Choosing a new location as a remote worker demands a little bit more preparation than planning a two weeks vacations. After quite a few years "on the road" we've built up a personal check list:
Accessibility : A change of scenery does not necessarily rhyme with a 15h flight followed by two bus rides on a dirt road. You do not have to go to the other side of the world to be a nomad. Especially if you are planning to change location every few weeks or so, numerous transfers and means of transportation can quickly take a toll on your well being.
Location: Do you want to be a remote remote worker, be at the center of the action or do you prefer in between? Make sure to check the location of your accommodation and ask about shops and cafes around. If you are not walking distance from the village or city, make sure to ask about possible transfer or local transportation options.
Cost of living: it is not because you are in a beautiful location that you are on vacation. It’s important to be able to stay on budget while enjoying what the destination has to offer. Check local prices for common items such as a coffee or a beer and look up some activities in the area as well. Finally make sure to look up the exchange rate and type of payments available.
Visas: Am I even allowed to stay there and for how long? Most of the time a few weeks up to a few months is not an issue but make sure to check with your embassy the regulation around traveling and legally staying places. If you are planning on staying longer than a few months, some countries, are offering Nomad visas allowing you to work and benefit from tax reductions as well. Greece (which is already offering tax breaks for specific remote workers) is currently working on the launch of a Digital Nomad visa! Stay tuned!
Accommodation: This will be your home away from home. What are the features that are most needed for you to feel comfortable, safe, inspired and productive? Are you ready to share a bedroom or a bathroom? Do you want your own flat or are you open to live with others? How long are you staying? What type of services are you looking for?
Work space and Wi-Fi: This is so important it gets its own section. When you're a remote worker, Home is very often the Office too. And the Office is where the Wi-Fi is. Make sure to find a good one. Check if your accommodation offers a coworking space, if you have good Wi-Fi in your flat or if there are cafes or coworking spaces in the area. As nice as it may look on pictures, you will quickly tire of working on the beach under a tree.
Activities and nature: One of the main perks of being a remote worker is to be able to step out of “the office” and explore new horizons. Whether it is losing yourself in the paved streets of an old town, taking a diving class or hiking to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise before work make sure to check what type of things are available around the area. Check prices and opening hours/seasons to avoid disappointments, talk to your host about the type of excursions they might organize.
Community : One of the challenges of being a remote worker is that it can get lonely, and even in the most beautiful surroundings, life can get monotonous when you are always on your own for several weeks.
Weather: Make sure to check the weather at the time of your arrival and for the duration of your stay to avoid surprises like monsoon seasons or boiling sun forcing you to stay inside.
Local culture: Read up on the local culture, the food, the traditions. There might be a festival when you are there you do not want to miss, learn a few words to get by at the local store and make new friends!