In this episode B and Jack talk about the research of Base-Specific Details. These are minor, yet important, details you should research before you get to your new base in order to make your whole stay better.
Table of Contents
1.1. Overview of the details to research before you get to your new base [1:20]
- There are certain things you should research before you get to your new base as a digital nomad. We call these “Base-Specific Details”.
- These things to research are minor, yet important, details that a digital nomad should know before getting to his new base to make his life easier once he gets there.
- Base-specific details cover a great deal of different and unrelated topics, that are nonetheless important to be researched by a digital nomad beforehand. These range from basic words and sentences in the local language of the new base to the basic currency conversion rate, among many other things.
1.2. Base-Specific Details and its location within the broader Digital Nomad Life System [2:13]
- The Digital Nomad Life System is a 6-step meta-system created by us at Nomad Tactics that aims to explain how someone can go from living a non-nomadic normal life to living an optimized digital nomad life.
- The third step of the system is called “Base research and arrangements”. In this “Base research and arrangements” step the digital nomad needs to do some in-depth research about his soon-to-be new base.
- One of the main things to research is the topic of Base-Specific Details.
- To have a general overview of the Digital Nomad Life System you should listen to this episode
1.3. Caveats about Base-Specific Details [3:58]
- Box of chocolate analogy
- You should treat “Base-Specific Details” more or less like a box of chocolate. In a box of chocolate, you have many options of chocolate flavors to choose from. It is always good to know what your options are even though you might just select a few of the flavors that you fancy. The content in this episode is somewhat analogous to that. We will cover a lot of minor topics you could research. Yet none of the things here are absolutely necessary for you to research to have a successful stay in the new base. So, the best approach here is to pick and choose the things that make sense to you to research as a digital nomad and discard the things that do not make sense. For instance, if jetlag has never really been an issue to you then you can skip the research related to how to avoid jetlag. You should focus on the things that make more sense to you or the more universally applicable things like “key locations”.
- Some are broad topics, these will have a podcast episode on their own
- Some of the topics covered in this episode are really broad and complex. Therefore, these will require a future podcast on their own to really dissect its content. For such broad and complex topics the episode today should only be considered an overview
- Other minor topics presented today will not require a podcast episode on their own. In such case, we intend to present all the information related to those topics in this podcast episode.
- How to use this information
- The best use of the information provided today is by converting all the topics we covered today into a checklist
- You can take any 1 or 2 days before going to the new base and go over the checklist to research the relevant topics for you
- You can download our checklist to your Google Drive by clicking here.
- How the list is presented
- The items in the list are not presented in a hierarchical order of importance
- Also, the items in the list are not divided into categories (the topics are all over the place)
1.4. Details to research [8:17]
Special gear necessary [8:21]
- We advocate digital nomads to buy some basic set of gear in the Nomad Prep step of the Digital Nomad Life system. This basic gear the digital nomad will carry all over the world with him.
- Nonetheless, sometimes you will need to add on new pieces of gear depending on the special circumstances of a new base and/or an activity that you plan to do in the new place
- So, in this section, we advocate you to research to see if you will need any new special gear for the new base
- It is always a good idea to research and keep in mind the weather that you likely encounter in the new base, especially in terms of how rainy it is and the temperature.
- Based on that you will be able to plan suitable things to do in the new location as well as the special gear to take related to weather.
Power Specs [12:16]
- You should research the power specs of the new base
- There are two main things to look for here
- The plug type used in the new location
- Each country around the world has a plug standard
- There are many different types of plug standard, you need to figure out the one used on your new base
- We advise digital nomads to buy a universal plug adapter (such as this one) as part of their basic travel gear. With this tool you do not need to worry about plug types.
- The voltage standard of the new location
- Each country around the world has a voltage standard
- There are two main ranges of voltage standards (these are ~110V and ~220V). You need to know the voltage in the new location to see if this is compatible with the electronics you have.
- If you have a mismatch in the voltage standard between your equipment and the electricity source you might break your electronic equipment.
- In order to avoid that, if there is a mismatch, you need a power converter.
- Some equipment (e.g. Apple products and many electronics more generally) can handle any type of voltage standard. Always check if that is the case before plugging in.
