One of the best things about the digital nomad lifestyle is being able to travel and explore cities that you’ve always wanted to. Whether you like the cool midwestern feel of Chicago or the sunnier climates of the West Coast, there’s a city that suits everyone’s taste and budget.
Read on to discover some of the best places for digital nomads to live!
How Do I Decide Which City To Choose?
The best places for digital nomads depend on your workload: such as the type of job you do, how much you earn, and what gives you the inspiration to keep those creative juices flowing. Because you work remotely, you’re not beholden to cost-of-living wages—this could either work for you or against you, depending on the city you choose. You’ll want to make sure that the city you choose has simplified living options, suited for nomads, such as furnished apartments.
What Makes a Great Location for a Digital Nomad?
No matter what kind of digital nomad you are (or aspire to be), there are essentials that anyone working remotely simply can’t live without:
- Internet – Everyone can appreciate the frustration of cripplingly slow internet, but for remote workers, this frustration is doubled. Imagine working towards a deadline only to be delayed by an unreliable internet connection? Furthermore, many location independent jobs require a strong and healthy connection that can support a specific bandwidth. No matter where a digital nomad decides to settle, it is imperative that they have fast internet and a trustworthy WiFi connection.
- Cost-Effectiveness – Ultimately, the city in which you live has to suit your budget. Someone working 25~ hours a week and making around $2500/month might not be able to support their nomad lifestyle deep in the folds of New York City. They might be more suited towards Bali, Mexico City, or somewhere else the dollar is strong.
With that being said, a dexterous and experienced digital nomad making upwards of six figures will be able to afford their stay in Manhattan. Thus, the cost-effectiveness of a given place is relative to the income generated by the digital nomad.
- Inspiration – Everyone has different creative triggers, things that inspire them and validate their choice of the digital nomad lifestyle. For some, that means going out on the town to experience the vibrant nightlife, for others that’s exploring the great outdoors. This means that digital nomads often choose their destination based on what it can offer them (in terms of lifestyle).
So while the best cities are inherently a personal opinion, there are some cities that are particularly accommodating when it comes to the digital nomadic lifestyle.
Best Cities For Digital Nomads
Here is a list of some of the best cities in the U.S. for digital nomads:
1. Austin, Texas
Known as a hotbed for tech start-ups, as well as a thriving musical, cultural and artistic scene, Austin is an exciting place to be. It costs an estimated $3,661 a month to live there, which, when compared to other tech hubs on the West Coast, is peanuts. When considering furnished apartments in Austin, TX, the cost of living may go down as many of the things you would need for day to day life are taken care of in your all-inclusive home. Add to this the 205 parks, 14 nature preserves and 50 miles of hiking trails, there’s something to inspire every digital nomad.
2. Miami, Florida
With its breezy Caribbean vibe, stylish architecture, and vibrant nightlife, Miami is a Mecca for sun worshippers and tech gurus alike. While the cost of living is steep, at an estimated $4,246 a month (with rent as much as 41.7% of your income), you’ll benefit from year-round sunshine and a slew of different co-working spaces dotted across the city. With furnished apartments in Miami, you can subtract some of the extra costs of living because all you need is in your apartment.
3. Chicago, Illinois
More interconnected than ever before, Chicago is fast becoming a global city that prides itself on its friendly Midwestern feel. At $3,435 a month, the cost of living is more manageable when compared to other major American cities. There’s also a great selection of different co-working spaces to choose from, many located in the trendy neighborhoods of Wicker Park and Logan Square.
4. New York City, New York
Digital nomads of various types will find it hard to resist the allure of NYC. New York is a truly global city, with one of the best choices for co-working spaces, cafes, and digital nomad meetups, so you’ll have plenty of chances to meet like-minded people. Costing an estimated $4,975 per month, it’s not cheap, but you’ll be at the center of an innovative, global city with a nightlife that famously doesn’t sleep. Also, with Landing’s furnished apartments in NYC, you can expect that the cost of living will be less than that as many items are already included in your furnished apartment, such as toiletries and more.
5. Seattle, Washington
Home to tech giants Amazon and Microsoft, digital nomads who work in tech will relish the opportunities available in the Emerald City. The cost of living is an estimated $3,993 per month, which when compared with other U.S. cities puts it mid-range. With a range of outdoor activities on your doorstep, as well as Seattle’s impressive record for sustainability, for those eco-conscious remote workers with a love for the outdoors, it’s a no-brainer. Digital nomads can also admire the variety of furnished apartments in Seattle that offer a simplified way of living for the working traveler.
There are, of course, many more cities that could swoon the spirited soul. This is just a quick list of some of the highlights. With most of the world now having access to WiFi, your options of living situations are seemingly limitless.
Finding A Place To Stay: The Way Of The Digital Nomad
A problem that often challenges digital nomads who only want to stay in a city for a few months at a time is rental contracts. Unless you live in a hostel, or fork over for an Airbnb, it’s difficult to find somewhere you don’t have to commit to.
To that end, a digital nomad isn’t your average traveler. They need amenities, a workspace, and the proper infrastructure that, while catering to their lifestyle, also allows them to do their remote work. Some digital nomads might be able to get by at a hostel—simply frequenting the local coffee shop every time they need to work. For others, doing so lacks structure and the fickle free-WiFi at public places isn’t enough for them. To learn more about housing options for digital nomads that need to relocate for work, check out our relocation housing guide.
A Place Curated for Professionals
In today’s world, with the vast amount of workers going remote, companies across the globe are hearing the siren call of the digital nomad and creating platforms that cater to their “work-on-the-go” lifestyle.
For instance, Landing is now offering fully-furnished homes with premium amenities, all under month-to-month leasing contracts. You can transfer from landing to landing with a 3-day notice and you don’t have to put down a deposit. Additionally, knowing that digital nomads rely upon the integrity of their WiFi connection, Landing ensures that their apartments have high-speed internet.
The idea behind Landing is to remove the hassle in renting an apartment and to provide a convenient home away from home. Digital nomads can adventure through a city and experience all the structure and amenities they would at home.
Where To Next?
As aforementioned, when choosing which city to move to as a digital nomad it is important to first consider whether it covers the bare essentials:
- Has a reliable internet connection
- It is affordable for you and your current income stream
- The city inspires you
In the above list, there is a city that appeals to the taste and budget of everyone. Whether you admire the dizzying heights of the Big Apple or prefer to live in Austin, Texas—all these cities present their own advantages for the nomad life.
It’s up to you to choose the best fit for your lifestyle. Choose a city, refer to our digital nomad packing list, find a furnished apartment, and get started with the nomad life! Aside from a remote job, that’s all it takes on how to become a digital nomad.
World Packers. 15 Best Cities For Digital Nomads in 2019. https://www.worldpackers.com/articles/best-cities-for-digital-nomads
Nomad List. Best Places to Live in the United States.
Flex Jobs. The 10 Best U.S. Cities for Digital Nomads. https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/the-10-best-us-cities-for-digital-nomads/
The Culture Trip. 17 Reasons Why You Should Visit Seattle. https://theculturetrip.com/north-america/usa/articles/17-reasons-why-you-should-visit-seattle/
Numbeo. Cost of Living in Miami.