Traveling the world while working remotely can be cheaper than you think.

4 minute read

Imagine tapping away on a laptop under a beach cabana or e-mailing your latest work project from a cafe in Thailand. That could be your life as a digital nomad, a person who earns a living working remotely while traveling where they please.

Maybe you’re already a digital nomad, trying to find ways to make money stretch no matter what currency it’s in. If you’re looking for tips to cut expenses and save money while traveling and working, you’ve come to the right place.

1. Choose destinations carefully

Choose destinations carefully

Just because you’re exploring the world while making a living doesn’t mean you want to blow two months’ earnings in a city where you’re surprised by the high cost of living.

Research digital nomad community sites such as https://nomadlist.com/, where you can look up cities’ cost of living, including the cost for the average nomad. You’ll also find each city’s pros and cons, neighborhoods, and coworking options along with a digital nomad community forum.

2. Build an emergency fund

Adventure waits for the digital nomad, but so do unexpected emergencies. What if your laptop dies, gets stolen or lost or the Airbnb you booked is in a scary neighborhood? What if you lose your smartphone or must rush back to your home country for a family emergency?

It’s wise to have at least an extra $2,000 in an emergency fund, according to the blog Digital Nomad Soul. In fact, they say it’s a good idea to save at least $8,000 before embarking on a digital nomad life.

3. Create a budget and stick to it

Monthly budget concept

Plan for the maximum you’d like to spend monthly and compare how much you spent to the target goal, advises Digital Nomad Soul. Keep track of what you spend on every cup of coffee, bus fare, and other costs that devour your money little by little.

“This also helps you identify potential areas to save money,” according to Digital Nomad Soul. “This will help you make adjustments before you end up going broke.”

4. Choose banks wisely

Traveling to various countries means you’ll be dealing with multiple currencies. Choose banks that have low or minimal fees for currency exchange and account transfers. Stick with credit cards that don’t charge foreign transaction fees.

TransferWise, a money transfer app,­ is a digital nomad favorite since the app allows you to send money with the real exchange rate, offers a debit Mastercard with up to $250 in free ATM withdrawals per month and lets you spend on the card in 40+ currencies.

5. Comparison shop flights

Time spent shopping for airfares is worth every minute. To speed up the process, subscribe to a flight and travel comparison website such as Skyscanner, which finds the cheapest or fastest flights, depending on your search filter. [5]

You can search Skyscanner for an entire month’s cheapest airfares. Type the name of a country into the search engine, and search results display that country’s city that has the least expensive airfare.

Find out: How to Save Money on Flights

6. Use public transportation

Booking rides with Uber, Lyft, and other rideshare apps is convenient, but fares add up quickly. That’s money you could have spent at a local restaurant or stashed in emergency savings. Take buses or trains instead.

“Big cities will surely have a public transport system in place to take you there at a fraction of a taxi fee,” says Digital Nomad Soul.  “You might want to Google the safety situation beforehand. Some public transports can be a bit dodgy, especially in the middle of the night.”

7. Settle in for longer stays

You can usually get better rates on accommodations by staying longer in a city or town. For example, online booking sites such as Airbnb offer discounted monthly rates. Once you arrive and get to know the city, you may even find a locally advertised inexpensive rental.

Other benefits of staying in one place longer include getting to know the people, culture and neighborhood, along with all the local restaurant and bar favorites.

8. Cook your own meals

You’ll save money by preparing at least some of your own meals if rented accommodations allow. If you’re staying a week or longer, look for a rental with a kitchen, pots and pans, a cutting board, and cooking utensils.

It’s still good to get out and mingle while experiencing the local cuisine, but you’ll save money if you know how to throw together a few cheap meals with noodles, eggs, meat, rice, and veggies.

9. Consider house sitting

What could be better than having a “free” place to stay where all you have to do is check the mail, feed the dog, pet the cat, and water the plants? Better yet, what if you could house sit in countries all over the world while earning your digital nomad income?

There are numerous house sitter sites out there, most charging a small subscription fee. For example, Housecarers.com charges $50 for 12 months of listing yourself as a house sitter. For that fee, you’ll also receive notifications of house sitter opportunities for chosen locations.

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About the Author

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp

Deb Hipp is a full-time freelance writer based in Kansas City, Mo. Deb went from being unable to get approved for a credit card or loan 20 years ago to having excellent credit today and becoming a homeowner. Deb learned her lessons about money the hard way. Now she wants to share them to help you pay down debt, fix your credit and quit being broke all the time. Deb's personal finance and credit articles have been published at Credit Karma and The Huffington Post.

Published by Debt.com, LLC