About the author

Darren Cronian, the author of this guide, has spent eight years securing remote jobs and building a successful freelancing business. His goal is to help people escape the office. Read more >

As a digital nomad, choosing a suitable place to live can make or break your remote work experience. Your choice of accommodation will impact not only your productivity but also your mental and physical well-being.

Therefore, it’s crucial to carefully consider your accommodation options and select the one that fits your remote work needs and budget. Here are some tips on how to choose the best accommodation as a digital nomad.

How to choose the best accommodation as a digital nomad
Determine Your Work and Travel Needs

Before you start looking for accommodation, it’s crucial to determine your work and travel needs. This includes the amount of space you need, the quality of the internet connection, amenities, and the location of your accommodation.

If you’re a digital nomad who needs to be on regular video calls, choose a place to stay where the internet has a good upload speed to ensure you have no difficulties communicating with your colleagues.

If you need peace and quiet, consider staying in a private room or self-catering apartment rather than a hotel or hostel.

Use tools like Google Maps to search for nightclubs or bars near your accommodation that might cause a noise disturbance. Getting a good night’s sleep will ensure you can keep productive at work.

Set a Budget You Can Afford

Setting a budget is an essential step in choosing the right accommodation.
Consider how much you will spend on accommodation and factor in other expenses such as food, transportation, and activities.

This will come down to the type of lifestyle you want to experience. My goal is to save 40-50% of my income for the future, be it retirement or to treat myself occasionally to more luxurious trips.

My budget is, therefore, £600 a month for a one-bedroom or studio apartment. We will cover the location later in the guide, but for me, it’s essential to be near public transport, supermarkets, etc.

Remember that this budget will not be possible if you work remotely in countries like South Korea, Japan, and Hong Kong. So, the budget will have to change depending on where you travel.

When using a service like Airbnb, all of your utility bills are included in the rental price, but check the listing to ensure you are not charged for electricity after leaving because some hosts do charge.

Everyone has a different way of living, and your needs will not be like mine as a 50-year-old digital nomad.

Accommodation Booking Sites to Use

In this guide, I have mentioned Airbnb because this is the only service I have experienced as a digital nomad. Still, there are other similar services out there that focus on specific locations.

DeskandBed.com is a site worth checking out because they focus on digital nomads. They offer essential information like internet speed and match you up with local co-working spaces, which is a valuable feature.

NomadX is a platform that offers mid-term housing for digital nomads, with options ranging from private rooms to entire apartments. They focus on affordability and connecting nomads with like-minded individuals.

Outsite provides co-living spaces for digital nomads in various locations around the world. Their properties are designed to cater to the remote work lifestyle, offering amenities like workspaces, fast Wi-Fi, and networking opportunities.

Selina is a hospitality brand that combines co-working, co-living, and travel experiences. They offer private and shared rooms and apartments. Selina also hosts events and activities to build community among its guests.

Coliving.com is a search platform that helps digital nomads find shared living spaces worldwide. They partner with co-living operators to offer furnished accommodations with shared amenities.

Disclosure: Only Airbnb has been used from this list so we suggest that you complete research before booking with any other service.

Location, Location, Location

Choosing the right location is essential for selecting the best accommodation.

Look for safe neighborhoods close to public transportation or within walking distance of essential amenities such as cafes, convenience stores, restaurants, and supermarkets.

Staying in local neighborhoods will be cheaper because restaurants and markets will be priced for locals rather than tourists.

If it’s your first time visiting a place, you might want to stay in a central location close to tourist attractions, but you will be paying a tourist price, which can be as much as 50% more expensive.

Remember that if you’re in a city for 30 days or more, you will likely not want to be a tourist every day – it is expensive and exhausting.

Staying in an area with lots of things to do will mean you can slow down your travels and enjoy time living in that neighborhood.

Choosing the right location can be difficult when you’re visiting a new place, but there are a lot of resources like Nomad List has a forum where you can ask other digital nomads for their recommendations.

How to choose the best accommodation as a digital nomad
Consider the Amenities

Consider the amenities available in the accommodation you’re considering. Does it have a work desk, a comfortable chair, and good lighting? Does it have a kitchen that allows you to cook your meals?

If you plan to stay for an extended period, having a kitchen can save you money on eating out. Other amenities include a gym, pool, washing machine, and air conditioning in warmer countries.

There’s nothing worse than having to go to a laundrette and wait for your clothes to be washed and dried. A washing machine is a must for me when looking for the best accommodation.

Thoroughly Read Reviews

Reading reviews from other travelers who have stayed at the accommodation can help you make an informed decision.

Look for mentions of the internet connection quality, noise levels, and cleanliness. Reviews can also provide insight into the location, nearby attractions, and public transportation options.

If you can find out the name of the condo building, go to Google Maps and read the reviews. This can give you a good idea of what it’s like to live there.

Look Closely at the Photos

This might sound over the top but zoom into the photos. Look out for construction when looking at pictures with window views. Can you see that the walls are filthy or badly decorated?

Is the place looking tired and dated?

Let’s be honest; photos that portray a home with clutter everywhere and a poorly laid bed are not good signs that it will be clean.

Pay particular attention to photos that are taken with a wide-angle camera. These styles of images are often deceiving on the size of the space. This has caught me out on numerous occasions.

Are the curtains closed? Ask the host what the view is like from the window. People can be deceiving with photos.

I remember one place with an image of a beautiful park that wasn’t the view from the apartment but actually from the lift area. Naughty, but what can you do?

Look for the Cancellation Policy

When booking, pay attention to cancellation policies so you can cancel and receive a refund if events occur.

Remember you are paying sites like Airbnb an admin fee, so if the place does not meet your expectations, bring this to their attention.

Ask the Host Questions

There are a series of questions that you can ask. Thankfully, with sites like Airbnb, you can ask the host questions before booking. This is one of the biggest advantages of using the platform.

  • Confirm that you are looking for a quiet place to work and live.
  • Is the accommodation near any noisy bars or clubs? Is there any construction nearby or within the building?
  • Is the internet connection shared with any other apartments, or, its own connection?
  • What are the download and upload speeds of the internet? Confirm that you need fast, reliable internet to work and host video calls.
  • How far is the public transport from the accommodation, is it easy to walk there?
  • Since I am interested in booking your place for X months, can you offer me an additional discount on this booking?

Most hosts want positive reviews, so they will not lie to get your booking but be mindful of their responses. If they skip questions or do not answer them thoroughly, this might cause concern.

Consider Co-living Spaces

Co-living spaces can be an excellent option for digital nomads who want to live and work with other like-minded individuals. These spaces offer fast internet, a dedicated work area, and opportunities to network.

Co-living spaces can also provide a sense of community and a social atmosphere, benefiting digital nomads who feel isolated while traveling.

In this guide, we’ve focused on apartments and rooms, but as a digital nomad, you can also choose to stay in hostels.

As a 50-year-old digital nomad, it’s vital for me to feel comfortable, so I would never think about staying in these places, but it’s an option.

Be Flexible

Finally, be flexible in your accommodation choices. Consider staying in different accommodations such as hostels, hotels, apartments, or even camping if your work allows it.

Being flexible can also help you save money on accommodations and will enable you to experience different aspects of the local culture.

My preferred accommodation type is for one-week hotel stays, but I prefer apartments booked on Airbnb for any longer. Choose what suits your lifestyle and needs. Everyone is different.

There are pros and cons to booking your accommodation closer to your travel date. Usually, a month in advance is my preferred period. That way, you have secured accommodation and can enjoy your trip.

Hopefully, this guide has taught you how to choose the best accommodation for digital nomads. Please follow me on Instagram and ask any questions.

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