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The best destinations for digital nomads in 2024
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The best destinations for digital nomads in 2024

A headshot of Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson
12th January, 2024
9 min read
A world map with different flags planted on different countries
A headshot of Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson
12th January, 2024
9 min read
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How to choose a digital nomad destination
Top destinations for digital nomads in 2024
Four challenges facing digital nomads

Want to work from anywhere but unsure where to go? You're in the right place. We share the top destinations and indispensable advice to get you started.

A digital nomad is an employee or freelancer who isn't governed by where they work (i.e., they can work wherever they want!). The chance to work from anywhere  is clearly becoming popular, because there’s an estimated 30 million (or more) digital nomads worldwide.
Psst. You'll need a digital nomad visa or equivalent to become a digital nomad.
You're considering joining them, but where should you go? Should you soak up Spanish culture, Barbados's white sandy beaches, or Portugal’s relaxed way of life? This blog explores the top digital nomad destinations for 2024 based on safety, low cost of living, best beaches, and more.

How to choose a digital nomad destination

Selecting the best digital nomad location depends on your priorities. Climate might be important for you (swapping UK winters for factor 30 sun cream sounds appealing). But it’s essential to research your destination thoroughly before jumping headfirst —  there are many things you should consider.

To name a few:
  • Cost of living. Before choosing your destination, assess the cost of living and determine whether you can afford to live comfortably there.
  • Visa restrictions. Countries have different restrictions for their digital nomad visa applications. For a Spanish digital nomad visa, applicants must prove their income is £2,140 per month or £25,700 per year and must provide a certificate of working for the last three months for a company outside of Spain, for example.
  • Reliable transport. When exploring a foreign country, it’s good to know you can get around easily via transportation. Most major cities have reliable transport options, whether tram, bus or train, but Germany has impeccable transport links. Their Deutsche Bahn Intercity-Express is a high-speed train network connecting all major German cities, making exploration stress-free.
  • Crime rate. You should always consider the crime rate and how safe the area is in general. You need to feel safe wherever you travel, so check out this site to analyse the crime rate of your destination.
  • Accommodation availability. You need to find a place to stay, but how easy is finding local accommodation? There are plenty of accommodation websites where you can find available rooms, houses, or flats to rent. Consider collaborating with a local solicitor who translates or interprets property or lease contracts.
  • Digital connectivity. Did you know fibre makes up 80% of all broadband connections in Iceland, Spain, and Sweden? Not all countries have great digital connectivity. As a digital nomad, you’ll need access to a reliable internet connection, so don’t forget to check that out in your chosen destination.

Top destinations for digital nomads in 2024

What you want from your digital nomad experience will differ wildly from other workers. That's why you should use the information below simply as a guide. Always thoroughly research the destination you're considering.

Safest digital nomad destination: Iceland

When living in a foreign country, you need peace of mind that where you're temporarily living is safe. According to the Global Peace Index, Iceland sits at the top of the list as one of the safest places to visit. The index takes violent crime rates into account, along with other indicators. Although it's deemed the safest place, it's one of the most expensive places to live temporarily 42% higher than the cost of living in the UK), so bear that in mind.
A photograph showing the city of Reykjavik beside the water with mountains in the background
Reykjavik, Iceland
Much of Iceland isn't populated, so the most popular city for digital nomads is Reykjavik (the country’s capital). There are many places to explore, and tourist sites like the Blue Lagoon are just a drive away. The city has three coworking spaces with excellent digital connectivity — perfect for digital nomads.

Low cost of living: Mexico

Mexico is one of the cheapest countries for a digital nomad to live in. A country with so much to offer, with Mayan ruins to explore, the Great Mayan Reef to swim and delicious street food to sample, a single person could live there for just less than £1,200 each month, all in.
A row of colourful pastel houses in Mérida, Mexico
Mérida, Mexico
There can be many safety concerns when travelling and living in Mexico, so don't just choose the cheapest city to live in. The most affordable city to live in Mexico is Tijuana. But the UK Government website advises against all but essential travel to this destination, along with many others in Mexico. Some safer parts of Mexico include Mérida, which is the capital of the Mexican state Yucatán — a vibrant city just over a 90-minute drive to the ancient Mayan site Chichén-Itzá.

