“Tiffany, what is it like working overseas? Where you don’t know the people, the lifestyle, the culture, the language, places to work at, how much things relatively cost there? At the same time, how do you stay focused and keep your business moving along?”
Well, one thing’s for sure — it wasn’t easy.
When I embarked on my 1st digital nomad trip to Southeast Asia, I’d spend HOURS finding cheap airflight deals. Days researching where to work.
Sometimes I’d take the wrong train. Be pointed towards the wrong direction. And a few times, I’d walk out of the cafe/coffeeshop right when I arrived, simply because the wifi would stall at 0.1–4 mbps.
My gosh, it take 10 seconds for a page to load?!
When little obstacles like these interfere with my ability to focus and work, I start looking for a quick, but long-term solution.
Solutions that’d help me save money, communicate with the locals, find the best places to work, figure out where to eat, organize my daily to-dos, keep me entertained from solopreneur loneliness, minimize distractions….
With one less problem to deal with, it meant one extra task I could achieve for my business.
That said, here’re ALL the tools I’ve used to grow my business while working overseas. I’m sure there’re a few you haven’t seen that’s definitely worth trying out.
(Note: Btw, this post contains some affiliate links. Don’t worry, this won’t affect the reading experience.) 🙂
Nomad List — Find the most practical destination for your trip. Choose among the cost of living, internet speed, weather, safety, fun, etc!
The Earth Awaits — Calculate the cost of living around the world based on your lifestyle.
Numbeo — Find out how much things relatively cost in the city.
CDC (traveller’s shots) — Find out what shots you need before leaving the country.
Remote Ok — Find a job to work remotely.
Upwork — Grow your online business by hiring freelancers or find projects to do.
Booking — Book cheap hotel rooms. Great for short stays, under 30 days. Free cancellation for some rooms.
Cheapflights — The cheapest site for international and domestic flights. 80% of my trips are from Cheapflights.
Kiwi.com — Offers virtual interlining and finds you the cheapest flight combinations possible! Love their interactive map and guaranteed flights.
Adioso — Find cheap and quick flights. One thing I like most about Adioso is the easy price comparison between dates.
Google flights — Gives a cheap deal if you book early.
Grabtaxi (Southeast Asia) — Let professional taxi drivers take you to your destination.
Google maps — Your #1 friend for finding your way anywhere in the world.
Buckets — Keep track of your daily or weekly to-dos.
Moom (for Mac) — Easily move and zoom windows on your display. It’s $10, but worth every second of productivity. 60 day money-back guarantee.
Stay Focused — Restricts the time you spend on time-wasting websites.
EasilyDo Mail — A smarter, faster mobile inbox.
Its best features: unsubscribes with one click and automatically organizes your email into categories.
Tomato Timer — A simple Pomodoro timer. Get work done faster by setting down 25 minutes for work and 5 minutes for breaks.
Google Calendar — A great reminder for deadlines, appointments and team meetings.
Coffitivity — Drown out distractions by listening to synergetic sounds of cafes & coffeeshops. Proven to kick up creativity!
Spotify — Listen to songs that pump your mind up. You’ll feel more motivated and focused.
Adblock — Stop ads, once and for all, when you browse the internet.
Quick Login — Log into multiple Gmail accounts with one click.
Zapier — Automates repeated everyday tasks for your business, social media, and blog. Free for 5 integrations (Zaps) and 100 repetitive tasks/month.
Pocket — Read articles you’ve saved from the internet, anywhere. Works offline.
Audible — Listen to your favorite book while waiting in line or sitting in the car.
Dropbox — Stores 2 GB of data for free. Upgrade to 1 TB for $9.99/month! What I like most about Dropbox is how they backup all your files, even if you downgrade to the free plan or accidentally delete your files.
Sign-up here to get 500 GB bonus space.
Google Drive — 15 GB free storage space for personal accounts. 30 GB free storage space for business accounts.
Rabbut — Collect emails on Medium & WordPress
Campaign Monitor — Send beautiful newsletter to your fans and get easy automation for your email campaigns.
Mailerlite — A cheaper email newsletter alternative to Mailchimp and Campaign Monitor. Ideal for new bloggers.
Email Checker — Checks if an email address exists. Great way to filter your email list.
Explore, Eat, Work
WorkHard Anywhere — Find a place to work.
