Working in a location independent job brings many advantages, being able to travel the world is just one of them. Many people would like to see the world, but don’t want to go alone. Or they are just starting out as a nomad and prefer to be surrounded by like-minded people. Or they already are successful nomads want to enlarge their network and join other communities. Digital nomad programs are a great way to cover all of that.
The following text shows the biggest benefits, but also downsides of these programs, and gives an overview over 12 of the most popular ones out there.
Advantages of Organized Nomad Trips:
- Usually all you have to organize are your flights to the starting point and back home again. The rest of the tour gets organized. You don’t have to worry about accommodation, transport or itineraries, and can focus on your work and meeting other nomads.
- Internet is very important for digital nomads and can be struggle to get in some countries. When you are traveling with digital nomad programs, the organizers make sure you always have a fairly strong internet connection, so you can work properly.
- You will meet many like-minded people. Other location-independent workers who you can learn from and create synergies with.
- You don’t only get to work at exotic places, but also have plenty of opportunities to explore the area, go on adventures and make some fantastic experiences.
Disadvantages of Organized Nomad Trips:
- Some digital nomad programs can be quite expensive. Sometimes you even have to pay for the application process, with no guarantee to actually participate. Very often you could do the same trip for less money.
- Most programs take groups of 10-50 people. With that limited capacity, there are more applicants than available seats. So only because you want to join a tour, doesn’t mean that you actually get a placement.
- Another big downside is that you are not exactly free to do what you want. If you don’t like the city you are in, you still have to stay until the next planned change of location. If you like the place and would like to stay longer, you have to leave when the group moves on.
- The programs are no place to find work. You need to have your income sorted before you apply.
Popular Digital Nomad Programs
1. Remote Year
Remote Year is probably the biggest and best known of all digital nomad programs. A group of 50-80 freelancers, entrepreneurs and professionals travel together for one year. Every month they visit a new city throughout Asia, Europe, Latin America, and Africa.
The total cost is $27,000, which includes accommodation, 24/7 internet, transport between the countries, and community events.
Update: If you can’t go traveling for one entire year, they now offer a tour for 4 months. Definitely worth checking out! Here you can see their products.
2. Co-Work Paradise
Co-Work Paradise is located in Bali, where 12 entrepreneurs live together in a villa for one month. They have the opportunity to attend high-level workshops, learn new skills and connect with other successful entrepreneurs. This is a great chance to grow your business even further.
The 4 weeks cost you $3,080, including private room, 24/7 coworking space, breakfast and dinner, and some cool trips.
3. B-Digital Nomad
As you might be able to tell from the name, B-Digital Nomad is the right place for every passionate digital nomad. As usual it is one new country per month and you get to see places like Vancouver, Bali or Durango. This program also includes initiatives that impact the communities and social events with local business owners.
They have options for 1, 4 or 12 months and prices start from $1,250.
4. Digital Outposts
Here you can find remote working professionals, as well as graduate students, who meet in distinctive coworking destinations. Digital Outposts provide accommodation, workspace, and activities. The program takes you to places like Bali, Thailand, Mexico, or Cambodia.
You can decide if you want to stay 2 weeks, 1 month, or 2 months and prices start at $1,295.
5. Hacker Paradise
Hacker Paradise organizes work and travel programs from 2 weeks to 3 months. It is designed for people like developers, designers, and entrepreneurs, who either work remotely or focus on personal projects. Participants travel in groups of 20-30 people to countries in Asia, Europe and Latin America.
Prices vary depending on the length of stay from $500 to $1,980 per month. You can choose to book the program only, or have your housing included.
6. Project Gateway
Project Gateway is one of the very few digital nomad programs that is a not-for-profit initiative. 18 entrepreneurs spend 3 weeks in a beautiful eco safari lodge on Mauritius. You get to work in different coworking spaces on the island and go on fun adventures.
Prices vary from $2,800 to $4,350 for the entire event, depending on the type of accommodation you chose. It includes all meals and drinks, workshops and different activities.
The goal of Refuga is to bring like-minded people together, whether it is an aspiring entrepreneur or someone who runs a big company, and combine them with adventure and experiences that will change their mindsets and perspectives.
Their tours are rather short-term, between 5 and 15 days, and bring you to places like Morocco, Nepal, North Korea or Russia. Prices vary depending on the trip, but start at about $1,700.
8. The Remote Experience
The Remote Experience seems to be very similar to “The Remote Year”. It brings together a group of professionals and entrepreneurs and travels the world with them. Each month a new place in Latin America, Europe or Southeast Asia.
Included is housing, office space, insurance and various events. The all-inclusive plan even includes flights to the starting point. You can choose to join the groups on a month-to-month basis or book all 4 months of a particular segment.
Prices are around $2,000 per month, depending on the location.
9. Terminal 3
The guys from Terminal 3 made it their mission to make your remote work life stress free. They organize all operations and logistics so you get to work and explore your environment. Accommodation, transport, internet and coaching sessions are all included. You travel to a different city each month.
If you book the 6-month program it costs you $1,950 per month.
WY_CO (formerly We Roam) *Update: Does no longer operate*
WY_CO takes a group of 50-100 remote workers and digital nomads around the world for 12 months, each month a new city. You don’t have to stay the entire year, but can choose where you want to join and leave, minimum stay is 1 month.
The monthly fee is $2,000 and it includes your own private room, all transportation between the destinations, cultural experiences, language classes, various excursions, and events for personal development, like workshops.
11. WiFly Nomads
WiFly Nomads brings you to Bali for 2 weeks. In a series of hands-on workshops, participants learn the basics of a nomadic lifestyle. Aspiring nomads find out how to build an online business, how to score remote jobs and how to build a personal brand.
The program launches in September 2017 and will have 20-30 participants, who learn everything about their future lifestyle and get to enjoy many social events and excursions.
The costs are either $2,499 without accommodation or $3,499 with accommodation.
12. WiFi Tribe
WiFi Tribe travels in groups of 12-18 young professionals around the world, each month a new country. The difference to the other digital nomad programs is that you buy a membership. For example, you can get 4 months, but decide on your own if you want to take them all together or spread them across one year.
Prices start from $800 a month in a shared room and $1,400 a month in a private room.
*Update: I’ve received messages from people who participated in this program and weren’t happy with the WiFi Tribe experience at all (thanks for letting me know, guys!). So please check reviews you can find online and evaluate carefully.
Which Will You Choose?
As you can see, you have plenty of digital nomad programs to choose from. Whether you want to join a retreat for a year or only 2 weeks – there are many experiences to choose from. Make sure to also google a few reviews before applying or booking a trip, to find out if this particular program is the right one for you.
In case you are not too interested in traveling with a group, but still want to meet other remote workers, check out some coworking or coliving spaces. Alternatively, have a look at these popular digital nomad communities to connect with like-minded people.
Have you ever participated in one of the mentioned programs? If so, how was it? Would you recommend it?
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