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Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips Tools and Tips

10 Years As A Digital Nomad: A Summary

Go out and find yourself. Most people see traveling as the ultimate way to self-reflection. In this post I want to share my most valuable insights from 10 years of traveling full-time as a digital nomad. I’ll also include some tips that might help you start traveling longer for less and stay connected with friends and family at home. 

*This post may contain affiliate links, see here for full disclosure; it was first published in 2016 and updated in 2021

Traveling full-time requires flexibility and dedication because you have to organise every single day and plan a lot ahead.

How to stay connected with your friends and family?

Many people ask me this: Don’t you miss your friends and family? And my answer is a clear yes! But there are wonderful ways to keep in touch and keep an intimate connection with those you love – even at a distance. We all experienced it during the pandemic, being seperated and not able to visit our loved ones can be tough. In my case, I am so used to hop on regular video calls and keep my peeps at home updated about my travels through social media. However, there is one favorite thing I love the most: my best friends and my family – and even my former colleagues, they all have a world map hung up in their living rooms where they can track my travels! It’s a beautiful map and comes with push pins to see exactly where I have traveled to.

Traveling as a form of learning:

When you travel, you are like a sponge, or perhaps more like a student. Suddenly, you start taking notes again and pay attention to the details that your history teacher would have told you in school. This time it interests you though. But what has changed? I believe that seeing the world ‘live’ makes your synapses function differently. Everything you learn about a destination and its people, food, and culture will be printed in your memory. No history class would have ever been able to do so. Traveling full-time leaves an impression on you. I always go away from somewhere with the feeling that I actually added a new puzzle piece to this big picture called ‘earth’.

When you are traveling you learn a lot about the tradition and culture of the places that you go...
Here, we all paid attention: during our city tour in Lisbon we learned that touching this guy’s ticket brings luck.

Do every day what truly makes you happy

If you are an explorer and love the idea of seeing all the places in the world, stop surfing the web and go see them for yourself. All those dreams we have, are often never realized because we are too busy with ‘quickly’ doing other things rather than actually dedicating our time to what we really want to do. Our dreams seem to be lived by other people, those people from the magazines or Instagram. We seem to like to say that before we can ‘play’ we have to take care of our duties and do something that is ‘really important’. Yet, I’ve learned that there is nothing more important than following your passion and doing what makes you truly happy RIGHT NOW. Otherwise, your life will always feel like a long sequence of duties.

See it for yourself: traveling long-term makes you live and experience what you usually see in magazines or on postcards.
Way better than on a postcard or in a magazine: live and in full color, these views are unbeatable!

Frankie was right!

For some it might sound selfish, but you shouldn’t care because those people most likely won’t care if you die with regrets. ‘I do it my way’ is a deliberating concept for happiness. Design your life with all the creativity you have and add the details to it which make you happy. I believe that this is the key to personal freedom, from which you will enter a new dimension of life. There is no right or wrong when it comes to your personal lifestyle design. What suits you might not suit me, but that’s fine.

So, being a wAnderful soul, it has dawned on me that traveling does not have to be reduced to the short periods of vacation time that your boss approves at the end of each year. For me, the most beneficial consequence after changing my life was to become self-determined and free to choose wherever and whenever I want to go.

After 10 years of living a nomadic lifestyle, first solo, then as a couple and now with my two beautiful sons, I have learned a lot and worked even more to maintain this way of living. And even if it was not always a clear vision that I followed and it also was not always easy, I don’t regret the drastic transformation that started in 2011. In fact, traveling full-time and becoming location independent sometimes is tough. It requires a lot of determination, discipline and creativity. But it is the most rewarding lifestyle you can imagine. Be careful though, it’s very easy to crawl back into the safety net of our society which sells pre-made lifestyles. Remembering your ‘why’ is crucial…

Being a tourist for a day...even if you are traveling full-time you might enjoy the typical tourist attractions.
Dreams don’t have to be sand castles…!

Remember your ‘Why’

Living outside the system can be tough. So, the most important part for me is to remember why I chose to change my life. And perhaps you can relate to it: your 9-5-job bores you; the routine of work-eat-sleep-repeat makes you unhappy; life seems dull; your time feels wasted. If that sounds familiar, it will be easy to remember why you want to make a change.

Your motivation to find a way to make a travel-life happen is almost guaranteed. And with each new place you visit and new person you meet, you will realize that life can be so colourful and diverse. Your grey old you from the past seems to fade away. Like an old friend from the past, you get less and less emotionally attached to the past. Reality is what your life is now, and this is an important process to your personal freedom.

Once your new self is completely shaped, you feel more like a protagonist of a big adventure. You have completed the transition phase from your conventional life: welcome to your new you! As soon as you no longer feel like you are wasting your time with your daily tasks – you are living life to the fullest! Isn’t that what we are all here for?

See all the beautiful places around the world - when you travel it seems like you live life the fullest...
Let life be colorful and diverse.

Travel longer for less:

If you are serious about traveling full-time and want to know how you can get to know the world without going bankrupt, check out my post on ‘How to travel without being rich’. My first advice is to switch from tourist mode to traveller. Here is how you can adjust a few travel habits that might help you save money and experience your destination differently than ‘the average’ tourist:

  • Become social, social and triple social:

Instead of reading your Lonely Planet, you can get personal advice from real travellers: I joined many digital nomad groups on Facebook and even created my own. That’s where I get location specific info on accommodation, activities or simply if I want to know how to get to a new place in the most efficient way. You save time browsing the web and you’ll get personalised answers to all your questions. Plus you can exchange and connect with like-minded people – priceless!

But I also use those groups to learn about new trends, find out about useful tools/apps, travel deals, and to evaluate new destinations before I go. Here are my favourite ones: Digital Nomads Around the World, Girls Love Travel, The Family Travel Group and We Travel We Blog.

  • Keep Your Costs Low With Volunteering Programs

Worldpackers, HelpX, Workaway and Wwoofing are ways to get a more local experience while saving on accommodation costs.  All four organisations require an average of three to six hours of your help per day, mostly five days per week. This gives you enough time to get involved in a local project, but also still leaves you time to explore the destination you are visiting. Conditions vary from host to host and can sometimes be individually negotiated. Here is a post that includes our experience with an organic farm in Hawaii.

Wwoofing is an alternative way of traveling long-term: you can support the local community and enjoy getting to know more about the culture and people.
Our little farm on Oahu…
  • Live Like a Local

If you don’t want to ‘work’ or be actively involved in some sort of local project couchsurfing or housesitting might be a better option for you. They are a little bit less predictable though because you have to apply for a couch/house sitting gig in advance and hope that the house owner will choose you. This tip is not good for last-minute travel plans. But it is our favourite option to stay away from hostels, or if we are tired of volunteer work. And if you manage to get a house sitting gig in one of your chosen destinations, it’s like winning the lottery – a home away from home for free!

  • Start a Travel Blog

Not everyone should do this. Maintaining a blog is a big commitment and requires a lot of dedication. But even if you don’t like writing and researching you can always think of alternatives such as a photo or video blog. Either way, I would highly recommend that you have at least one online platform on which you document your travels. Whichever option you choose, or if you decide to feed them all, rest assured that this will bring you a lot of benefits for your travels. If you are interested in starting a travel blog, check out my post on ‘How to become a successful travel blogger’.

  • Traveling Full-Time is Pure Fun?

It’s a big mistake to think that it’s all very easy. When you are traveling full-time, you’ll find yourself outside your comfort zone almost every day. And that can be a bit challenging for some. That’s why I created my coaching program for aspiring digital nomads! In 1-1 sessions via video call, I guide my clients through all the phases, map out a plan with them and answer all their questions. My most recent project, Life By Design, is an online course that helps especially couples and families to create a sustainable life full of travel. You can register here to get on the waitlist.

