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digital nomad and wifi access

How to Have Access to Wifi on the Road at All Times

This article contains affiliate links, by using them it helps finance the BusLifers community. We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Wifi is everywhere. The days that you needed cables to access the internet are long gone. Now it is possible to access the internet in almost all corners of the world in a variety of ways. Having internet access allows you to do remote work while traveling with your VW Bus. We’ve covered several blog posts in the past on how to get started with a freelance career, allowing you to work wherever you are in the world: 

In this article, we’ll dive into an important practical aspect of working remotely while on the road: Good access to the internet.

Wireless internet options in 2020 

In this section, we’ll cover the various ways you can get connected to the internet (wireless) in 2020:

1. Set up your mobile phone as a hotspot 

Most phones have the option to turn your wifi connection into a hotspot. In essence, your mobile phone becomes a router to which you can connect various devices, including other laptops and tablets. The great benefit is that there are no external appliances needed besides your phone. Very handy for traveling!

You can turn practically every Android and iOS phone into a mobile hotspot. Though instructions may differ slightly depending on which mobile phone device you are using, in general, it works as follows: 

  • On your mobile phone, go to settings 
  • Go to ‘Mobile Hotspot’ 
  • Switch ‘on’ the mobile hotspot (this will switch off wifi and connect you to your network data) 
  • Mobile hotspot is now activated 
  • A notification will appear showing you how to connect other devices to the wireless mobile hotspot 
  • Go to the device you want to connect and select the connection name, enter the password or scan the QR code to connect swiftly

Although using a mobile hotspot has many advantages, there are also some things to consider: 

  • Your monthly usage of data will need to be significant if you plan on using your computer several hours a day 
  • When traveling abroad, you’ll need to check with your provider to see if they have good data plans for abroad that are not too expensive 
  • You’ll need a strong battery or recharge your mobile phone frequently when using the mobile hotspot

wifi mobile hotspot

2. Get a travel sim card

If you decide to stay in a specific country for a longer period of time, it may be worth getting a travel sim card. Generally, using the mobile provider you have at home and upgrading it to use it abroad is very expensive. Getting a traveling sim card is more cost-effective, depending on the duration of your stay.

Although you can get a sim card in the country you are visiting, we recommend purchasing one in advance:

The main requirement is that your phone needs to be unlocked, meaning that you need to be able to put any sim card into it.

Besides it being cost-effective, the other big benefit is that your internet connection is more reliable since a local provider hosts it. In addition, you can create a mobile phone hotspot (see #1) to connect multiple devices.

3. Travel Router (Dongle)

A travel router (dongle) is perhaps the simplest method to connect multiple devices to wireless wifi. There are tons of travel routers on offer. Price ranges vary greatly depending on your needs. Here are some questions you need to ask: 

  • Are you traveling in one country or multiple countries? 
  • What is the duration of your travels? 
  • How much GB will you need? 
  • How many devices need to be connected?

The answers to these questions will give you a better picture of what you need. For example, the Mightywifi worldwide router is a great option if you are traveling across multiple countries for a longer period of time.

4. Internet cafes, bars, restaurants, museums, and other public places

Though not the quickest way to connect to wifi, for some it will be sufficient. If you work many hours each day and need steady internet, you’ll want to have options 1, 2, or 3 arranged before you commence your travels.

Do you need to connect to the internet once every few days or just a short while each day? Perhaps you can get away with using internet cafes, bars, public transport, and other wifi spots. The best thing is that they are free! Public wifi networks are common all around the world, so it’s not that hard to connect. Depending on your requirements, this option may be sufficient.

internet access while traveling

Apps for finding good wifi spots

Wanting to connect to wifi in a public space? Here are some ways you can find out if the cafe, restaurant, or accommodation you are visiting has good access. We recommend checking out reviews via: 

How to test the speed of wifi? 

Wifi speed is always a tricky subject and depending on where you are, which type of network you have, and your needs, you may struggle to get a strong wifi signal. The only way to truly find out is to go to a place and test the wifi speed. We recommend reading reviews upfront to see what other people say about internet access.

Click here to test the speed of your internet connection. The test will show you whether your connection is strong enough. Generally speaking, a good download speed is at least 10 Mbps, while the upload speed should be at least 5 Mbps.