- The plug type used in the new location
How to get to the accommodation [14:57]
- It is important to figure out the best way to get from your port of entry to the country (which is usually the airport) to your accommodation (which is usually an Airbnb). The best means of transportation (e.g. taxi, train, taxi, etc.) in this specific route change dramatically from country to country the best way
- Usually, Google Maps do not show all the possible alternatives to this specific route
- A better way to figure out the optimum way to get to the accommodation is to use rome2rio.com
Means of transportation and transportation pass [16:25]
- Figure out the main means of transportation in the new base (e.g. taxi, train, subway, taxi, etc.) and if it is appropriate for you to get a transportation pass for the duration of your stay there
- Many cities around the world offer a great deal of transportation passes for different time frames (e.g. few days, a week, a month, etc.)
- By getting a transportation pass as soon as you get to the new base you will be able to save money
- Figure out the main means of transportation in the new base (e.g. taxi, train, subway, taxi, etc.) and if it is appropriate for you to get a transportation pass for the duration of your stay there
Calculate jetlag [18:23]
- This is a broad topic, and we will have a podcast episode that will exclusively talk about that, this episode is just an overview
- The basic idea here is that you should assess if jetlag will be an issue when getting to the new base, and if so, create a strategy to mitigate it
- One common soft strategy to do so is to gradually change your sleep schedule a few days before your trip to more closely resemble the new sleeping schedule you will have in the new base
Visa requirements [20:03]
- You should check if you need a visa or not to go to your new base considering the passport you hold.
- If you need a visa you need to check the specific way in which you can acquire such visa (apply in embassy, e-visa, visa on arrival, etc.) and act accordingly
- Also, based on the time frame you intend to stay in the new base as well as the visa policy, you need to check if you will need to make a visa run, if it is allowed to make a visa run, and the best way to do so (e.g. by land, by air, etc.)
- You should always check the visa policy of a country even though you been there before since visa policies change constantly.
Country background [22:20]
- This is a broad topic, and we will have a podcast episode that will exclusively talk about that, this episode is just an overview
- We strongly advise digital nomads to do some sort of background research about the country in which their new base will be located.
- Doing that will allow you to create a much deeper sense of appreciation and understanding about the new country when you get there
- A few podcasts, articles, or videos are good enough for this basic background research
- The main areas in which we would advise digital nomads to do some sort of research are history, philosophy, religion, and art
Basic language [24:58]
- This is a broad topic, and we will have a podcast episode that will exclusively talk about that, this episode is just an overview.
- What we are advocating here is that you should research, at the very least, some key phrases and words in the local language of your new base
- There are things like: hello, bye, thank you, my name is, how much, etc.
- The best way to learn the basic language is by using Lonely Planet phrasebooks and by using the app Nemo (available for different languages)
- In a more complex situation where your basic language skills are not enough, you should have the Google Translator app in your phone with the offline language download (so no need to be connected to Wi-Fi or have data)
- The main benefits of learning these basic sentences and words in the local language
- You will have an easier time in the new location since you will be able to communicate better
- Locals will treat you better since you are showing appreciation for their language
Drinkable tap water [27:12]
- You should check if the country in which you are going has drinkable tap water or not
- As a rule of thumb, you should of course assume the tap water is not drinkable
- But if you research and find out the tap water is drinkable then you can save some money by not buying bottled water
- Nomadlist.com is the easiest place to check this information
Payment system [28:17]
- You should check if the country in which your new base is located is more card-based or money-based
- Based on this information you will be able to know if by simply having the bank card with you will be enough in most situations or if you should always carry cash also
- If it is a cash-based society you need to figure out what bank ATM you should withdraw money from.
- When choosing a bank ATM you need to watch out for two things
- If your bank card will work in that specific local bank ATM
- How much are the fees for withdrawing money with a foreign card in that specific bank ATM
- Usually, you can find the testimony of other travellers for the local bank ATMs in the new base that accept foreign cards and that have low withdrawn fees
- When choosing a bank ATM you need to watch out for two things
Basic currency conversion [30:47]
- Research and keep in mind the basic currency conversation of a symbolic amount from your home currency to the new local currency
- For instance, research how much is 1USD in the local currency
- By keeping this symbolic conversion amount in mind you will be able to do quick price conversions
- For a higher amount that you cannot convert in your mind, you can use a currency conversion app. It is important for this app to store the conversion values offline, thus you not requiring data or Wi-Fi to make the conversions
Sim Card/Data [31:44]
- You should always research data plans before you get to the location
- The main variables to research are the following
- Career band:
- You need to check if the basebands that your phone model can receive and the basebands of the local carrier match with each other.