Enjoy each end every moment! When traveling full-time, you have time to sit back and relax.

Conclusion

Traveling full-time or long-term is like a job – especially when you have kids! You spend a lot of time in front of your computer to organize your next flight, bus, hotel etc. Every day has to be newly created. Even if that scares you, I’d say try it out at least once in your life! I am pretty sure that you won’t regret it. For me, not knowing what I will do tomorrow is the beauty of a location-independent life. Not having a routine and living without material burdens lets me live more flexibly. As soon as I was able to appreciate the fact that I don’t have to know every single step in advance, it brought me personal freedom. Today, I live a very exciting life full of new adventures every day even with my family! Here’s to another decade of traveling!

Start a travel blog, sell products on amazon or become an online entrepreneur with whatever skill you are qualified for: digital nomads enjoy a life of full-time travelling to exotic places all around the world.
Cheers to ten years of traveling!

Did you like this post? What are your experiences from traveling full-time? Or are you about to start a nomadic life yourself? Get in touch or comment, I’d really like to hear your thoughts on this topic!

 

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Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips

Top 10 Worldschooling Projects Around The Globe

There are several advantages and disadvantages to adopting the digital nomad lifestyle. This is especially true if you have a family with school-aged children. So let’s see what you can do to guarantee a great education for your children while having a good time on the road. We’ll focus on worldschooling since it’s an opportunity that digital nomad kids have that many others don’t.

Are you looking into worldschooling your kids? Here is how this can look like!

We’re going to start by examining what worldschooling is, how it differs from other forms of schooling, the major benefits and finally list a few worldschools and the top worldschooling projects that you may need to know about.

School-aged children might end up living the digital nomad lifestyle in a number of ways. They may be born to digital nomads and grow up in that environment, or a parent may opt to become a digital nomad and bring their children with them.

In contrast, some parents consciously select the digital nomad lifestyle when their children reach a particular age in order to intentionally provide their children with a different type of lifestyle and education. Some parents opt to do this for a year or two to enrich their children’s education, while others do it for the long term.

Click this image to learn more!

Worldschooling is an educational movement that understands that there is no better way for a student to learn than through experiencing and interacting with the world around them. Traveling together and using the experience to boost their child’s education is typically the case for families who are able to make it work.

While each worldschooling family is unique, some of the principles  they frequently share include:

  • A strong desire to travel.
  • A desire to expose children to the larger world around them.
  • A multifaceted approach to education.
  • A tendency for hands-on learning to consolidate information.
  • A requirement for freedom in developing children’s skills that standard schooling cannot provide.
Showing different cultures and traditions to teach your child about the world.

It’s also vital to consider the different ways you can introduce your child to foreign cultures. Some families, for example, may go to another country and enrol their children in schools there with the purpose of exposing their children to a different culture and language. Others who have the time and finances may opt to travel to several nations with their children to get a broader perspective on the globe. Others may only be able to go across the world on occasion but will concentrate significantly on subjects such as geography, social studies, and of course, international culture.

Immerse yourself in different cultures

Looking for possibilities for your children is, in my opinion, the most enjoyable aspect of nomadic homeschooling or worldschooling. Forget about the school-style curriculum for a while and consider all the things your children could be doing if they were in the ideal situation to test them out, with free time unencumbered by the school or their parents’ work schedules. Our children have had the following opportunities.

  • Cooking classes in Cambodia, Thailand, Vietnam, India, Borneo, and Sri Lanka.
  • World champions teach high diving at Crystal Palace in London.
  • Learning to kayak in Thailand on calm, clean waters
  • Trekking through the Himalayas, discovering their inner and physical strength while map-reading and immersing themselves in physical geography.
  • Learning to snorkel on the Great Barrier Reef and learning about the ecosystem and its conservation problems.
  • Volunteering. We volunteer to collect and categorize marine plastics. I’m confident you’ll discover something that suits you.
  • Practicing how to scuba dive. On top of marine biology, climate, and geography, there’s a lot of physics.
  • Stone carving instruction from an Indian master artisan.

Similarly, there must be an ideal location to study basket weaving, paper-making, ceramics, or painting. By traveling around the world, you may also find better, cheaper, more diversified, and entertaining things for them to attempt or master.

Follow their interests; what they want to explore, and what fresh experiences you can provide them. Don’t forget that by looking for these opportunities, they’ll be able to meet passionate people with incredible skills. Those people will act as mentors who will truly open your children’s eyes to the possibilities in life.

That is socialization in the actual world, as opposed to the institutionalised same-age socialization of public schools. Of course, you’ll need to create chances for them to socialize with other kids on a regular basis. We’ve found that taking them somewhere kids congregate is a good way to do this.

Here is a list of the top worldschooling projects you may find (sorted by continent)!

Europe:

Worldschooling Andalusia

Founded in September 2017 in southern Spain to give a space for our children to connect, develop, discover, and experience, learn and play with similar-minded friends all over the globe. And for parents to exhale, rest, catch up on work and meet up with other like-minded families. They provide a variety of courses, classes, cultural excursions, and regular meet-ups around the region.

Porto Grana Worldschool Hub

It’s a worldschool that is established to meet the unique requirements of homeschooled children and their families that live a nomadic lifestyle through roadschooling and worldschooling. It provides a nurturing environment for all youngsters who appreciate learning via travel. In fact, it’s a recreational studio featuring free internet, a library, basic gym equipment, musical instruments, an audiovisual lab, a tiny theater, and free bicycle rentals.

North America:

Camp Stomping Ground

This great school offers Summer camp programs for free-thinking and radically compassionate youngsters in the Catskill Mountains west of Binghamton, New York. Through restorative practices, their concept of nonviolent communication not only resolves but also embraces conflict.

Manitoulin Worldschooling Community

Located just outside of Toronto, Canada, it welcomes visitors and volunteers during the Summer. Over the last six years, they’ve developed a consistent core of regulars. The ad hoc community stresses harmony with nature and planet stewardship in a learning atmosphere that is welcoming to unschoolers. They also provide a wide range of outdoor sports and entertainment activities for the entire family.

[email protected] is the email address to contact.

The monthly fee of $400 (as of the time of publication in July 2021) covers accommodation (tents and trailers) and shared dining. Volunteers that contribute to the community are paid on a sliding basis.

Happy mom, happy family!

Latin America

Abraxas Fun

It’s a wonderful school located in San José Tzal, Mexico, on the Yucatan Peninsula, 12 miles from Mérida. Families from all over the world welcome other worldschoolers on the first day of their stay in Mexico to have companionship for their children and themselves. They are always actively seeking members and participants for the pilot program, which began in May 2019. It offers a variety of academic, cultural, and recreational activities.

Anahata Worldschooling

Everybody should try exploring the world via a community-focused lens in Yucatan, Mexico. This school is always inviting families to become a part of their welcoming community that emphasizes purposeful living, cultural exchange, discovery, and adventure. From June to  August, this is an excellent opportunity to study Spanish while immersing yourself in Mayan culture. In fact, living in Ek Balam for 1-3 months at a time allows the children to grow and nourish themselves with a slower pace and few contemporary distractions in this amazing, tiny and picturesque village.

The Hive

In the Dominican Republic, you have another great place called ‘The Hive’. Whether you want to join their program for 6 weeks or an entire year, it’s up to you. The principle and vision are to provide education for living a wholehearted, purposeful life for worldschooling families who want to raise confident, competent, self-directed learners.

Since they allow young children, I am very inclined to go check them out someday soon!

Asia

Green School Bali

The Green School, which has been in operation since 2008, has garnered international recognition for its unique techniques and curriculum. This is a full-time private school rather than a worldschool hub, although it is of considerable interest to many worldschool families.

