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What are the essential apps for digital nomads?

 

by @coffeeshopceo | 6yr  | 27 comments

There is a constant flood of new apps for perpetual travellers and digital nomads. However over the years, only a handful have become apps that I habitually use and actually benefit my lifestyle.

Which apps are most essential to your daily lifestyle as a digital nomad?

โ€ข Toshl - Personal Finance App for iOS and Android

โ€œMen lie, women lie, numbers donโ€™tโ€. My spending easily gets out of hand. Being able to track and monitor everything I spend helps me realise when I need to reel it in. Living / travelling in a foreign country where weโ€™re alien to the local currency makes it easy to treat cash like Monopoly money.

Over two years I have become seriously anal about using Toshl. I log every single 1baht expenditure.

With Toshl, you input each expenditure (in local currency) and the app will show your total spend each day in a home/familiar currency. I display my expenditure in USD because I earn in dollars.

I would recommend Toshl to every traveller as it enables uniform logging of your expenses and helps easily monitor a budget when youโ€™re spending in multiple foreign currencies. It does take a good month of daily use to develop the habit of using Toshl, but do try!

โ€ข Beanhunter - Locate the best nearby coffee shops

Hello my name is Adam and Iโ€™m a shameless caffeine addict.

When you rock up in a new city, you need somewhere to work from that serves good java. Beanhunter users rate and review local coffee shops. When you open the app in a new city, itโ€™ll geolocate you and provide a list of local rated cafรฉs. This app has served me well on all my trips, but it isnโ€™t very popular outside of big SEA cities yet - itโ€™s mainly an Ozzy / American thing.

Itโ€™s worth downloading even if youโ€™re not a raging coffee fiend. Beanhunter is free to use. If you only use it once every blue moon, finding a highly rated local cafe hidden in a back alley is 100x better than sitting in yet another Starbucks.

โ€ข Slack - Team communication, chat

Iโ€™m sure youโ€™re all familiar with Slack. if youโ€™re not itโ€™s the same platform that NomadChat runs on.

Slack is a relatively new addition to my iDevices. I originally had Skype, which I quickly uninstalled as it was buggy, slow and delayed message sending and receiving.

Slack on the other hand goes balls deep at providing a rock solid chat platform. It works seamlessly across all devices.

We also use Zapier to integrate Basecamp and Helpscout into Slack. Even when staff arenโ€™t chatting we can see one anotherโ€™s key tasks being completed.

Slack can be used 100% free, too. If youโ€™re still using Skype, stop. Seriously.

โ€ข Converter+ - Quickly convert metrics, particularly currency

Converter+ has been in my pocket since I left home. The app quickly and easily allows you to convert length, weight, volume, currency and more.

I use it primarily for currency. The currency rates update each time you open the app (internet required) and you can select your favourite currencies to be displayed each time. If I enter something in baht, itโ€™ll show me the conversion in GBP, USD, PHP, and a bunch of others.

Hereโ€™s a quick screenshot.

โ€ข Other worthy mentions:

  • Basecamp - not the easiest to use on iPhone, but when you simply need to jot down a to-do on an open project itโ€™s ok
  • AirAsia App - At least in and around Thailand AirAsia have a big presence. Iโ€™ve never booked a ticket via the app but I do quickly search for flights.
  • Paypal - Occasionally the need to see recent sales pops up (often CS related). Other than the occasional convenience Iโ€™ve no need for the app personally.
  • Vivino - Unrelated to travel butโ€ฆ Vivino is a wine community app (similar to Beanhunter). Wine in SEA, particularly Thailand, is overpriced and often not very good. When youโ€™re out with friends or on a date, snap a picture of the wine list with the Vivino app and Vivino will point out which wines are best. You look like a boss ordering a great bottle at a good price.
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@pax | 5yr

Not mentioned yet:
####Work related

  • Paymo โ€“ for time tracking
  • Dash โ€“ for offline documentation.
  • NVAlt + Dropbox for synchronised note taking.
  • BT Sync โ€“ for syncing my work folder with a RaspberryPi based NAS โ€“ I use this so I donโ€™t have to buy extra Dropbox space.
  • Opera with Turbo Mode on or Chrome with Data Saver in times of mobile tethering, to save on data costs.