A thriving digital nomad community: Japan

Sometimes, working alone can get lonely, but what if you found a place with a growing digital nomad community? Finding like-minded travellers can make you feel at ease. Tokyo is the fastest-growing remote work hub of 2023, growing an impressive 218% compared to the previous 12 months.
Toyko and Osaka are great options if you're after that busy city lifestyle. With plenty of cafes and coworking spaces, you'll always find places to work and activities to keep you busy. Kyoto could be a better fit if you want to experience a more authentic Japanese lifestyle.
A lit-up downtown district in Osaka with a river running through the middle
Osaka, Japan
Note that Japan doesn't have a digital nomad visa, and most tourists don't need to apply for a tourist visa to visit Japan for up to 90 days. However, you must apply for a short-term visa if you're coming from countries including China, Russia, Vietnam, and others.
Although you're not usually allowed to work when visiting the country as a tourist, if you're working remotely for a company not based in Japan, you should be fine, according to Citizen Remote.

💡 Extra tip: The best way to instantly connect with locals online is by finding Facebook groups dedicated to travellers in your destination. So consider joining these groups way before you set foot in the country. Collect recommendations for places to eat, co-work and live, and you'll feel better prepared.

Best beach destination for remote work: Barbados

Barbados offers a lot if you want to live that tropical island lifestyle. From postcard vistas to tasty food and friendly locals, you could be sunning yourself on one of the island's 80-plus gorgeous white sandy beaches — laptop in one hand, cocktail in the other. Bliss.
A promenade with sea to the right and Bridgetown's old town to the left
Bridgetown, Barbados
Some of Barbados's most popular cities include Speightstown and Holetown. Both are on the island's west coast and slightly more expensive than other areas. If you're looking for somewhere slightly more affordable, check out Bridgetown.
Since introducing their digital nomad visa in 2020, the number of digital nomads has steadily grown, but it's still not a huge community — so bear that in mind!

A great local digital nomad destination: Portugal

Portugal is an excellent option if you're currently based in the UK and don't want to travel too far. Known for its wild surfer waves in the Algarve, winter sun and relaxed way of life, Portugal is in the same timezone as the UK, making collaborating with UK clients or employees superbly easy.
A drone shot of Lisbon, Portugal showing its buildings and coastline
Lisbon, Portugal
Other European countries offering digital nomad visas include Spain, Estonia and Croatia. Italy has recently introduced a digital nomad visa but hasn't officially launched it just yet.

Four challenges facing digital nomads (and how to overcome them!)

When becoming a digital nomad, you face many challenges, but there are also plenty of ways to adapt to these changes and thrive remotely.

1. Time zone differences

Any organisation with global teams has differences in time zones. Creating clear communication guidelines is essential to enabling any remote team to thrive. This includes squeezing all the value out of any overlapping timeframes. If you have two hours of the day when all or most team members are working, use those hours to your advantage.

2. Overcoming isolation

Remote working can be lonely. But tapping into local digital nomad communities and utilising friend-making apps or groups can help you build in-person friendships. Although you're not working directly alongside other team members, consider hosting virtual social events like quizzes or hangout sessions. Using team management tools with built-in chat functionality can help foster a collaborative working environment, even when you're not in the office.

3. Balancing work and travel

As a digital nomad, finding the right work-travel balance matters; after all, you've not travelled hundreds or thousands of miles from home to stare at your laptop screen 24/7. Plan designated exploration time for each working day if your work schedule allows. Whether it's a short walk around the town, going to the beach each morning, or taking a few hours in the afternoon to do typical tourist activities, make time to explore your surroundings.

4. Disjointed collaboration

When working remotely, it can be a challenge to get everyone working on the same page. Thankfully, collaboration tools can help you unify your team. Collect and share team knowledge easily from within one interface. Onboard team members from anywhere and communicate simply through the system, keeping productivity high.

To sum up

If all you need to work is your laptop and access to Wi-Fi, then working abroad on a digital nomad visa could be a viable option for you. The opportunity to live, work, and travel in a beautiful location of your choosing is possible; you have to ask yourself, why not?
If you're wondering how you become a digital nomad, wonder no more. Our blog explores one of the first requirements: What is a digital nomad visa?

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Written by
A headshot of Helen Jackson
Helen Jackson
Content Writer
Helen is a freelance content writer specialising in Software as a Service (SaaS). She has a BA Hons degree in English, a Chartered Institute of Marketing qualification, and over ten years of experience in content marketing.

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