The major objective of the school is to prepare future leaders for global citizenship. The curriculum emphasizes environmental science, entrepreneurship, the arts, and ethics. Students learn to appreciate the values of accountability, honesty, sustainability, equality, and community, which are equally essential in academics.

Lombok Learning Village

Lombok Studying Village is an innovative school concept created to meet the special requirements and desires of children, adolescents, and adults living and learning on a tiny tropical Indonesian island. They make sure to provide learners with a holistic education that places equal importance on academics, skills, values, and wisdom with a focus on developing a love of the environment and a respect for other beliefs, cultures, and faiths. It aims to provide a secure yet rigorous atmosphere in which students may explore, experiment, create, discover, practice, and reflect. They aspire towards living and learning excellence via positive involvement.

There are, of course, more schools and worldschooling projects around the world – please leave a comment below if you think that we should add your project/school to our list!

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Destination Guides Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips

Discovering Portugal as a Nomad Family

If you are itching to travel again, we have the perfect destination for you and your family! Portugal for digital nomad families is a great choice – as it is an up and coming destination for nomad families. With lush green, clear water, and rich history, it has something for the whole family. Plus, it is home to The Family Workation retreat, a great escape and working holiday for you and your family.

The last year has been challenging for people for many different reasons. Extended time at home, not seeing loved ones, adapting to a new routine, and so much more. As we look forward to the future, we can only hope things go back to normal soon – whatever that may look like. 


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Central Portugal For Digital Nomad Families

Portugal is known for its laid-back lifestyle and fantastic nature. Many families tend to stick to the more popular stops, like Lisbon and Porto, but there is so much more to discover in this scenic country. Central Portugal is quickly becoming a travel hotspot for digital nomad families as it is an excellent destination known for its quality of life, affordability, and natural beauty. Central Portugal can be described as the interior area roughly between Lisbon and Portugal. This area is calmer and less crowded than its more traditional tourist destinations.

Portugal for Digital Nomad Families can use Tomar as a base for their stay.
Not an unusual sight: an old wooden door in the picturesque town of Tomar.

Just about an hour’s drive north of Lisbon is the town of Tomar. Tomar makes a great home base for your trip and will easily allow you to access the surrounding areas. Tomar is a picturesque town with a rich culture and history. The city is home to the Polytechnic Institute, which brings a young, lively spirit to the medieval city.

9 Reasons to Visit Tomar

  1. Castle and Convent of the Order of Christ

The Castle and Convent of the Order of Christ is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It serves as the main monument in the city and an essential statue in Portugal. The convent is situated high up on a hill and is magnificent inside and out. You can explore the halls of the buildings – wandering and exploring the different rooms and corridors. There is a beautiful garden outside, setting the scene for this picture-perfect castle.

One site to visit in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families: The Castle and Convent of the Order of Christ.
Welcome history lovers!
  1. Aqueduct of Pegões

The Aqueduct of Pegões is an amazing monument spanning 6 kilometers. It was built in the 16th – 17th century to bring water to the Convent of Christ in Tomar. In some places, it reaches a height of 30 meters! If you feel adventurous, you can walk along the aqueduct to take in the beautiful surrounding views. You can also take the small “train tour bus” in the city center that takes you to the highest point of the monument.

Portugal for Digital Nomad Families: the historical church makes a great cultural experience while in Tomar.
One of the popular activities in Tomar: a visit of the Convent.
  1. Synagogue of Tomar

Tomar has the best-preserved medieval synagogue of Portugal. It was built in the mid-15th century and has an exciting interior with Gothic vaulting and columns with classic capitals. Since 1939, it has housed the small Jewish Museum Abraão Zacuto, which holds interesting pieces related to Jewish history in Portugal.

  1. Museums
  • Museu de Arte Moderna – Excellent modern art museum home to drawings, sculptures, and paintings of the 20th century
  • Casa Museu Fernando Lopes Graça – This museum is dedicated to the life of artist and composer Fernando Lopes-Graça as well as other local and Portuguese music. 
  • Casa dos Cubos – An art gallery with a beautiful photography exhibit. The gallery is hosted in a lovely space, with gorgeous views surrounding it.
A wall of colorfully painted tiles in Portugal for Digital nomad families
Even outside the many museums you can discover art in every corner!
  1. Festa dos Tabuleiros

Festa dos Tabuleiros (Trays Festival) is a lively festival that takes place in July, once every four years. The next one will be held in July 2023. It is the most important festival celebrated in the city and is an ancient tradition in Tomar. The locals parade in pairs with the girls carrying tabuleiros on their heads. The tabuleiro is made of 30 stacked pieces of bread in rows and decorated with flowers. It attracts people from all over the world and is truly a unique experience. 

  1. Praias Fluviais – River Beaches

The area around Tomar is another reason to visit. It has a diverse landscape featuring mountains, lakes, rivers, and eucalyptus forests. Praias Fluviais translates to lake or river beaches and is a fun and family-friendly activity. These natural waters have been modified to make them more family-friendly and accessible. There are artificial river beds, sand, guardrails, and more! They are free to visit and usually have a cafe on-site so you can relax and enjoy the day without a worry in the world.

A couple Praias Fluviais to visit:

  • Praia Fluvial do Mosteiro

About a 45-minute drive from Tomar, you will find a perfect day trip for the whole family. A gorgeous river beach surrounded by fields of green. The water is clear and crisp, perfect for the kids to swim in. You can bring a picnic and enjoy the picnic facilities, or purchase food from the cafe. There are numerous places to sit or lay with the family, allowing you to spend a full relaxing day here.

  • Praia Fluvial de Cardigos

This river beach is about a 1-hour drive from Tomar. It is another excellent day trip for the whole family. There is a swimming pool to enjoy, surrounded by sand and green. There are barbecues and picnic areas to enjoy a family lunch and have a chilled day.

  1. Hiking

Serra da Lousã (and the Schist villages) is only an hour away from Tomar. It is a super beautiful historical and natural place. The landscape is incredible, and you can spend an entire day exploring – stopping for lunch or coffee along the way. This scenery is different from what you may find in the rest of the country and feels like you have stepped into a medieval forest – a magical experience.

The Schist Village is a must-visit in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families.
The historical setting of the Schist Village.
  1. Food

Portuguese food is delicious! One of the Portuguese favorites is the famous pastel de Natas pastries which are a must-try. Throughout the country, you will find delightful seafood stews, as well as tasty meats, cheeses, and of course, wine. 

A few dishes special to Central Portugal that you must try include: 

  • Cozida Portugesa – A hearty stew with traditional Portuguese boiled meat, cabbage, and potatoes
  • Bacalhau – Bacalhau is the Portuguese word for Codfish, which can be enjoyed in many different ways – the Portuguese say there are over 1,000 ways to prepare this! A few methods are salted codfish cakes, roasted codfish, codfish with cream, baked codfish, and so many more!
  • Bifanas – Traditional Portuguese sandwiches made with thin slices of pork cooked in a delicious sauce. The secret is the marinated sauce – it is simple but delicious. This pairs perfectly with a local beer – Sagres or Super Bock. The perfect refreshing meal on a hot day.
Pastel de Nata is a traditional dish to try when in Portugal as a Digital Nomad Family.
Another favorite: Pastel de nata – so yummy!

If you need restaurant inspiration, here are some recommendations to try in Tomar:

  1.  The Family Workation

If you are a full-time location independent parent and want to relax and have someone else take care of logistics for once there is the perfect escape for you! It is a lot of work to plan a fun trip for the family and find the time to work.

The living room of the Family Workation in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families.

