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Technology is spiraling by the day and this has given rise to a new age people called the digital nomads.
Change of trends has majorly contributed to the fast acceptance of digital nomadism.
2019, specifically, is proving to be the year of these individuals.
With factors such as beautiful countries, availability of fast transport as well as Wi-Fi, the sky is the limit.
Before going further, you may be wondering who exactly these digital nomads are.
As the name suggests, these are people who travel all over the world at the same time carrying telecommunication devices such as laptops with them.
The telecommunication equipment is their source of income.
Although some of them prefer being bloggers and vloggers they have no specific working area.
You can spot them at the coffee shop, restaurants, or even at the beach.
You could call it working without boundaries.
Digital nomads choose destinations based on certain factors like their lifestyle and profession.
However, what brings them together is that breathtaking place with fast internet.
Ordinarily, they stay at a place for a month or two before deciding to move to another destination.
If you’re a freelancer, prefer living a frugal lifestyle and don’t know some great places to visit this year, here are some hotspots for frugal and digital nomads in 2020:
1. Budapest, Hungary
Color, color and more color. This is a great way to describe this beautiful city in Eastern Europe. It’s got breathtaking scenery and unique architecture. Most of all it has tonnes of historical landmarks if you love exploring.
Finding a cosy place to work here is no big deal at all. The city boasts loads of spacious Wi-Fi-friendly restaurants. They serve delicious food and affordable drinks. It’s impossible to leave without trying treats like chimney cake, Langos, and the tasty goulash soup.
Plus, it’s rich in culture, making it a great place to visit if you’d love to try and see something new.
It doesn’t have to be total work and no relaxation while you’re here. You can go to spas, relax in the hot springs or have a river cruise if that’s your kind of thing, at affordable prices.
The friendly people in this amazing city are more than willing to show you around if you need help. And, it’s pretty secure too.
Don’t forget to bring some sunscreen along on your visit here. It’s one of the hottest cities. Plus, it’s super busy, so you always have to watch your step as you make your way around it. Here are some things about it that you should know before dropping by:
- Although some people speak English, the primary language is Hungarian.
- Bring your swimsuit along.
- They do not use Euros as their currency. Their currency is called Forint.
- Public transport here is impressively cheap.
- The most practiced religion here is Christianity, with the majority being Catholics.
- If you drink, don’t clink your beer glass. You’ll attract negative attention.
2. Cape Town, South Africa
Africa isn’t the first continent that comes to mind when people say ‘dream destination’. And it’s easy to see why.
But it has some gems, one of them being the soothing and refreshing city of Cape Town, one of Africa’s best cities.
Cape Town offers a bit of everything for everyone. From serene beaches, amazing landscapes to an array of wildlife, it’s excellent. You’re sure to be spoiled for choice during your stay.
The city offers plenty of goodies at affordable prices. It’s got cafes from which you can access Wi-Fi. Plus there’s fresh and clean water that you can drink from the tap and lots of sun, especially in the afternoon.
You could use the public transport available, but the best way to actually enjoy the city is trekking. This way, you’re bound to capture all the key tourist attractions that it has to offer.
Before packing your bags and planning a trip here, here’s some stuff you should know:
- Rates of insecurity are pretty high, especially in the townships.
- Some of the locals speak English. But, most prefer to mix it with their native languages, Xhosa and Afrikaans.
- They drive their vehicles on the left side of the road.
- Don’t swim too far, especially in the majestic False Bay.
- Always put on comfortable shoes as you make your way around.
- Most of the locals love beer and wine. The men mostly have a drinking spree at a braai and eat plenty of meat too.
3. Seoul, South Korea
Choosing Asia as a nomadic destination is a decision you probably won’t regret. With a city such as Seoul, that seemingly has everything you need as a digital nomad, you’re in the right place.
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love the delicious yet affordable food that’s in plenty here. It has a population of approximately ten million, and people know it for its high-tech gadgets.
Additionally, it’s a sight to behold. Awe-inspiring buildings are in abundance during the day. At night, colorful city lights offer lighting for the ever-busy natives.
Contrary to what most people believe, South Korea is home to very friendly people. Racial discrimination rarely exists here. Additionally, they offer fast internet connection, which is a plus if you’ve got loads of work to do.
Don’t worry too much about the weather. It’s bearably temperate with hot, wet summers and cold winters.
Here’s the cool thing: the people speak several languages. The primary language is Korean, and most people speak Japanese. But, English is also spoken to some extent. They’re making efforts to make it a widely-spoken language by teaching it in schools.
As for security, welcome aboard! It’s a pretty secure city with little to no crime rates. Important points to note about it include:
- The main religions here are Buddhist and Christian. A majority choose to have no faith.
- Its transport system is fantastic and cheap.
- You don’t have to tip for great service.
- Though racial discrimination is rare, watch yourself. The law often sides with the natives, whether or not they’re in the wrong.
- Pushing and shoving is usually common since the city is pretty crowded.
