Our list of digital nomad resources is designed to save you valuable research time and energy on your next adventure. These recommendations are practical application abroad.
The software tools, apps, and gear will be continuously updated for your convenience as new products and services are becoming available daily.
We personally use everything listed below, and are confident that they will help keep you safe and sane wherever your journey takes you.
Although always budget conscious, at our age we are fortunate enough to have the financial resources to book accommodations, purchase the gear, and use software products that best suit our needs and lifestyle. Many of the items on his list reflect options for digital nomads with similar means.
Location independent living isn’t for everyone, but for those looking to make the leap I hope this digital nomad blog is useful.
If you have any specific questions about any digital nomad products or software, please contact me directly: Contact@LeePayton.com
2022 Digital Nomad Resources: Table of Contents
As a couple in our 40s, staying at a hostel or shared lodging setup isn’t convenient. Fortunately, there are dozens of apps and websites that make it easy and safe to book accommodations anywhere in the world that provide accurate reviews and built-in protections for guests.
We begin with Location Research because your destination will determine the living costs, clothing, gear, etc… Before planning the next leg of our journey, we consult the following websites and apps to get a feel for the cost of living & viability of a 90 to 180-day stay.
Digital Nomad Online communities
These have been the single most valuable resource when planning our stays in other countries. Once you have a general location in mind, they are also extremely helpful with specifics such as finding healthcare providers, local grocery stores & shopping, tourist activities, local meetups, remote working locations, etc…
Picking your destination might also include narrowing your search by specific neighborhoods. The fellow digital nomads in these groups have been extremely helpful to get the real story as opposed to combing tourism websites.
- Digital Nomad World
This is the fastest growing digital nomad community with almost 7,000 members. You can research Cost of Living, Healthcare, Currency, Helpful Apps, Climate, and more by location.
Nomadlist has almost 43,000 members and is the most comprehensive location-specific platform for exploring new locations and connecting with other digital nomads.
Digital Nomad Social Media Groups
Facebook has hundreds of digital nomad groups and pages, but the following have been the most useful to us.
There are also groups by location. For example: we joined digital nomad groups for Playa Del Carmen, MX, and Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Spain. By joining groups for each location ahead of time, you can get nearly all your questions answered by other nomads before starting the booking process.
Within each online community you’ll find remote professionals of all ages that are more than happy to help. This is especially useful as World conditions and travel requirements change often these days. Combined with the Online Communities, we consider Facebook one of the best resources for digital nomads.
- Digital Nomads 40s And Up
- Badass Digital Nomads
This Facebook group has over 1,700 members and is restricted to ages 40+. The community also has strict rules that keep postings organized and helpful.
Digital Nomad Visas
Visa requirements for remote workers can be a tricky topic as more countries offer programs every day. The rules, requirements, length of visas, etc… vary greatly by location.
Fortunately, Kristin Wilson has taken the time to compile and continuously update her Digital Nomad Visa Database. As of this post, you can get lifetime access to information for over 45 countries for only $47.00(USD).
This database includes: cost, benefits, application requirements, processing times, length of stay, and COVID-19 travel rules. It is one of top digital nomad resources and worth every penny.
Digital Nomad Travel & Health Insurance
Travel and health insurance for digital nomads can get complicated depending upon personal preference and needs. After extensive research based on our specific requirements, we recommend one of the following companies for longterm travel.
Keep in mind that most travel insurance policies only cover medical emergencies and not routine check-ups or outpatient visits. However, this has not been an issue as we have found that most countries have very affordable healthcare compared to the U.S. and the service has been excellent thus far.
We keep our travel insurance policy active all year even if we spend some time back in the U.S. to avoid any hassles.
Emergency Health, Remote Health, & Travel Insurance.
Locating Medical and Dental Services Abroad
Free app and great resource for finding medical care in a new country:
Connects travelers to private doctors worldwide.
When planning our next location, my first click is always AirBnB because of their range, ease of use, and customer protections.
Like any other home, things have a tendency to break, back-up, burn-out, etc…. AirBnB hosts have always quickly resolved any issues we’ve had.
Where you choose to live abroad directly impacts your overall experience, and we’ve found AirBnB to be one of the best resources for digital nomads for peace of mind and comfort.
- Airbnb: Vacation Rentals, Cabins, Beach Houses, Unique Homes & Experiences
This site makes it extremely easy to book stays and is useful for exploring tentative destinations.
