Working remotely has become the new norm for many professionals worldwide. Breaking free from your office desk to travel and see what the world has to offer is no longer exclusive to freelancers. Just take a look at my good friend, Will Cotter who started his cleaning company HappyCleans and now runs it remotely.
Heck, even those with a regular, full-time job can experience the untethered lifestyle of a digital nomad as most companies shift and fully embrace the remote work culture after the pandemic.
So long as you have a laptop, are hooked up to a stable Internet connection, and have a power source, you can do your job or run your business no matter where you are.
The 6 beach cities I’ll be covering in this article are:
|🏙️ City||🌍 Country||👨👨👧 Population|
|El Nido||Philippines||50.494 (2020)|
|George Town||Cayman Islands||34.399 (2021)|
|Le Morne||Mauritius||1.378 (2014)|
1. El Nido (Philippines)
El Nido is a virgin paradise tuck on the island of Palawan, Philippines. It’s been recognized many times by Conde Nast, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic for its stunning limestone cliffs, waterfalls, and Bacuit archipelago. Exquisite beaches surround it, some even blessed with a lush jungle for exploring. These include:
- Duli Beach
- Hidden Beach
- Las Cabanas Beach
- Twin Beach
- Lio Beach
- Nacpan Beach
There’s a wide range of options in terms of accommodations, from five-star luxury resorts if you want to live like tropical royalty to pocket-friendly transient or pension houses for budget-savvy travelers. Hoping to cater to remote workers, El Nido offers co-working spaces on the island equipped with a reliable Internet connection and free-flowing coffee. Filipinos are best known for their rich culture and hospitality, so a trip to this island paradise will be one for the books.
If you’re from the European Union and other Western countries, the Philippines offers a 30-day visa-free entry.
2. Goa (India)
Imagine working remotely on one of Goa’s palm-fringed and golden sand beaches. A cocktail in hand while getting loads of work done – oh, that’s the dream, right? Found on the west coast of India, Goa has its collection of gorgeous beaches, including:
- Candolim Beach
- Patnem Beach
- Miramar Beach
- Cavellossim Beach
- Agonda Beach
- Cavellossim Beach
Goa showcases a beautiful mix of Portuguese and Indian cultures, with magnificent churches and temples to check out and a rich and sumptuous food scene to sample. Digital nomads can afford to stay longer here because of its low cost of living and affordable rental options.
If you plan to work remotely in Goa, you can apply for a tourist visa online from 120 to four days before your arrival date in India, which lets you stay up to 60 days. You can also do a double-entry on an e-Tourist visa.
3. Bridgetown (Barbados)
Bridgetown is the largest and most vibrant city of Barbados, famous for its dive spots and other exciting water sports. Because it’s the capital, you can experience the carefree Caribbean lifestyle many only dreams about. Meet its friendly locals and enjoy delicious food without being too far away from modern comforts.
Some famous beaches in Bridgetown:
- The Beaches of Carlisle Bay (Brownes, Bayshore, and Pebble Beach)
- Crane Beach
- Bottom Bay Beach
- Rockley or Accra Beach
- Silversands Beach
On the other hand, if you love surfing, you can consider staying in Bathsheba on the east coast, a surfing town that’s more on the quiet side.
Barbados has recently released its 12-month Welcome Stamp – a visa inviting digital nomads to relocate and work remotely from one of the world’s most picturesque tourist destinations. Unfortunately, it’s one of the most expensive, costing €1650/person or €2,500 for families.
4. Oranjestad (Aruba)
Whether it’s the thrill or tranquility you seek, Oranjestad will not disappoint. It’s a mecca for exhilarating watersports. Spend your day-offs surfing, kite surfing, paddle boarding, banana boat, tubes, bottom fishing trips, parasailing, wreck diving, or exploring the vibrant marine life in the depths of 130ft below the surface aboard a real submarine.
Sunbathe or swim in one or all of its many postcard-worthy beaches and coves boasting of the finest white sand and jade or sometimes turquoise-colored waters. Take your pick from:
- Eagle Beach
- Druif Beach
- Surfside Beach
- Palm Beach
- Manchebo Beach
- Baby Beach
Aruba’s remote worker program, dubbed the “One Happy Workation” is specifically geared toward US passport holders. If you get qualified for it, you get to stay in this beach paradise for up to 90 days and get exclusive rates at accredited hotel and resort accommodations that include Wi-Fi, breakfast, all-inclusive food and beverage options, and access to exciting local experiences.
5. George Town (Cayman Islands)
The Cayman Islands recommends checking each one of their glorious beaches for an unforgettable experience. They’ve got everything from spectacular waves and sunsets, stunning lagoons, picture-perfect diving spots, and wholesome family activities.