4. Buenos Aires, Argentina
Buenos Aires might be in South America, but its unique nature sets it apart. It’s earned the reputation of being the most European-like city in the continent.
This is mostly because of its unique architecture and captivating culture. It would take quite a while to explore all the wonders it has to offer.
The people here are friendly and love to hang out, so it’s not surprising that there are plenty of cafes. What’s more, it’s got large and leafy suburbs and plazas that provide free Wi-Fi. Prepare to be wowed by the impressive blend of colors almost everywhere in the city.
For accommodation, the city has excellent options. It offers hostels, Airbnb listings and hotels that you can get at affordable prices.
The weather can be conducive or harsh, depending on the time of the month you drop by. The temperatures are warm from August to May. Bring your jackets along from June to July, when it’s chilly.
If you’re an outgoing type of person and love mixing business with pleasure, you’ll love this city. It thrives in lively nightlife as well as its natural beauty.
Though food is quite expensive here, it’s possible to get a decent meal for as low as $6.50. Before visiting, note that:
- Security is not so advanced, so you may want to keep a close eye on your possessions. And yourself. Though areas like Palermo and Recoleta are quite safe.
- You should bring your green with you. This way, you can convert it to pesos and have some change to use.
- The locals mostly eat meat but you can enjoy the veggie salad if you’re vegetarian.
- You need to know some Spanish, or at least have a translator, to have it easy while you’re there.
5. Mexico City, Mexico
Most people know the city to be violent to some extent, with crime rates rising at a scary rate. The good news is that you don’t have to worry about this if you’re a tourist. The locals are warm and friendly towards tourists and love helping them out.
Additionally, the great features it has make up for this little drawback. Pristine beaches, excellent architecture and colourful and tasty food are some of the good things to expect here. No wonder it’s the 6th largest city on the planet.
It’s a laid-back kind of city with favorable weather throughout the year. However, June to October are the wettest months of the year.
The busiest and laziest time of any day is in the afternoon when most people are going about their duties. Getting stuck in human traffic is more like a norm.
Plus, there are plenty of working spaces and coffee shops with easy access to Wi-Fi. Though the city is somehow crowded, it’s easy to find your way around. No matter your lifestyle, there’s definitely something for everyone here.
The Mexican currency favors the dollar, so you’re on the safer side bringing your cash with you. You won’t believe the fun you can have here with just a couple of dollars!
The national language is Spanish, and a large number of people are Catholics. Just like Buenos Aires, Mexico City also has excellent accommodation. It offers tourists Airbnb listings and hotels accommodations at a friendly cost.
It would benefit you a lot to be in sandals or casual shoes throughout your stay since most people find their way around by walking.
6. Bali, Indonesia
Also known as the Island of the Gods, Bali is a unique island. It began capturing the attention of nomads only recently.
It’s conveniently located by the beach and therefore it offers nothing but the best when it comes to sunsets and relaxation time.
Diverting from work while you’re here is a common practice. With all the attractions, no one can blame you.
It’s impressively small and this makes it easy for you to get together with other tourists in the coffee shops available. These coffee shops offer Wi-Fi whose speed ranges from 100-200KB/s.
The internet is of the 3G type and can be slow sometimes. There are a number of shops that offer free Wi-Fi in areas such as Kuta and Seminyak.
The main tourist accommodation is the luxury villas beside the beach. Not only are they comfortable, but they’re affordable as well. They provide the right atmosphere for work.
If you’re into fitness, then you’ll love the yoga classes the city offers. On top of that, many of the locals are vegetarians.
Preparing yourself before visiting anywhere is essential. Here are some things you should know about Bali before including it in your destination list:
- Its official language is Balinese.
- It’s home to many black sand volcanic beaches.
- The Bali people practice Hinduism and consider the Volcano Agung to be holy.
- They have a peculiar holiday called Nyepi Day, celebrated on the either March or April yearly. Dates vary. On this day, the people observe total silence.
- Carry bottled water because tap water in Bali is unclean and may give you a severe tummy ache.
7. Chiang Mai, Thailand
A jewel of North Thailand, Chiang Mai has become one of the most sought after places among digital nomads. It perfectly combines an attractive lifestyle with affordable prices. Something that all nomads want.
Like most Asian cities, it’s overpopulated and offers the best cuisines. The city is showing appreciation for digital nomads. They have done this by establishing cafes with fast Wi-Fi. Ordinarily, internet speeds are slow, especially if many people are using the Wi-Fi.
Apartments are the primary source of accommodation for digital nomads. The price mainly depends on how long you’re staying there. There’s also the Airbnb listings alternative.
If you’d love to get a nice meal at an affordable price, head down to the market and street restaurants. There, a dish can go for as low as $1.
The magnificent city of Chiang Mai would never be complete if it didn’t offer entertainment. Entertainment options include boxing fight nights, cinemas and night markets. These markets provide food and clothes at great prices.
Unlike other cities, walking is the least best way of making your way around here. You could rent a car, which would prove to be a bad idea. It’s likely that you’ll get caught up in traffic. Better picks are bikes and scooters.