####Travel related

  • TripIt โ€“ I forward the plane ticket confirmation emails to [email protected] and I get all the info on my phone (so I donโ€™t need to search my email what time the plane leaves)

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@bushu | 5yr

Hello,

A newbie nomad here and glad to join and get informed. A question:

As I work with my clients, one aspect that has been painful is seeking approvals from them. Any time I need an approval - a document/vacation/software purchase , that the client would pay for, tracking their approvals via email has been a pain. Any tools other nomads use here?

Thank you for the suggestions, in advance.

Cheers

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@don_lee | 5yr

My most used apps are:

  • Facebook
  • Google Maps
  • Uber
  • Grab Taxi
  • AirBnB
  • Couchsurfing
  • Google Translate
  • XE Currency
  • AirAsia
  • Meetup
  • Speedtest
  • Trip Case
  • SwiftKey
  • Threema
  • Paypal
  • Flightradar24
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@c95008 | 5yr

http://www.waygoapp.com has been useful in Taiwan. Using your phone camera, it instantly translates text into English. And it works offline. It translates Chinese, Japanese & Korean on iPhone and Android - though I only have experience with Chinese on the iPhone app so far. Gonna try it out in Japan next week.

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@alan1974s | 5yr

When Iโ€™m checking out my next destination, I use Net Index Explorer to get an idea if the internet speeds are ~on average~ acceptable: http://explorer.netindex.com/maps

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@andrewkent | 5yr

Reviving a slightly stale thread here, but if youโ€™re a freelancer and working with US-based companies, Shake is a fantastic legal documents app. You can create and sign contracts, NDAs, etc. They have a bunch of templates that take only a few minutes to fill out, you sign it, email it to your client, they sign it, and then you each get a PDF. Their mobile app is awesome too โ€” you can do everything from your phone, and their contracts are legally binding (at least in the US).

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@valeriefidan | 6yr

I love using Stripe for accepting payments online. You can also accept bitcoin, too.

Workfrom is great or those who work from coffee shops. Workfrom has recommendations for a number of major cities to help you find your next favorite place to work remotely.

Horizon for accommodations. Itโ€™s like a Couchsurfing/Airbnb within your own trusted network.

RelayRides if you are in the US in a major city where RelayRides is available, youโ€™ll quickly learn that there is no need for a car when you have a service like this. Itโ€™s basically Airbnb for cars.

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@avermat | 6yr

Work-related:
-Dashlane (passwords)
-Dropbox
-CloudMagic/Mailbox (email)
-Producteev (todo lists)
-Quicklytics (google analytics)
-Ookla Speedtest
-Mailchimp
-Domainr (instant domain search)
-TeamViewer (remote access)
-Hootsuite
-Paypal/Venmo/Cash/Dwolla (paying people money)
-Chase
-Paid (stripe stats)
-Twitter

Travel-related:
-Spotify
-TripAdvisor (restaurants and activities)
-Kindle (books)
-Ulmon PRO/Maps.me (offline maps)
-Airbnb
-Agoda (hotels)
-Skyscanner (flights)
-Hashtagnomads (nomad slack chat)
-SoundHound (tells you the name of a song playing)
-Lonely Planet PDFs
-Yelp
-HappyCow (veggie restaurants)
-Skype
-FB Messenger
-WhatsApp
-Snapseed (photo editor)
-govoyagin.com

Relaxing
-Insight Timer (meditation)
-Chakra App by Subliminal Affirmations (falling asleep)
-Thunderspace (HD thunderstorms)
-SleepStream2 (relaxing sounds)

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@artofwarbiz | 6yr

We use a bunch of tools. When I was in China, the most important tool was a VPN software that can help me access Twitter/fb hahaha.

Hereโ€™s a post on 5 tools that remote teams/nomad must use! - http://blog.dailypulse.io/5-tools-that-all-remote-teams-should-be-using/

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@idrisraja | 6yr

Iโ€™m surprised no one mentioned Google Translate. I used it extensively in Japan and Indonesia. Itโ€™s pretty much indistinguishable from magic.

