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You are here: News » Archived News » Travelling the digital trail

Travelling the digital trail

Digital Nomad

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What is a digital nomad?
A digital nomad is a remote worker who travels and works simultaneously, visiting locations worldwide and working from beaches, coffee shops and coworking spaces. Some digital nomads only travel for a few months, but others do it for years. Research suggests that nearly 30% of digital nomads prefer to stay in one location for one to two months, while 26% stay for three to four months and 16% stay for five to seven months.

Top digital nomad locations ranked
Below is our ranking of 61 of the best places to be a digital nomad in 2024, with Dubai and Lisbon in the top two spots. Locations that rank highest provide the ideal combination of cost-efficient living with beautiful weather, superb connectivity, and quality of life. Notably, many major tourist hotspots are comparatively low on the list: London, Paris, and Milan all appear below unexpected winners, such as Jacksonville and Gothenburg.

Outranking every other city analysed, Dubai stands out as the number one destination for digital nomads. This UAE city has a strong reputation as an international business hub with excellent infrastructure. The UAE also offers a special one-year Virtual Work Residency Visa.

You’ll have no worries about connectivity while working in sunny Dubai – there are over 23,000 wi-fi hotspots throughout the city, with an average broadband speed of 230mbps. Dubai also has a climate that attracts digital nomads from around the world, getting an annual average of 3,500 hours of sunshine. This makes it an excellent place to work from the beach! Not far behind Dubai is Lisbon, the perfect option for inexpensive yet delicious food, beautiful weather and scenery, and great infrastructure. One of the sunniest places in Europe, the Portuguese coastal capital is a food-lovers haven, with local markets and freshly caught seafood available on virtually every corner.

With more than 7,000 wi-fi hotspots and an average broadband speed of 98mbps, the city is ideal for enjoying the sun and surfing while still working productively. A cappuccino in Lisbon will cost you just £1.66, and an Airbnb will cost you £115 a night.

Top 20 locations for digital nomads:

1               Dubai  UAE

2               Lisbon  Portugal

3               Madrid  Spain

4               Los Angeles  USA

5               Sydney  Australia

6               Barcelona  Spain

7               Amsterdam  Netherlands

8               Bangkok  Thailand

9               Dallas  USA

10            Rotterdam  Netherlands

11            Jacksonville  USA

12            New York  USA

13            Seoul  South Korea

14            Taipei  Taiwan

15            San Antonio  USA

16            San Diego  USA

17            Paris  France

18            Cape Town  South Africa

19            Singapore  Singapore

20            Phoenix  USA

Spotlight on Asia
Bangkok is the top Asian city on our list. It offers stunning local cuisine, vibrant street food markets, and more than 15,000 wi-fi hotspots with an average broadband speed of 229mbps. Other Asian business hubs, such as Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Singapore, and Hong Kong, offer captivating travel experiences, scenery, and food alongside stellar connectivity, infrastructure, and a manageable cost of living.

Day-to-day expenses in Asian cities can be very affordable for digital nomads. Hanoi has the most affordable cuisine, with a Vietnamese dining experience costing £18,9, and Kathmandu has the cheapest coffee, charging just £1,27 for a cappuccino. Bustling metropolises across Central, East, South, Southeast and Western Asia are perfect for digital nomads who want to explore some of the world’s most iconic business centres and enjoy a continent full of exciting travel opportunities and sights. Demand for flexible office space in places like Singapore and Hong Kong is high as more people look to new ways of using the workspace, meaning you can easily find creative coworking spaces in Singapore, meeting rooms, and serviced offices from which to work as you travel.

Connectivity is also second to none. Beijing boasts the fastest average broadband speed in this ranking at 260mbps, while Jakarta has the most wi-fi hotspots, with more than 97,000 across the city. Meanwhile, Tokyo ranks the highest in terms of quality of life.

Spotlight on Europe
According to the cities analysed, Europe is one of the most popular destinations for digital nomads and the most popular continent on the list. Rich history, excellent transport, and accessible travel opportunities make Europe appealing to digital nomads, who can spend a weekend sightseeing in Paris and catch a train back to London on Monday in time for work.

Spotlight on the US
Los Angeles tops our list of best digital nomad cities in the US. The City of Angels is all about sun and fun, with a warm Mediterranean climate and beaches galore to explore. The city has over 10,000 wi-fi hotspots and an average broadband speed of 198mbps, so you can confidently join meetings and share documents from your LA coworking space or beachfront coffee shop. Other US locations, like Houston, Chicago and New York, are already popular tourist attractions, but their combination of flexible office space, connectivity, transport infrastructure and travel options also make them appealing locations to live, work and play while exploring the US as a digital nomad.

What jobs do digital nomads do?
Plenty of careers are amenable to a digital nomad lifestyle. 51% are in digital marketing, computer science, and creative industries (copywriting and design), but this only scratches the surface of the range of jobs occupied by remote workers. Anything that can be done behind a screen can be done by a digital nomad, whether that’s insurance brokering, nutritional advice, or HR.

Travel while you work: a trend that’s here to stay
Trends in commercial property reflect the general movement towards increased workplace flexibility. Our market forecasts show flexible workspace as a proportion of the total office market will grow from 5% to almost 13% by 2025. As the role of the office changes and flexibility increases globally, more people will be able to travel and work virtually anywhere.

InstantOffices.com

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