Susan Shain -- digital nomad

Running a business from the road can be tough — luckily there are lots of tools and products to help you! Below are the digital nomad resources I use and love.

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Other Resource Pages

Travel resources (websites for booking flights, finding volunteering opportunities, etc.)

Packing list

How to become a freelance writer (on my other website)

Remote Jobs



We Work Remotely


Digital Nomad Communities & Programs

The Earth Awaits: This handy site suggests places to live based on cost, crime rate, quality of life, internet speed, etc.

Nomad List: Probably the most famous of the digital nomad sites, it offers information about different cities, plus forums that are helpful (though sometimes quite bro-y). I mostly go for its monthly cost estimates.

If you’re new to digital nomad life, and are looking for a bit of hand-holding, these programs look cool. While they’re a lot pricier than DIY-ing, they provide community and logistics, which are certainly valuable. Note that since I started long before these companies were around, I haven’t tried any of them. 

Unsettled: This company has appealing 30-day retreats in exotic destinations around the world. Lodging, coworking, friends included.

Outsite + Roam: Dreamy coliving spaces everywhere from NYC to Bali.

Remote Year: Travel for a year with a group of likeminded remote humans.

Digital Nomad Essentials

Airbnb: My favorite way to find longer-term lodging. Many of the listings offer hefty weekly and monthly discounts, which are great for digital nomads. You can also filter results to only show rentals that have wifi, kitchens, and workspaces — all essentials in my book! Click here to get $35 off your first booking.

Project Fi: Google’s cellular network offers free texting and data in 170+ countries — no need to constantly switch sim cards. My plan costs ~$35/month; if you use my link, we both get a $20 credit. Although it doesn’t technically jive with iPhone, there are workarounds. (And Pixels are better anyway!)

Traveling Mailbox: Dealing with my snail mail used to be one of the biggest hassles of life as a digital nomad. Not anymore: with Traveling Mailbox, I can keep one address in Florida. Whenever I get a new piece of mail, they email me and then scan, forward, or shred and delete it. They even will send checks to my bank. Totally worth the money.

Siteground: When I switched to Siteground to host my website, it was like a breath of fresh air. I haven’t had any problems with my site going down, and the customer service is amazing. If I have an issue with my site, I hop onto the live chat and it’s resolved in minutes. It’s seriously the best hosting service I’ve found.

Squaremouth: Where I always buy my travel health insurance. I love the fact I can compare many companies’ plans side-by-side, and I always find great deals here. I usually pay cash for doctor’s or dentist’s appointments abroad (they’re cheap!), and rely on travel health insurance only for emergencies.

Roost Laptop Stand: A foldable stand that raises your laptop and makes it more ergonomic. It’s vastly reduced the amount of neck pain I get from working. Pricey, but oh-so-worth it.

WorkFrom: Obsessed with this app for finding coffee shops and coworking spaces wherever I am. Please join and add info from your location — the more people who do, the more useful it’ll be.

TravelSpend App: Love love love this free app for tracking expenses while I’m on the road.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss + The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau: These two books changed my perspective completely.

7 Expert Tips for Freelance Writers Who Want to Work From Anywhere: Although I targeted this article at writers, the advice applies to any aspiring digital nomads.


13-inch Macbook Pro

Google Pixel: A year ago, I switched over from an iPhone and haven’t looked back.

Sony Alpha A6000Boy am I happy to no longer drag around a DSLR. This compact mirrorless camera takes stunning photos and is super portable.

Logitech Triathalon Mouse

Apple Wireless Keyboard

AKG Lightweight Headphones: These were Wirecutter’s top pick for earphones, and I do love ’em. I especially appreciate the mic, which is so useful for phone calls and interviews.

Kindle Paperwhite: Because I love paper books, I resisted getting a Kindle for so long. But this one looks similar to a real book — and lets me borrow titles from my library even when I’m traveling!

Website Basics

Bluchic: I adore this site’s selection of beautiful themes. (I’m using Quinn on this site — isn’t it cute?)

