As some workers begin returning to the office this year, others have been offered the opportunity to work from home indefinitely. Twitter
NerdWallet and many other tech companies will let employees go fully or nearly fully remote, freeing them from commutes and packed elevators.
Yet what are the travel options and realities if you’re now working remotely? Should you become a digital nomad? Move to a new city or stay put? Is it really feasible to work in a hammock on the beach, or does that get uncomfortable?
Many new remote workers are excited and overwhelmed by the options. Here we lay out five important considerations to keep in mind as you take the next step toward working remotely while traveling (or not).
1. Should you stay or should you go?
If your job is remote, are you automatically a digital nomad? Not necessarily. In general, digital nomads have no specific home and bounce from one location to the next in search of cheap lodging and fast Wi-Fi. As a digital nomad myself, I can tell you most of us spend an un-Instagrammable amount of time in our parents’ house.
See: Digital nomads don’t sit on the beach or travel all the time — here’s what life is really like
One of the first things you should consider after your job becomes remote is where you want to live, and how often you want to travel. On one end of the spectrum is full digital nomadism. On the other is staying exactly where you are. And in between lie myriad hybrid options, including:
- Slow-madism: Rather than moving constantly, some remote workers take it slower, spending long periods in each location. This can be a great way to start, as it lets you explore and get to know the pace of life in each destination.
- Home base: Even those remote workers who style themselves “digital nomads” often have a home base to return to between trips. This affords some comfort, but also plenty of potential expense.
- Snowbirding: Although usually attributed to well-tanned retirees, the term “snowbird” refers to anyone who migrates to warmer climates for the winter. Whether driving down in an RV or hopping on a flight to Mexico, this is an attractive option for vitamin-D-seeking remote workers.
The big challenge with each option is balancing quality of life with costs. For example, keeping a home base means you can keep your stuff, but it can also carry a big price tag. And renting furnished accommodations as a nomad can be pricier than you might expect.
Each situation is unique. If you already own your home, maybe you can use it as a home base and rent it out while traveling. If you’re renting, you might need to stay put or move out entirely. Break out the spreadsheets, get creative and make a budget that works for you.
2. What about taxes?
They’re not the most exciting aspect of remote work,