I became a digital nomad in 2011, before “digital nomads” were a thing (or at least before they were a thing I knew about). Luckily, there’s more and more awareness about the digital nomad lifestyle these days, which means entrepreneurs are starting to build tools targeting traveling online workers.
Whether you’re already a digital nomad or just aspire to be one, the seven free tools below should help you in your pursuit of freedom, independence, and tropical beaches (if that’s your thing). They will help you get a remote job, choose a destination, and meet the people in your new city:
Find a job
1. Nomad Jobs
Created by Nomad List (see below), Nomad Jobs is a growing job board for remote startup jobs. It’s a bit sparse at the moment, but expect it to grow as Nomad List’s empire expands. If you’d like to post a job there, it costs $150 for a week or $350 for six months.
2. We Work Remotely
We Work Remotely is a job board exclusively for remote jobs, sponsored by the book Remote by Basecamp’s Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson. Here, you’ll find jobs at companies like Shopify, Inside.com, and Ovuline. Jobs are separated into categories, including Programming, Design, and System Administration. If you’d like to post a job there, it costs $200 for a month.
Find a destination
3. Nomad List
Nomad List is your guide to living in cities around the world. You can look up almost any city and find out the monthly living cost, temperature, Internet speed, and air quality. Nomad List can also tell you how friendly the city is to foreigners, how easy it is to find coffee shops with wifi, how well the locals speak English, and how rockin’ the nightlife is. On top of that, each city is rated for how safe it is for women and gays.
Once you decide on a city, Nomad List can recommend a coworking space or a coffee shop to work out of, which wireless carrier to use, and which airline to take to get there. All this information is initially entered by Nomad List staff and then crowdsourced – anyone can click the “Edit data” button and send in an update.
This is a list about free tools, but you can also upgrade to a Nomad List membership ($25) and get access to their online Slack community. Digital nomads are a friendly and tight-knit group, and you'll find many people willing to share their tips and resources and help you lead a fun, independent lifestyle, too.
Launching soon, What’s It Like aims to answer the less-common question for travelers – not where to go, but when to go. Chiang Mai, for example, is the top destination on Nomad List until March rolls around, when nearby farmers burn the land and the entire city is engulfed in a haze of smoke and fog. What’s It Like offers suggestions for destinations in each month of the year, along with activities you can do there – like whale watching in Mexico (March) or attending the Fringe Festival in Scotland (August).
5. Nomad Forum
Also created by Nomad List, Nomad Forum is their free online community. There, you’ll find answers to questions like “How do I become a digital nomad?,” “Do you travel with a laptop stand?,” and (most importantly, of course) “Where are the nomad hotspots where you can scuba dive?” Posts are divided into categories like Gear, Legal & Visas, Location, Accommodation, Tech, Insurance, Finance & Taxes, Life, Business, and more.
Where My Nomads At is a tool for finding other travelers and digital nomads in your city. You can search for other users by age, gender, or travel dates, and then send messages to them. You might invite them for a coffee, ask them to introduce you to the locals, or propose an excursion.
Reddit has a community for digital nomads with almost 8,000 readers, and you can get many of your pressing nomadic questions answered here. Redditors weigh in on topics like “How do you workout?” and “Can I still do this with student loans?” The community is certainly not as active as other reddits, but it’s a helpful resource when you can’t find answers elsewhere.
(This list was inspired by Ali Mese’s wonderful Medium article on “300 Awesome Free Things” – be sure to check it out.)
Image Credit: Flickr/Giorgio Montersino