Would traveling around the world with your laptop and your backpack be something for you? Have you ever dreamt about working from a different place every couple of months? Visiting new places while keeping your career? But you’ve never done because you have kids and want to give them some stability? Then keep reading how to work from everywhere you want without becoming a “real” digital nomad.

What’s a digital nomad?

First of all, let’s see what digital nomads are, and why they’re called like that:

  • “Nomads” because they “wander” from place to place. They live a location-independent life, that is, they don’t live or work at one specific place. Digital nomads travel around the world, usually staying for a couple of months in places with low cost of living, like some Asian or Latin-American countries.
  • “Digital” because, in order to be able to work from a different place every couple of weeks or months, they work online. And what does it mean? There are several possibilities, which include:
    • Freelancers, who have customers they can deliver their work online, like translators, content writers or web designers, for instance.
    • Online product creators, who create – and sell – online courses or other digital products, like digital books or printables, for example.
    • Online coaches or language teachers, who can offer their online services per Skype, Zoom or any other video conference tool.

For me, living location-independently is the ideal lifestyle. I love traveling, meeting new people, learning new languages and discovering something new every single day. However, I’m not a digital nomad – by choice. The reason? I have kids and I want them to have a place they can call home, without having to change schools and friends constantly. So I invented the term “part-time digital nomad” for myself.

Becoming a part-time digital nomad

What Is a Part-Time Digital Nomad – And How Can I Become One?

If school doesn’t let us become digital nomads the whole year, why not take advantage of the huge school holidays? Depending on which country you live in, school holidays usually last more than 10 weeks – and that’s only for the Summer break!

So, when my children have school breaks, instead of taking 2 weeks vacation and going to the beach… my “part-time digital nomad” time comes into place: My family loves to travel 5 to 6 weeks to some new country, where we can combine tourism and work (otherwise, we couldn’t afford it!).

Both my husband and I can work from home, so we just have to pack our laptops in the luggage, and off we go! As we spend so much time away, booking a hotel wouldn’t work for us – neither financially, nor if we want to work focused! So we usually stay at an apartment. Now, depending on how many rooms we have available, we work from our new home (yep, we consider it our home, at least for the Summer) or we work at a coworking space. We can’t do it at the same time, of course, because we have the kids, but that’s OK!

If you wanna know how we combine work and holidays (’cause it’s meant to be fun after all) without getting stressed, check out this post.

Becoming a part-time digital nomad

Start Planning Now for Next Summer – Even If You Aren’t Freelancing Yet

1. Not a freelance yet? Then I’d say you have two options if you want to become a part-time digital nomad:

  • Start freelancing as a side hustle until you can quit your job and freelance full time, if that’s your goal.
  • Discuss with your boss about the possibility of working “from home” during the school holidays.
  • Renounce to your salary during your travel times, and offer online services to make ends meet (and to become a real digital nomad!).

2. Choose where you want to go. Depending on the country you’re visiting, you’ll have to take different aspects into account, for instance:

  • How reliable – and available – is the Internet connection?
  • What time zone are you going to be in?
  • What’s the local language? Do you need to learn the basics to communicate with locals, or is English enough?
  • How safe is it for kids? Is there anything you need to know or prepare?

3. Look for a flat at AirBnB with WiFi. You’ll usually get better rates if you book for longer periods of time, so don’t wait too long to book! You don’t want to be changing places during your holidays. That is, unless you DO want to travel to different places like a real-deal nomad, of course!

4. Research any coworking spaces near your place if you need some alone time to work.

5. Look for kids’ events or day camps if this is something you’ll like to try. They’ll have fun and you’ll have more time to work! Even if it’s just for a couple of hours. Believe me: These are going to be the most productive hours of your life!! Besides, they’ll meet other children, and you can even become friends with their parents, too!

6. Make deals with your spouse! Are both of you going to work? Who’s gonna work when? Are you working each day of the week, every second day, only in the mornings? This is something I’d suggest you discuss before starting the trip. You don’t want to quarrel about logistics once you’re on your destination, do you?

7. Choose which and how much work you’re going to be coping with during your digital nomad experience. Trying to get too much done may just cause you stress, and that’s something you could also get at your home town, right? Check out this blog post on how to choose the most aproppriate tasks for your “workation”.

When Is The Best Moment to Start Planning?

You may be wondering when the best time to start planning for your first travel and work experience is, and I would answer ASAP! Yep, even if you’d like to travel as late as in a year. The earlier you start planning, the likelier it is for you to make the best out of your experience. Especially if you aren’t freelancing yet!

Now’s the time to start planning for your next work holidays! If you need any help, check out this blog post on how to break down your big goals. Otherwise, you may find yourself regretting that you hadn’t started earlier.


PS. Are you born to freelance?

Living a part-time location-independent life