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10 tips for an affordable life as a digital nomad

17. may 2024 · 5 minute

Discovering how to thrive as a digital nomad is increasingly relevant as remote work gains momentum. From the lively streets of Bangkok to the tranquil beaches of Bali, this lifestyle revolutionizes both work and travel.

While the digital nomad lifestyle promises adventure and freedom, it demands smart financial planning to sustain it. As these modern wanderers redefine workspaces, they must also manage expenses while having new experiences.

Here are 10 practical tips for living affordably as a digital nomad, guiding those ready for this thrilling yet financially mindful journey.

10. Negotiate rent

When travelers arrive in a new place, they're greeted with various lodging options, like hotels or vacation rentals. But for digital nomads settling in for a long-term rentals, a different approach is needed.

Instead of splurging on pricey hotels, digital nomads can directly contact landlords or property owners. This allows them to negotiate leases with better monthly rates.

Accommodation tip: On Flatio you can rent directly from the landlords without having to haggle over the rental price. All utilities and Wi-Fi are included, and no deposit is required for stays of less than 180 days.

9. Prepare your own meals

Dining out frequently can quickly drain the funds of avid travelers, especially in tourist hotspots. Instead, digital nomads can be thrifty by buying groceries and cooking their own meals.

To make this work smoothly, nomads should seek accommodations with kitchen amenities, like hostels or apartments. This allows them to prepare their preferred dishes and try local ingredients while saving on food costs. Plus, cooking at home encourages healthier eating habits, offering both financial savings and better health outcomes.

Accommodation tip: Did you know that all rental properties on Flatio are furnished and ready to move into? They also have a Wi-Fi internet connection, and many of them are suitable for remote work.

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8. Engage in free activities

Rather than splurging on costly tours or attractions, digital nomads can opt for free or low-cost activities. This strategy allows them to have fun without breaking the bank, making it a smart way to travel on a budget.

Examples of these budget-friendly activities include:

  • visiting public parks,
  • exploring natural scenery,
  • attending cultural events,
  • or just wandering around a city to absorb its vibe.

Engaging in these options enhances the travel adventure while keeping expenses manageable.

7. Use public transportation

While tourists might opt for taxis or pricey guided tours, savvy nomads prefer using buses, trams, subways, or bicycles for transportation. These methods are budget-friendly and offer a more authentic way to explore a destination.

Public transport enables digital nomads to discover the city like a local, uncover hidden treasures, and immerse themselves in the culture. Additionally, it promotes a sustainable and eco-friendly approach to travel. 

For example, a nomad living in Japan could invest in a monthly public transport pass, granting unlimited access to trams and buses. This makes navigating the city a breeze while saving a significant sum by avoiding taxis.

6. Take advantage of coworking spaces

Digital nomads frequently turn to co-working spaces to maintain a productive work-life balance while on the move. These communal work areas offer essential amenities like high-speed internet, meeting rooms, and comfortable seating, creating a professional environment.

While this might not be a consideration for tourists or casual travelers, coworking spaces are invaluable for nomads. They provide a designated workspace, aiding in the separation of work and leisure. Furthermore, these spaces create a sense of community, facilitating networking, collaboration, and idea exchange among professionals.

To cut costs, nomads can explore flexible membership plans or take advantage of free trial periods offered by coworking spaces.

5. Use budget tracking apps

For digital nomads striving to live economically, staying on top of expenses is crucial. Budget tracking apps offer a streamlined method for monitoring income, spending, and savings targets.

These apps allow nomads to establish comprehensive budgets, classify expenses, and set limits for different categories. This gives them the ability to make informed choices, trim unnecessary costs, and allocate funds to important areas like travel or investments.

Additionally, many of these apps include currency conversion tools, which are particularly beneficial for nomads navigating different countries.

Accommodation tip: On Flatio you’ll find reasonably priced accommodations that are cheaper than Airbnbs. Take a look at our listings and see for yourself. We also offer private rooms for rent, which can help you reduce your expenses and stick to your budget.

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4. Look for digital nomad communities

Digital nomad communities provide essential support for those seeking affordable living while traveling. Comprising individuals with similar lifestyles, these communities share tips, advice, and suggestions.

Members commonly share insights on economical lodging, transportation, and hidden treasures in different places. They may also arrange gatherings, co-living arrangements, and skill-sharing events. These connections enhance the travel journey and unveil location-specific cost-saving methods.

Accommodation tip: Did you know that digital nomads are the main focus of Flatio and we have different verification badges to make sure our renal properties are suitable for remote work?

3. Rent long-term accommodation

Long-term rentals offer digital nomads a smart solution for budget-friendly living. Unlike short-term options geared toward tourists, long-term rentals provide better value for nomads aiming for extended stays.

To make the most of this strategy, nomads should plan their travels ahead and engage directly with property owners or trusted rental platforms. Whether it's a furnished apartment, villa, or secluded cabin, long-term rentals offer stability and comfort while managing expenses.

Accommodation tip: On Flatio you can find rooms and apartments for rent in over 300 destinations from 5 days to one year.

2. Apply for digital nomad visas

Digital nomad visa have become essential for those seeking stability while exploring new places. Offered by various countries, these visas permit remote workers to legally live and work abroad for extended periods.

Unlike tourist visas, which often have shorter durations, digital nomad visas offer longer stays without the hassle of frequent exits and re-entries.

While these visas may require specific qualifications like proof of income or health insurance, they offer financial benefits by eliminating the need for constant visa renewals and providing a secure legal status for nomads.

If you want to know which countries offer digital nomad visas and what requirements you must meet, take a look at the comprehensive list of digital nomad visa countries on our digital nomad blog.

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1. Choose affordable destinations

Choosing budget-friendly destinations is key for digital nomads aiming to save money. While some travelers flock to pricey tourist hubs, smart nomads opt for lesser-known gems and emerging spots with lower living costs.

These affordable destinations often have beautiful scenery, interesting culture, and a friendly vibe, all without the hefty price tag. By studying cost-of-living data, seeking advice from fellow nomads, and discovering up-and-coming areas, digital nomads can make their funds go further while embarking on memorable journeys.

On the Flatio blog, you can find many posts introducing the most affordable destinations in Europe and beyond for digital nomads.

Flatio at a glance

Here's a glimpse of the features that distinguish us from other rental accommodation providers:

  • Flexible, reasonably priced stays (from 5 days)
  • Availability of remote work-friendly rooms, flats, houses, villas, etc.
  • Utilities and Wi-Fi included
  • No deposit required for stays of less than 180 days
  • Balanced, legally binding, visa-friendly lease agreement (translated into multiple languages)
  • A very attractive cancelation policy
  • Online signing of lease agreement
  • StayProtection for Tenants, a service package to help tenants deal with emergencies such as internet problems and blocked doors, as well as accidental damage to property
  • Move-in Guarantee with a 24/7 emergency line
    100% money protection
  • Customer support available every day of the week
  • No hidden fees
  • A secure and simple payment system (including the possibility to pay with Bitcoin)
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