Planning to work and travel like a digital nomad?
Or maybe just work from a remote location for a while?
Then you probably want to take a different approach when you’re searching for accommodation. After all, the places to stay that are ideal for a vacation may not always be so suitable for working remotely.
Whenever I search for accommodation for a ‘workation’ or a nomad trip, I use different sites or search filters than when I travel just for fun.
What to look for
Obviously, when looking for digital nomad accommodation, the most important question is: can you easily work from there?
But this is not always so easy to know.
For example, sites like Booking.com or Airbnb offer no assurances about the WiFi quality.
And while you can search for Airbnbs with a “dedicated workspace”, I’ve noticed that pretty much any place will tick that box, even if it’s just a wobbly kitchen table or a slightly oversized nightstand.
When searching for nomad accommodation, what I always want to know is:
- Is there good WiFi?
- Does it have a good workspace (or workspaces nearby)?
- Is it in a convenient location?
- Are the costs reasonable (or are there discounts for longer stays)?
That last point is pretty important! When you’re working remotely, you typically want to keep your expenses under control — unlike a holiday where you might like to splash your cash a little more. After all, you don’t want to feel like you’re working just to pay for the trip.
Luckily, there are some great sites to help you find digital nomad accommodation.
Search first on Anyplace
Anyplace is a booking platform specialized just in longer stays (30 nights or more) for digital nomads and remote workers.
The huge advantage of Anyplace is that you don’t have to scroll through endless listings of places that aren’t actually suitable for working remotely. Every place on Anyplace has great WiFi and everything else you need.
On Anyplace, you’ll find a mix of flexible-term fully furnished apartments, some hotels, and many co-living accommodations in which share a building with other remote workers.
The idea is that you can live month-to-month in different locations, hassle-free. While Anyplace isn’t suited for a quick workation of a week or two, it’s great if you want to work online from somewhere for a longer time.
Coliving accommodation lets you share a house with other freelancers and nomads. They typically have private rooms but with shared communal spaces and co-working offices. They’re fun and social places to stay and great for networking too. Find co-living houses on Anyplace.
Housesitting is such a great opportunity for nomads, and yet so few seem to know about it!
Wouldn’t it be great if you could work remotely and stay for free?
The idea of house sitting is that you can stay somewhere in exchange for taking care of the garden, plants, or pets while the owners are away.
An annual membership at TrustedHousesitters costs $99. But that’s nothing considering it lets you apply for unlimited housesitting assignments.
It’s a perfect way to earn money online while also keeping your expenses low. I think it’s an often massively overlooked opportunity.
I have some friends who spend several months in the year doing housesitting or home exchanges while working online. They love pets and they love staying in free accommodation!
Of course, you can also use TrustedHousesitters to find people to look after your place while you’re working remotely from somewhere else.
Airbnb can also be a decent place to look, as they have a large stock of houses and apartments that can be suitable for staying longer.
I find that the process of finding good Airbnbs can be very manual and time-intensive, though. Many Airbnbs are holiday homes that may be in inconvenient locations (e.g. away from shops or other things you need for a longer stay). Only some Airbnbs are suitable for working.
But there are definitely some gems on Airbnb.
In the Airbnb search filters, be sure to tick these:
Not every place with WiFi has good WiFi though. It’s worth contacting the owners directly and asking about their internet speeds.
I often just ask them to go to speedtest.net and tell me what number they see. Or I ask if the internet is good enough to do a lot of video chats. (I don’t, but it’s a good indicator of the WiFi quality.)
One neat trick is to install the Roamer browser plugin. It adds a box to every Airbnb profile showing the expected internet speeds. It’s not perfect, as it relies on the average speed in the neighborhood, but it can at least tell you if fast internet is available.
Some Airbnbs will give discounts for weekly or monthly stays, so this is something to keep an eye on. For longer stays, it can sometimes also pay to contact the owners directly and ask for an offer, as they can send you invitations with rates that are different from those that are listed.
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