Recent years have seen a dramatic rise in the number of digital nomads, with more and more people opting to ditch the 9-to-5 office environment for life on the road. But while you might imagine endless days of carefree globe-trotting with the occasional bit of work thrown in, the reality is often a far cry from that.
Once you leave the office, you’ve still got deadlines to meet and the added challenge of negotiating travel disruptions while managing paperwork and banking across multiple time zones. Not only do digital nomads require somewhere they can call “home” (albeit temporarily) but accommodation with reliable Wi-Fi where they can work uninterrupted. Most will still need to find 8+ hours a day to work in order to make a living and if you’ve got a family in tow, having some semblance of routine and “place” becomes even more important.
So where’s the ideal place for a digital nomad to base themselves and maintain that ever-important work-life balance when on the road?
While many people are drawn to busy metropoles such as London and Berlin, lured by the exhilarating lifestyle they offer, the cost of living can quickly eat into your freelancer profits. The demand for inner-city rentals pushes accommodation prices sky-high while those situated further out will see you making long commutes to sightsee, with the added cost of public transport. Unless you’re on a high-income wage, a 6-month rental in London is going to demand you work longer hours than ever before, just to make ends meet.
Smaller (but no less exciting) cities such as Lisbon, Prague and Budapest are good alternatives, with monthly rentals in Lisbon significantly cheaper than those in London. There’s still no shortage of world-class museums and historic sights to explore, not to mention the unique gastronomy that each destination offers. With the money you’re saving on your furnished flat, you can do more while working less during your temporary stay.
Finding reliable monthly accommodation to facilitate your digital nomad lifestyle can be one of the biggest challenges, with most online booking sites designed for either short or long stays, but not in between. A temporary living space still needs to “feel” like home and be designed so you can set up a home office where you can focus on work when you need to and disconnect when you don’t.
If you’re traveling with your partner and kids, finding a family apartment that fits this bill is even more crucial as it will allow you to maintain your work-life balance. While sites like Airbnb are the first port of call for many, the quality can be hit or miss and you never really know what you’re getting yourself into.
Talking with an expert can help and Altovita agents are there to match expats with the perfect home while also assisting with the selection process. You can explain your digital lifestyle, work schedule and what’s important to you when it comes to finding a “home” on the road that will allow you to work (and play) at your optimal level.