Booking.com is helpful for finding longterm hotel and home stays. It also features flight and vehicle rental discounts as well as an online community.
It is a trusted site with reviews, guest protection, and refund policies.
Location Specific Booking Platforms
Many Digital Nomad destinations have their own local/specific online booking platforms that offer lower prices than the platforms above. They can typically be found via social media groups and the Digital Nomad Online Communities.
This is often the most tedious and time consuming part of planning for us. We are usually traveling at least 12-20 hours at a time, so lining-up flights (often through multiple airlines) and making easy connections is important.
Once we’ve narrowed our next leg down to a few locations, I typically setup price alerts through one or all of the following sites before purchasing tickets.
- Google Travel
- Cheap Airline Tickets, Hotels & Car Rentals | CheapOair
Simple interface with the most comprehensive flight info in one app.
Searches multiple airlines and has the option to setup flight price alerts.
Airport Lounge Access
For the longer layovers that require meals, workspace, quiet, and even showers, airport lounges are a great escape from the main terminal.
It’s not always necessary, but passing the time in an airport lounge is much more comfortable than hanging-out at a restaurant or gate especially with lag from multiple time zones.
Most accept one-time payment at the door, come as one of your existing credit card perks, or can be accessed through Priority Pass.
International Rideshare Services
Taxi cabs and public transportation are safe and readily available in most countries. We’ve also found that most locations have apps for their public transportation to take the hassle out of researching bus routes and taxi fares.
For more personalized app-based service:
Short-Term Lodging & Luggage Storage
This has been an issue on almost every one of our moves thus far. Depending on the lodging situation and/or the AirBnB host, we have had to make arrangements for securing our luggage for several hours. This is due mainly to flight arrival times vs check-in times.
There is also the possibility that your long-term lodging won’t be available on the day you arrive. Most digital nomad destinations have major hotel chains if the need arises to spend a couple of days nearby.
If long-term lodging can’t be booked before arriving at your destination, or you have time to kill before check-in:
Hotel Tonight searches participating hotels near you for great deals on last-minute bookings. This typically includes all major brands.
If possible, it is best to stick with one or 2 major hotel chain memberships to accrue points and status over time. I use Marriott whenever possible.
7,600+ locations in 131 countries.
Banking and Payment Methods
The days of having to deal with exchanging paper currency are virtually over (unless you travel to a remote location that does not have card readers, but this is rare in 2022).
For convenience and an added layer of security, we chose to open Wise and Chime accounts for international travel. We linked our U.S. bank accounts and are able to quickly move money into one of these through their apps. This allows us to use our Wise or Chime cards for daily transactions.
If we happen to lose one of the cards, we can easily turn them off and order new ones while keeping our original bank cards secure as a backup.
I even have a business account through Wise for easily accepting international payments and converting currency right in the app. I highly recommend one of their accounts for anyone who needs to transfer or make money online without added fees or worrying about conversions.
Both of these services allow easy transfer to/from our bank account and send notifications of each transaction to help monitor spending or fraud.
The most comprehensive international banking and money transfer platform with and ultra-convenient app.
Can be used anywhere Visa is accepted and at ATMs worldwide.
Easily reloadable via connected bank account.
The app sends daily balance alerts, notifies you when a purchase is made, and has a toggle feature to deactivate the card if lost.
TV Streaming Service
You can now easily take all of your favorite TV and streaming programs with you to each new location without having to setup a new system or have to watch shows on a laptop.
Every TV that we’ve had in our longterm rentals (and most hotels) have included HDMI and/or USB ports. This makes it easy to bring along your preferred streaming service and connect with a couple of simple steps.
There are many brands of streaming hardware available, but we prefer Roku for ease of use. After the initial setup the Roku stores all of our channels and login information for each. All we have to do when we arrive at a new location is plug it into the TV and connect to Wifi.
We also stream content from one of our devices through a VPN that might now otherwise be available in a particular region.
This is a must for digital nomads especially after a long day of travel when all you want to do is hit the couch and watch familiar shows.
Until recently you would have to purchase and install a physical SIM card into your mobile device(s) upon arrival to a country outside of your current cellular service plan.
For example: We have Verizon and are covered for the U.S., Canada, & Mexico. In Spain, we would have to pay $10 per day for their overseas cellular coverage. This might work for someone on vacation for a week or 2, but isn’t feasible for longterm stays across several different cities.
