- David McKinney
Imagine this: You’re traveling 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 has 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 people are finding ways to live out their traveling fantasies without breaking the bank.
These 17 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 helps you find lucrative remote jobs anywhere in the world.
- Andrew Burton / Getty Images
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)
Couchsurfing lets you pay absolutely nothing to find a place to sleep.
Couchsurfing is the ultimate lodging tool for anyone on a shoestring budget. The app connects people who want to crash on someone’s couch – or spare room – with someone willing to host them for free.
Gifts are appreciated, but no money ever changes hands. The worldwide community has over 10 million members and functions on the goodwill of its users. If you’ve never tried it, it is a remarkable feat that this type of community is possible.
Airbnb can find you affordable housing — even up in the trees.
Airbnb has become an international phenomenon and is swiftly replacing hotels for many travelers. 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 Wi-Fi. And you can even stay in creative abodes like tree houses or yurts.
WiFi Finder shows you where you can snag free public WiFi.
- Shutterstock/LIU, CHIN-CHENG
When you’re working in unfamiliar territory, it’s always good to have a list of available public Wi-Fi. WiFi Finder finds you the closest public Wi-Fi around you.
And if you’re curious about which cities around the world have the best Wi-Fi, New York, Tel Aviv, and Taipei areall on the list.
Speedlancer gets you a remote job you can complete in four hours — for fast cash.
- Flickr/Giorgio Montersino
Speedlancer is all about getting you a small freelance job, now, that you get done in four hours. It’s perfect if you need some quick cash and includes things like design, writing, and data entry.
It doesn’t require any haggling or interviewing, so you can just do the job and get paid. And all of it is remote.
Price: Free (Web)
WhatsApp is the easiest way to communicate across the globe.
- Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
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 $22 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 Wi-Fi.
Currency Converter tells you how much you’ll pay to change your money.
- Thomson Reuters
If you’re dealing with working and living while traveling, you’re going to need a reliable app for converting currency.
Currency Converter not only shows the “buy” and “sell” prices, but also factors in the typical ATM or credit-card premium you’ll have to pay on conversion.
Hostelworld is the best tool for booking hostels.
Hostelworld is the best app for booking hostels or low-cost hotels. If you like the communal vibe of living with other travelers, this app will help you find the best places.
Hostel workers are also often decided-to-stay-travelers themselves, and can be a wealth of information about temporary jobs in the area.
Google Translate can tell you what a foreign sign is actually saying.
- Flickr/Daniel Lobo
Google’s translation app is the best free option available for figuring out what the heck someone is saying.
Now you can simply point your smartphone camera at things like signs, in foreign languages, and Google will morph the text into your own language.
Remote Year is a way to travel and work for a year with 75 fellow nomads.
- iStock / MasterLu
Remote Year is an ambitious concept to put 75 like-minded people together to travel for a year while they’re working remotely. The program is in its first year and costs $2,000 a month. That $2,000 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 February 1, and they are currently accepting applications.
Price: Free (Web)
Boomerang lets you respond to emails on your time, whatever time zone you’re in.
- Wikimedia Commons
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)
Party with a Local is an easy way to find new friends in a foreign city.
- Flickr/Kompania Piwowarska
Sometimes you need to take a break from work and party, but it can be tough to meet people in a new city. Party with a Local connects travelers to locals and expats nearby who want to, well, party.
You can even check their profiles and reviews. This app makes it easy to know which random strangers around you are actually open to grabbing a drink.
GigRove lets you swap a bit of work for a spare room.
GigRove is a cross between Couchsurfing and a freelancing app. With GigRove,startup businesses provide accommodation and, in return, the traveler provides a service.
This can be help with social media, photography, or any small task. The traveler knows beforehand so there aren’t any crossed wires, and the accommodations are usually better than Couchsurfing.
Price: Free (Web)
Nomad List tells you which cities are the best for expats.
- Flickr / Sebastiaan ter Burg
Nomad List tells you where the cheapest places are to live and work as a digital “nomad.” You can filter by factors like Wi-Fi access, safety, and weather.
And Nomad List easily tells you the cost of living in each place. Expat havens in Thailand like Chiang Mai, Bangkok, and Phuket, rank high on the list.
Price: Free (Web)
Foodspotting shows you what delicious dishes are being served around you.
- iStock / cougarsan
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 traveling.
TripAdvisor is the best repository for travel reviews.
TripAdvisor is a traveler’s dream. It has information on what of everything is the best – hotels, sites, restaurants.
And the community puts a lot of effort into reviews. These people care about travel, and about sharing the dos and don’ts.
Hopper tells you when is the precise moment to book a flight.
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 traveling 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 maximize your savings on flights.