Imagine this: you are travelling around the world, staying a month at a time in new and exciting cities, all without watching your bank account dwindle down to nothing.
That dream might seem too good to be true years ago, but with the growing popularity of working remotely and advances in budget travel options, it’s never been easier.
Australian app developer David McKinney, for example, converted his van into a mobile office complete with electricity and internet.
With a certain set of apps and services, and a little imagination, more and more people are finding ways to live out their travelling fantasies without breaking the bank.
These 16 apps can help you find work while on a beach in Thailand, and get you a room for the night for free. They can help you find the cheapest travel between two locations, and connect you with locals who will show you around the city.
Remote OK is a daily aggregator of remote jobs that is especially useful for those in the tech industry. You can find jobs in web development, design, and also non-tech jobs (though these are admittedly not the focus). Tech jobs are becoming one of the most easily-outsourced sectors, and Remote OK can be a goldmine for a tech worker looking to tour the world while staying afloat financially.
Price: Free (Web)
Airbnb has become an international phenomenon, and is swiftly replacing hotels for many travellers. The company has 600,000 listings in over 34,000 cities, and is often more affordable than hotels of similar quality -- though without the room service. Depending on your luck, your host might also be willing to share tips like the best places to get public WiFi. And you can even stay in creative abodes like treehouses or yurts.
When you are working in unfamiliar territory, it's always good to have a list of available public WiFi. WiFi Finder finds you the closest public WiFi around you. And if you are curious about which cities around the world have the best WiFi, New York, Tel Aviv, and Taipei are all on the list.
There is no better way of keeping up with friends or family overseas than using WhatsApp. This is part of the reason why Facebook bought the messaging app for a hefty $US22 billion. WhatsApp allows you to send all kinds of text and multimedia messages while only paying for the data, which can be especially cheap and easy over WiFi.
Hostelworld is the best app for booking hostels or low-cost hotels. If you like the communal vibe of living with other travellers, this app will help you find the best places. Hostel workers are also often decided-to-stay-travellers themselves, and can be a wealth of information about temporary jobs in the area.
Remote Year is an ambitious concept to put 75 likeminded people together to travel for a year while they are working remotely. The program is in its first year and costs $US2,000 a month. That $US2000 covers accommodations, workspace, and activities. If you have a lucrative remote job locked in, this could be a once-in-a-lifetime way to travel through South America, Europe, and Asia -- staying a month at a time in each of 12 cities. The next cycle begins on February 1, and they are currently accepting applications.
Price: Free (Web)
Boomerang is a plug-in that works with Chrome, Firefox, and Safari -- and can be invaluable for communicating with people across the globe. It has a lot of great tidbits, but perhaps the most useful is the ability to 'send later.' You just write a message as you normally would and then use either a calendar picker or a text box ('next Monday') to schedule when it will send. You can also set a reminder to yourself if you don't hear back so you know when to follow up. Boomerang lets you answer emails on your own time, wherever in the world you happen to be.
Price: Free (Gmail)
Foodspotting is essentially an Instagram for sharing delectable restaurant dishes, complete with where you got them. This app shows you the best food being served up around you, also tagged with the time it was uploaded. It can be a vivid alternative to reading more traditional restaurant reviews while you are travelling.
Hopper is an app that helps you figure out when exactly is the optimal time to fly. You tell the app your destination, and then it shows you a calendar with the various prices on it. If you are travelling around the world, and are flexible on the precise day you move from one place to the next, Hopper can be an easy way to maximise your savings on flights.