We try to use WiFi as much as possible and there are dozens of ways to make calls and network these days without needing cellular data on a daily basis. But for those occasions where we need to use Apple/Google Maps to navigate, receive/make important calls away from our apartment, or just need to look something up, we need a local SIM card.
Instead of purchasing, installing, and reloading a physical SIM at each destination, we use this app:
What is a VPN?
A VPN, or virtual private network, is a secure tunnel between your device and the internet. VPNs protect you from snooping, interference, and censorship in the online world.
With cyber attacks and hacking on the rise, we use VPNs on our laptops, tablets, and phones when necessary.
The VPN also allows us to choose where our internet is connected. For example: I am typing this in Spain while connected through New York. This also comes in handy when we want to stream U.S. content overseas in places where it is not supported by the local network.
Easy to setup and use on Mac, PC, iPhone, & Android.
See below for pricing.
NordVPN also comes highly recommended.
See pricing below.
Organization & Time Management Apps
There are several organizational apps on the market, but Todoist is our favorite new tool. We use it for planning and organizing the entire week.
Complete organization and planning app that syncs across all of your devices. Trello is fully customizable for any project, to-do list, and trip planning.
Time Management Apps
Completely customizable RSS feed app that reads any website, social media platform, news feeds, etc... of your choosing and consolidates them in one place.
See pricing below.
One of the best parts of being a digital nomad and running a location independent business is the ability to break-up the workday however I see fit. This could mean working for 4 hours in the morning then breaking to do whatever I want until picking work back up again in the evening.
To keep track of remote work hours and even personal tasks I use Toggl. The app connects to all of my devices and is an easy way to see exactly how much time you are spending on each task. I highly recommend this for anyone running a remote business to keep track of billable hours.
Completely customizable time tracker for work and personal projects.
See pricing below
Mental and Physical Health Apps
With all of the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle, there can be mental and physical health challenges. Moving to new a new location every 90-180 days can be stressful and bring anxiety along with the excitement.
Changing timezones and workspace setups can make remote work challenging. This is especially true if you are a freelancer and are continually prospecting for new jobs.
Mental and physical health are extremely important in keeping grounded. Fortunately there are apps that allow you to exercise both no matter where you find yourself.
These are a few of the programs that we find useful and can be done almost anywhere:
Headspace is my favorite meditation app and is easy to use with adjustable times to fit your schedule. The meditations are updated daily and you can even set reminders in the app to make sure you get enough mental breaks during the day.
Reveri is similar to headspace but teaches self-hypnosis as opposed to meditation. I just recently discovered this app and will provide an update soon.
Beachbody has come a long way from the days when you had to order a dozen CDs through the mail for one of their programs. Their new app is easy to use and allows streaming on all devices. It’s it the perfect subscription to have if you don’t have a nearby gym or just prefer to exercise at home.
Mind Pump Media
They have comprehensive weight training programs to fit every goal and lifestyle. We follow their programs whenever we’re fortunate enough to have a gym nearby.
They can also be found on YouTube at: https://www.youtube.com/c/MindPumpTV
Mind Pump offers science-based fitness advice and comprehensive workouts.
Podcasts & YouTube Channels
A lot of what we learned before and during our travels came from other digital nomads (no reason to reinvent the wheel). There are literally hundreds of podcasts specific to the digital nomad lifestyle and location independent entrepreneurs.
I search and listed to all of my content on apple devices and recommend: https://www.apple.com/apple-podcasts/ and search for “Digital Nomad” as a starting point.
I have a preferred list of daily podcasts that I will curate in a separate article. I listen to everything relevant to Digital Nomadism and Location Independent Entrepreneurs.
YouTube has also proven to be an excellent resource as more and more remote workers and digital nomads are posting instructional and location-based content.
There is no task you can’t find an instructional video for or recent videos of your prospective location. For example: before our most recent stays in Mexico and Spain we subscribed to the channels of digital nomads that have recently been. This allowed us to get a feel for each location from people on the ground before we arrived. It was also a big help in choosing neighborhoods in both places.
Many of the content creators on YouTube even have weekly updates for each location. This was similar to getting local news from the perspective of other digital nomads and remote workers in the exact area that we were heading to.
Literature & Education
Similar to podcast and YouTube content, the literature pertaining to digital nomads and remote workers is a crowded space. I will add a separate post with my personal reading list.
I keep all of my books and magazines on my Amazon Kindle. This is one of the single-most useful gadgets that we pack for a number of reasons: it’s lightweight and easy to pack, it can be read under all lightning conditions because of its adjustable interface, it holds thousands of books, and, most importantly, if you break or lose one they are inexpensive to replace and easy to sync with your content.
