Part of the attraction of working remotely in a different country is that you can earn at the same time as you travel, meaning you don’t have to save up a small fortune in advance in order to experience new countries and cultures.
People rarely choose remote working as a way to get rich (although that’s not to say that it cannot be very financially rewarding), but more as a lifestyle choice. Still, you need to be able to keep costs under control to get the most from your time away, so here are a few good ways to cut back on costs without affecting the experience.
Stay in a Hostel or Shared Apartment
Renting your own apartment or even house in some countries around the world may be affordable, but in other countries accommodation will be a significant expense. Cut down on your rent by sharing an apartment with another expat, or even staying in a hostel. For a truly immersive experience, move in with a local family, which is a possibility in many cities around the world. Just make sure that you have an internet connection and the space to work comfortably, and there is no reason to spend a fortune on accommodation.
Use a Local SIM Card
Take an unlocked phone with you that can be used in any country around the world (a quad-band model is your best bet), and pick up a local SIM card when you arrive (or get a local to buy one for you if there are restrictions). This could save you considerable amounts of money on using your phone while abroad.
Make Local Friends
By getting to know some local people, you will find that they take you to bars, restaurants and attractions that are not tourist-focused and could therefore save you a lot of money. In some countries, simply being a foreigner may mean that you get charged more by shopkeepers and restaurant owners, so a local friend can help to keep the costs down. And of course, meeting local people is part of the fun of living in a new country in the first place.
Local Travel Passes
Find out about weekly or monthly passes for public transport if you are living in a city. You may find that there are significant savings to be made this way.
Send Free Text Messages
Download an app like WhatsApp to send and receive free text messages to and from anyone else who has the app. Recommend that all your friends and family get the app before you leave so you can use this as a free way to stay in touch.
Use Free Software
There is a wealth of free software available for remote workers, and there is often no reason to fork out on expensive products. Use Google Drive, the free version of AVG Antivirus, OpenOffice and Skype for a start, none of which you have to pay for.
Arrive in the Low Season
The beauty of living abroad is that you can travel at any time of the year. Try to arrive in the low season as prices for accommodation and restaurants may all be a lot less, and of course you won’t be surrounded by thousands of other tourists.
Haggle for Your Accommodation
If you are staying long term, whether in a hostel or an apartment, try to haggle the price down. Many owners may be happy to offer you a better rate to keep their accommodation occupied, especially if you can pay in advance.
Use the Right Card
Currency cards are a useful way to cut out fees, and you should also spend some time looking for the best credit cards for travellers before you leave as there can be some significant savings to make on ATM and loading charges. Look into money transfer services as well, as you can sometimes get excellent rates of exchange using independent services compared to bank transfers.
Save Money, Enjoy Yourself More
Be careful with your budget when you work remotely, and keep the above tips in mind. There is no reason why spending less should equate to less fun, and it could well mean you can stay in your new location for longer and get even more out of your time overseas.