- If the basebands do not match then your data plan will not work on your phone
- The best way to check this information is to go to the website willmyphonework.net. There you can put your phone model and check which local carriers have basebands that are compatible with your phone
- Price: How much will you pay
- Data available: how much data you are getting
- Plan type:
- You need to assess if it is a prepaid or contract plan.
- Also, you should research what are the specific details about those plans. Is there a limit of months you can use it? Do you need to sign a contract for a set number of months?
- Where to get the plan: You should check where is the best place to get your data plan
- This varies from country to country. In some places, the airport is the best/only place you can get a data plan. In other countries, you will pay much cheaper if you avoid the airport altogether and get in a local shop in the city center.
- Career band:
Commonly used apps [36:44]
- You should check what are the most commonly used apps in your new base
- Main sorts of apps to check
- Communication app
- You need to figure out the main communication app in the base
- These can be apps like Whatsapp, Wechat, Viber, Kakaotalk, Line, etc.
- Transport app
- You need to figure out the main transportation app in the base
- Uber perhaps is the most famous one, but some parts of the world use other apps (e.g. Lyft, Grabb, etc.) more frequently
- Maps app
- You need to figure out the main maps app in the base
- Google Maps is perhaps the most famous app worldwide, but in some parts of the world, Google maps have a very limited function (e.g. China, Korea, etc.). Therefore, you will be much better off by downloading the local maps app
- It is important to also download the offline maps of the area you are going before you get there because when you arrive there you might not have data from the get-go. Google Maps allow you to do that. Alternatively, there is the app Maps.me
- Communication app
Common scams [39:57]
- You should research and keep in mind the most common scams in your new base
- By doing so you are more likely to prevent being a victim of these scams
- Scam types vary drastically around the world
- The best way to research travel scams is by using the website travelscams.org
Weird laws and prohibitions [41:32]
- You should do some research to check if the country has any weird laws or prohibitions. By doing so you will be able to avoid legal trouble
- A crucial area to research is the country laws on specific prescribed drugs you might carry with you
Etiquette rules [42:47]
- Research the basic etiquette rules in a country to avoid being extremely unpolite
- A crucial area to research is the typing culture in the country. Is tipping required or appropriate in the country? If so, how much?
Common diseases and vaccines [45:03]
- You should research what are the most common diseases around your base
- With those in diseases mind, you will be able to know what things you should be careful with, as well as the need for extra medication or extra vaccination shots.
- A great resource to check the common disease around the world is the USA CDC.
- If you followed our guidance in the Nomad Prep step of the Digital Nomad Life System then you already got many vaccine shots. Nonetheless, in some parts of the world, based on the local diseases, you will need to get additional shots
- This is a broad topic, and we will have podcast episodes that deal with each of these locations exclusively, this is just an overview
- You should research beforehand some of the key locations in your new base
- Main locations to research
- Hobbies facilities (e.g. gym, pool, etc.)
- Coworking spaces
- Photography locations
Mr. B: Hey hello welcome to the nomad tactics podcast here we provide life optimizing tips and systems for digital nomads. I'm your host B. and we're joined once again with the co host Mister Jack today's our fourth episode in the topic today is about what are the details you should research before you get to your new base. I will start with a quick summary of the episode. First we will locate this topic within our broader digital nomad life system. Second we will make some remarks about this details you should research beforehand. Third we will talk about and provide an overview of the main details you should search before you get to your nomad base. I hope you enjoy that business.
Jack: So Hey Mister B how's going on today.
Mr. B: Hey Jack. Yeah pretty good.
Jack: Pretty good all rightso basically I'm reading a piece of news is about there is a remote Portuguese island they're gonna how's the world's first digital nomad village do you think there's going to be a trend? Do you know when it's going to start their own water village even the city in the future?
Mr. B: So it's it's basically a whole island that going to become a digital nomad village?
Jack: I don't think so I don't think as a whole island just simple village.
Mr. B: So it had a bigger island where there is a village.
Jack: Yeah yeah yeah got it the.
Mr. B: I am in I I heard.