I use ProXPN for VPN service. http://proxpn.com/twit/ will get you 50% off for the year, and it works on mobile and desktop. I chose it because many of the other ones I looked at didnโ€™t have Asian servers and I didnโ€™t want the extra latency on top of a slow wifi of going back to Europe or N. America.

Itโ€™s very nerdy, but I like โ€œPing Toolsโ€ available on Android. It has a ping feature which does just that. Itโ€™s the fastest way I have to tell whether I have an internet connection as itโ€™s only sending about 50 bytes to test for connectivity.

I also use JuiceSSH on Android. In a pinch I can ssh into my AWS servers and run a script or get some status if Iโ€™m on the run without my laptop.

My last pick is Instapaper. It downloads your saved articles so when you donโ€™t have a connection, you still have something to read.

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Thanks! What about something for when outsourcing to programmers? Like a task/error system - have you heard of anything like Jira?

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@coffeeshopceo | 6yr

Maybe http://bugherd.com ?

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Can anyone suggest a solid project management (cloud based) program/app?

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@coffeeshopceo | 6yr

i would say Basecamp.

Though I know Trello is popular amongst devs.

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I can also suggest Line2

Itโ€™s a phone in the cloud (for US/CA numbers). line2.com

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@mogosselin | 6yr

The app Maps With Me. If you have a GPS on your phone, this app is a must have. You can download country maps so it works offline, no need to use Google Map and save maps, etc. The pro version allows you to put pins on the map too. The places (restaurants, etc.) are not really up to date but just to know where you are and where youโ€™re going, thatโ€™s a really nice tool.

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@marinajaneiko | 6yr

For traveling Americans or the rest of the world going to the US - there is a very fast, visual and gestures based C and F converter available - check out Dgrees. Iโ€™m biased though, I made it :slight_smile:

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@michaeltieso | 6yr

Hereโ€™s a few more I highly recommend:
Hotspot Shield VPN
1Password
Evernote
Backblaze

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@coffeeshopceo | 6yr

CloackVPN is pretty good ~ https://www.getcloak.com/

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@patrick | 6yr

It also looks great. A lot of VPN solutions look like they are designed in the 90โ€™s.

I see there is a better topic for that info: How do you stay safe on public WiFi?

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@patrick | 6yr

Anybody using a VPN to access the internet at places where you do not control the connection?

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@coffeeshopceo | 6yr

@robert thanks for the tip on Battery Doctor! I could do with something to help me out. My iPhone 5 is draining way too quick -_-

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@marinajaneiko | 6yr

Thanks for the tools collection, love how you describe the need for them! Iโ€™ll be reviewing them to add to Product Hunt soon :wink: Thanks @levelsio

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@levelsio | 6yr

@marinajaneiko is actually making a Product Hunt collection for this http://www.producthunt.com/simpleasthat_/collections/nomads-favorite

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@roberthopman | 6yr

Iโ€™ll just add Skype & Trello & Evernote, for the obvious reasons of course.

This is a newer app but I already love it: Battery doctor - Kills apps and thus saves your battery.

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Read and participate in 13,969 discussions on Nomad List

Suggested topics

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What is the best online insurance for digital nomads ?


by @berberos | 1d 1 day ago | 4 comments

Hi guys ! hope you are doing well.

I would love to get your feedback regarding the best insurance for digital nomads. i'm traveling around Asia since 1 year and for next 4 or 5 years. Would love to buy an insurance to cover especially :

- health

- laptop, phone ...

- Flights

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Any Ph.D students dissertating while a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 4mo 4 months ago | 5 comments

Anyone know of any groups or resources for Ph.D. students working on dissertation while living as a digital nomad? I know there are several virtual writing groups around, but wondered if there were any specifically for digital nomads, particularly those who are dissertating.

Thanks!

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Does international health insurance for digital nomads exist?

 

by @al_steffen | 4mo 4 months ago | 59 comments

Hey Nomads!