The Family Workation is a working retreat where you get the chance to live, play and work with your family and other like-minded people. You get to explore a new destination while also taking advantage of activities and coworking. Situated in Tomar, surrounded by beautiful landscapes and rich history, it is the perfect setting to get inspiration and focus on your work.

The perfect setting of the Family Workation in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families.
Beautiful scenery to unplug after some productive hours…

With licensed childcare providers on-site, you can focus on your work and relax, knowing your children are being looked after in the best way.

It is an extraordinary experience as you get to share this with similar families from all over the world. There are group activities such as wine tasting, surfing, day trips, and cooking classes to partake in.

A home in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families.
A home away from home!

The next Workation is happening in Summer 2021, with the first retreat in July 2021 and the second in August 2021. Check out the dates and full details here. 

You can use our promo code JEYJETTER for a special offer – check out the full offer here!

Swimming pool in Portugal for Digital Nomad Families.
Loads of opportunities to enjoy play time – for everyone!

Conclusion: Is Portugal a good choice for Digital Nomad Families?

Portugal is accessible, adventurous, and a beautiful country – the perfect place to discover with your nomad family. Now that you know more about Central Portugal, will you add it to your travel list?

Tomar offers culture, history, exciting experiences and is home to The Family Workation. It’s the perfect opportunity to explore a new city with your family while allowing time to focus on your work. 

It’s the best of both worlds – a working holiday with activities already planned for you and your loved ones. Don’t forget to check out my special offer here!

Happy workation!


Need More Family Travel Inspiration?

Check out our Family Travel Posts here!

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Digital Nomad Family Tips

How to be a digital nomad with a family


Would you like to connect with other digital nomad and travel families? Get inspired and learn from those who are living the lifestyle you might still be dreaming of! Join our Facebook group to make the first step towards your dream life. Get access here.


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It might sound like a contradiction: digital nomad equals freedom. Right? Digital Nomad with family sounds like all the other things but freedom. If you are laughing now, you most likely have kids yourself. Even if I am exaggerating here, I think you get my point… 

The laptop lifestyle initially attracted the 20somethings single freelancer dudes. But time has changed and so have we, the digital nomad generation that started this lifestyle has matured. 

Many of us are still on the road and have designed their nomadic life WITH kids. We know a lot of families living alternative lifestyles and it’s always refreshing to see that we are not the only ones.

So, if you have doubts that the digital nomad lifestyle is feasible or not, even when you tag your spouse and kids along, then read on! This article will help you see why you can be a digital nomad with a family – and that it’s actually a lot of fun.

Being a digital nomad with family means being able to share more special moments with your children.

Most people who are new to this way of living ask me how we manage to focus on our job. I get it, usually you are in beautiful places, like Koh Phangan in Thailand, for example, where the beach is calling you every day. But then again this is the key to it: we are in these settings on a daily basis. That’s why we can also easily stay away from the beach or skip sight seeing as we have time to do so on the long run. We don’t have the urge to tick off as many activities as possible in a short amount of time as most tourists or traveling families have.

The perks of being a digital nomad with family

I will state the obvious first: When you have kids AND a career, it sometimes can become overwhelming to give your best in all areas of your life. Keeping up with your daily chores plus your job, travel planning AND raising kids – the plate is really full.

And this is when the digital nomad lifestyle comes in very handy. You are in charge to create your work schedule and organise your playtime. For me, that’s what I love love love about our lifestyle, as exhausting as it might sound, at least we have the freedom to work our job around our kids’ needs. 

I always put my children first. Sometimes this means that I have to add a night shift to get work done. But it doesn’t bother me, because I prefer it this way. At least I know that I was there for my children during the day when they needed me.

Watch this video to get insights into a life as a digital nomad with a family.

Quick facts about being a digital nomad with a family

  • Claudio and I both have a steady income and still spend as much time as we want to with our children. 
  • No day looks the same, no matter how structured we are – WHICH WE LIKE.
  • Our children are in the privileged position to have their mommy and daddy around them to an equal amount of time during the day. That’s, of course, wonderful for bonding.
  • We work as much or even more as we used to in our ‘normal’ jobs.
  • We slowed down as soon as we got kids and now choose to stay in one place for around six months.

At the moment, our nomad life with a baby describes the following daily routine: we rotate watching the kids on a half day basis. When I play with the kids in the morning, Claudio will take care of them in the afternoon and the following morning too, before it’s my turn again. This way, each of us gets to work a full day cut into half. Get it? It helps a lot when you are working on a project and want to focus on something longer than just half a day.

Yet, there is a lot more to keeping sanity as a digital nomad family. We already shared our tips in this article. But here are briefly our tips to juggle this travelling life with kids:

Tips on how to live and work remotely as a digital nomad with a baby

  1. Having a set schedule or a routine, really helps everyone in our family to make this lifestyle of remote work and travelling with kids work.
  2. Communicate EVERY need and problem that is arising – it’s key to avoid major crises!
  3. Regularly remember your ‘why’ and you will stay motivated and dedicated to pursue your new dream life.
  4. Zoom out and laugh about life more often – humor really helps when you’re finding yourself in challenging situations or when you’re miserable. Try to not take everything so serious – life is good!
  5. Your children will thank you later – so, all you are doing today, they will remember as they remember a happy childhood and experiences, not toys! 

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Challenges of being a digital nomad with a toddler

Life seems to stop when you have children. Not really but yes, it changes a lot.

As digital nomad parents, you will slow down for sure. You adjust and transform your daily life according to the new little human’s needs. You know, I think it’s a lot of fun to be able to do so in a surrounding where others go on holiday.

So, I don’t mind slowing down or stopping even for a while. Claudio and I have done our travels before, individually and together. So, we don’t feel that we are missing out on something.

Now, it’s all about the kids. And we believe in the saying “Happy parents have happy children.” I just made this one up but it does resonate with our motto. What good does it do to live in a city where the kids have all the toys in the world and their own room but their parents are miserable?! 

I cannot speak for families with older children as both my kids are very young still. In their cases, I can definitely say that it is the best decision we have made to take them to places where we find our ideal surroundings. For us, this is pleasant weather, other families, affordable prices and friendly people. Thailand is one of these places, we’ve found.

>>>>Perhaps you might also like this article about
my life as a digital nomad mum.<<<<


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FAQ for digital nomad parents

Finally, here are some of the most frequently asked questions that we get asked and that we have heard other families living alternative lifestyles get asked very often:

  • Nomad family meaning: A family that travels around the world and makes money from remote work or an online business. They usually home-school their kids or have found their ideal way of alternative education.
  • What does the nomad life with a baby look like? As mentioned above, it’s a lot of fun, it’s a lot slower than before and it is also challenging at times. But we prefer to rock our baby to sleep with the sound of the ocean waves and let him learn how to crawl and walk on a sandy beach.
  • Is there a remote year for families too? Yes, there is! We highly recommend checking out Remote Year if you want to test out the waters and travel with other families for one year. 
  • What travel insurance do you have? We recommend SafetyWing, their medical travel insurance is made by nomads for nomads, which is why it fits best for our needs. We love it because they are affordable, flexible and all we need. You can book instantly online and cancel any day. Check them out here.
  • Have you found any digital nomad jobs in Thailand? We have, in a sense. We don’t have a work permit for Thailand but whenever we meet new people, they are interested in our story and in how we make money. Sometimes it turns out that they are in need of our services and so we start a new online gig. 
  • Do I need to start a travel family blog in order to become a digital nomad with family? You definitely don’t have to start a blog, if you don’t feel like this is something you will be enjoying. Blogging is tough and requires dedication. So, don’t start if it’s not something you really want to be doing for the next five to ten years. But I can say that it really helps for connecting with brands, other bloggers, creating an online presence and so much more. I wrote about it in this article in a more detailed manner.
  • Are there any other families who travel? Absolutely! We are not the only ones. 🙂 As described above, there are more and more digital nomad parents and many events around the world to connect people with a similar mindset. Check this list for events in 2020.

