The digital nomad lifestyle is catching on like wildfire. With the ever increasing amount of travel bloggers and influencers out there, we’ve seen an influx of people wanting to travel the world and get paid for it. How many times have you browsed Instagram and seen an incredible travel image and thought to yourself..."What I would give to be there right now!" If it weren't for work, I bet most of us would be traveling around as much as humanly possible.
Lucky for us, work culture practices are shifting with the availability of better technology, creating more opportunity for remote work environments. If you have a flexible work schedule and a work environment that allows you the opportunity to work outside of the office, you can truly work from anywhere in the world. So why stay put? Who needs a home when you can travel and work from anywhere?
With the demand for more travel/work experiences, we’ve seen an increase in programs to help make your travel dreams a reality. If you’re not ready to do the heavy lifting to research everything from shared workspaces to living arrangements abroad, there are plenty of companies that have done all that work for ya! Best of all, you will be traveling with a community of like-minded individuals.
Programs range from a couple weeks to a full year, so you can pick and choose the program that works best for your lifestyle and budget.
Below are some of the experiences that you can apply for. Please keep in mind that these programs do not provide a job for you and do require you to have one before you travel.
Remote Year is a program for digital nomads to travel abroad for a full year. Each of the 75 participants will spend that time working and traveling together, spending one month in one of 12 different cities around the world. Since they’re not on the move constantly, they have a chance to really become a part of each community for a full month, where they learn about the local culture and establishing both work and personal connections as they go.
Length of Trip: One year - one month in a new city around the globe.
Size of Group: 75
Competition: Over 25,000 applications were received from the last cohort. The pool is narrowed down with personal essays and skype interviews.
Where you go: Sample locations from the first two cohorts include Prague, Split, London, Belgrade, Lisbon, Rabat, Valencia, Sofia, Kuala Lumpur, Koh Phangan, Phnom Penh, Ho Chi Minh City, Chiang Mai, Hanoi, Medellín, Bogotá, Lima, Santiago, Córdoba, Buenos Aires, Mexico City.
Best for: Web developers, online marketers, writers, etc. There are a number of participants that do not fit this description too, but may need to work hours that are consistent with their time zone back home.
Cost: This isn’t a cheap program. You will need to have a consistent and decent sized paycheck coming in to make this work for you. The base cost is about $27,000 for one year.
The downpayment is currently $5,000. Monthly payments (for 11 months) is $2,000. This doesn’t include food or other travel and living expenses you will encounter.
Workspace included?: Yes. Your workspace is available 24/7 with internet access. Remote Year provides an office environment in each city so you don’t have to work from coffee shops with spotty wifi.
Accommodations included?: Yes. Your accommodations are included. You will be staying in either a hotel or apartment, but always with your own room.
Travel included?: Yes. Airfare and transportation between locations are included in the program, but not your flight there and “home.”
What is unique about the program: Activities and community events are also included in the cost. You have the ability to travel as much as you want as you go and rejoin the group whenever you want.
How long has this program been running?: First trip started in 2015.
More info: http://www.remoteyear.com/
Remote Experience brings together groups of professionals that travel the globe while working remotely. They arrange everything for you, taking some stress away from finding living and working spaces as well as travel arrangements.
Length of Trip: 4 months broken up by continent. You can choose to partake in one segment or you can continue to the next continent for an 8 month or even 12 month experience.
Size of Group: 30
Competition: Applicants are narrowed down through an interview process.
Where you go: Croatia, Italy, Spain, Czech Republic, Canggu, Ubud, Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh, etc.
Best for: A more independent digital nomad that is comfortable with living more as a local than as a travel group.
Cost: About $10,000 for the 4-month program. Discounts available for those that want to repeat the program on a different continent.
For month-to-month participants there is a $900 deposit, $1,000 for the first month, $1,900 each month after that. For the 4 month program the deposit is $1,200, the first month is $2,000, and the remaining months $2,000 as well.
Workspace included?: Yes. You will have access to a local office space near your apartment with 24 hour access and reliable wifi.
Accommodations included?: Yes. Apartments are dispersed around the city so you will feel more like a true local, rather than all staying in the same area as your fellow remote colleagues. You will have your own private room in a 1-4 bedroom fully furnished apartment or villa with wifi. Should you choose to share a room, you are eligible for a discounted $250 per month off the program cost.
Travel included?: Yes. Flights between destinations are included. For the 4-month program, round trip flights are also included.
What is unique about the program: This program is based on continent, Europe, Asia, and South America. While you still spend one month in each city, you remain on the same continent during the duration of your 4 month experience. You can join in any month.
Medical and travel insurance is included whether you choose the month-to-month program or the 4-month option. A monthly excursion is also included.
You will have a local ambassador in each city who will help answer questions that you may have.
How long has this program been running?: Since 2015.
More info: http://www.theremoteexperience.com/
Terminal 3 offers trips for those who want to focus on work while traveling the globe. They call themselves “The Alchemists” after Paulo Coelho’s book of the same name. They encourage participants to break the monotony of their everyday life, continue to get back up after making mistakes, and to focus on your own journey.