Workfrom — Find the best spots to work from in 1250+ places across the globe.
Tripadvisor — Check reviews of hotels, restaurants, and attractions.
FourSquare City Guide — Find where to eat, drink, shop or visit in any city.
Food Panda — Order food online, get it delivered to your door.
Speedtest — Check how fast the Wifi is at a cafe, coffeeshop, or restaurant. 20 mbps is good enough.
ExpressVPN — Surf the internet securely and break through censorship. 30 day money-back guarantee.
Wunderlist — Plan your day, write down your groceries, tick off your work tasks. Simple with this to-do app.
Connect with your team
Google Hangouts — Stay connected with your friends & clients. Messages, phone calls, video calls — whichever you prefer!
Skype — The universal way of keeping in touch with people.
Time Zone Converter — Know when to schedule calls, webinars & meetings based on different time zones.
Meet new people, keep in touch
Meetups — Hang out with like-minded people.
Line — A messaging app used predominantly in Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Spain, India, and Taiwan.
Wechat — The main messaging app in China.
Buffer — Automatically share posts on Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, Google+ and Instagram. Free for 10 posts for each network at any given time.
IFTTT — Automate two online tasks between your favorite platforms.
Social Jukebox — Recycle your evergreen posts automatically to Facebook, Twitter and Linkedin.
Tweetdeck — Manage multiple Twitter accounts at once.
Klout — Measure your online influence.
About.me — Your personal page where you can link your social accounts.
Grammarly — A writing assistant that helps make your posts (and emails) clear, effective, and mistake-free.
Hemingway — Highlights segments of your writing that’s hard to read, so you can simplify it.
Title Capitalization — Automatically capitalizes your blog title.
Pexels —My favorite choice for blog images.
Canva — Create beautiful designs for your blog or social media.
Paypal—Send and receive money online, securely.
Freshbooks — Manage and track invoices for small businesses and freelancers.
Simple (U.S.) — Online banking for your personal and international needs. Doesn’t charge any fees. Offers shared accounts for people looking to manage their money with a partner in the same way (traveling or romantic purposes). Free handcrafted wallet if you signup here.
TedTalks — Features inspirational videos that could potentially change your life & attitude.
Medium — Brings together the most personal, most fascinating stories you’d ever read.
Youtube — You can learn almost anything from this popular video sharing site.
Highbrow — Get a bite-sized lesson of ANY topic to your inbox. For free!
Books to read
4-hour work week — This book will shift your way of thinking into escaping the 9–5 job, living anywhere, by outsourcing your life.
Rework — Offers short, powerful messages to help you succeed in business and in life. (My all-time favorite book!)
Enchantment: The Art of Changing Hearts, Minds, and Actions — Lessons on building stronger relationships by becoming more likable and trustworthy. Basically, you learn how to influence people with the highest standard of ethics.
The Magic of Thinking Big — Get the most out of your job, your marriage, family life and community by thinking and behaving in a way that cultivates success.
The Lean Startup — Reveals the common reasons why startups fail and guides entrepreneurs on how to test their vision continuously before it’s too late.
Portable charger — A battery charger for your phone incase it suddenly dies.
Universal travel adapter—Charge your electronics, any place you go. Every country uses a specific voltage.
PlugBug World Macbook adaptor + iPhone/iPad charger— Charge both your Macbook and Apple devices at the same time.
6 ft lightning cable for iPhone/iPad/iPod — Give yourself extra space to make calls while charging your phone.
Thermos bottle — Keep your beverages hot or cold with this stylish water bottle.
Travel pillow — Not your ordinary travel pillow. This one you can blow up and sleep more sound.
Headphones — One of THE best headphones I’ve invested in. Plays crisp clear music + blocks out loud background noise. 👍🏻
Small headphones — This headphone delivers a greater listening experience with its 3 drivers. Perfect for listening to music or making calls on the go.
Umbrella — An umbrella that can withstand powerful Asian storms. Dries in 30 minutes.
Bug spray — When in doubt, spray this on your skin to prevent nasty mosquito bites.
Ibuprofen (pain reliever) — Relieve bad headaches or stomach pains.
Backpack — Last but not least, you need a backpack to bring all your valuables. Personally, I’d recommend Peak Design as they are the top creators of smart, expandable, quality backpacks.
Recommend any digital nomad tools I might’ve missed? Send me a note or drop it in the comments below!