Conclusion

We hope this article has given you a good overview of the options available to you to access wireless wifi while traveling in your VW Bus. Luckily, modern-day technology offers us countless opportunities to access the web without cables. Before departing, we do recommend making a clear assessment of your needs.

If you are working remotely and require a strong wifi signal and a large amount of GB, you obviously won’t want to rely on cafes or restaurants. Therefore, prepare well by doing your research ahead of time. Are you traveling in one country or multiple countries? How long are you going to be traveling? The answers to these questions will help decide whether you’ll need a travel sim card or a dongle, or if a mobile hotspot or internet cafe will be sufficient.

digital nomad career

10 Courses to Get Your Digital Nomad Career Started

Do you want to combine your Buslife passion with a career as a digital nomad? You’ve come to the right place! Our vibrant community is responding positively to recent articles in which we discuss life in a VW Bus while doing remote work:

Well, hold on. I would love to start a digital nomad career, but I don’t have enough experience or background education.

This is a very common first reaction when people start thinking about remote work. While it may be true that you currently do not possess the right degree or experience, the rules of online work versus traditional jobs are entirely different. A whole world can open up once you make your first few steps in the world of freelancing. In this article, we discuss the most important approach to making that transition: Self-education.

Digital Nomad: Stepping Into New Territory

Think of it: The digital age brings about so much change in a short period. What’s hot now, may be out of the picture in a year. Look at how fast phones become outdated. Or think of Instagram, which has taken over the social media space. People who studied online marketing ten years ago did not learn about Instagram. However, there are tons of people earning an income by becoming an Instagram marketer. A common trait among successful digital nomads is their constant hunger for learning, adjusting, and growing through self-education.

If you want to be an independent digital nomad – meaning, travel while working – you need to self-educate!

What do we mean by self-education? Merely to open yourself up to doing some (online) courses to gain mastery over a specific skill set. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of 10 online courses that can give you that creative push to expand your horizon.

1 Copywriting

Course name: The Complete Copywriting Course: Write to Sell Like a Pro

Copywriting is one of the most sought-after skills in the market place. Do you have a passion for writing, or do you want to explore this world? Copywriting is the act of writing content for the purpose of advertising or marketing-related text. The goal is to engage the audience and to sell a product or service. Check out the course to develop your copywriting skills and start helping businesses grow!

2 SEO

Course name: SEO 2020: Complete SEO Training + SEO for WordPress Websites

Are you passionate about writing? While writing itself is a common skill for a lot of people, far fewer know about SEO (Search Engine Optimization). SEO is a writing style that allows an article to rank high on Google.

3 Google Ads

Course name: Ultimate Google Ads Training 2020: Profit with Pay Per Click

Google Ads is an exciting field to explore. The mix of self-education and practical experience will help you reach a decent level of knowledge of Google Ads within a few weeks. Google Ads specialists are paid quite well, so the time invested may well be worth it.

4 Facebook Ads

Course name: Facebook Ads & Facebook Marketing MASTERY 2020

Social media ad rules are constantly changing. Follow the most recent course to get introduced to Facebook Ads. Similar to Google Ads, direct experience mixed with self-education is the key to becoming a Facebook Ads specialist.

5 Landing pages

Course name: Landing Page Design & Conversion Rate Optimization

A popular digital nomad job is the writing, designing, and optimizing of landing pages. Basic writing and design skills are useful, but most of the skills related to landing page work can be learned and developed through your efforts.

6 Web design

Course name: How to Design a Website on Squarespace – No Coding Required

The world of web design has changed significantly in recent years. Not too long ago, web designers required coding skills to develop websites. They got paid very well for it, too! Nowadays, platforms like Squarespace offer pre-made templates that are both stylish and customizable. They automatically show well on mobile as well! The best of all: No coding skills are needed!

7 Newsletters

Course name: The Complete MailChimp Email Marketing Course

Newsletters are an important part of email marketing for most companies. Mailchimp is the most well-known newsletter software. Getting yourself introduced to the design and data features is a useful skill to possess, as many companies specifically look for email marketing skill sets.