Length of Trip: Flexible. Participants can choose from a 3 month or 6 month program on the application, although one month options also are possible. The group will spend one month in each location.
Size of Group: 30
Competition: 2% of applicants are accepted into Terminal 3.
Where you go: Budapest, Seoul, Chiang Mai, Bali, Malaysia, Philippines, Taiwan, Japan, Greece, Serbia.
Best for: digital nomads and entrepreneurs like developers, designers, and marketers.
Cost: $500 to reserve your space in the program. If you choose the 6 month program there is an upfront fee of 1,950 plus a monthly fee of $1,750. If you choose a month to month option the cost is $2,250 per month.
Workspace included?: Yes. The program includes a workspace with wifi and 24/7 access.
Accommodations included?: Yes. Fully equipped apartments.
Travel included?: Yes. Transportation is included to and from each destination.
What is unique about the program: In addition to the above inclusions, participants also have access to language classes, yoga + a meal together once a week, community impact days volunteering in the local community, workshops and talks focusing on self-development, local SIM card with data.
With this program, you also have the flexibility of choosing the length of your trip. You can join for as little as one month to six months.
How long has this program been running?: Since 2016.
More info: http://www.terminal3.co/
Hacker Paradise is a more unstructured program allowing you to customize where you see fit. If you want to find your own housing you can. Group participation consists of a weekly dining experience or professional event, but largely it is up to you to how you want to proceed in each city.
Length of Trip: Between 2 weeks to 3 months.
Size of Group: 30
Competition: About 300 applicants for each cycle.
Where you go: Some upcoming trips include - Porto, Portugal. Jeju, South Korea. Chiang Mai, Thailand. Ubud, Bali.
Best for: Developers, designers, and entrepreneurs.
Cost: Cost is dependent on the trip you choose. For example, in Jeju, South Korea the accommodations are sponsored by the Jeju government. A short term stay (2 weeks) will cost $475 per week or $375 per week for the full 4 weeks. Other programs range from about $500-800 per week depending on the length of stay and destination.
Workspace included?: Yes. You will have a desk at a workspace with consistent wifi.
Accommodations included?: Yes. You will have a private bedroom in a house with other Hackers near to your coworking space.
Travel included?: No. If you are planning to spend more than a month abroad and travel with the program, you will need to make your own travel arrangements.
What is unique about the program: You can choose to book the program without accommodations if you prefer to arrange your own housing.
Also included with the program are workshops, hack days, social events, talks and BBQs for example.
How long has this program been running?: Since 2014.
More info: http://www.hackerparadise.org/
Wifi Tribe prides themselves on their community. Tribes are smaller than most other programs so there is a more thorough interview process. The tribe mentality encourages members to come back and travel with them whenever they can. Their goal is to create a supportive environments where everyone is invested in each other's success and happiness.
Length of Trip: From 2 weeks to a full year. The program calls a new city home each month. There are also two tribes simultaneously traveling the globe. You can choose from a tribe that travels across Asia in a year, or a tribe that explores Latin America.
Size of Group: About 12-25, but dependent on housing.
Competition: Applications are narrowed down in three stages. After reviewing applicants from the online application a video interview is conducted. Those that make it past that stage are invited to all meet in one location where they have a chance to experience the community and see if they are a perfect cultural fit (consider it a trial run).
Where you go: Asia trip - Bali, Malaysia, South Thailand, North Thailand, Cambodia, South Vietnam, North Vietnam, Phillipines, Taiwan, South Korea, Japan. Latin America trip - Nicaragua, Panama, Columbia, Dominican Republic, Peru, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico, Costa Rica.
Best for: Young digital nomads looking for a tight knit community and are okay with sharing rooms.
Cost: Cost is dependent on the length of travel, destinations, and whether or not you have a private room. For example, an upcoming trip to Croatia may cost anywhere from about $800 for two weeks, or up to $2,000 for four weeks.
Workspace included?: Yes. Working spaces are included as well as good wifi.
Accommodations included?: Yes. You will live with other tribe members in a house or apartment. Rooms are typically shared, however a private room can be secured at an extra cost.
Travel included?: No. Travel is not included in the price as they want to keep the pricing as affordable as possible for everyone.
What is unique about the program: Flexibility. You can stay for only two weeks if you want, or you can jump from one tribe to another if you want to switch continents.
Meals are regularly included as well as household tasks. Daily yoga and fitness opportunities are included.
How long has this program been running?: The first official trip was March 2016.
More info: http://wifitribe.co/
Other travel/work experiences worth noting:
- Cowork Paradise
- Cowork the World
- Nomad House
- Nomadic Hub
- Project Getaway
- Remote Trotters
- Startup Abroad
- We Roam
- WiFly Nomads
- Work to Roam
Have you participated in one of these experiences? We would love to hear about it!
Did we miss a program? Please tell us in the comments below.