The Best Places For Digital Nomads: City Guides & More
Digital Nomad City Guides
Looking for the best places to digital nomad for a bit? Check out the city guides below. And for a systematic approach on how to select a country or city to visit, check out the 6 C’s Of Selecting A Place To Digital Nomad here.
The 6 C's That Make The Best Places For Digital Nomads
Finding the best places for digital nomads can be very overwhelming - after all, the literal world is on your list. So we’ve come up with a system you can use to narrow down your options and find the best places for you.
It just so happened they all start with “C”...if you're thinking, "suspiciously convenient" - we agree.
Connectivity is #1 because let’s be real. We love traveling, but those flights don’t pay for themselves.
So both the availability and reliability of wifi in a country play a pivotal role in choosing a destination. Reliability is key - because many countries throughout the world experience frequent power outages. This is especially prevalent in islands - here’s looking at you Siargao (love you though).
Here are the main questions to answer when looking at the connectivity question…
- Are there lots of cafes with wifi?
- Do the cafes and coworking spaces have backup generators for when the wifi is out?
- Are the upload, download and ping speed good?
- Do they have Starlink?
- Is it normal to post up in a cafe and get work done? Or are they going to try to shoo you out?
All these are things to consider when looking for a place to nomad. A great hack to get a feel for a location’s general wifi connectivity is to go to Google Maps and type, “coffee shop [city name]”. Pick a couple, go to reviews and search for things like, “wifi”, “laptop”, “work”, “loud”, “internet”, “computer”, “headphones”.
When you’re looking at where to nomad - climate plays a huge roll. Want a, “roll out of bed and put on a swimsuit” vibe? Or maybe you want all 4 seasons?
Picking a climate that matches your preferences is one of the main factors that will help you better enjoy life on the road.
Pay Attention To Seasons
There are plenty of places in the world that experience a monsoon season, which - not the ideal time to visit. Also, you know that July Buenos Aires trip you’re excited for? Remember that that’s the southern hemisphere, and they’re in the height of their winter season.
Think about the culture of the place you’re going before you go. Morocco is largely Muslim. Do you like walking around in nothing but a bathing suit and having a beer at noon? The Atlantic coast of Brazil sounds more your speed my friend.
This one is really important to consider because remember, you’re a visitor. Your job is to adapt to the culture of the place you’re visiting. Don’t be that gringo/farang/bule/gaijin/mzungu/ajnabi.
If you’re not flexible with your cultural attitudes and outlooks (which hey - that’s fair), the best places to be a digital nomad for you will be places that more closely resemble your home country’s culture.
#4: Cost Of Living
When people are looking for the best places for digital nomads, cost of living nearly always tops their lists.
Many nomads will plan their entire itinerary by typing “cheapest digital nomad locations” into Google and taking the top 10 countries from that list.
Is it wrong to seek out destinations with a lower cost of living? In my opinion, hell no. But remember, these places have great people and great culture, too. To use cost as the sole component that drives your travel itinerary not only means you’re likely viewing your trip purely through a financial penny pinching lens and disregarding the personal growth potential of this trip, but you’re probably that annoying traveler that argues with locals over like 15 cents.
Yes, lower cost of living is one reason to visit other countries. But if you’re going to Thailand to save a couple bucks without any interest in the people or the food, go to Topeka.
Coworking are the lighthouses of wifi and community for digital nomads, and many of the best places on Earth for digital nomads also have some of the best coworking spaces on earth. These spaces foster a sense of community, networking opportunities, and a productive work environment.
And they have ergonomic chairs. A lot of places in the world place a very low value on lumbar support - I’ve never understood it. But you’ll often be able to find proper office chairs that offer that sweet, sweet lumbar support in coworking spaces anywhere on earth.
Plus, depending on where you’re at in the world, coworking spaces likely offer the fastest and most reliable wifi in the area. If you’re in an area with frequent power outages, make sure your coworking space sports a backup power generator, or “UPS” (uninterrupted power supply).
Coworking spaces also often run evening activities and/or networking events, which makes it significantly easier to meet people and form that community that is so important to mental health on the road. Which leads us to our next point…
As someone who has been on the road on and off for the past decade, my personal experience has shown me that community (or lack thereof) has the most outsized impact on mental health, whether you’re traveling or at your homebase.
So, how do you build community while you’re a digital nomad?
1. If you’re solo traveling, before heading out, go to Facebook (I know - right?) and type in, “digital nomads [city name]”. You should be able to find some groups there, and they’ll often post group events and you’ll get to see how people generally interact, which will give you a general vibe of the area.
2. In this Facebook group, see if you can get into a couple of the WhatsApp groups for this area. There are WhatsApp groups for almost everything in most cities around the world.
3. Go to coworking spaces. Get daypasses to a couple different ones before settling into the one you like. This is one of the easiest ways to meet new people while you’re digital nomading.
So - in your search for the best places to be a digital nomad, use the 6 C’s to help you nail down a city. Make sure you’re connected, the climate ticks the boxes you want, the local culture is what you’re looking for, cost of living fits your budget, coworking is abundant and there’s a strong community to tap into.
Finding Your Spot
It's very often not "spot" singular when you're working remotely from around the world. But wherever your spots are, use the 6 c's to find them.