8 Social Media Marketing

Course name: Social Media Marketing – Content Marketing Masterclass 2020

All around the world, social media marketers are needed! Social media is one of the most rapidly changing fields. Staying up-to-date with trends, upcoming platforms, and learning content marketing techniques is a sure way to set yourself up for a digital nomad career.

9 Instagram Marketing

Course name: Instagram Marketing 2020: Complete Guide To Instagram Growth

Sometimes it is better to focus on a particular niche subject. Many companies look for Instagram marketers, not all-round social media marketers. Instagram is one of the fastest-growing platforms, and it’s easy to see why small and mid-sized businesses make use of it. As opposed to Facebook, Instagram doesn’t lean as heavily on advertisements. Companies can achieve great results on Instagram by posting high-quality content and using the right hashtags. A quick course will help you get started!

10 Marketing Psychology

Course name: Marketing Psychology: How To Become A Master Of Influence

2020 will go down as the year in which businesses either increased their online presence or started offering their products and services online. COVID-19 forced many companies to go that way and as a result, marketing psychology is a skill set that is in high demand currently!

Embrace Being a Lifelong Learner

Why should you focus on lifelong self-education as a digital nomad?

  1. Skills become outdated
  2. Your experience, expertise, and leadership is much needed
  3. Education strengthens your brain functioning
  4. You will feel more satisfied when learning something new and sharing your knowledge with others

Digital Nomad Career: Getting Started

As you absorb all the information in the article, it is important not to get too overwhelmed. Our advice is to start small by taking some time to reflect on your interests. Once you’ve identified your interests, then take a look around Udemy’s course offerings. Ready to apply for remote projects? Join Upwork now! If you need some support or if you have any questions, please leave a comment below.

remote work

The Buslife And Remote Work: The Perfect Marriage

If you haven’t yet considered starting a freelance career, or if you’ve been thinking about, this article is a must-read! Remote work, also known as freelancing, is more accepted and available than ever. As a Buslifer, the main benefit of building a freelance career is that you can work while traveling! In fact, you can decide your own working hours. Sounds like a match made in heaven, right?

The Freelance Boom

The demand for remote workers has grown rapidly over the past few years. A major trend is the increased digital presence of businesses around the world. This has led to a demand for specific skills that are relatively new in the marketplace.

Examples of such specific expertise include:

  • Facebook Ads
  • Google Ads
  • Social Media Management
  • Copywriting
  • Web Design
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Graphic Design
  • Video Animation
  • Photography
  • App Development
  • Project Management

While freelancing was already booming, the COVID-19 pandemic has opened up a whole new chapter. Companies have been forced to let their staff work from home if possible. This unique experience may well be a lasting one. In short: This is the time to build your freelance presence!

Self-Education is Key

Think about your expertise, past experiences, educational background, and interests. Is there anything that stands out for you? Perhaps you are interested in writing. One of the high-demand freelance jobs is website copywriting.

Even if you don’t have the right experience, self-education can bring you very far. Self-education is essential because the digital world is constantly changing. If you want to be a successful remote worker, you need to evolve your skills. Therefore one of our main tips is to continuously educate yourself. Even if it’s just a few minutes per day. This could be reading an article online or following a Udemy course.

freelancing on upwork

Get Started On Upwork

Did you know that the Buslifers workforce consists of freelancers from all over the world? Most of our team members have been hired through a platform called Upwork. We highly recommend you check it out and create a profile. Upwork is by far the most popular freelancing platform in the world.

Some of the key benefits of Upwork

  • Create several specialized profiles to highlight different skills
  • Large database of jobs
  • Guaranteed payment through Upwork’s Escrow system
  • Get paid by the hour or opt for a fixed price
  • Dispute mediation for freelancers
  • Get more profile views and job offers by obtaining a top-rated status

If you’d like to, we can dive deeper into the Upwork platform in a separate blog post. Let us know in the comments!

4 Other Remote Work Platforms To Check Out

We do not have direct experience with other freelance platforms. However, here’s a list of four popular websites you may want to look into:

Are You Ready To Dive In?

This is a time of great opportunity, especially for Buslifers around the world. It is possible to live a simple life and to travel while earning money. In fact, it has never been so easy. Has this article awoken your interest? What is your dream career? Let us know if you’re ready to give freelancing a try.