So…you’ve chosen to become location independent or you’re giving the idea some serious thought. However, there’s some critical prep you must do before you cut loose. You’ll want some essential equipment and useful hacks to stay healthy, happy, and safe when you’re on the road. From information security to personal fitness, here are some key tips to take with you.
Feed Your Body Right
You’ve probably heard axioms such as “a healthy body for a healthy mind,” but that goes double for when you’re on the road. It’s so tempting to grab that quick, high-calorie snack, but you’ll avoid being stuck without healthy food choices with a little pre-planning and smart shopping. A December 2017 Men’s Fitness article lays out some great advice for eating right while traveling:
- Choose the grocery store instead of the fast-food joint
- Stock up on healthy snacks such as nuts, fruit, or bagged vegetables
- Nosh frequently and eat smaller portions
- Include plenty of nutritious lean protein choices
Keeping nutritious goodies on hand should reduce the chance that you’ll scarf down any “feel bad” foods. The editors at Men’s Fitness explain that these usually include simple carbs and high glycemic foods that spike your blood sugars. Moreover, steer clear of “low-fat” desserts and sweeteners as well as anything that’s partially hydrogenated,” since your body has a hard time processing them. Finally, consuming excessive amounts of alcohol can quickly dehydrate you and leave you feeling less than stellar.
Great Hacks for Staying Fit
For non-wanderers, getting their exercise is easier since they normally have access to a local gym or their own in-home equipment. But who says you can’t apply some of those same practices when you travel? Some keys to successfully building and adhering to a fitness routine as a digital nomad include:
- Researching and knowing your available options
- Planning your routines
- A flexible approach to scheduling your workouts
- Sourcing equipment and tools that support your goals
- Avoiding rigidity
If you’re blessed with an RV, a tiny house or another kind of large vehicle simultaneous living and traveling, you can invest in a good gym while you are traveling. Your best bet is to look for machines that offer multiple workout functions while also being compact enough to fit in smaller spaces.
Furthermore, your travels might offer unexpected ways to meet your fitness goals. You can explore new destinations on foot or by riding your bike but don’t forget to pay attention to your environment and taking steps to ensure your personal safety. Not only that, you can try out workout apps for new techniques or switch up your playlists to circumvent boredom.
Data Security Basics for Roamers
News headlines are often replete with corporate cybersecurity leaks, but even nomadic telecommuters and leisure travels are at risk for breaches. Mobile networks offer powerful benefits such as information, financial tools, and entertainment, but they can also be a boon for thieves and malicious hackers. Whether it’s identity theft or the exposure of critical client data, you must make sure that you follow important best practices for keeping your devices and internet connections secure.
Information security giant Norton published its own set of recommendations for traveling data-happy users. First, it suggests locking down all your devices with a PIN or fingerprint ID. Secondly, Norton advises changing your passwords often. Other smart moves include installing anti-virus software, minimizing your use of location sharing services and keeping Bluetooth connectivity disabled as much as possible.
Beware Public Wi-Fi Networks
Just as most other information security sources advise, Norton also strongly recommends caution when using public wi-fi networks. Unencrypted connections should be avoided at all costs, and you should ask about wi-fi security protocols if you’re staying at a hotel. Meanwhile, steer clear of free hotspots and “internet cafes,” as their networks can be completely unsecured and a playground for script kiddies looking for a quick hack. If you must check your bank balance on the road, stick to your financial institutions’ proprietary apps. You may also want to use your cellular data connection instead.
VPNs Take Security to the Next Level
If you’re going to be regularly nomadic, then investing in virtual private networking software is definitely in your best interest. CNET explains what a VPN is and how it can be used to safeguard your computing. Basically, a VPN does two critical things: creates a secure internet connection and allows you to appear anonymously online. Using a wide range of security protocols, the VPN encrypts your data traffic and transfers it to its own network.
Besides listing and rating current VPN services on the market, CNET also provides some sage wisdom as you shop. Look for 128-bit encryption, read customer reviews and note any bandwidth limits imposed by each provider. Moreover, it’s wise to choose a service that also gives you access from your smartphones and tablets. Finally, if you’re an online streaming junkie, CNET reveals that some VPN providers offer “static” or “dedicated” IP services that let you hook into your streaming subscriptions from anywhere.
Stay Prepared and Do Your Homework
A few days before hustling to your next destination, do your homework about key facilities. Scope out grocery stores, laundry services, gas stations and even sources of clean water, depending on where you’re traveling. Also, map out public parks, nature trails, walking paths or other places to exercise. Telecommuters will want to confirm where wi-fi access is consistently available to evade the possibility of being stuck without connectivity. The internet is your friend, but it doesn’t hurt to phone ahead and verify that each place you scope out is open for business and has the amenities you desire.
Wandering Smart Takes Work
Your wanderlust may take you to some pretty amazing places, but making your digital nomad lifestyle a reality will take some effort and organization. No matter what your specific needs are, planning and research are a critical start. Consider vital essentials such as food, water, and exercise but don’t neglect digital necessities, either. When you arm yourself with great tools and smart strategies, you’ll ensure you always have access to resources and infrastructure that keep you going.
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