Iโ€™m looking for an international health insurance (no travel insurance) for my nomadic life. It should cover the basic services and at least be accepted in the EU (itโ€™s ok if itโ€™s not accepted in the US as Iโ€™m aware they rarely are). Nice to have: enter into a contract online. Anyone got a good experience or a recommendation?

Thanks in advance!

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I dream of being a digital nomad? How do I do it?


by @programmingmark | 6mo 5 months ago | 2 comments

Hello digital nomad!

I dream of being an independent digital nomad. But it feels very elusive & unattainable with my success rate. In full disclosure, whilst I have dreamed about making money online since high school; I have not earned a single cent making money online. $0, nada, zilch!! On the contrary, I have spent a lot of time & money on books, podcasts. Even though I have spent a lot of time reading/listening to others, I do not have anything to show for it!

I have made attempts in the past to start an online business, but these fizzle out quite quickly when I do not see traction especially when the goal I have set myself is too high.

Instead of reaching for the ultimate nomadic lifestyle goal, I want to start much smaller. Really small! I am simply looking to make $50 profit per month from a new online business. Thatโ€™s it.

I need some advice from you please!

  • Is $50 profit too low? How long did it take you to earn $50 profit per month?

  • What is a good way of achieving this goal?

Thanks
Mark
aka the $0 online business entrepreneur

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How do digital nomads pay tax?


by @rodriigovieira | 6mo 6 months ago | 19 comments

Hello everyone! Iโ€™m new here and probably this is a very newbie question, but it doesnโ€™t leave my head.

How do you, nomads, pay your taxes? I mean, if youโ€™re constantly traveling, how are you going to pay taxes for a certain country if you are going to stay there a short period of time?
Or do you return to your โ€œoriginal countryโ€ and then pay them?

By the way, this forum has very nice cool formatting features! :smile:

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Best place for Digital Nomad in Latin America?


by @rose_davis | 8mo 8 months ago | 7 comments

Hi!

I am planning to move to Latin America for 3-4 months (Oct-January). Iโ€™ve narrowed down 6 different places that I want to visit before committing to settling down, but Iโ€™d love to get some community input.

Here are the cities Iโ€™m considering:

  • Quito, Ecuador
  • Cuenca, Ecuador
  • Medellin, Columbia
  • Cartagena, Columbia
  • Antigua, Guatemala
  • San Marcos La Laguna, Guatemala

The most important things Iโ€™m looking for:

  • Fast/easily accessible internet
  • Easy to meet other nomads/make friends in general
  • Safe for women
  • Some sort of spiritual community (Iโ€™m also a yoga teacher)
  • Easily walkable city

Anyone have any experience with these places and can give some insight? Iโ€™m also completely open to other recommendations.

Thanks!
Rose

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How do we solve housing for digital nomads?

 

by @levelsio | 9mo 8 months ago | 61 comments

Thereโ€™s been a lot of discussion on this recently.

Nomads usually stay in hostels, hotels and short-term apartments. But itโ€™s all not very optimal.

Iโ€™ve heard people suggest getting funding and building a network of houses you can stay at for a subscription price (e.g. Bruno Haid is working on that).

I donโ€™t want do physical stuff, so Iโ€™m thinking of building a platform around making housing better for nomads.

What are the housing problems nomads face? And how can we solve them with products/services?

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How is Sicily for digital nomads?


by @gaelm | 10mo 10 months ago | 15 comments

Hi all, I was looking for a cool spot in Southern Europe for winter and Iโ€™m considering Sicilyโ€ฆ Have you ever been there? If yes, how was your experience? If not, why?
thanks!

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How is Bari, Italy for digital nomads?


in Bari, Italy by @mitch_dina | 10mo 10 months ago | 7 comments

Greetings!
Does anyone have experience in Bari, Italy please? We are thinking of going from Dubrovnik, Croatia to Bari by boat in mid-March. Has anyone taken a boat across? Is it nice or can it be choppy? (We are trying to avoid planes, to reduce our carbon footprint, so adding more surface travel.) Also, any info you might be able to offer about Bari and the surrounds? Next step will likely be trains up Italy as the Spring progresses.