Final thoughts

No matter if you are single, in a relationship or have a family, becoming a digital nomad and changing your lifestyle is a big step. Take your time to think about all the things you have to organise first and make sure that you have your finances in order before you start travelling. Once you’ve decided to choose this way, you can congratulate yourself, as every new experience will bring benefits to you and your family. 

Plus, you can always try it out for a while and if you don’t like it, simply go back to your old life. But I warn you, most people we know who have started living location-independently and world-travelled the world on a full-time basis, find it hard to imagine to go back to the life they led before. If you are in doubts and want to get help, please check out our digital nomad coaching services here.

Did we miss anything? Do you have more questions? Leave a comment below, we’d love to know!


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Digital Nomad Digital Nomad Family Tips

8 Tips To Stay Sane As A Digital Nomad Family

Being exposed to new situations, living in unfamiliar places and meeting strangers on a daily basis can be a challenge at first. But it can also be one of the most rewarding things about travelling solo. You are not only constantly pushing yourself to step out of your comfort zone but you also adjust more easily to new situations and build a strong foundation. This can help you at work, in your relationship and in many more situations in life. 

family sitting on a wooden bench at the beach
Travel proof: our kids love the digital nomad family life.

Whoever has eaten out alone once in their life knows what I am talking about. Or have you ever attended a day trip with a group of people you didn’t know? Does starting a conversation with the person next to you on a plane make you feel uncomfortable? Well, these are all examples that can happen to you when you go out to see the world by yourself. 

Sometimes you’ll end up feeling uncomfortable but once you’re through it, you will realize that it was a necessary process to grow even a little more.

Hang on! While this might already be a constant learning process for yourself, how on earth is this working when there is more than you involved? I am talking about your family. Well, when there is not only your own concerns, fears and worries to be taken care of, this task of stepping out of the comfort zone is yet a whole different story. 

woman kneeling at the beach looking towards her son, the sun goes down in the back

In this post, I want to dive into the struggles, challenges and opportunities you are facing when globetrotting as a family.

Your takeaways from this post:

  • Communication is key
  • Listen: Everyone in the family needs to be heard
  • Why you should always remember your WHY
  • How to create a space of love
  • Relax: You don’t have to be perfect (all the time)!
  • Why you should (re-)watch Monty Python

When will you ever stop searching?

The other day, we went to have lunch in a restaurant, here on Koh Phangan. The woman next to me started asking questions after Vincent walked over to her to show her his toy cars. She noticed his strong little character and the confidence he has when talking to strangers – he is only two years and 9 months old at the moment of writing this. In fact, when we go to eat out, he usually sits with other people, as he likes to get to know them. And since he is a friendly little feller, there has not once been an occasion that a person sent him away or was annoyed.

In this particular situation, the woman was especially fond of him right from the start of their conversation. After she had heard that we are homeless by choice and have been wandering the globe since 2011, she asked me: “But don’t you feel exhausted by constantly moving around? When will you finally arrive at one destination and stop looking?”. 

It’s not the first time that I have heard this question. It seems that people think that we are lost and on a quest to find our purpose in life or at least a destination to settle down.

While I am not saying that we will never settle down, it is clearly not what we are after right now. I responded as I usually would:

“We have already arrived. This is our life. This is what we do because we love it.”

She nodded and seemed to process the information. We kept talking for a while and I had the impression that she realized we are not some sort of hipsters who are following a popular trend. In fact, my reasons for still being on the road, even as a family, made perfect sense to her: we design our life the way we want to. No limitations, other than visa and money, of course.

All this being said, it is not always easy. Here is what we do to not go crazy when being together as a travelling family 24/7 for 365 days.

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1. Communication is key when you travel as a family

First and foremost I recommend to never forget about the importance of talking about EVERYTHING. I mean literally every single thing. Even if it seems to be only a tiny little problem, spit it out immediately. Never carry it along with you. Because if you do this, it will most likely transform itself into a big fat elephant-like problem. And then, it’s a lot harder to resolve it.

Being together and most often not able to shut a door or leave the house to go for work, means that you don’t have these 8-10 hours per day apart from each other during which both parties can process the other one’s words and eventually calm down or even forget about the argument.

When you are never separate, or at least not for long, you’ll want to constantly be transparent with your thoughts and feelings. Trust me, this helps big time. I had to learn this, I was never good at it but now, I even feel comfortable when sharing something that might cause trouble. 🙂    

woman swimming with two babies in a swimming pool, the ocean in the background

2. Remember your WHY

While it might look like the perfect lifestyle (and to us, it certainly is), I would be lying if I’d say that we are happy all the time. There are moments when I worry and wonder if this is the right thing to do – especially since we have kids. 

We human beings are designed to imitate and follow the masses. It’s so much easier too. Doing what everyone else does can’t be wrong, can it? And when you are swimming in the opposite direction, everyone else’s opinions and fears will always swim into your face. I learned to dive deeper and not let myself be affected by the current. I am, of course, not talking about swimming here, but I am trying to explain with this allegory that you can or cannot let other people’s opinions influence you in your process of making decisions in life.

Hey, it’s your life. What good does it do if everyone else is happy but you?

So, the best way of going strong into your direction and keep walking your way, is, in my opinion, when you constantly remember why you are choosing this as your life. In my case, I only have to think about my life back in Germany before I left in 2011: I seemed to have had it all, a well-paying job, a nice apartment and a full bank account. But I felt empty inside and I was not happy.

You, as a family, can do this together as well! Just try to look at all the positive aspects of living location-independently and living like a digital nomad family. And then ask yourselves, would you be happier where you were before and with what you did back there and then? Most likely, it would not even be easier, just different. But trying out something new – even just for a little while – can be so rewarding.

Little child and woman sitting on rocks overlooking the ocean form high above.

3. Everyone needs to be heard

Before we decided to have kids, we talked a lot about how this would affect our current life. There were times when we were not so sure if we really wanted to change something. And yet, we plunged into the adventure and this unknown road of being parents. No one can prepare you for this, it’s the most challenging and at the same time most fun ‘job’ I’ve ever had. A journey, I wouldn’t want to have missed, so I am very glad we decided to go this way.

At the same time, we loved the way things were and knew it would never be the same. Again, there were these voices from other people who made it even harder to focus on our own voices. They kept telling us that when we will have kids, we would have to stop and settle down. Kids need structure, and a home, they need familiar places and faces and what happens when they need to go to school?

With all these questions and statements, it was – again – not easy to break out the norm and choose the uncommon way. But, as with my initial decision to quit my job back in 2011 and start travelling the world, having children and keep travelling is again, the best decision we could have made. 

We made it our mission to listen to our children’s needs all the time and as they grow, it becomes a priority to choose the routes that THEY want. Even if that means that we might end up staying somewhere for longer or forever. This all only makes sense if everyone in our family is happy. If not, it’s like driving a car with a missing tyre, you will still be able to move but it won’t get you far and not as smoothly as before.

Pregnant woman in bikini top and long pants is holding her belly while standing at the beach and looking at the ocean.
Read about my learnings from travelling full-time for more than 9 years!

4. Create a space of love

I came to learn that children are little ‘wonderers’, they always want to know what’s going on. If one of us leaves the room or walks away, Vincent’s first question is where we go and what’s happening. He is absolutely fine with this change of situation if we are in a good mood. If there is a tense atmosphere because we are running late to catch a bus, for example, or if we want to quickly fit in an hour of work before dinner etc., he can’t handle it. He will stop you and demand to stay or take him with you.

The key to this is always to stay calm and reassure him that he is in the best place possible. If you make it sound fun and add something really interesting to him, he immediately let’s go of the thought of following you or wanting you to stay.

