This post was written by Ralph Starks, a blogger and traveler who enjoys exploring the world in the best ways possible.
Being able to travel while working digitally is a huge blessing, however, it comes with its own difficulties too. Finding the right balance between sightseeing and getting your work done is key. While a lot of it is about your ability to stay motivated and organise your time well, the accommodation which you choose to stay in plays an important role as well. What works great for some people may not work that well for others – so here are some of the most common accommodation options as well as the pros and cons of each of them.
When it comes to the perfect balance between work and leisure, holiday resorts are one of the best options. Imagine working on a deck chair near the pool, soaking up the sun and sipping on a fresh fruit smoothie in one of the lush Punta Cana all inclusive resorts.. Sounds like a dream, doesn’t it?
The great thing about all-inclusive resorts is that they will provide you with all of your meals and drinks for the day as well as many other facilities, such as the gym, spa, pool, lounging spaces and so on. If you are having a particularly busy period with work, not having to worry about any of those things can help massively with your productivity.
The downside, however, is actually finding the motivation to work, when surrounded by a bunch of people enjoying their holidays. If it’s a child-friendly resort, you may also struggle to find a quiet space to work outside of your room.
Hotels are the most common accommodation choice for digital nomads for a reason. Most modern hotels, whether business-focused or not, will have desks in the rooms and / or lounging spaces suitable for work within the hotel. The availability of Wi-Fi is rarely a problem anywhere in the world too, other than the possibility of it being slow and untrustworthy.
The biggest drawback of staying in a hotel is the cost. Sure, there are budget-friendly hotels available, however, those will typically compromise on the space, cleanliness and facilities offered. In addition to that, not all hotels will have breakfast inclusive options, restaurants or room service, so you may have to figure out your food options yourself.
AirBnB would be at the top of the list for those who like to keep their privacy while travelling. While you can rent out a room in a home with shared facilities, AirBnB has many studio or flat rentals available, where you can have your own bathroom and sometimes even your own kitchen. This creates a great working environment, where you can stay focused without any disturbances, with an opportunity to prepare your own food and coffee without leaving the flat.
The mentioned benefits do come at a higher price, though, especially when visiting Europe or the US, so take that into consideration when budgeting. Perhaps the best time to opt for this type of accommodation is when you are planning to stay in the same location for a longer period of time – the majority of landlords on AirBnB offer discounts for long-term stays, which can cut costs significantly.
Another slight con to consider when booking accommodation through AirBnB is the location. Most of the listings on there are private communal properties that have been transformed into a guest-friendly apartment. Not all of them will be located in the most convenient areas like hotels tend to be, and some might be a slight challenge to find.
If budget is of concern for you, hostels are definitely the cheapest option out of the lot. Of course, staying in a hostel means sacrificing your privacy as you are sleeping in a room with multiple other people. You are also sharing other facilities, such as the toilets, shower rooms, lockers and lounging areas. Working from your room may be too distracting with lots of people around, so finding some good cafes or working spaces around will be a must.
It’s not all negative, however, and some digital nomads choose to stay in hostels despite the mentioned drawbacks. Solo travelling can be quite lonely, so staying in a hostel with lots of like-minded people could be a great way to find socialising opportunities and make new friends in the area. They may not all be working and travelling like yourself, but they sure are in the same boat as you.
Travelling in a campervan is increasingly popular amongst digital nomads. It’s a brilliant way to bring your home on the road with you and forget the worries of finding new accommodation everywhere you go. In fact, while a fully equipped campervan is a significant investment, it will most likely end up being a more cost-effective way to travel in the long-run. Moreover, if packing is not your best skill, campervan travelling allows you to bring much more stuff with you – some nomads even take their pets with them.
On the other hand, keep in mind that living in a campervan while also working from it can be very lonely. It is also a small space so, even if you have a working space within it, spending too much time in your campervan is bound to start feeling cramped and claustrophobic at some point. Lastly, your safety is the most important, which is why you should always stay in dedicated places for camping with on-site security, even if they set you back financially.