- Cayman Kai
- East End Beach
- Governor’s Beach
- Heritage Beach
- Rum Point Beach
- Spotts Beach
- Seven Mile Beach
Beyond their lovely beaches, don’t miss out on after-dark kayaking on Grand Cayman’s Bioluminescent Bay so you can get a glimpse of a glowing sea of dinoflagellate and visit the Cayman Turtle Centre and Blue Hole Nature Trail for an extraordinary wildlife experience.
The Cayman Islands invites high-earning digital nomads to work and play on their idyllic shores. They offer the Global Citizen Concierge Program (GCCP), open to remote workers with a minimum annual salary of $100,000 and allows them to stay for up to two years. Digital nomad families have a minimum income requirement of $150,000 yearly and $180,000 if you have a child qualify.
6. Le Morne (Mauritius)
Classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, Le Morne is a picturesque fishing village nestled in the South of Mauritius and boasts of the Le Morne Brabant Mountain as the backdrop.
Despite being Mauritius’ luxury tourism flagship with a handful of impressive hotels dotting its peninsula, the Village of Le Morne has proudly preserved its rich culture, and local Mauritians still live in quaint wooden huts.
Le Morne enjoys pleasant weather all year round, which is perfect for doing fun underwater activities, safari wildlife adventures, natured discovery and sight-seeing tours, canyoning, and zip-lining. Aside from Le Morne, other pristine beaches worth checking out include:
- La Preneuse
- La Prairie
- Bel Ombre
- St Felix
For digital nomads yearning for a blissful island life here, Mauritius offers the Premium Visa, which allows you to live in the country for a whole year, with the option to bring your family and renew for the following year. It’s free to apply, and you’re guaranteed an immediate response within 48 hours if your visa is approved or denied. However, here’s the catch: you pay taxes in the country if you stay longer than 183 days.
Things to consider when choosing your destination as a digital nomad
These are just some of our favorite beach destinations, but there’s much more to see and discover yourself. The beauty of working remotely is you are free to jet-set and explore almost every part of the globe without missing out on anything.
Nevertheless, no matter how appealing a destination seems to you, don’t forget to look at the bigger picture and consider several important factors, including:
- Health and safety – These should be top priorities when deciding on your next destination. Research the city’s crime rates and travel advisory for terrorist attacks or disease outbreaks. What are their COVID-19 restrictions? Would they require you to be quarantined for 14 days?
- Communication and Internet connectivity – These are every digital nomad’s essentials to work and collaborate seamlessly with clients and colleagues in other parts of the world. No matter how dreamy to imagine sipping a fresh coconut while tapping away on your laptop, some remote islands may not have a strong Wi-Fi connection to support you.
- The overall cost of living – Knowing how much your money’s worth against the living expenses helps you plan and budget strategically or look for cheaper alternatives if you can’t afford them. It will also give insight into how long you can stay in a specific country, whether it’s only good as a pitstop or sustainable enough to live for a year or more.
- Time zone differences – Time zone may not be an issue if you travel for pleasure. But for digital nomads who mix work and play, it’s a critical factor because you still need to seamlessly communicate with clients or teammates overseas, especially if you must be online for online meetings or at least overlap with a few hours with your team. Think about if you’d be willing to take graveyard shifts just in case.
- Airport access – Always make sure you’re only a short drive away from the nearest airport for safety, logistics, and budget reasons. Imagine if there’s an urgent need to evacuate and fly out of the country, and you’re several hours away on a secluded island.
- Whether it fits your personality and lifestyle – Do you prefer your days to be fast-paced or laid-back? Are you a beach lover or a more of a mountains kind of guy? Do you want to take the touristy route or live like a local and immerse yourself in the community? Being a digital nomad means having the privilege to design and live the life you want, so make sure you weigh in on this, too.
- Types of accommodations -Gone are the days when digital nomads are stereotyped as budget backpackers who prefer to stay in hostels and pension houses to cut costs. Some remote workers travel with their partners and children, who’ll require a more conducive accommodation, especially if they’re planning to stay longer. Check out your options if any locations you fancy offer hotels, condominiums, or apartments for long-term rent.
- Expat community in the city – Living a nomadic life can get lonely and sometimes isolating, especially if you’re flying solo. Always check out available co-working spaces and coffee shops where you can work, unwind, and meet like-minded peers.
- Hassle-free visa arrangements – Being a jetsetter is expensive because you got to budget for visa fees on top of your flight tickets, accommodation, and other stuff. See what countries offer visa-free access for the type of passport you have. US and EU passport holders usually have it easy, while the rest may need to exert more effort and shell out lots more cash.