That made me realise that he is ok whenever he has the feeling of being loved. It’s such a logical thing to say, I know. But when you’re in a situation like the ones above, it’s not always possible to see these things. Sometimes it seems to be the exact opposite you had in mind. All you wanted was to quickly do XYZ. But if you remember that your kids always have first priority and that this thing that you wanted to tick off your to-do list actually can wait, you will take off the pressure. 

Your children will thank you by not making a scene. It’s not always easy but if you keep responding with love, you will make everyone’s life so much easier.

A woman and little child are walking on a pathway, the ocean and beach in the background.

5. Keep up with a routine

Speaking of easy – while keeping a routine might seem to be the exact opposite of what you are looking for after having left your former life, it will bring you and your family towards a much healthier state of mind. Even little things like brushing teeth and reading a story before we go to bed, no matter where and when can help big time.

Not only for my children, but it’s also important for me and Claudio to have a routine. For example, we always (try our best) to start the day with some sort of exercise. Here in Thailand, we rotate in the mornings and attend the yoga classes in the studio next to our resort. Or sometimes we simply swim or go for a run at the beach.

And when it comes to working hours, we also try to be as consistent as possible: most mornings are for who is involved in a bigger/more urgent project. Lunch is family time and depending on the workload, sometimes even the afternoons we get to spend time together as a family. When the kids are in bed, after 7 or 8 PM, we tend to work both on our laptops until the energy lasts…

Why is having a routine so important? Because everyone in our family knows what comes when and time slots can be used much more effectively when they are planned out. It’s my German genes that like efficiency a lot! lol

Woman and her son sitting in the middle of a group of people on the floor in the sand.

6. Don’t worry about being perfect!

I have long let go of the feeling of being an uber-human. No, seriously, in the beginning, after giving birth to our first child, Vincent, I tried to go back to ‘normal’ as soon as possible – I even started working again only 6 weeks after he was born and we made our first road trip to Italy when he was not even 3 months old…

Sometimes I think, it’s a mommy-syndrome to always wanting to be perfect. But I have learned with the time and especially after having our second child, that self-care is equally important to taking care of others. It’s not always on top of the list, of course, but whenever I can, I try to remind myself to ignore all the necessary things to do (like cleaning, taking care of the laundry or paying bills) and carve out time to recharge my batteries. After one hour of yoga or talking to a friend, I feel that my energy level is up again and then, I am a much happier mum than before. 

How do you do it when you are alone with the kids? Great question, I am glad you asked! It’s, of course, my big fat luxury that Claudio is there too. He does have work to do but is flexible enough to work around our family schedule. So, our children enjoy the rare case of having their mom and dad around them all the time. And I can sometimes simply say: “It’s your turn!”.

When he can’t take the kids and I need a break, I usually bank on nap times. Or I ask a random stranger to watch them for a while. Just kidding! Many times, I just wait and see what fun things we can do together that are not as exhausting as others, like for example reading a book together, painting or playing with playdoh. And then, afterwards, the show can go on. 🙂

A pregnant woman is sitting in the sand with her son, black sand strand, in the background is the ocean.

7. Zoom out and look at the bigger picture

This tip is good for anyone, I think, who has sometimes the feeling of being overwhelmed with a situation: whenever this happens to me, I try to remind myself that all your feelings are self-made. You are the one who reacts to the situation, the situation is not responsible for your feelings and thoughts. Plus, ask yourself: does the moment that you are experiencing right now affect your entire life or just this very instant. If it’s the latter, you might want to take a deep breath and relax because you are most likely overreacting. 

What I mean by that most situations are not as big or bad as they seem when we are in the middle of them. I ask myself in these situations if it’s really worth spending all this energy on something that is not important, or if I should just let go. Usually, it’s a lot better to let go. It takes a lot of practice – that’s why I love yoga so much, it helps you to focus more on the important things in life and readjust your inner balance.

But I am no master, by all means! The other day, Vincent was playing with his ball right before bedtime. Most days, he is full of energy right before he falls asleep. This is especially challenging if the rest of us is tired too and simply wants to have it peaceful and quiet. So, when he started kicking the ball right towards the face of his 9 month-old brother who was laying on the floor on a cushion, I first told him not to do so, but when he still continued with his game, I took his ball away and threw it outside.

I totally overreacted, I admit. But in the situation, I was so angry and I didn’t see any other solution. Later, I felt stupid because there are a million ways to react better than this. I could have moved his little brother or distracted him with some other toy.

You see, if I had taken my own advice that I am sharing with you today, then I would have totally said that the situation is not affecting my life as a whole and that I should not spend any negative energy on it. Zoom out and look at those kinds of moments as often as you can. It’s so helpful!

A child and her mother are sitting in the sand of a beach in front of a row of houses.

8. Make every day a fun day

Travelling and working remotely can result in a blur of endless days of sunshine. It’s very easy to forget which weekday or date it is. And because we humans always get bored with everything after a while, it might happen so that we sometimes feel bored by yet another beautiful sunset or yummy tropical fruit juice. Even if you are not travelling like us, you can probably relate to that. Your life might be really good and still, sometimes you forget to appreciate all the positive aspects of it.

What helps me the most when I get a feeling of boredom or when I notice that my three boys fall into a low mood, then I pull the silly card. Laughing and fooling around is like waking everyone up and reminding ourselves that life is good. Making fun or doing something completely different helps a lot with staying connected as a family. So, if you can, you might want to try humming (just for yourself or with sound) Monty Python’s version of ‘Always look at the bright side of life…’. And I am sure you’ll instantly feel a little better!

A woman and her son overlooking the ocean, both smiling.

Conclusion: 

I consider my family as some sort of company or community: we all have our roles to play and every character contributes to our well-being. While it is not always easy to be together every single day, we have found that living the digital nomad lifestyle as a family is such a fun way. As long as you remember the reason why you initially chose to start this journey and if you always keep in mind that most situations are not as bad as they seem, you can make this work and be a much happier family than you used to be.

Please let us know what you think about these tips in the comments below. Did we miss something? What is your best advice for someone starting out as a digital nomad family?

Categories
Destination Guides Digital Nomad Family Tips General Family Travel Tips Top Travel Posts

The Ultimate Guide to Koh Phangan For Digital Nomad Families – What to Do And Where to Stay

It’s no secret, Thailand is a magnet for travelers and digital nomads alike. We found that Koh Phangan for digital nomad families is just perfect! During my eight years of roaming the world, I was lucky enough to visit this beautiful spot of the world several times. But the last time was different. It wasn’t old backpacker-me ticking off tourist attractions this land of smiles has on offer. Nope. This time, I brought my little nomadic family along.

Read on if you want to know where are the best places for digital nomads and how living on Koh Phangan as a digital nomad family looks like.

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families offer so many cool places like this swing heald by palm trees where a couple with their child sits, the ocean in the background.
Swinging life away on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families… at one of our favorite beaches in the south of the island.

Note: This is a collaboration post, partially from people we personally know and have met on my travels, and partially from my blogger network. It aims to give you a not single-minded perspective on the island’s potential! You’re welcome! 😉

Koh Phangan For Digital Nomad Families – why go?

For us, the question of ‘where to next?’ pops up as soon as the days of our current visa come to an end. It’s mostly a challenge and it requires a lot of patience and travel planning skills if you want to slow travel as budget-friendly as possible. But there are a few things that can help you make a decision: One big factor is the weather. Yes, it’s that simple. Don’t visit Europe, for example, in the cold and grey months of November and January (December is fine if you like Christmas, then it’s actually lovely there!).