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How is Mauritius for digital nomads?


in Mauritius by @wakkos | 11mo 11 months ago | 14 comments

Hello all,

Iโ€™m planning on spending a couple of month in Mauritius Island and even when Iโ€™ve been there for a week, never rented or worked there.

Does anyone here has tips or experience to share about Mauritius?

Cheers!

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Are there any digital nomad fitness retreats?


by @ryanjames | 11mo 11 months ago | 1 comment

Hey all:

Does anyone here have any experience attending a full time fitness bootcamp or a fitness resort while working? I know there is one in Cambodia for digital nomads (Fitness Retreat Resort Kep Gym), unfortunately the time difference vs my work schedule would make my life suck if I tried to go there. Iโ€™m looking for a place between US and Europe timezones that lets you live with them, kicks your butt with fitness, but would also have good WiFi/accommodate working eight hours a day. Iโ€™m also open to other tangential ideas for something close-ish to get that same experience.

Thanks for any help!

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Best place to set up a company selling digital services?


by @pras_k | 12mo 11 months ago | 10 comments

Whatโ€™s the best place?
For residency Iโ€™m looking at Portugal and they have the NHR (non habitual resident) program which would exempt dividends from foreign income.
So all Iโ€™m really looking for is the best place to actually start the company.
Biggest factors are of course low taxes and ease of setting up the company plus a business bank account that enables me to receive payments through Stripe.

What I found so far:
Hong Kong
Corporate tax rate of 16.5% (8.25% for the first HK$2 million)
โŠ•/โŠ– offshore income from outside HK is exempt from taxation but itโ€™s not clear whether this can be done in the first year and prorated or if itโ€™s only through filing the offshore exemption claim. This might take two years and requires not income from HK at all. More info on that would be great
โŠ– seems very difficult to get a business bank account
โŠ– necessary services and fees are roughly around โ‚ฌ2000 / year
โŠ– accounting requirements seem to be very strict
โŠ• Doesnโ€™t require local partner
โŠ• Agencies available that seem to handle most of the work

Singapore
Corporate tax rate of 17% (0% on the first S$100k, 8.5% up to S$300k)
โŠ– requires a local director. What are the implications of this?

Malta
Corporate tax rate of 35%
There is the โ€œfull imputation systemโ€ but I donโ€™t really understand it.
"In most cases, the tax refund to the shareholder is 6/7 of the tax paid by the company on profits distributed as dividends. The tax refund rate may be different in the following cases: " This would result in an effective corporate tax of around 5%.
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that

Cyprus
Corporate tax rate of 12.5% and there seem to be ways to lower this
โŠ– European customers would have to pay VAT and Iโ€™d have to deal with that
โŠ– requires staying in Cyprus for 2 months / year

I find it surprising how much research this requires and how much โ€œit dependsโ€ information is out there when Iโ€™d assume that there are probably thousands of digital nomads who probably have very similar requirements.

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Do you "out" yourself as a digital nomad?


by @larsheather | 1yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

When you meet new people or reconnect with old friends, do you โ€œoutโ€ yourself as a digital nomad? The simple question โ€œwhere do you live?โ€ makes us uncertain now. We wonder if some places may be less welcoming to digital nomads, or if โ€œdigital nomadโ€ has a negative connotation in some places. If you are forthcoming from the start, does your status as a digital nomad make it hard to form friendships?

We would love to hear how other people navigate thisโ€ฆ how to balance being authentic in relationships vs. withholding the context (and allowing people to assume youโ€™re on vacation, for example).

Thanks!

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Property Ownership - should digital nomads buy properties?


by @sparrow_23 | 1yr 1 year ago | 16 comments

I have been a digital nomad for the last couple of years. I have always worked in tech and now run a couple of profitable online businesses that give me a reliable income and allow me to fund a nomadic lifestyle.

I recently exited one of my businesses and I am considering to invest the income from the sale in properties, mainly for 2 reasons:

a) I donโ€™t want to keep wasting my money in renting apartments across the cities I stay

b) I believe in properties as investment and I want to diversify my investment portfolio (mainly stocks)

After years of constant wander from one place to another, now I am the type of digital nomad who sticks to few locations: I mainly rotate across 4 places each year (San Francisco, Medellin, Berlin, Bali). Buying a house in each of those location would be difficult and too expensive. Therefore, I was wondering if there was any sort of service that combines an investment opportunity with the ability to access different properties around the world (even if just for a limited time per year) ?

