Setting Up a New Temporary Home and Living Abroad

Enter the year 2021, you’re still working from home due to Covid-19, and are in serious need for a change of scenery. The answer may be to pack your bags, hit the road and book a stay where you can get a change of sights, people and food, while hitting your work deadlines. 

Working while traveling as a digital nomad comes with its challenges and one of the biggest expenses and most important necessities is housing.  Either you’ve gone all in and put your things in storage or you still have a home to maintain; the name of the game for housing is comfort, efficiency and affordability. While travel needs may be defined differently from one person to the next, it is important to set up a situation that is right for you.

Along with finding a temporary home during your travels, there are a few other considerations to make, such as transportation, getting to know the locals for the deals, learning the lay of the land, and realizing that there is a learning curve when embarking on a new place! If you keep these tips in mind, your trip will be much more comfortable and will minimize work interruptions while optimizing your travel experience!

Set Up Your Temporary Home

In today’s world of connectivity, there are many housing options and countless ways to book all at the ease of going online. Depending on your budget, travel needs, length of stay, and location, you are likely to find something suitable to post up your temporary work station and enjoy your new life as a digital nomad. From sites such as AirBnB, Vrbo and Homestay you are able to find a range of home rentals that give a sense of home while providing amenities that hotels or hostels don’t offer.

Renting a home can be more comfortable for longer stays, can cut on food costs with access to a kitchen, and can provide extra space for more guests. Hotels and hostels are also options for housing while working and traveling. Many times these housing options offer a range of shared amenities, such as a business center, free internet access and networking opportunities to meet new people. 

While I highly suggest doing your research and planning ahead of time, I would not discount the idea of also booking on the spot – only if the right conditions permit. This would be an okay option if you have already been in the area or region for some time. In many cases if you have become familiar with the lay of the land, the culture and the way everyday life operates, you may find a deal by the local word-of-mouth and may even be able to preview the home-stay ahead of time. This can also lead to hearing first-hand reviews from recent visitors. Last-minute bookings are a risk, but if the opportunity presents itself, this option can give the ability to find better deals while allowing the flexibility to change travel plans as you go. 

Getting Around

Transportation as a digital nomad is essential. From the moment you arrive via air, land or sea, the next question is how will you get around during your stay. Most times, I tend to stay in a central location or a hotel/resort that is self-contained and transportation is not heavily required.  But if you are looking to take a few trips out to stock up on home essentials such as groceries along with exploring your new city, consider what will work best for you. Anything from renting a car, hailing taxis, using car-share apps such as Uber, to walking or using street scooters and bikes can get you around. Also consider the local transportation system such as trains, buses and other local shuttles. If you are planning a few excursions or tours, you can also leverage these services to offer transportation to distances that are further. 

Get The Lay of the Land

Upon arriving at a new location, I like to quickly learn where to access everyday essentials. Usually I’ll have done my research, however upon arriving I am able to get a better sense of what is available. Take the time to get the lay of the land and learn where your go-tos are. When I am working and traveling, this is a critical step so that I do not waste time, miss any work deadlines, and can optimize my free time with exploring. 

Get to Know the Locals

While traveling the best thing you can do is talk to the locals and ask questions! They will be the ones with the best suggestions and will give you a sense of what to expect during your stay. Not only can you ask for suggestions, but you can also get the best tips and tricks for good deals and can get to know the desired neighborhoods and sites to see. They can even offer an insider view on some less touristy destinations. All in all, getting to know the locals can create a world of opportunities and can lead to making a friend or two along the way. Meeting new people from new places and cultures can be a very rewarding experience and will create many memories to come! 

Be Prepared for a Learning Curve

This is one of the best tips I have come to understand – be prepared for a quick learning curve. If you arrive upon a new place with this mentality you will save hours and days of extra, unnecessary stress. Traveling can be stressful. Traveling and managing a workload can be even more stressful. With all of that in mind, it can be difficult to get acclimated to a new place, but you will need to overcome this fairly quickly so that you can ‘move on’ to more exciting ventures.

A few things to consider and find patience with is a potential language barrier, understanding the local transportation and geography, and learning how the new culture operates. While all of this doesn’t need to be figured out right away, it’s important to understand that there is a learning curve to any new place and really understanding it well can take some time. But if you arrive with a good attitude, an open mind and an open heart, the possibilities are endless!

Bon Voyage!

About the Author

Jennifer Perez, owner of Subject Line Studio – a creative marketing agency – is based out of Los Angeles, CA.  As a digital nomad, she is able to work while traveling, allowing her to immerse in new cultures, indulge in the local foods, meet new people and discover architecture and design. In her free time, she writes poetry, plays tennis and is an advocate for women entrepreneurs. Find her on her website: or on Instagram @jennypurrkitty

Jennifer Perez

Jennifer Perez