6 Unexpected Conveniences That Make the Digital Nomad Life So Much Easier
Ever since I started working online and traveling more often, I've come across some awesome travel conveniences or "hacks" that make the digital nomad life so much easier.
Take a look at these six tips for digital nomads and frequent travelers - if you didn't know, now you do. ;)
(To be clear, none of this is sponsored - I actually use/pay for all of this!)
1. Informed Delivery by USPS
When I found out that USPS has an option to have digital photocopies of the envelopes being sent to your mailbox emailed to you (for free!), I signed up immediately.
Recently, I was working + traveling for over a month and this was a godsend.
I had completely forgotten to pay a toll bill (ouch) and received a penalty fee via mail (even bigger ouch) and if I had waited, the fee would have increased. The minute I saw the email, I texted my roommate so she could open it up and give me the information I needed to pay the toll online. Informed Delivery saved me!
If you're a long-term traveler, I couldn't recommend this more.
2. Metromile Car Insurance (Pay-per-mile)
Travel often, but keep a car at home?
Then you shouldn't be paying the same car insurance rate when your car isn't out on the road, right?
Well, that's how Metromile sees it. Once you set it all up and customize it to your vehicle and preferences, you pay a base rate + a set rate per miles driven that month.
They send you a small device that you hook up to your car, and all your trips are trackable via their app (which gives you an up-to-date estimate of what your bill will be that month).
When I used my car almost daily for one month, my bill was $112. When I was traveling all of July and my car sat in the garage, my bill was only my base rate of $60.
Metromile is the by far the best car insurance for travelers in my opinion and is currently available in the US for drivers in Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Washington.
3. Apple Business Joint Venture Program
If you have a Mac or use Apple products - and your work relies on these devices - then this may be something you want to look into.
The Joint Venture program is for solo or small-medium sized businesses that use a Mac or other Apple devices for work. It costs $500 annually.
The main perks include faster tech appointments if you're in need of a repair as well as a loaner laptop if yours needs to be sent out for repairs for multiple days. It doesn't waive repair fees, but I do think speedier appointments and the loaner device is worth it if you need it.
Oh, and I found out about this when my Macbook completely died a week before I went to Mexico City. :(
As someone who does ALL my work on a laptop - including using desktop-only CRMs for clients - I desperately could've used this at that time.
My Macbook was sent out to get repaired for days, costing $650 after tax. Thank G my roommate let me borrow her laptop, or I literally wouldn't have been able to do work for my clients before my trip.
I'll admit I don't have this yet because I read that it only applies to devices you listed at the time you joined and I plan to upgrade my Macbook at some point in next year or so.
4. Project Management & Online Calendar Tools
If you work with other people remotely, online project management tools and calendars are pretty much essential.
Also consider Google Calendar (it converts time zones for you).
Need a tool that allows people to schedule appointments based on your available? Try Calendly, as that also converts time zones automatically.
5. Priority Pass
Ditch the peasants waiting in the uncomfortable chairs outside the gate and head to an airport lounge instead. Don't have elite status with an airline? You don't need to if you have a Priority Pass.
While worth the $399/year membership for frequent travelers, the Priority Pass comes for free with some travel credit cards. I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve - which has, like, a million amazing perks, one of them being free Priority Pass membership.
The pass has access to 1,200 lounges in 140 countries around the globe. Relax in a comfortable chair, get decent wifi, and enjoy a drink while you wait for your flight.
Ever since I experienced this slice of luxury, I am always checking my Priority Pass app before travel days to see if a PP lounge exists at the airport I'm headed to.
6. Global Entry & TSA Pre-check
I'd recommend this for anyone from the US, but if you're frequently traveling, this is really, really nice to have.
Global Entry gets you expedited entry through the customs line when returning to most US airports from abroad; TSA Pre-check allows you to go through a faster line in US airport security without having to take off your shoes, take out your laptop or liquids, etc.
Global Entry is a one-time $100 fee for a five-year membership and includes TSA Pre-check (which is $75 on its own).
Ever since I got this, I don't know how I traveled without it. (Oh, and this is another Chase Sapphire Reserve card perk - they waive the $100 Global Entry app fee.)
What else do you have to add to this list? Leave a comment or shoot me a DM. I'm always looking for new ways to improve the digital nomad life!