Travelling the world as a digital nomad is one of the most freeing and exciting ways to both make a living and explore the world. Having the choice to live somewhere new without compromising your financial security is a luxury that only the digital age has been able to make a reality for so many people. If you are new to the digital nomad lifestyle or are considering making the leap from your traditional way of life, take a look at these ten ways you can improve the enjoyment of your travels that many people overlook.
1. Personal Safety
The small steps you can take to protect yourself while travelling are so simple yet so often neglected. Especially when travelling alone, you should take care to stay safe by blending in with locals as well as you can. Don't wear anything flashy or expensive, as this can attract pickpockets and muggers. Instead, keep your valuables locked up at your accommodation or in a secure compartment of your luggage. Appearing lost or confused can also attract danger, so make sure to find somewhere safe to look at a map before heading out.
2. Copies of Paperwork
For added peace of mind, taking photocopies of your essential travel documents can make traveling so much easier. If you, unfortunately, lose your passport or other paperwork somewhere along your journey, you can at least retain the information you might need to apply for emergency travel documents. Try not to bring documents when you go out unless necessary, and make sure that your accommodation has somewhere safe to lock up your travel paperwork while you're out.
At Nomad Girl we recommend to have scanned all your important documents and have them stored in a google drive folder.
3. Protecting Valuables
Apart from your travel documents, you might have other valuables you need to keep safe while travelling. Maybe you have an expensive camera or laptop that you need for work. Before you leave home, invest in luggage that is designed specifically to keep your belongings safe. Some backpacks and suitcases have secret pockets for your valuables that make it harder for thieves to find. It's always handy to bring a padlock and key while travelling, especially since many hostels have lockers for guests to use.
4. Managing Your Health and Comfort
Despite how important it is, so many travellers seem to forget their own health needs when they first start the digital nomad lifestyle. Knowing where you will get your regular medication from or having the relevant vaccinations for a particular country is essential to staying healthy and happy while travelling. If you have allergies, make sure to pack enough allergy medication for the length of your trip.
If you need to wear glasses but are worried about the sun being too bright, you can get a ray ban prescription so that even in sunny locations, you can protect your eyes without sacrificing clarity. Health and travel insurance are also a wise choice since you never know when an accident might occur while overseas.
5. Sleep Hygiene
Sleep hygiene has two meanings, both relating to the quality of your sleep. The first involves keeping a healthy sleep schedule so that your body and mind are refreshed at the beginning of each day. Sticking to a sleep routine can be difficult when travelling, especially across time zones, so find out methods of preventing jet lag that work for you. The second means having a hygienic place to sleep. You can't always rely on your accommodation providing adequate sleeping quarters, so packing a sleeping bag liner can protect you from bedbugs and other nasty surprises in the night.
6. Pack Only Essentials
Even for long journeys, you don't need to always pack a huge bag or bring multiple pieces of luggage. Having to carry a heavy weight will be far more frustrating than needing to occasionally visit a nearby store in order to buy something you've left at home, such as toiletries or clothing. One useful trick that some digital nomads use is to only pack basic clothes, then wait until they arrive at their destination to purchase outfits appropriate to the weather conditions from local secondhand stores. Then you can sell or donate these clothes when the time comes for you to leave.
7. Research Destinations in Advance
Even if you enjoy spontaneous travel decisions and only finding out where you're going at the last minute, you should still take a quick look online to research some key information about your next destination. Different parts of the world have very different climates, customs and laws, meaning that people who travel frequently should take care to adapt as they move across borders. If you don't know much about where you are headed, look online for the most critical information, so you are prepared when you arrive.
8. Internet Connection
Since researching upcoming destinations is so important to have a safe and enjoyable trip, you will also need to make sure that you have a reliable internet connection wherever you go. This might involve setting up a data plan before you leave your home country or taking time to set up new plans at each destination. If your work requires you to be able to connect to the internet, you don't want to be caught somewhere with no signal, either.
9. Contacting Home
Having someone you trust and who cares about you back at home is extremely useful if you want to stay as safe as possible while travelling. Even if you only choose your next destination spontaneously, let your trusted individual know where you plan to be and when so that, if something unexpected happens, they can take steps to help you out.
10. Taking Travel Breaks
Even the most adventurous travellers still require a rest every now and then. You might find that a new location feels more like home than any other, in which case you might think about temporarily settling down to make the most of it. If not, consider heading home for a break. Travelling can be surprisingly exhausting even for those who are most experienced at it, so go easy on yourself and know when to rest. This will help to restore your energy for your next adventure.