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Here are all of my travel hacks that I’ve learned from nomading for the last 5+ years. Hope you pick up some valuable tips!
This is the #1 mistake that I see travelers make, so I’m putting it first. It’s much, much cheaper to get SIM cards locally than to pay your U.S. company to supply data abroad.
For context, Verizon charges $10/day for data abroad and in Indonesia $6 will get you 10GB of data for 30 days. Make sure your phone is unlocked and then buy SIM cards and plans in the airport when you arrive.
HOW TO BEAT JET LAG:
Mentally change to the next time zone 12 hours before boarding your flight. If your flight has a 2am departure timezone and 2pm arrival timezone then stay up until at least 7 or 8am/pm. By the time you’ve arrived, you’re already 70% adjusted – simple.
HOW TO BOOK FLIGHTS:
Use Google Flights to view prices to any destination on any date. One of my favorite features is picking a departure city, a date and then looking at the price to fly to any city in the world on Google’s map. It’s the ultimate comparison tool.
If you’re looking for flight deals from the US then use The Flight Deal.
HOW TO BOOK HOTELS:
Booking.com is the best site internationally. Priceline is my favorite in the US.
GETTING EXTRA CASH BACK ON EVERY PURCHASE:
Ebates gives you 2-10% extra cash back on most online purchases (including hotels, Amazon and flights).
Charles Schwab has a card with no ATM fees worldwide. Used by almost all American nomads and great for anyone who travels frequently.
Make sure to get a credit card without foreign transaction fees. I use the Bank of America travel rewards card which gets you 1.5% cash back to use towards travel expenses.
WHAT TO DO WITH YOUR CELL PHONE PLAN IF YOU’RE TRAVELING FOR MORE THAN 3 MONTHS:
Port your phone number to Google Voice for $20 so that you get to keep (and use!) your existing number (with local data) without paying any monthly fees. You can then text using the google voice app and make/receive calls in Gmail.
Buy local SIM cards everywhere you go and DON’T do something like T-Mobile because the speeds are ridiculously slow in many countries.
FINDING SHORT-TERM APARTMENTS IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES:
Airbnb is the most straightforward (but most expensive way to do this).
Most cities also have a local rental site and Facebook groups where people share information about short-term rentals. In Chiang Mai, all apartment complexes do 1-6 month rentals so it’s best to show up at places in person instead of doing Airbnb.
Always try to check out wifi speeds and bed comfort before booking – either in person or by asking detailed questions.
PICKING WHICH CITY TO GO TO (IF YOU’RE WORKING ONLINE AND TRAVELING):
NomadList is the best source of inspiration and information for people working online and traveling. It shows you cost of living and wifi speeds in most cities around the world. It should be noted that many of the wifi speeds are frequently wrong but it is still a fantastic site.
HOW TO RESEARCH VISA INFORMATION:
If you’re looking for the best resource on everything related to visas, then check out VisaList!
MEETING PEOPLE IN NEW CITIES:
Coworking spaces, Tinder, Bumble, introductions from friends, and just putting yourself out there. That’s it. People love travelers, and if you’re outgoing and make an effort – it’s very doable to make friends wherever you go.
IF YOU WANT MORE TIPS:
Read the full guide on digital nomading and location independence.