The term digital nomads might conjure images of millennials and Gen Zer’s lying on a hammock, posting on Instagram, while sipping on a Cuba Libre, but as global economies emerge from the pandemic, many believe this might very well be the new normal for knowledge workers around the world.
With various predictions of remote workers spreading across the globe, travel industry bigwigs such as AirBnB are leaving no stone unturned to cater to this new class of travellers, with long-term stays for workcations, co-living and strong WiFi, among others.
It’s not just billion-dollar companies, but even countries and local governments are competing to be an ideal choice of residence for digital nomads from around the world, after all, there is no point in living in crowded and expensive cities when you can work from anywhere in the world.
After extensive research, we’ve narrowed it down to the following destinations, based on various factors that result in ideal experiences for digital nomads and remote workers.
1) Valencia, Spain
The third-largest city in Spain, with friendly locals, gorgeous beaches and affordable prices is a top spot for digital nomads.
The city has a great climate throughout the year, with average temperatures of 25°C. While Barcelona and Madrid were favored destinations for quite a few years, they are now crowded and comparatively expensive.
Valencia has ample co-working spaces with fast internet connections, available for short-term contracts, making it ideal for the lifestyle design & digital nomad crowds. The city also has plenty of affordable accommodation options, for short 3 to 6-month rentals, starting at 250 EUR including all bills and utilities.
There is also plenty of co-living and flatsharing options, further reducing the cost of living. It is, however, essential to book using trustworthy platforms and marketplaces.
2) Porto, Portugal: For digital nomads & foodies
The coastal city of Porto, is the latest in-line to draw a large number of remote workers and digital nomads.
Porto is a charming city, filled with old historical buildings, and small cafes that are often captivating to visitors. The city also has fast and reliable internet connectivity, so while you’re dazzled by the feeling of going back in time, you can still remain connected with work.
The city is also one of the safest places in Europe, with Portugal ranking 3rd among 163 countries in the 2019 Global Peace Index. It does deal with smaller crimes such as petty theft, but violent crimes are very rare, with gun death rates at 1.58 per 100,000 residents per year, making it one of the lowest in Europe.
Along with the co-working spaces that have been sprouting across the city in recent years, Porto’s cafes remain a strong alternative for digital workers looking for casual, informal places to work from without any contracts or long-term commitments.
3) Bali, Indonesia
With scenic beaches, fascinating historical and cultural identities, along with incredibly cheap cost of living, Bali has emerged a quintessential tropical destination for independent entrepreneurs.
Indonesia’s progressive visa rules have made Bali the leading tourist destination for digital nomads from around the world. The country currently provides visa-on-arrival for tourists from 169 countries, for up to 30 days, which can be further extended to 60 days.
The steady influx of tourists has resulted in numerous luxury resorts, villas, and hotels catering to this new class of travellers, and they’re all relatively cheap with luxury price tags starting at just 800EUR per month, inclusive of all amenities and high-speed internet.
Bali also has numerous co-living options available, at significantly lower prices, again with stable internet connectivity, security and additional amenities to aid travelers and digital workers.
Most people can make a comfortable living in Bali with just 500EUR per month, and with a little over 1000EUR per month, they can attain a luxurious lifestyle with private pools, yoga classes, exotic foods, etc, making it perfect for those who aspire for a better quality of life and making their dollars go farther.
4) Koh Phangan, Thailand: Digital Nomads Paradise
The pristine shores of Koh Phangan are often overlooked for cities like Chiangmai, but as major Thai cities get saturated, this quiet island towards the south of Thailand is growing in prominence. The island is known for its deep spiritual roots, with numerous yoga and meditation centers.
If you’re looking for a laid-back, serene lifestyle while working abroad, Koh Phangan is a strong contender. The island is known for its conscious community, high-end vegan restaurants, full moon, and beach parties, etc, giving it enormous cultural depth.
Thailand too has a progressive visa regime, with 64 countries in its visa exemption scheme, and stay duration ranging from 7 days to 60 days based on your passport, with various extensions available on application.
There are also various options to stay in the country for extended periods, with various providers of Visa runs, which involves leaving and re-entering Thailand via the Malaysian border, which can be done within a single day at most.
Over the past few years, Koh Phangan has witnessed steady growth in the number of co-working spaces and increasingly popular coworking cafes that remain the preferred option for short-term visitors. For accommodations, you can have your picking for beachfront bungalows or jungle villas at cheap prices, and while you can respond to ads directly on the streets, it is recommended to go ahead with a trusted third party.
So, where to live as a digital nomad?
As remote and distributed workforces continue to gain momentum, the services, choices, and policies that cater to this new class of tourists will only continue to gain significance.
With more and more cities trying to vie for digital nomads and becoming destinations for workcations, make sure to bookmark this page, since it is likely to witness changes quite often.
At Sharedd, we offer trusted community-oriented housing for digital nomads, with low costs, while also helping foster a sense of community, and building connections among entrepreneurs, creators, and working professionals.