For many of us, taking our lives on the road sounds like no more than a pipe dream. The good news is it doesn’t have to be that way. Thanks to a handful of savvy global-minded startups, you can pack up your belongings, book a room in an exotic location, and start living the dream. Even better, things like jobs and money are no longer an obstacle, not when you can take your career with you. If becoming a digital nomad always seemed too good to be true, check out eight need-to-know companies that will have you pinching yourself as you type an email to your boss in the pure sunshine.
What happens when you mix the personal touch of a travel agent with the suave of technology? You get Lola, an AI-based travel-booking app. Using Lola, you can search for hotels, flights, and events – anything you need for your next trip – and the super-smart tech will whip up your options and help you book. Not sure if you want a robot in charge of your travel plans? Never fear. With Lola, a human travel agent is always on hand for support, before and during your trip.
2. Lost Guides
British ex-pat Anna Chittenden has spent the last few years based out of Singapore, and she has used her time there wisely. Anna has created Lost Guides, which she dubs the “offbeat” travel guides for Asia and beyond. So far, Anna has covered two locations in print – Singapore and Bali – and several other Asian hotspots on her website. The crowd-funded guides have also been well-received by travel media, so do yourself a favour and hop on board.
3. Oyster Chat
It’s no secret among seasoned travellers that locals always know best. For that reason, make Oyster Chat a part of your future travels. The Slack-based communication channel allows you to discuss your next destination with locals and experienced travellers. Better still, you can do it in real-time, while you’re on the go. Whether you need a hotel recommendation, the scoop on local cuisine, or an off-the-beaten-track idea, you can be certain an Oyster Chat member has your back.
4. Remote Year
Instead of quitting your nine-to-five to head out on the road, why not take your work with you? With Remote Year, you can. It’s a savvy startup that sends 50-80 digital nomads out on the road for a full year. Over the course of the year, you’ll visit 12 global cities, each one for a month. Remote Year makes it super easy for you, setting you up with accommodation and co-working spaces in every city and covering transportation between cities. With all these inbuilt perks, Remote Year is difficult to pass up.
Most travellers sign up to rewards programs without a second thought. After all, who doesn’t want to cut costs? The problem is that most of us don’t pay attention to what comes next and sometimes use our points in the least beneficial ways. RewardExpert, which is still in beta, helps you to take the next step. All you do is plug in your dream destination, your current points balance, and your spending patterns. Then, RewardExpert will help you to craft a “strategy” to get you to that destination for free, or as little as possible.
So, you want to set up roots in a new city, but you’re not willing to sign a year-long lease? Enter: Roam. The New York-born startup runs a network of co-living spaces that lets you easily hop around the globe. In each of its locales – currently, Miami, Tokyo, Bali and London – you’ll receive a room with a private bathroom. When you’re ready to pick up sticks, your next Roam room will be waiting for you. Once you add in Roam’s inbuilt community of like-minded individuals, you couldn’t ask for easier entry into the digital nomad life.
Gone are the days you needed to find an internet café in a foreign city just to book a ticket to a museum. These days, thanks to a clever start-up called Tiqets, all you’ll need is your smartphone. Tiqets allows you to instantly book tickets to museums, tours and events, and pay via PayPal or credit card. Better yet, once booked, you don’t have to do a thing. Just turn up with your smartphone, show your digital ticket, and you’ll be good to go. Tiqets currently services most of Europe and is slowly working its way into the United States. Next stop, the world!
It can be hard getting started in a new city, but WeWork makes it feel natural. The co-working company has locations all around the world, Mumbai to Melbourne to Miami. Each site has been set up to prioritise networking and flexibility, making WeWork perfect for digital nomads. Not only will you instantly be able to connect with like-minded people in the travelling community, but you’ll also have the flexibility to move on whenever you’re ready.