They’re all over social media: laptop in one hand, fresh coconut in the other as they work beachfront in an exotic location. In addition to their photo-taking skills, there’s a lot to potentially learn from these digital nomads – individuals who travel place to place while working a full-time job from wherever they go. If you also travel for work, especially for extended periods of time, it may be a good idea to look to these fellow travelers (so to speak!) for trips and tricks.
Like many extended stay business travelers, you may find yourself staying in a serviced apartment, such as those offered by Synergy Global Housing. You’ll have everything you need for a long-term stay: furnishings, a full kitchen, housewares, linens, 24/7 guest service and more. However, there’s always room to make your business travels even more efficient, comfortable and productive.
We’ve rounded up numerous resources that digital nomads love, divided into categories, that business travelers like you can benefit from as well. Take advantage of them on your next trip.
In addition to the usual business travel must-haves – portable chargers, laptop case, etc. – consider bringing these products and accessories you may not have thought of.
Frequent travelers, especially those who refuse to check a bag, swear by using packing cubes. This set available on Amazon, beloved by travel influencer KatWalkSF, will keep your belongings organized and prevent you from overpacking. It’s like a game of Tetris for your suitcase.
Need to pack a hefty coat or jacket, or even a puffer? Use vacuum storage bags to compress them so they don’t take up your whole suitcase. Most come with a small hand pump, perfect for travel.
Just like at home, there’s never a guarantee that your workspace during travel will be quiet. Thankfully, you don’t have to don a clunky pair of bucket-style cans: today’s noise-canceling headphones are slim and sleek. Get yourself a pair of AirPods Pro, Bose QuietComfort® Earbuds, or any of these alternatives.
A laptop doesn’t have to be on your lap, or even flat on a surface. Being able to elevate and adjust your laptop can vastly improve your ergonomics while on the road, and you can do so with a laptop stand. The one appearing most frequently on digital nomad blogs is the Roost V3, or any similar products by Roost.
Using a mouse can make all the difference when it comes to precision and dexterity on your laptop. Stay minimalist and go with a wireless one, for which you can’t beat Logitech. Your filthy touchpad will thank you.
Long charging cables
Most of us have a standard 1-meter charging cable for our smartphone, but savvy travelers know to pack a 2-meter or even a 3-meter cable as well. You never know where your nearest outlet is going to be, and we all love being able to use our phone in bed while charging it.
On an extended stay business trip, the travel doesn’t end when you reach your destination. Here are some great solutions for transportation and finding your way around during your stay.
Looking for an alternative to traditional rental car companies? Turo is like Airbnb for cars, in that you rent a car directly from the car’s owner. It’s available in major cities across the US, as well as Vancouver, Montreal, Toronto and London (all cities Synergy serves, by the way!).
Uber One / Lyft Pink
We all know Uber and Lyft, but did you know they each offer memberships? Uber One is $9.99/month and gets you 5% off Uber rides, 5% off Uber Eats orders and other perks. Lyft Pink is $19.99/month and gets you 15% off Lyft rides, priority airport pickups and more. Use the services enough and the membership will pay for itself.
Google Maps (with a hack)
You can’t beat Google Maps for directions, especially when it comes to public transit. And there’s a great hack for international travel or poor reception: find out how to use the app offline. It’ll save you on international data fees – and frustration.
Sometimes you just need to figure out the best way to get from point A to point B, but your usual maps application isn’t cutting it. Rome2rio will help you plan a route to where you need to be, even if it involves multiple modes of transportation: car, bus, train, bike, walking, ferry or plane.
Work & Productivity
Put the “business” in business travel with the help of these resources for working on the go.
Using a virtual private network, or VPN, is a good idea no matter where you’re working from. When traveling for work and using unfamiliar WiFi networks, like in a hotel or coffee shop, it’s even more important.
ExpressVPN is a favorite among many, not just digital nomads. It costs as little as $8.32/month, and is a frequent advertiser on podcasts – listen in to your favorites and look out for a discount code. NordVPN also tops many lists.
A change of scenery from time to time is a great way to keep the creative juices flowing and break up your workday. When the need arises, use the search functionality offered by Workfrom, which allows you to find places to work nearby! You can filter by which establishments have power outlets, fast WiFi, late-night hours and more.
World Time Buddy
What time is it? What day is it? Business travel across time zones can be disorienting, and it’s important to know your local time and that of your colleagues.
World Time Buddy is a popular solution that allows you to see world times in a simple visual format, convert time zones and even schedule meetings. No more accidentally Slacking your coworker when it’s 2am where they are.
Most of us are familiar with Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc. However, you’d be amazed by how many (free!) apps and tools Google Workspace offers, all cloud-based, including but not limited to:
- Google Drive – Cloud storage up to 1TB
- Google Flights – Search for flights across multiple airlines, all at once
- Google Calendar – Create shared calendars
- Google Meet – Video and voice calls
- Google Forms – Generate and distribute simple forms or surveys
- Google Keep – Maintain notes, lists, photos, audio, drawings and more
All of these apps can be accessed on desktop or mobile, for the ultimate on-the-go productivity.