Mr. B: Kind of a similar news a couple of years back off the group dad wanted to actually buy off I believe a part of Indonesia I mean a tiny bit of Indonesia from the government and they wanted to actually start the country's I don't know how that project went alone after all those years. But I mean I think the idea is quite cool I I like the idea of having a hub where the all digital nomads would meet a little bit like some cities nowadays I would say right?
Jack: Yes I would I do think so maybe we can see a new form of country in the future
Mr. B I would be up for trying for allied yeah but then you would...
Jack: Maybe living there will be really fun if your are did you know with the imagine like a country that gives no restriction on being a digital nomad. And it would be easy pay taxes for the entry.
Mr. B: Yes but wouldn't that defeat the purpose of being a digital nomad and traveling if you relocate there all together.
Jack: Yeah that's an interesting idea but yeah I think for digital nomad they won this freedom.
Mr. B: Yes.
Jack: And if the place can give them the freedom that one's maybe they'll like the place.
Mr. B: Anyway let's go to the main topic of this podcast which is day details the digital nomad should research before he goes to his new base or what we call base specific details.
Jack: Sure a and Mr B. I think it'd be good for the audience to know what is the definition of base again.
Mr. B: Yes not not a fancy term but the base basically means the temporary home that digital nomads who have usually for a couple of months. So basically as a digital nomad you're going to be living in different places so you gonna have a home for a couple of months in country A and then you move to going to country B this temporary homes is what we call bases.
Jack: I see that's a really good definition, so if you're a new audience you probably don't know but if you're the repeating audience you would know we have a system called the digital nomad life system which is a system that help a normal person transition into a digital nomad.
Mr. B: What is a normal person?
Jack: Well the person who works in nine to five.
Mr. B: Let's say someone's living a more stable life.
Jack: Yeah he doesn't have the ability to travel.
Mr. B: Yes. While working in work at the same time
Jack: yep so we have this system and how this based specific details related to the whole system.
Mr. B: Sure so yeah we have the system call the digital nomad life system and we have six steps that constitute the system and this would be a topic that would fit the third step of the system, which is called base research and arrangements. So one step number two of the system which we call based pre planning the nomad would be selecting the main variables to do with the base like where is he going for how long with who things like that once he have all of those things determine then he got a move to the next step, which is as the base research and arrangements. In this step you as the name suggests going to do some research about the base. One of the topics within days step number three is the topic today in the topic today we're going to cover certain things that as a nomad you should research beforehand before you get to the new base in order to make your host a simpler and easier. There there are minor details they are you know they're not the big things they're not things that if I don't research those my whole stating this new base going to fall apart, but none the less these are details that you should research.
Jack: Yeah that's a good point because in this episode we want to mention the point that the details we are gonna mention here. Are not something you have to follow it's not like a ten commandments they have to follow.
Mr. B: If you're gonna give a religion spin to it.
Jack: Yes maybe you can think of us a box of chocolates.
Mr. B: Okay.
Jack: You can pick the flavor you like for example.
Mr. B: So if I understand the analogy correctly you have a box of chocolate with many different types of flavor.
Mr. B: And you would pick the ones you like. Is that what you mean?
Jack: Yeah that's what basically you mean on this episode that we got it give your range of details.
Mr. B: To to look for.
Jack: Yes and you can pick the things you think it is important to you.
Mr. B: I see it makes sense yeah I I agree with that in certain things won't make much sense to you and then you can probably disregard such things right?
Jack: And of course this gonna be a that's a huge episode we're going to cover a lot of details here and some of the details we cannot cover so so well we cannot go into every detail is because you can be really long episode.
Mr. B: Yeah that's a good point so some of the details or topics that we going to cover today are minor things so we can talk about the entirety of the topic today on the other hand other topics or details are bigger things are more extensive topics so these will require future podcast episodes dedicated to further explore those. Let's say for example language in a language learning that's quite a big topic and we're going to mention today but that's only an overview let's put it like that, but we will have a future episode where we going to do an in-depth explanation about the proces of speaking a new language and how we think is the best way to go about doing that.
Jack: Yes sound gonna have a lot of episodes about this kind of details in the future.
Mr. B: Yeah.
Jack: And since there's going to be really long lists of items we're going to have you here. I I think it would be a good way to convert them into the check list don't to think so.