I also can also access my Kindle content across my devices through the app which means I always have something handy to read no matter where we are.
it also allows me to leave my computer, phone, and other distractions behind if I need to unwind after a long day, or have trouble falling asleep but don’t want to scroll on the phone.
Of all the resources, tools, and gadgets we bring along, the Kindle is a must-have.
With limited packing space, weight considerations, comfort, and washing in mind, the following clothing and footwear have worked perfectly for our digital nomad lifestyle:
The brands we chose may not be the cheapest, but they are high quality and easily wearable for anything from laying around the apartment, to hiking, to going to dinner. I wore all of the items listed long before we began traveling the World, so I am satisfied with their sizing, comfort, durability, and supply.
A note on washing: most European countries only have washing machines in their units. All of the clothing listed here washes and dries quickly regardless of your laundry situation.
Shirts, Pants, & Shorts for Any Occasion
With all of the varying climates and terrain, we had to find footwear that could be used for multiple activities without taking up too much room or weight in the luggage. I personally travel with 3 types of shoes: sandals for daily use, running shoes, and shoes that can be worn for hiking and miscellaneous adventures.
I prefer minimalist footwear as I don’t need any specialized support or have any foot issues. Between the 3 shoes shown here, there’s nothing I haven’t been able to do on any leg of our digital nomad journey.
I prefer my Merrells for travel, long walks, hikes, and anything else that requires more comfort and support. If I only had room to take one pair of shoes with me, the Merrells would win.
Gear & Gadgets
The items listed here are what we use for general travel and daily life on the go. I will have another post describing all of the specific digital nomad business tools that I use.
Here is my basic setup and list of remote work hardware:
I prefer Apple products, but all of these tools work together regardless.
Safe & Secure Backup for laptops.
We have found that most locations abroad, especially the digital nomad hotspots, have the necessary shopping and supplies to suit our needs aside from a few hard-to-find supplements.
Luggage, Bags, & Packing Tools
A lot of digital nomads travel light – some with just a backpack. We like to travel with as many bags as the airlines will allow us so we won’t have to spend as much time worrying about overpacking (except for the weight limitations).
We prefer to spend at least 90 days in each location, so although it can be inconvenient to haul several bags around, it only happens once every 3 months. As of this post we are on the first leg of a year abroad without any trips planned back to the U.S.
This led to packing 2 checked bags with 1 carryon and personal item each for a total of 8 bags.
Checking 4 bags is easy, but hauling them around through airports, public transportation, and city streets can be challenging. We try to choose luggage that fits together well and can be managed by the 2 of us if we need to walk for a distance.
This is an upgraded version of the Base Camp Voyager that we use.
These rolling duffles are perfect for organizing your things if you don’t have enough drawers or space in the apartment.
This is an updated version of the bags we currently have.
Like I previously mentioned, we can’t always find the supplements we prefer at our longterm destinations, so we purchased an Under Armour duffle bag specifically to transport and store them.
This helps keep everything organized and avoids any issues with customs officials upon entry. It also gives me some peace of mind keeping our expensive supplements with me in the event our checked luggage is delayed or lost.
We also have an assortment of computer bags and backpacks for daily use to include a waterproof backpack for the beach or rainy weather. They are all great for getting out of the house for a bit to hit the coffee shops with your fellow remote workers.
We bought a small waterproof backpack at a dive shop in Playa Del Carmen, MX, intending to use it on the beach. Since then, we have found it useful as a secure backpack to haul the laptops around and it’s convenient for a large grocery trip as it keeps things cool and dry. It’s not typical digital nomad gear, but I highly recommend it.
I also have a small laptop bag where I keep all of my important documents for travel and it meets the requirements for a “personal Item” on the airplane.
The next few items have proven to be very useful for saving space and extra baggage fees. With the amount of stuff we like to bring along, these simple items make a huge difference.
Our luggage scale has paid for itself 10x over at this point. It saves the hassle of having to borrow a scale or embarrassingly repack our bags in front of everyone at the baggage counter.
We also prefer to compress and vacuum seal as much of our clothing as possible in our checked luggage. The following bags help keep everything dry and organized on long trips. I also use some of the compression bags to keep dust our of our electronics.
I will update this list regularly as we continue to travel the World and test all things essential for a safe and successful remote working and digital nomad lifestyle.