I’ve been working remotely for the whole year while traveling around Europe, and throughout the year I’ve discovered a few useful tools that have become my digital toolset to quickly set up in a new city. I’ve found that not many people know about some of these tools, so I’d like to share them below in case you find yourself being a digital nomad in the future :)
Please note this post is not about what equipment, cameras, laptops, or travel cards to take with you. It’s about digital tools that can help you find a place to work, live and make new friends, ultimately to make you feel at home.
Unlike backpacking or flashpacking, travel-working is a mixture of feeling like a traveler and behaving like a local. It’s a hard balance to achieve, as you are constantly feeling like you don’t want to miss out on everything a new city has to offer while having a commitment to yourself and your clients/employers to do your work and deliver. Eventually, you have to accept you are not there on holidays, you are there for work.
The great thing about traveling like this is that you discover places in a city that you normally wouldn’t.
Here are some of the things I’ve used this year to make my work and life easier when it comes to working remotely in Europe:
- Find the best working coffee shops in the city you are planning to go. Google will have the answer.
- Traveling and working can be quite lonely so co-working spaces are great if you want to be part of a community and for networking. Make sure you try a few co-working spaces before you make a decision, they are all very different. (Most co-working spaces offer free trial days, use them, you’ll save a lot of money).
- Check coworker.com to find reviews about co-working spaces. It doesn’t have the most comprehensive list, but you can find the most popular spaces in a city.
- Check out workfrom.co to find coffee shops. Workfrom is a crowdsource selection of working coffee shops around the world. Make sure to add new spots if you find some!
- Use foursquare.com to find the best-rated places to eat and drink. In the past, I’ve used Trip Advisor and Google reviews, but I’ve found that Foursquare has a more accurate rating and more hidden gems!
- I use nomadlist.com to get a sense of the areas of a city I haven’t been to.
- I use city-bikes to move around. Nowadays cities have more than one option which gives you plenty of choices to move around.
- Download the Guides by Lonely Planet and Google Trips apps to plan a weekend or a day trip.
- Always search for Facebook expat groups, you’ll get a lot of insight about a city and meet new people if you fancy.
- If you are a girl traveling, look for Girl Gone International. They are all around the world and once you join, you can make new friends and get recommendations from other members.
- Use GoEuro and Trainline to search for train tickets. Make sure to check both because sometimes they have different prices for the same trip.
- Last but not least… where to stay? Hostels are cheap and social, but not made to make you feel at home. Airbnb feels like home, but it’s expensive and can be quite lonely. Hotels or Apart Hotels are somewhere in between, but they are on the expensive side.
Before you search for those options, search for co-living places, some co-working spaces also offer co-living. This option is not as expensive as Airbnb, it has the social aspect of a hostel and you will be with like-minded people. A good start would be to look here: coliving.com/ — but don’t limit yourself to this website, there are plenty of co-living spaces that are not listed there.
Get out and explore!