Tyler Hammett: Shameless plug for my boy toy. If you need a clean, responsive, and affordable website, get in touch.

Elegant Themes: Huge selection of gorgeous and modern themes — and the best support forums of any theme I’ve ever purchased, which makes it great for beginners. Plus, when you become a member, you get access to all their themes. I’ve used their themes on several other sites, and have always been happy with the quality and support.

Fiverr: If I need something done quickly and cheaply — like a logo or data entry task — I turn to Fiverr. You’d be amazed by what you can get for just $5!

Mailchimp: Fun and free for up to 2,000 subscribers. Don’t wait; start your email list now!

ProPrivacy: As digital nomads, we rely on public wifi a lot. To stay secure, make sure you’re using a reliable VPN. ProPrivacy reviews a multitude of different VPN services (and includes speed tests for each!).


Assistant.To: No more back-and-forth emails for scheduling meetings — this free plug-in makes you look like a total pro!

Screen Shader: You stare at a computer all. day. long. So save your eyes! You should use this to ensure you stand up every 20 minutes, too.

Trello: Where my digital life lives. I have a general “Get Shit Done” board, as well as other boards for “Pitches + Assignments,” “Brainstorming,” etc.

HelloSign: Sign and send documents from your phone = lifesaver for business from the road. (Sign up through my link, and we both get a free document!)

LastPass: Don’t ask me why it took me so long to sign up for this. It makes life a million times easier.

Gmail: Whether for business or personal use, this is the best email client there is. I don’t think I need to go into a detailed description of why. If you don’t have it yet, just switch already.

Google Calendar: I wouldn’t know where to go or what to do if my Google Calendar disappeared. It has all my writing deadlines, appointments, and events. You can even make birthdays repeat themselves every year.

Google Drive: This is where the rest of my life exists. It’s incredible that I can access it from anywhere and can share changes with others — without having to email documents back and forth.


Mint: You’ve probably heard of Mint — it’s an awesome way to track your bank accounts, credit cards, investments, and loans in one place. Also lets you create a budget so you can save up for traveling.

Wave: I use this free accounting software for invoicing clients, tracking my income, and recording expenses.

Trail Wallet: This app is essential for tracking your everyday expenses on the road — and it automatically makes pretty pie charts so you can see where your money went. Since it’s only available for iPhone, I can’t use it anymore 🙁

Charles Schwab Debit Card: I’m obsessed with this bank because it has great customer service, doesn’t charge ATM fees, and refunds other ATM fees. If you use this link, you’ll get $100 for signing up (I don’t get a referral fee, so view this as my gift to you!).

Chase Ink Business Preferred: This is my go-to business credit card. Right now, it’s offering a whopping 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. That’s enough for a free flight almost anywhere in the world! It also earns 3X points per dollar spent on travel; shipping; internet, cable, and phone services; and advertising through social media sites and search engines. (If you wouldn’t normally spend that much money, or if you can’t use credit responsibly, do not get the card!)

State Farm: I use State Farm’s “personal articles” policy to insure my laptop and cameras. I’ve never had to make a claim (searching for some wood to knock on…), so I’m not sure how that process goes, but for $60/year, I’d say it’s well worth it.

Storage + Backup

Backblaze: Losing all of your stuff is no fun. Neither is remembering to do backups. Pay $5/month and get your shiz backed up — without having to think. I used this program to restore my stuff when I switched computers, and it worked seamlessly. Woohoo!

blogVault: How I back up everything on this blog. Never had to use it — knock on wood — but am sure glad I have it.

SmugMug: I’m psycho about backing up my photos. I back them up twice — once with Backblaze and once here. This is a great place to share and showcase your photos, as well as host photos for your blog. It costs $5/month.

WeTransfer: I often share photos with friends or clients, and this is my favorite way to send ’em.

Dropbox: The free version of this site is what I use to share music and documents with other people. Easy peasy.


Pocket: Get rid of all your tabs. With one click, add sites to your “Pocket,” which you can easily access later from any device.

