Working remotely has been a huge “secret” to my success, I suppose: I’m happier than I’d ever be if I was stuck in a cubicle with mandated lunch breaks, and being able to experience some lovely places in the US has helped to inspire me in everything I do.
Our travels have been incredible so far: we got to travel back in time when we stayed at an abandoned orphanage in Galena, IL. We experienced all the fun of summer in our huge resort-style stay in Palm Springs, CA, and enjoyed all the beauty of the mountains in Winter Park, CO. We also got caught in a crazy snowstorm in Nashville, TN but still loved our stay there!
If 2020 taught us anything, it’s that the idea of the office is a social construct.
If you’re like me and are done with long-term office jobs, then welcome fellow traveler! In this post, I’ll share more about how to travel remotely on a budget so you too can drink exotic teas next to rivers because, why not?
Tip #1: Book Month-Long Airbnb Stays
A month-long Airbnb stay can actually be way cheaper per night than a two-week stay. This is because most AirBnb’s have built-in monthly discounts to entice longer vacation rentals.
We’ve lucked out and managed to get insanely gorgeous Airbnb rental homes that are normally $20k a month for $5k. Split between 5 people, that’s incredibly reasonable. (Definitely cheaper than LA rents!)
Month-long stays also allow you to cook at home more often and slow down a bit so you don’t get travel fatigue. Longer-term stays also allow you to live like a local and enjoy your surroundings. This is key because if you’re like us and handling a pretty extensive workload, you need time to sit down and work 🙂
Generally, stay away from hotels as they’re going to be too expensive in most cases for longer-term stays. If you’re going abroad, though, hostels are a great budget option! That’s what we’re doing later this year for our three-month Europe trip, and we’ll be staying for two weeks in each city, as that’s the longest amount of time you can stay in a hostel for.
Tip #2: Don’t Be Afraid to Negotiate
If you’re booking a gazillion years in advance for a longer term stay, you’ll find that it’s easier to negotiate with rental home owners who want to fill up their booking calendar.
When you’re looking at Airbnb’s, make a list of your top 5 choices, and offer to pay a lower rate to each and see who bites. We’ve gotten almost all of our Airbnb’s discounted this way, so don’t be afraid to ask for a discount!
I find it also helps to tell the owners that you and your fellow travelers are professionals who are working remotely rather than vacationers looking to party. That’s a subtle way of saying you’re going to be good renters and working on your laptop most of the time.
Tip #3: Travel with Friends and Fellow Digital Nomads
Being a digital nomad is better with friends! I’m lucky to travel with fellow compatriots of remote work.
By traveling with others, you can split the cost of accommodations and trade-off cooking at home so that you can splurge more on the local cuisine or other adventures.
Some of our friends also choose to hit the road in camper vans or RV, living that #vanlife which is an even more affordable way to see the US as a remote worker.
Tip #4: Find Beautiful Homes in Remote Towns
Being in a major city has its perks, but we’ve found that there’s a ton of hidden gems in tiny small towns you’ve never even heard of.
We’ve almost exclusively stayed in these tiny towns, and the upside is that you can get beautiful vacation rentals for a fraction of the price it would cost in a big city.
These small towns also offer a quaint feel and a sense of adventure: we chose places that were nestled in nature next to gorgeous trails.
No matter if you decide to travel for a weekend or a lifetime, I hope you’re able to find what you’re looking for wherever you go 🙂
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