So, in 2018, during our stay in Portugal’s scenic Algarve, we met so many families who travel and work remotely just like us. After a while, it happened so that we connected and exchanged travel plans. Most of the other families already booked their flights to Asia. And since we now focus on what is best for our kids (back then, we were still with our first son only and me being pregnant again), we decided to follow along and meet with our and his playmates on Koh Phangan, Thailand. Such a great decision!

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families has it all! The (still!) laid-back island vibe you are looking for when thinking of an island escape. GORGEOUS beaches and lush green jungle spots! Oh, and boy, do I love Thai food – take me back, please, yum!

Bird-eye view onto Koh Ma Island on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families.
One of the best views you’ll have up at the 360 Bar.

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families: best places to eat on

Orion Healing Center

This place alone gives me a reason to go back to Koh Phangan. Seriously, I wanted to stay there as soon as we walked in the first time (and we came back many more times during our stay on the island). How can I describe it best to do it justice: you walk into the outside sitting area when you come from the parking lot and feel already peaceful and calm. It’s actually a healing center where people practice yoga and enjoy detox treatments. But you can (and should!) also eat in their fabulous restaurant and cafe.

Collage of one big picture with an outside sitting area with hammocks, palm trees, and two small pictures with typical food.
Take me back… Yummy food and a peaceful vibe!

When you have the time, then you should come several times as it is impossible to try all their food at once – which I really recommend – you can tell, I am absolutely in love with this place (and this is no paid advertisement, it’s my genuine opinion LOL). You can choose from Yogi breakfast bowls to yummy vegan dishes and, of course, sip your way through their healthy smoothies and freshly squeezed juices.


Seed to Feed

We love the idea of this place: they grow their own salads, herbs and green leaves right next to the restaurant. Besides this awesome fact, everything is nicely presented to the visitor and there is simply a relaxed atmosphere. Oh, and of course, the food is delish too! Try one of their yummy salads and you’ll see what I mean. It is a nice change when you want to eat something fresh instead of the evergreen Pad Thai dish. But, of course, you can also get traditional Thai food in case you’re wondering…

collage of two photos, one showing hanging menu signs and the other showing four glass jars with spices and herbs.

Eat.Co

Vegan restaurants are on the upcoming as it is no secret that many travelers come to this beautiful island with a mission to heal, relax and exercise. That’s why you also see many yoga places and organic shops around. Eat.Co makes it a priority to serve creative dishes in a very laid-back and artsy ambience. You can even shop some organic clothes and hand-made jewellery as well as soaps, oils, incenses and non-chemical insect repellent.

Tip: The portions are rather small so if you’re hungry you will have to order two dishes each if you don’t want to leave hungry… But then again, I was there when I was pregnant, so perhaps you will be fine! LOL


Pantip Market

As a digital nomad in Koh Phangan, you can’t eat out in restaurants all the time. Even in Thailand that can get pricey. One of the best solutions, other than cooking yourself, is to go eat at the Pantip Market.

Thai street food market, food stalls and vendors

Koh Phangan’s Pantip Market, also known as Pantip Night Food Market, is an all-day food market in Thong Sala, the largest town on the island.

Whichever time of day you come there, you’ll be able to choose from a wide array of reasonably priced meals. Ranging from the smallest snacks such as pancakes, doughnuts or meat/tofu skewers, to full-on meals such as Pad Thai and of course you can find also the beloved mango & sticky rice dessert. Many of the stalls have started using paper plates and banana leaves instead of the omnipresent plastic.

The market becomes the liveliest in the evenings. Around the Full moon dates, even stalls selling souvenirs pop up in Pantip and it can become quite difficult to find a free seat in the common seating area. 

This tip comes from my friend Veronica from Travel Geekery. Check her also out on Instagram:



What to do on Koh Phangan

One of the greatest things to do on Koh Phangan is clearly to enjoy the countless beautiful beaches and explore the many hidden bays. See below for a full list of best beaches on the island. But one highlight you simply can’t miss is going snorkeling in the little bay of the so-called Secret Beach.

Snorkeling at Koh Raham – Secret Beach

Pass through the jungle-like resort and restaurant entrance from which you will get to the very far back of the sitting area. Once you’ve reached the end of the pathway, you will see people jumping off the little rock. You can also simply put on your snorkeling gear and climb down the stone stairs to submerge into the crystal clear waters.

Immediately you will be surrounded by plenty of fish that hang out there and get attracted by the food people through into the water… (not my favorite part, as I don’t think humans should feed wild fish, but the kids loved to see them and swim with the little fishes…)!

Little alley with coconuts on the side, woman with child in her arms underneath a sign that says Koh Raham
You will feel like a pirate in this place!

Angthong National Marine Park

When we travel, we always try to look outside the box and find activities that are not so common or done while in a destination. Our idea is, in this way, to generate content that is not very common and can help more travelers to plan their trip, and to us to increase traffic to our blog.

During our trip to Thailand, we went, of course, to Koh Phangan, an extremely popular island that almost every traveler to the country visits. But here we found a tour to a national park called Angthong National Marine Park which, despite widely publicized everywhere, very few people really did take. Everyone prefers to party at night and rest in the day…

Man and woman standing at the beach smiling at the camera, sun glasses on their eyes, the ocean and a green jungle mountain in the background.

So, we decided to go on a tour that left at 07:00 am and returned around 19:00 in the afternoon. We were surprised and loved it. We saw several nearby islands, hidden lagoons between mountains and paradisiacal beaches with practically no people. Without doubt, one of our favorite activities in the area, and for which to this day many travelers ask us about.

This tip is from Alejandra from Universo Viajero, you can find her also on Instagram:


Full Moon Party

No article about traveling to Koh Phangan should be without a short mention of the legendary Full Moon Party. It might not be for everyone and is clearly not for (anymore). But this Koh Phangan travel guide wouldn’t be complete without it. So, here is my honest opinion on this rather special event.

When I visited Koh Phangan the first time, back in 2011, I also went to see what it’s all about the Full Moon Party. The hype is huge, people who want to be part of this massive party at the beach, travel from other parts of Thailand (and even outside the country), just to be there when Koh Phangan goes wild. Prices go up, hotels fill up and alcoholic beverages get scarce. Everyone buys colorful (or white) shirts and those neon colors that reflect at night.

Full Moon party bracelet on arm wrist

When you are in your mid-twenties celebrating with your friends, you might have the time of your life dancing the night away right at one of Koh Phangan beautiful beaches. But if you have kids and get a little older, like us, a wild party event like this just doesn’t do the trick any longer. I’d rather stay at home or sit by the bonfire at Zen Beach.

Should you go? Yes, sure. It’s one of those things you can tick off your bucket list. But no harm is done if you miss out. But that’s just my humble opinion… Please leave a comment at the end of this article if you agree/disagree. Thanks!

Check for more activities and tours on Koh Phangan here:


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Where to stay on Koh Phangan

Koh Phangan, one of Thailand’s fairest island getaways, is known for its beauty but, too often, it’s party culture. The home of the infamous Full Moon Party, it can be a little tricky to find places to suit travelers who aren’t on their gap year.

Bluerama

That’s why Bluerama, a small hilltop resort about ten minutes from the port offers the best of all worlds. Situated at the top of a (very) steep hill, this small boutique outfit only has ten bungalows on stilts, each offering incredible views of the bay before them. The bungalows are tastefully decorated, beautifully air-conditioned and offer privacy from other guests.

However, because of the location, the hotel also has one of the world’s most stunning swimming pool views, as you are almost suspended above the ocean. And this poolside setting usually attracts a cool clientele with trendy music and a laid back cocktail vibe around sunset.

view from terrace of the Bluerama on Koh Phangan
Photo credit: Bluerama

Bluerama is also ideal for digital nomads as it offers some of the strongest WiFi signals we’ve seen over South East Asia. Working by day at the pool and streaming Netflix at night means you’re easily connected, albeit in some beautiful surroundings.