Imagine living in 4 cities per year and having a house in each place that you can exclusively use for 3 months and at the same time having your investment growing (this depending on the market, of course). Wouldnโ€™t that be great? I believe it could be done via a property fund selling you a share and giving you access to some of their properties for a limited timeframe each year.

Has anyone heard of anything like that?

Thanks!

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Apple TV and Netflix: Do these work for Nomads?


by @lricci | 1yr 1 year ago | 8 comments

We launch in 2 weeks. In the US, we use Apple TV and Netflix regularly. Do these work abroad?

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Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan - which island is better for a digital nomad?


in Ko Lanta, Thailand by @melinda | 1yr 1 year ago | 6 comments

Iโ€™m currently in Penang, Malaysia and I was thinking to head to Thailand next. What are the best islands in Thailand to get some work done? I was considering either Ko Lanta or Ko Phangan because those both islands have coworking spaces. I might need to take some client calls, also video. Is the wifi good enough? Are there any other differences between the islands?

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Do any digital nomads travely solely by motorcycle?


by @fraserdeans | 1yr 1 year ago | 10 comments

Last summer I spent some time travelling through Thailand and Cambodia and jumped on mopeds to get around. I fell in love with them, the freedom, the ability to get off the tourist trail and see areas of a country not written about in tour books.

Recently a friend of mine cycled from London through Western Europe down to Morocco. His journey, stories and photo blog have all inspired me to see Europe by road rather than missing it all by plane.

Iโ€™ve been encouraged to do the same longer term through Europe. Next month Iโ€™m heading off to Spain to start that journey.

I was wondering if any nomads here are on similar journeys? Does anyone motorcycle between cities setting up to work for a couple weeks then moving on?

If so, have you got any advice/tips for someone just starting that journey?

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Where should I register my company as a digital nomad? Singapore, Hong Kong?


in Singapore by @raphadk | 1yr 1 year ago | 14 comments

Hey guys, hereโ€™s a question Iโ€™ve been asking nomads I meet everywhere, but still havenโ€™t found good information. My startups mostly focus on american and european markets but I donโ€™t have a registered company, nor I live permanently on any of these countries.

I get the cash payments online in paypal (or adsense) and transfer it to Thailand (or Malaysia, or Bali, or Brazil, or wherever Iโ€™m at). The thing isโ€ฆ for low volume living expenses it seems fine, but as I scale the business, Iโ€™m starting to think more and more about fiscal law.

A fellow nomad told me to transfer it to Singapore, Hong Kong or The Virgin Islands, and then use an international credit card anywhere. I donโ€™t know if itโ€™s the best way to optimize thisโ€ฆ any ideas?

Also, could there be any problems in selling to these countries without a registered local company?

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What's the best mobile-data option in New Zealand for nomads?


in New Zealand by @goldsaj | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hi All! Iโ€™ve heard Spark and Vodafone are the best. I plan to move around, so I care mostly about having good coverage, and all Iโ€™ll need is around 1 GB of data or so.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

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Is Three's 'Go Roam' package any good for British nomads?


by @alexnapierholland | 2yr 1 year ago | 2 comments

Hey, Three in the UK offer a โ€˜Go Roamโ€™ package that - at first glance - looks good for nomads.

It essentially promises data use abroad, up to 12GB,

Iโ€™d link to Threeโ€™s FAQ for Go Roam, but as Iโ€™m a new user I canโ€™t.

Bali/Indonesia and Australia are both included, which are top destinations for me.

Thailand is not, which may be annoying.

I could do with a new iPhone before I leave for Bali again in January and as Iโ€™ve been launching a new business, am a bit short on cash.

Unsure if this is a good solution, or if it makes more sense to sit-it-out on my iPhone 6 until I can buy an iPhone XS Max with cash and stick whatever SIM I want in it.

What do you guys think?

Cheers!

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