Without the internet, the digital nomad lifestyle would be near impossible. Whether it’s to earn income, balance work and play, manage finances or connect with loved ones – life as a digital nomad relies heavily on the internet and apps.
As such, we’ve compiled a list of useful apps and online tools that will help you stay productive, connected, and organised while on the road. No more struggling with remote working while travelling. We’ve got you covered.
21 Must-Have Apps for Digital Nomads
1. Nomad List
Nomad List is a crowd sourced database of cities around the world. It lets nomads determine their next destination based on factors like cost of living, safety, and internet speed. The Nomad List website also provides a job board and marketplace for nomads looking for work.
Ready to fuel your wanderlust? Hitlist is the perfect app for that.
Available on Android and iOS, Hitlist lets you add destinations on a personalised wish list. It then sends alerts on the lowest airfare deals for your chosen destinations. This is ideal for nomads looking to save time and money searching for flights.
Airbnb is the world’s largest accommodation-sharing website. You can browse through an extensive list of apartment rentals available for short to medium term stay.
Get discounted prices by booking months — or even weeks — in advance. For lower prices, negotiate with your host, especially for short-term accommodations.
Tip: Always check Airbnb reviews before booking a property. Photos and property description are important, but reviews offer information about a listing that hosts tend to leave out.
Couchsurfing offers more than just free accommodation. This secure online community connects travelers with local hosts through their website and app. You can take the time to get to know your host by attending regular Couchsurfing events or joining a local hangout.
If you’re into traditional accommodations (hotels, hostels, inns), then head to Booking.com. Here you’ll find a variety of accommodations, from apartments to 5-star luxury resorts.
Keeping important documents and credentials secure is tricky, especially when you’re constantly on the go. Credntia is a free-to-use identity management system that consolidates all your personal documents and certificates. Get digital access to personal credentials, like licenses, health cards, and passports — then use them in establishments around the world.
Connecting to public networks makes you susceptible to cyber hackers, spam, and other security risks. Protect all of your online activities with TunnelBear. What sets this VPN service apart is that you get 500MB data per month and an accompanying ad blocker at zero cost. TunnelBear also has a useful add-on feature that lets you bypass areas that block VPN traffic.
Google Translate might not always have the best grammar in its translations, but this free app comes with great features. For example, you can use your phone camera to scan texts — eliminating the need to manually type text. Additionally, Google Translate’s dictionary works offline, making it convenient for nomads on the go.
Duolingo is a language learning website and app. This free-to-use tool is an engaging way to learn up to 37 languages (including the fictional High Valyrian, because why not?).
Sharpen your language skills through Duolingo’s quick, engaging lessons presented in a game format. Its activities include translating singular words, filling in the blanks, and practice speaking the language out loud.
Since its launch in 2003, Skype has become one of the most popular communication apps in the world. It provides video, chat, and voice call services to make it simple for people to get in touch.
The main advantage of Skype is the ability to contact anyone at zero cost. If you’re a nomad based in Thailand, you can video call your family in Europe without charge. Skype is also an inexpensive tool for running an offshore business or freelance job. A free plan gives you access to features like video conferences, instant messaging, and excellent call quality.
With different Skype versions available, you can run the app on virtually any device. This is ideal for digital nomads, as you can still make regular calls via Skype, provided you’re connected to the internet.
By February 2018, Whatsapp had an accumulated user base of over one and a half billion. This makes it one of the most popular communication apps in the world. WhatsApp is often used as an alternative to regular text messaging. Users can also make free long-distance calls, send photos and videos, and even “drop a pin” to send your exact coordinates to contacts.
At first glance, WeChat is just your regular messaging app. But over 1 billion users around the world rely on it for messaging, social media, and mobile payments. WeChat is currently the most popular messaging app in Bhutan and China — making it essential for any nomad travelling to the region.
Facebook Messenger connects directly to Facebook’s chatting system. So you can’t send a message to fellow users without installing it. With 2 billion users on Facebook, you can use the app to communicate with customers, remote team members, or loved ones.
Upwork (formerly oDesk) is a popular choice among digital nomads because of its extensive freelance and remote work opportunities. You can find a variety of short and long-term projects, hourly or per-project work, as well as entry-level to expert-level jobs.
15. Sitebeat (website builder)
Your website builds trust with potential customers and partners 24/7. With Sitebeat, you merely point-and-click to create your own website with no need for complex codes. And if you’re busy, the SitebeatPRO team can build your website and manage it for you (at a low budget!). Perfect for any jet-setting digital nomad.
Trello is a free project management tool for both mobile and desktop. Use it to plan any project or event, from your next visa run to the launch of your start-up project. Trello also lets you add different members when working on a collaboration. You can start assigning deadlines and communicating with each other through Trello’s in-app messaging function.
17. Google Drive
Google Drive offers cloud storage services and a full office suite. Store 15 gigabytes worth of files for free or upgrade your plan and get up to 30 terabytes of cloud space. For added security, change the privacy setting for individual files and folders, or enable universal access by making your content public.
Google Drive also allows file creation through its office suite: Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and Presentation. Unlike Microsoft Office, it won’t require paid license fees. All you need to do is sign up with your Gmail account.
Evernote functions as a digital notepad, enabling easy tracking of all the things you view and note online. You can seamlessly organise your notes, pictures, and sketches with Evernote’s indexing service. As an added bonus, Evernote is free to use on Android, iOS, desktop, and Windows devices, making it a budget-friendly option for travellers.
PayPal is one of the pioneer payment gateways. It acts as a third party account that connects to your bank accounts or credit cards. This lets you complete secure transactions with other PayPal accounts quickly.
PayPal is the default option of getting paid as a digital nomad or remote worker. Make it a point to contact them before travelling to ensure that you have continued access to your account.
20. Trail Wallet
Digital nomads tend to lose track of their daily expenses while travelling. To avoid exceeding your budget, use Trail Wallet. This expense tracker secures your finances by letting you set a daily budget. Trail Wallet then organises your expenses by category and provides reports to help boost your savings.
It is a known fact that PayPal’s services don’t come cheap, especially when multiple currencies are involved. A more reliable alternative to PayPal is Payoneer. Instead of paying large transfer fees, you’re charged a single transfer fee of $3 on average. Payoneer also sends a debit MasterCard that works online or at accredited ATMs worldwide.
Are Any of These Digital Nomad Apps Powering Your Life?
These tools let digital nomads stay organised wherever they are in the world. By streamlining your tasks, you can get all your work done and start exploring new places.