Does a Digital Nomad Need a Travel Agent?
Could it be advantageous for a digital nomad to use a travel agent to help them plan their trip?
Many professionals who work remotely tend to plan their travel itinerary on their own. However, some digital nomads are looking to travel agents to help them plan their trip, find the best accommodation and arrange their transport from one place to the next.
But is it worth it for digital nomads to use these services? What particular travel needs could a travel agent meet that they can’t? Let’s look into whether digital nomads can benefit from the services of a travel agent or agency.
First of All, What is a Digital Nomad?
The term digital nomad is somewhat tricky to define, as it applies to a broad range of people. Essentially a digital nomad is someone who works entirely online (that’s the digital part) and uses this flexibility to allow them to travel the world (that’s the nomad part.)
Digital nomads can work in a range of different fields – from web design to writing, graphic design, marketing, social media and much more. Basically, any job that can be done remotely or from home can also be done from a cafe in Rome, a co-working space in Bangkok or a beachside restaurant in Costa Rica.
Digital nomads capitalize on their ability to be on the move and seek adventure in their daily, working lives. For those who love to travel, this is a lifestyle that cannot be matched!
The Unique Travel Needs of a Digital Nomad
Digital nomads often have travel needs that are much different to those of a typical traveler. This is because they are professionals freelancing or running a business while on the road.
A digital nomad doesn’t just need a sunlounger on the beach, they need a space where they can be productive and concentrate on work. They also seek out opportunities to network with other like-minded travelers, as well as locals.
This means that they will prioritize different needs when they travel, such as:
- Strong WiFi: The digital nomad needs to stay in touch with their clients and keep their business running. While slow or non-existent internet isn’t much of a problem for travelers on vacation because they can just go to the beach instead, the digital nomad cannot afford this kind of downtime.
- Reliable Electricity: For the same reason that they need strong, fast WiFi, digital nomads also need to stay in accommodations where the electricity will be reliable. This can become an issue in developing countries and is often worth staying at a higher quality hotel with its own generator rather than risk losing power.
- Work Spaces: A suitable and productive workspace is very important when a digital nomad is booking accomodation. Does the hotel room have a desk where they can set up their laptop and get work done? Or better yet, is it an apartment rental with a space for relaxing and a separate space for concentrating on work? Does it have ample places to plug in all necessary electronics?
- Working in Transit: Digital nomads often love to book transport that will allow them to get work done while traveling from point A to point B. So, a train seat where they can set up their laptop and work during the journey or an airplane with WiFi. The more productive they can be anywhere, anytime the better!
- Longer Stay Options: Because digital nomads need to balance work and enjoying their destination, they often travel more slowly. This means staying in each destination longer than a typical traveler. Longer term options like apartment rentals work out to be more economical and comfortable than hotels.
- Networking Opportunities: Many digital nomads also seek out conferences, co-working spaces, events and meetups where they can connect with other professionals in their industry and grow their career.
- Local Experiences: Many digital nomads also seek out opportunities to go deeper with their travel experiences and connect with the local culture. They usually love trying new things!
How Digital Nomads Can Benefit From Travel Agents
Some digital nomads are independent and want to plan their travels completely on their own. However, there are some advantages to using the services of a travel agent. Their years of experience putting together travel packages and negotiating the best deals on hotels, flights and transport, for example, can really pay off.
When digital nomads team up with travel agents, they’re more likely to find the best possible accommodation and travel arrangements. Also, since the travel agent most often has more experience planning custom travel, so they can take into account the needs of the digital nomad when arranging their travel.
Plus, there’s also the fact that travel planning requires a lot of time and attention to detail. When a travel agent takes over the hassle of travel planning, the digital nomad will have more time to work on their business and enjoy their destination.
Full Service Travel Agencies for Digital Nomads
There are companies out there that have been developed in order to provide a full-service travel experience for digital nomads. Here are Traveler’s Q, we work with a lot of digital nomads to create the ideal, most cost-effective itineraries possible. Companies like Sabbatical also offer digital nomads accommodation, co-working spaces, social events and business workshops – all for one package rate.
Another similar company is The Remote Year, which brings together groups of professionals and freelancers to live, travel and work in different cities. The package includes transport, accommodation, 24/7 workspace access, local experiences and events and much more. Participants sign up for one year and the program takes them to 12 different cities to work for one month each. For example, the “Atlas” itinerary includes Cape Town, Lisbon, Valencia, Sofia, Hanoi, Chiang Mai, Kyoto, Kuala Lumpur, Lima, Medellin, Bogota and Mexico City.
Companies like Hacker Paradise and Terminal 3 also provide a very similar experience. Many digital nomads find that the support and convenience these companies provide is advantageous, as well as the ability to travel with a group of other like-minded professionals.
It’s true that digital nomads may not necessarily need the help of travel agents, but it certainly helps. The convenience offered by these travel professionals is well worth it in most cases.
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