The best travel hacks from 5 popular digital nomads

Traveling seems to be one of the best things in the world but causes some of the most stress and anxiety for some people. Most people tend to overload themselves with travel plans and itineraries, how much to pack, what is or isn’t necessary, etc. Digital Nomads are known for traveling all over the world, while still managing to run their businesses. Being an avid traveler myself, I wondered what travel hacks or travel advice some of the best Digital Nomads had to offer.

I recently had the opportunity to interview what I feel are five of the most popular digital nomads. They have a ton of experience when it comes to traveling and can offer some of the best advice when it comes to making your travel less stressful or easier. I asked all five of them the same question, “What travel hacks would you give to someone that loves traveling?” Check out their answers below:

1. If you are one that gets cold on an airplane, wear lots of light layers

Anyone that has ever been on a flight before, especially an overnight flight, knows that it tends to get quite cold on the airplane. Natalie Sisson, the founder of The Suitcase Entrepreneur, says the way to solve that is to “wear lots of light layers that way you aren’t having to bring heavy bulky items.” She also said that the benefit of wearing light layers is that you can take them off when you start to get warm and that you should roll them up when not using them. “Rolling them up stops them from creasing and takes up less room when stowing them.”

cold on an airplane

2. Use the sharing economy for cheaper hospitality

Using the sharing economy has become very popular over the last few years. Instead of paying for the highly priced tourism accommodations, you can use the locals for cheaper prices. Matthew Kepnes, founder of Nomadic Matt is very big on using the sharing economy.

He had this to say about travel hacking, “You can find cheaper accommodation, quirky tour guides, rideshare options, and home-cooked meals with local chefs. You can bypass the traditional travel industry with sharing economy websites and gain access to locals using their own assets and skills. (For example, my Airbnb stay in St. Croix was $50 per night while the cheapest hotel I could find was $150.) Moreover, locals know where to find deals. They know which supermarket is cheapest, which stores offer the best sales, and where to find the hole-in-the-wall restaurants and bars with the tastiest food at the lowest prices. Talking directly to them gives you access to that knowledge. My favorite websites are Airbnb for accommodations, Vayable for tours, BlaBlaCar for ridesharing, and EatWith for meals.”

Check out his in depth article about using the sharing economy for more tips.

Sharing economy

3. Pack like a minimalist

When getting ready to go on a trip, how often do you pack so much stuff in a suitcase that you have to sit on top of it just to zip it up? This can make for a stressful trip as you will be carting around your massive, heavy suitcase that is close to busting it’s zippers.

Ryan Biddulph, the founder of Blogging From Paradise says, “Buy a small suitcase. Bring your laptop and tablet, wallet, a backpack and little else if you want to keep sane on the road. I made the huge mistake of buying a monstrously large suitcase and packing for armageddon when I first flew to Bali 5 years ago at the beginning of my world tour. After lugging around what felt like a small Balinese village, I trashed the big suitcase, threw out some clothes and packed more like a minimalist. You’ll get more out of your travels if you focus your energies on embracing experiences, not carrying or storing stuff on the road.”

Packing light

4. Minimize jetlag

Jetlag is a very common side effect from flying, especially if it’s a long flight and you’re changing a few different time zones. Depending on how long you fly, it can take you a few days just to feel like your normal self again. Jodi Ettenberg the founder of Legal Nomads has a very structured approach to minimizing jet lag.

This approach includes taking a very small dosage of melatonin, restricting the blue light exposure on her laptop and phone and setting her body clock to the timezone 5 days prior to arriving.

Check out her in depth article on her blog about minimizing jet lag. Take some of her tips and implement them to see if they work for you too.

how to minimize jet lag

5. Sometimes not planning is more fun

Johnny Ward from One Step 4 Ward says, “I love the purity of travel and going to places that most people don’t venture to like Burkina Faso, Pakistan, Paraguay. The best travel hack is you and your best friend book a one way flight to a country you’ve longed to go to and work everything else out once you arrive. It’ll be the best experience of your life. In terms of packing, you can buy anything you forgot when you arrive. Don’t be afraid to experience different types of transportation; Airplanes, boats, trains. They’re all adventures.”

If you think Johnny’s advice is too extreme then maybe just take the lesson out of what he said and that is to not always focus on planning all your adventures out. Sometimes the adventure is going to be in figuring out what to do once you’re there.

stop planning

Comments (2)

  1. Roger says:

    While I wouldn’t know cheap and budget travel as something I did when I was younger I was rather expecting something a bit more high end for advice rather than Air B’nB!

  2. Anne says:

    Good tips. I need to keep in mind the one about temperature in the plane. I’m ok if the weather’s cold where we’re going from or arriving to, but otherwise, I can certainly forget all about it and show up in a teeshirt.

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