This tip comes from James and Lee Scrivener from The Travel Scribes.

NOTE: This is not an ideal hotel for families, in fact, it is an adult-only spot. However, we wanted to include it in this post anyway as it can be interesting for couples and solo travelers who might stop by and read this post too.


Buritara

What can I say – would I recommend it? Hm, not to everybody, I think. But here I am telling you that we had a wonderful time there. Why? Despite the somewhat rundown facilities and the not so ideal location, we can definitely say that it is worth to stay at Buritara if you are a digital nomad family.

Every year, during European winter, many German-speaking families have made it their habit to reunite on Koh Phangan to escape the cold. In fact, there is this one famous German travel family, the Horlachers, who started the so-called ‘Koh Phangan Winter Camp’ back in 2017.

people at the beach, in the middle there is a bonfire lighting up, clouds hanging in the sky.
Getting ready for our bonfire night…

The reason this is such a great resort to choose when visiting Koh Phangan as a digital nomad family is because you will be surrounded by not the ordinary hotel guest but with people who think and breathe exactly like you: travel, location-independence and anything that is related to an alternative lifestyle.

If you are interested to be part of such a community during your workation on Koh Phangan, check out this (German) Facebook group, or simply speak to anyone at one of the many beaches who looks German and for sure they can tell you where the next get-together will take place. Your best place to connect is clearly the god ol’ Buritara.

A big outdoor swimming pool in a resort, children playing in the water, palm trees and the view towards the ocean in the background.

Song Pi Nong and Longtail Beach Resort

The reason I am listing these two hotels here together is that I cannot really speak from personal experience as we did not stay there. But from all the families we met on the island, who stayed at either of the two places, they highly recommended them. In fact, if you want to have a little more European standard and cleanliness, then you are better off at one of these places. Like I explained above, we didn’t mind the lower standard that Buritara had on offer because the people made it an overall positive experience, but as a travel blogger who recommends hotels and restaurants, I honestly have to say that I wouldn’t stay there under ‘normal’ circumstances.

Tip: Check for availability at Longtail Beach Resort and Song Pi Nong way ahead of time, these are popular places and sell out fast during December till March!


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These are perfect beaches on Koh Phangan for digital nomad families!

Often we are asked which beaches we find the most beautiful. To answer this question is not so easy, because one beach is more beautiful than the other, that’s how we feel. But here are our two most favorite beaches:

1.) Srithanu Beach (Nice Beach)

Our house beach in Srithanu. We have consciously decided to stay only a few minutes by motorbike from Srithanu Beach. This is where we are most frequently found. We like the clear, calm water, the small bay, the white powder sand and the Nice Beach Restaurant with the delicious Thai cuisine. This beach is particularly suitable for families with children of all ages.

woman with child plays in shallow water at the beach. In the background you can see the sandy part of the beach with little shops and restaurants.

One can walk very far into the water, as the beach doesn’t drop much towards the sea. Since there is very little current in this bay, the water is clear and calm. Here you will find the ideal bathing fun for the whole family but be aware that there are only a few shady places…

From approx. 6 pm you can enjoy here also daily beautiful sunsets. For us, the Srithanu Beach (Nice Beach) is the number one beach on Koh Phangan.

Sunset at the beach, some people are in the shallow water, a couple is laying on a blanket in the sand and watch the sun go down.
Always worth a visit: Happy Beach or Nice Beach, as they call it.

2.) Malibu Beach

Malibu Beach lives up to its name. If you didn’t know you were in Thailand, you might think you were in Florida. It has the finest, whitest beach in the north of the island. From afternoon (approx. 2 pm) more and more shade falls into the bay and thus also on the beautiful beach. Therefore we recommend a visit in the morning. Like at Srithanu Beach you can walk far into the sea. So you can relax on the beach while the kids play in the water.

There is only one restaurant on the beach and it is highly overpriced – on top of that bringing food is not allowed. However, as far as we know, the beaches in Thailand are mostly public, so we decided to bring small snacks, fruits and drinks with us. Tip: Just don’t sit directly in front of the restaurant.


3.) Bottle Beach

This beach in the northeast of the island is very difficult to reach by land, so the best way to get there is by taxi boat. You can book the trip directly at the port in Chaloklum and it should not cost you more than about 300 BAHT for both ways. For children up to 11 years of age, there is usually no need to pay. The travel time is approx. 20 – 30 minutes. It is best to start in the morning at the harbor in Chaloklum. If you are traveling with a larger group, you can certainly negotiate a group discount.

At Bottle Beach, you will find a handful of hotels and restaurants, so there is plenty to eat and drink. Best time to visit: Avoid the weekend! Then, you might be lucky to find the beach all to yourself!

typical Thai taxi boats on the shore of crystal clear turquoise water

4.) Haad Khom / Coconut Beach

Coral Bay Beach, as it is called by most people, is well known for its pet: a huge and friendly pig. In the spacious bay, you will find many cozy places in the shade. Children will love the swings that are hanging down from the palm trees. The restaurants offer good Thai food and the beach pig is, of course, an attraction. As the name „Coral Bay” already suggests, the sand is not the finest and in the water are sometimes some stones and corals. This makes a good snorkel spot though, so don’t forget to bring your goggles.


5.) Zen Beach

Zen Beach is not very suitable for swimming, especially for families with children. Apart from its strong current and the fairly deep entrance right after a few steps into the water, there is a high chance of being stung by a sea urchin. It happens quite frequently that people come out of the water with one of the long spines in their feet.

Nevertheless, this beach has an absolute special vibe. At sunset many alternative free spirits, musicians and acrobats meet here to make music, dance and enjoy a huge fire show. It is a special experience to soak up the colorful hustle and bustle with music, acrobatics and dance around the campfire. Many practice yoga or simply enjoy a coconut and watch the beautiful sunset.

woman kneeling in the sand watching her child walk in the distance towards the ocean, the sun goes down in the background.

More beaches on Koh Phangan

These were our top five beaches on Koh Phangan. As you can imagine, there are many more beaches. Here are more beautiful beaches we recommend to visit:

Thong Nai Pan

Thong Nai Pan is located in the east of the island. With a scooter, it takes about 30-45 minutes to get around.

Cocohut Beach

Famous for its legendary swing, this beach is worth a visit. Make sure to enjoy some delicious food at the Cocohut Resort.

Haad Yao

The bay at Haad Yao is relatively large and offers plenty of space for families with children.

Haad Salad

The bay is very, very beautiful. However, you can always find sea cucumbers (harmless) or sea urchins when snorkeling further out.

Although we have already spent 7 months on Koh Phangan, there is always something new to discover. We can recommend the „Koh Phangan Travel Guide” from „Home is where your Bag is”. We were surprised ourselves about what we discovered in this pointed travel guide.

These tips for Koh Phangan for digital nomad families are from our lovely friends Sabrina and Holger at Worldsafari Family. Check them also out on Instagram.


Conclusion

Koh Phangan for digital nomad families is a very special place – either if you are after the colorful Full Moon Party or if you simply want to stay for a few months and use it as your nomad base. Especially for digital nomad families, this Thai island has a lot on offer: calm and beautiful beaches, friendly and relaxed people which is probably the reason why there is a healthy mix of both travel families and solo travelers.

If you liked this post, please share it with your family and friends. Also, leave a comment to let us know what part of Koh Phangan you like best or if you are still planning to visit this gorgeous island. Stay tuned for more Thai content as we will be back there from January-March 2020!

In the meantime check out our existing Thai articles:
4 Day Thailand Itinerary
Island Hopping Guide for Beginners
5 Things to Know Before Visiting Bangkok


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