The city is mostly hot, with the burning hot season being from March to May. Be sure to carry caps, sunglasses and sunscreen if possible. Things get a bit better from May to October when the rainy season begins. Winter season shows up from November to February.
The streets are filthy at times and revolting sights such as rats running around is common. Overall, Chiang Mai is worth your time and money.
8. Lisbon, Portugal
Among the primarily recognized cities in Europe, Lisbon has earned its place in this list. It’s got favorable weather, cost-efficient living conditions and improved infrastructure. Get this; tourists can stay for up to 3 months without a visa.
Tourists have been flocking here in swarms for several years to take in the wonders in the city. Food and drinks are not only delicious but healthy as well. Beaches with scenic views, remarkable architecture and cultural attractions are additional bonuses.
It’s close to impossible not to get some accommodation here. The main accommodation options are Airbnb apartments, hostels and apartments. It’s more affordable when you share than deciding to have your personal space.
The weather is mostly hot from June to September. Temperatures decline from November to March and rainfall might occur.
Lisbon has co-working spaces, lounges and coffee shops in abundance. Each of these establishments has Wi-Fi at a cost and is a wonderful place to chill or work.
Places to get free Wi-Fi in the city include Armazens do Chiado and the airport (for 30 minutes).
You could walk or take a cab in this city. Walking is a better option since transportation can be costly at times. Cool facts to know about Lisbon are:
- Their official languages are Portuguese and Spanish. But, most people, especially young people, prefer speaking English to Spanish.
- It’s home to plenty of hills.
- Tuk-tuks are the most-used form of transport here.
- The buildings are out of this world. They’re beautifully tiled with a mix of colors.
- It’s relatively safe, with a few cases of petty crimes.
9. Medellin, Colombia
A while back, tourists stayed away from this city due to beliefs that it was unsafe. Over the years, however, it has undergone some drastic changes. This has made it a top spot for tourists as well as digital nomads.
From first glance, it’s easy to note that Medellin has so much to offer. The majestic landscapes and natural hills make for super hiking spots.
You can also find plenty of entertainment options to suit your taste and preference. They include an active nightlife, watching football, learning salsa and mountain biking.
Accommodation in Medellin is pretty affordable. And it mostly comes in the form of hostels and hotels. Attractive Airbnb apartments and private rooms are also available at low prices. You could get a private room for as low as $400 or less.
The city provides plenty of Wi-Fi included establishments. Some of them are coffee shops, cafes and co-working spaces. Although most places charge for Wi-Fi access, a number offer free Wi-Fi at average speeds of 22 Mbps.
Food in this city can be tasty or not, depending on the price. A well-balanced, delicious and healthy food is costly at times. Cheap meals aren’t so delicious and cost about $3.30. It would be interesting to know:
- They have a festival dedicated to flowers.
- They serve food in large portions at once. Referred to as bandeja Paisa, the meal has many ingredients. It consists of avocado, hogao tomato and onion sauce, ground beef, red beef and fried plantain.
- The streets are impressively clean.
- Regarding security: don’t be flashy and you’ll be alright. Otherwise, it’s a secure city.
- Their tap water is clean. It’s alright to carry bottled water, but you can access clean water here.
10. Portland, Oregon
Portland is a great state to work in, as well as have some fun. Security may not be top notch, but it’s okay. It’s a hot spot for digital nomads, entrepreneurs, individualists, artists among others.
It’s a beautiful place with extraordinary landmarks. It’s also got great attractions such as beaches, wilderness trails, and waterfalls.
Free Wi-Fi is in abundance in many areas of the state. Plus, there are plenty of convenient cafes and coffee shops where you can work from.
The city has got a nice positive vibe. Its unofficial slogan, ‘Keep it weird,’ clearly shows this. The people are friendly, and there are lots of fun things to do here. Plus, the place has many parks, beautiful roses, and clean streets.
It’s important to go prepared when visiting. The weather is pretty unpredictable. However, rainy days are more than sunny days.
That’s why it’s a lush state with so much color. December is the coldest and windiest month. August, on the other hand, is the hottest month.
Public transport is fast, reliable and affordable. Walking is another better and healthier alternative. You may have to pay a little more on fare than other destinations on this list. Considering the attractions it has to offer, it’s worth every dime. It’s worth noting that this city:
- Has neighborhoods divided into five main quadrants: Southeast, North, Northwest, Northeast, and Southwest.
- Pronunciation is key. Stress the second syllable of a word.
- Might be the target of the worst earthquake in history.
- A large population drinks beer.
Being a Digital Nomad Is The Way To Go
Working in an office can be stressful. Besides, it’s getting outdated. Working as you tour the world is both fun and educational.
Don’t worry about costs. The list above provides great conducive areas that you can visit and enjoy.
If you haven’t thought about being a digital nomad, now’s the time to reconsider your options. It may seem hard and scary to venture into new territory, but that’s the thrilling part.
Countless opportunities, amazing people and magnificent scenery are just a decision away. Don’t let a wonderful chance pass you by. Seize it now.