Health & Wellness
Work-life balance still matters when you’re on business travel. Stay physically and mentally well while away from home with these resources.
Although it’s evolved a bit over the years, Classpass is still going strong. Here’s how it works: first, choose a plan that allots you a number of credits per month, ranging from 6 to 80 credits. Then, use your credits to attend classes at local fitness establishments (yoga, spin, crossfit, etc.) or for open gym time.
Here’s the best part: you can also use credits for beauty and wellness treatments, such as manicures, haircuts or massage! Participating establishments are located all over the world, so it’s great to use while traveling.
Ask your healthcare provider if they offer Teladoc, or a similar telehealth service. It’s a tremendous benefit during travel when you need to speak with your doctor, and you can usually secure an appointment on short notice – even same-day. If you need medication, your provider can prescribe you what you need via video call and have it sent to a local pharmacy.
Move over Headspace, hello Calm. This increasingly popular meditation app can help you get better sleep, reduce stress and anxiety, improve your focus and more. Plus, who wouldn’t want to drift off to a calming Sleep Story read by Matthew McConaughey? Try it free for seven days, after which a premium subscription is $14.99/month.
Whether you prefer to go out, stay in or a little of both, these foodie and traveler-approved resources will keep you well-fed during extended stay business travel.
You may think Yelp is the go-to site for finding the best local restaurants, but real foodies know that’s not the case. Many Yelp reviews are written by tourists, not locals, and people are generally more likely to write about negative experiences than positive ones on review sites. Instead, see if the city you’re staying in has an Eater site. Eater has a pulse like no other on local restaurant scenes, from ethnic eateries to fine dining.
The Infatuation is another great food site for honest reviews, guides and features on local restaurants. With coverage in nearly 50 cities, including international ones, there’s even more to love. Follow them on Instagram, too – they have an account for almost every city they cover!
Meal kit delivery services
Those staying in a serviced apartment or other extended-stay housing are fortunate to have access to a full kitchen. Being able to cook your own meals is a huge plus, and meal kit delivery services can make it a whole lot more convenient. The ingredients for each meal come in just the right amounts, so you’re not stuck buying a bundle of carrots when all you need is a single carrot. Travel blogger Cory Lee lists even more reasons it’s great for digital nomads and extended stay business travelers. There are too many options to name just one, so check out Bon Appétit’s top favorites.
Creating a sense of community is worth the effort no matter where you are, and for how long. Use these tools to help you connect with others during your travels, either online or in-person.
Reddit is one of the best places on the internet for people from all over to discuss topics and share resources. Because it’s less commercialized, you’ll find some of the most honest and real insights. Topics are divided into what are called subreddits.
For instance, there’s a subreddit on business travel, one on travel hacks and one for digital nomads. You can also find subreddits for almost any country, city or neighborhood in the world. Just use Reddit’s search bar to find subreddits, or individual posts.
Who says you can’t make friends during business travel? It’s important to socialize and meet new people outside of work, even in a city you’re only staying in temporarily. Meetup is where people go to do just that. Use the site or the app to find in-person meetups near you, or host your own!
You may use Nextdoor at home, but why not use it away from home too? Download the app and find the neighborhood you’re staying in, then get to know your temporary neighbors and the community. Members use it to share information and resources, ask questions, buy and sell things, promote local events or businesses, and more.
We couldn’t let you go without mentioning these resources, which can save you a lot of hassle.
No one can perfectly predict the weather – but Dark Sky comes pretty close. The hyper-accurate, hyper-local weather app can tell you down to the minute when to expect rain, snow, sun, clouds, etc.
When you’re traveling and unfamiliar with the local climate, this level of accuracy is key. You can even enable push notifications to know just when to whip out your umbrella. Dark Sky is $3.99 to download, and only available on iOS.
You may have noticed lately that TSA PreCheck lines at airports are getting longer and less efficient. Due to its popularity, PreCheck’s benefit of shorter, smoother security lines is beginning to dwindle. It may be time to upgrade to CLEAR, which allows you to confirm your identity via biometrics rather than traditional ID documents. CLEAR operates in over 50 airports throughout the US, and its lines tend to be shorter than those for PreCheck. An annual membership is $189, a bit more than TSA PreCheck, but some credit card reward programs offer a complimentary or discounted membership.
What About Accommodations?
For extended stay business travel, a hotel may not cut it. Most of them are not well suited for long-term stays, containing little more than a bed, bathroom, nightstand and dresser. Let us key you in on another extended stay travel secret: serviced apartments.
They’ve got everything you need for a longer stay, and Synergy has them available all over the world. Search and book your accommodations and make your next business trip your most seamless one yet.