Tomato Timer: If you work better in short spurts, The Pomodoro Technique might be for you. Work for 25 minutes, then take a 5-minute break. This timer will help you keep track.

News Feed Eradicator: I often have to use Facebook for work — and I used to get sucked into my newsfeed, wasting precious time. Thanks to this handy Chrome extension, that doesn’t happen anymore!

Boomerang: So handy! Schedule emails to send later, or to return to your inbox if they haven’t been answered in a certain amount of time. You get 10 messages per month with the free version; unlimited costs $4.99/month.

RescueTime: Track where you’re spending your time online to see where your biggest time-sucks are.

Social Media

Buffer: This app lets you tweet interesting articles or photos with just one click — at times that are optimal for your audience. It’s free to schedule 10 articles at a time, or $10/month for the unlimited plan.

Feedly: Not that I ever log into it, but in theory, this is a great way to keep up with blogs and news sources.

Canva: This simple and free photo editing software is what I use to create photo quotes, or anything else that I need to look pretty.

Life on the Road I’m not sure why a lot of travel bloggers promote Sure, they give you your 10th night free — but does that really matter if you’re spending more on all of your stays? I find cheaper options on Booking. I think it has the best selection of local guesthouses and B&Bs, period. I also love the plethora of photos, reviews, and search filters it provides.

HotelTonight: Perfect for last-minute hotel bookings; here’s my review. Use code “Junkette25” to get $25 off your first booking!

How to Become a House-Sitter and See the World!: With housesitting, you can stay at houses around the world — for FREE. The bloggers behind Hecktic Travels have done it for years, and shared their expertise in this book. I recently purchased it and am learning so much. It even comes with discount codes for their favorite housesitting sites!

Uber: Totally lost in a new city? Uber to the rescue — cheaper and more convenient than a taxi. Use code “susans383” to get your first ride for free!

Fun & Exercise

Rent the Runway: Formal dresses are the last thing I want to travel with. Which is why I adore this site that lets you rent designer dresses at affordable prices. Shipping is free both ways, and you get a free backup size with your order. If you still don’t like it, their amazing customer service will send you another dress right away.  (I talk more about why it’s great in this post.)

RootsRated + AllTrails: Find ways to play outside wherever you are.

7 Minutes: Get an effective workout in — anywhere, and in just seven minutes.


These books will inspire you to travel and live differently 🙂

The Suitcase Entrepreneur by Natalie Sisson
Virtual Freedom by Chris Ducker
Escape from Cubicle Nation by Pamela Slim
Be a Free-Range Human by Marianne Cantwell
Vagabonding by Rolf Potts
Essentialism by Greg McKeown
The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Life After College by Jenny Blake

Online Courses & Guides

Organized Like a Ninja Toolkit: Jenny Blake rocks, and so does this free toolkit. Get your life organized, and good things will follow!

Travel2Go: Free digital nomad lifestyle magazine that features stories from 15 fellow globetrotters. Camp Shammett

The Passionate Work Toolkit: Scott Dinsmore was a wonderful human, and his website continues his legacy. If you haven’t seen his TEDx talk about how to find and do work you love, you’re missing out.

Getting Out of Auto: You’re documenting your travels with photos, right? If you have a DSLR, this book by Beers and Beans’ Bethany will help you FINALLY take it off the auto mode.

Travel Blog Success: I won’t lie: travel blogging isn’t the easiest way to make a living. But if you want to give it a shot, you need to sign up for this course. Not only does it have tons of valuable information, you’ll also get to join a strong (and helpful) private FB community.

Get Better Clients and Earn More Money: From my friends over at The Write Life, this ebook is chock full of tips to help you make it big as a freelance writer. (Plus, it quotes yours truly!)

This post contains some affiliate links, meaning if you purchase the products, I earn a small commission — at no extra cost to you. These are all products I use and love; I wouldn’t recommend them otherwise. Click here to read my full disclosure. Thanks for your support!