macbook’s display.
Noise-canceling headphones – tune out screaming kids on planes, noise in coffee shops, coworkers, and barking dogs with headphones that let you focus on work.
Portable Travel Router – Small footprint, USB-powered, security-focused Wifi hotspot for multiple devices.
Cloud Storage – I use the incredibly small and lightweight Sandisk Portable SSD for local backups (and another level of backup) but cloud storage is a must-have. Losing your laptop and storage drive can be expensive. But losing all your data could be catastrophic. Use Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, pCloud, or DropBox. All have free plans.
Eating and Drinking
One of the best things about being a digital nomad is that it gives you the opportunity to try local cuisines and International food created in different countries. Enjoying local food and drink is one of the most important cultural experiences. I like to wander the streets looking for good food places, but I still want discounts and recommendations from time to time.
Foursquare – surprisingly good for finding less frequented places to eat, despite the fact that Google and Yelp gained more exposure over the years. More honest reviews than on Google and Yelp and some undiscovered gems. Not a bad app to find cafes to work from.
The Fork – Excellent app for getting massive discounts on restaurants in 22 countries, including some digital nomad hotspots. use code 81FE6BC3 to get 1000 Yums (discount on meals) on your first booking.
Glovo – one of the most popular food delivery apps. A joy to use. When ordering, use code REWUXU7 to get €9 off your order.
Wolt – Like Glovo but services destinations popular with nomads: Georgia, Serbia, Israel, Greece, Croatia, and Cyprus
Eatwith – eat food with locals.
Services & Tools
Virtual Mailbox – Consolidate your physical mailbox addresses into one online mailbox and access your personalized virtual mail inbox on any device. Your physical mail is available online, wherever you are. Virtual mailbox gives you a physical address for your mail which is then uploaded to your personalized dashboard. A great option for nomads or expats who need a physical address back home.
Traveling Mailbox – Get your mail, bank statements, IRS Documents, and regular mail collected, scanned, and sent to you. Photos of your unopened mail are sent to your email and uploaded to your account. Choose to have letters opened, scanned, or dumped.
Systeme is a new tool that takes care of email marketing, sales funnels online courses, website builder, affiliate program management, and marketing automation. And there’s a free plan for up to 1000 contacts. Digital nomads on a budget will find this all-in-one marketing tool very useful.
Krisp – remove noise and background voices on calls with AI. Brilliant for working in noisy cafes or coworking spaces.
Roamer – Chrome extension that shows you which Airbnbs have the best wifi.
Coworker – find the best coworking spaces in cities around the world.
WeWork – the world’s premier coworking brand.
Holafly – Set up your eSIM in less than five minutes. Keep in touch while you travel without worrying about roaming or unexpected charges. You can also share your data plan with others. You can still keep your local SIM card or “home” SIM to receive calls. I use this service and it works great.
Airalo – One of the first things you should do when you land in a new country is to buy a local SIM card (to save on data charges). But which one to buy? Airports are convenient places to get a SIM but prices are often much higher than even the high-street stores. Airalo helps you decide which eSIM to get in any country.
Temp-Number.org – this service provides cheap and straightforward temporary phone numbers for account activations or notifications via SMS.
Digital Nomad Visas
There’s a lot of debate on the usefulness and practicalities of obtaining a DN visa for countries around the world. But one thing’s for certain, these visas have opened up avenues for travel that were not available before.
Personally, I don’t use them.
- Permission to enter a country that’s closed to tourism.
- Increased duration of stay
- In many cases, foreign earned income is not taxed in the destination country
- less paperwork than regular work visas
- Allows employers to cover their liabilities when it comes to allowing their employees work while living in another country
- Adds predictability and security to your work and life during these uncertain times.
- European DN visas are an appealing way for US and non-EU citizens to work and live in Europe and even acquire residency.
- Aimed more at employees of larger companies
- The documentation and application processes in some cases are vague and have high minimum requirements
- In many cases, there’s no need for a digital nomad visa.
- Some countries appear to market their visas as some kind of way of avoiding tax. This is never the case.
These websites have up-to-date info on visa requirements and policies
- Wikipedia’s visa policy by country page
- VisaHQ – check travel requirements based on your citizenship and where you’re travelling to.
- VisaList’s collection of visa travel advice and travel restrictions updates
- iVisa lets you check your passport against the visa rules of your destination country
I haven’t looked for a real job in literally decades, but the following sites are the most popular and recommended in the digital nomad community.
- FlexJobs – offers flexible and remote job opportunities for digital nomads in over 50 career categories. There are lots of jobs but the only catch is that it costs $9.95 a month to see them. But it appears to be worth the cost as it’s a very popular platform for nomads, stay-at-home mums, remote workers, and side hustlers.
- Working Nomads – lots to choose from in this job board created especially for digital nomads.
- Digital Nomad World – a fast-growing job board with lots of new openings every day.
- Remote Hunt – mostly tech and engineering jobs for remote workers
- Contena – another pay-to-play platform but this time the focus is on writing jobs. And the website approaches things a little differently; Contena shows you everything you need to start a freelance writing business and then helps you find the best remote and location independent writing gigs.
Travel Blogging and Writing
People might tell you that websites are dead but they’ve been saying that for years, and there’s still plenty of life in them yet. Don’t build your business or profile on Facebook, Instagram, or TikTok unless you want to be disappointed and frustrated. It only takes one algorithm or policy change to render your online presence obsolete. Build on your own land. Get a website for your online business or personal blog.
It’s no secret that every digital nomad is a travel blogger these days. But there are several good reasons to blog about your experiences with the nomad lifestyle.
- You can supplement your income through affiliate partnerships, ads, sponsorships, and collaborations
- You get to improve your writing – one of the most important skills anyone can master in the online world.
- You can document your journey for friends and family
- You can make connections and impress potential employers and online business partners with your worldly knowledge.
To be honest, I’m not sure I need or want to see another digital nomad blog. But if you decide to start one, make it interesting, please! We all know that Bali is great and there are lots of nice cafes there. The world does not need another “best cafes to work from in Bali” post.
Hosting – if you want to get started with the minimum amount of fuss, use FastComet. If you are serious about blogging and have other websites to host, use Cloudways or WPX. Trust me when I say I’ve tried them all (my main gig is marketing and website building). These are the best options. Don’t trust bloggers who recommend BlueHost.
Alternatively, Webflow is a website builder that takes care of hosting and building the site. It’s a little more technical but looks great and you don’t need to worry about updates and security issues.
Nomad Newsletters – it might seem a bit outdated, but newsletters have made a massive comeback in 2021 and are still one of the best ways to communicate with an audience and generate income. Two of the best newsletter products are MailerLite, ConvertKit, Revue, and Substack.