Travelling Responsibly as a Digital Nomad in 2021
Although tentatively, and with great caution, the international travel industry appears to be dipping its toes into the water once again, with people beginning to take to the skies in search of new adventures. One thing, however, is for certain: it’s likely to be a long time before travel starts to find some semblance of pre-pandemic ‘normality’. But is this necessarily a bad thing?
Never has it been a weirder time to be a digital nomad. The idea of working remotely as you travel the world had only just seemed to become common knowledge, the term slipping seamlessly into conversations about 9-to-5s and flexible working schedules. Suddenly, that all ground to a halt. If you have recently begun your journey as a digital nomad, and are feeling somewhat downhearted about the state of international travel, then you’re certainly not alone. We’re sure you’re itching to get back out there and start making the most of your remote working lifestyle!
But while it’s certainly important to support the tourism and travel industry, it’s also even more important that you do so responsibly and mindfully. From making sure you choose the right destination to carrying the right equipment, here are 7 ways you can travel responsibly as a digital nomad in 2021.
1. Try to visit countries with a low infection rate
If you’re in a position to choose where you’re travelling to, take a look at the current COVID-19 infection rates of your destination before booking your flights or train. Aside from making your own life much easier, as a lower rate of cases implies fewer restrictions, it also helps to lessen the spread of infection between destinations. Keep an eye on the number of cases in your chosen destination a few weeks before travelling.
2. Be prepared + read up on rules and regulations
Each country and destination has a decidedly different approach to travel right now, as the world starts to find its feet again in terms of the tourism industry. Once you’ve chosen your desired country, make sure to read up on the rules and regulations both for entering that country and for what to do whilst you’re there. Make sure you have all correct documentation and relevant proof of vaccinations/negative test results – and be aware that everything can change overnight! Particular rules to take note of may include:
When/where you’re required to wear masks;
Movement between regions and areas of that country;
Limitations on social distancing and group numbers.
3. Always carry a mask and sanitiser
We’re sure you don’t need reminding; these two items have become handbag staples over the past year and a half! Whether your destination requires you to wear a mask at all times, or whether you’re only required to wear it on the plane, chances are that you’ll need one. Bring these two items with you wherever you go, just in case.
4. Give people space
If there’s one thing we’ve learnt lately it’s that being kind and considerate matters now more than ever. You may feel totally at ease with the current state of the world, but not everybody will share that view. Be mindful of others, and give them enough space to make them feel comfortable.
5. Be prepared for the unexpected
A good rule to bear in mind in general when travelling, this has become even more pertinent in recent times. You never know what might happen, or when certain restrictions could either be lifted or become stricter. Try not to stress too much on this front, and just be ready for anything.
6. Seek self-service accommodation
As a digital nomad, you will need your space when travelling – whether for an important Zoom meeting or simply because you’re in desperate need of some ‘me time’. In seeking out self-service accommodation, not only will you have access to that all-important personal space, but you will also lessen your risk of coming into contact with a large number of people. Staying in self-service accommodation can also often be cheaper, as it encourages you to prepare more home-cooked meals and drinks.
7. Try to stay in one place
The beauty of the digital nomad lifestyle is, of course, a lack of restriction; this, however, is not always possible in today’s climate. Whilst many digital nomads would once have happily hopped from one destination to another in a number of weeks, a large number are now choosing to spend longer in one place, embracing the art of slow travel. Although this may not have been by choice, there’s a lot to be said for this lifestyle: it allows you to form more meaningful connections with the people you meet, helps you to connect with the local culture, and encourages you to create a sense of routine that could be useful to your productivity. An added benefit in 2021? Less bureaucracy, and therefore less stress!
Staying in one place, even within your chosen country, is a way to keep infection rates relatively low, and can help to lessen the spread across various areas of your destination.