Mr. B: Yeah I think a good way to use all the information we're going to provide today to turn all these details that we gonna talk about into a form of checklists and then maybe one or two days before your trip you can go over this checklist and see which things are appropriate for you to check and then check those.
Jack: Yeah coincidentally we have one of the checklist on their website.
Mr. B: Just one more point I would like to make mmhm which is all the things that we site here are not cited in a hierarchical order so we're not saying that the first item is more important than the second that's a highly subjective thing and also the topics we're going to cover today they they items of the things to research day gonna be kind of all over the place so since they are minor items perhaps you're going to start talking about the special gear to take. Snd then after you gonna talk about the weather and then basic language and then currency conversion. So what I'm trying to say is that we did then categorized these items they are simply all over the place.
Jack: You can keep in mind that the order we're going to talk about here it's a bit random.
Mr. B: Yes in one sense it is.
Jack: So that's going to be the overview of a specific details.
Mr. B: Sure.
Jack: That's it the first item we got here is was just mention special gear necessary for the base.
Mr. B: Yes.
Jack: So what do you mean by special gears is it like maybe like a bulletproof vest?
Mr. B: Could be if you're going to a war zone. I guess you would need a bullet proof vest but basically the idea here is the following before you go to your new base that you already selected. You got to think if you're going to need any sort of special gear to that base and if you follow our content you're going to know that we suggest nomads to buy some basic pieces of gear and equipment as a digital nomad so I mean we recommend certain
Jack: Like what?
Mr. B: Backpacks or certain types of clothing or certain electronics. Things we think pretty much every digital nomad would benefit in having with them you know.
Jack: I see so the ones are good for long-term travel.
Mr. B: Pretty much that's what I mean by basic gear but there are certain places you will go that will necessitate some special sort of year let's say you were going to the Vietnamese jungle. Vietnam especially in the jungle it's quiet known as a place with malaria.
Mr. B: Yes.
Jack: The Mosquito born disease.
Mr. B: Assuming you do not want to
Jack: Contracted one.
Mr. B: Yes you should probably have some gear to prevent mosquitoes from biting you and this might be a mosquito net that this might be some mosquito spray. Is that's how you call in English was good it's very.
Jack: Muscular repellents repellent.
Mr. B: Yeah that's it. These won't be things that you always going to be traveling with but since you're going to Vietnam to more specifically the jungle you should probably get such gear.
Jack: I see I hope most of the digital nomads here are not going to the jungle in Vietnam to do other digital nomad trips yes so the next item we have in here is weather.
Mr. B: So when you're selecting your base you should already have some rough idea about the kind of weather you gonna encounter in the new base. But what you're doing right now is to actually think about what can you do with the weather in the new base so which kinds of things would be appropriate for you to do in that new base considering that weather. As well as connecting to the first point special gear is there any sort of special gear that you need to take related to weather. You understand what I mean?
Jack: So this is the part that you actually buy the cloth for example.
Mr. B: yeah yeah it would be like if you're going to super sunny place maybe you need I don't a hat and a long sleeve loading also. If it's a super rainy place you you gonna be considering weather and then you got to think it's not there this sort of base which I can do biking or tracking everyday because it's always raining so whenever I have a sunny day I should probably take the opportunity to do this outdoor activity. So the basic point here related to weather is you gonna research and keeping mind this sort of weather you've been encountering a new base.
Jack: I see the item here is power specification this is a part that you should research what does this a new base gives you four power specs.
Mr. B: Yes.
Mr. B: So I think there are two main things to look for here.
Mr. B: The first one he has to do with the type of plug in the new base so as most of you probably know all around the world different countries use different power plugs.
Mr. B: So you need to figure out the type of power plug that is used in the country in the which your base's located.
Mr. B: Of course this wouldn't be an issue if you follow our advice and you got yourself a universal power adapter.
Mr. B: So yeah it is a pretty cheap, so we highly recommend that digital nomads too to get one of those as part of their basic year.
Mr. B: The other important thing to research related to the power specs has to do with the voltage standard in the new location so different countries around the world to have slightly different voltage standards and as far as I understand that these there are two main ranges of voltage standards that they are the countries that use voltages around a hundred and ten and others that use around two hundred and twenty.
Mr. B: You need to know if the equipments you have the electronic equipment you have are compatible to the voltage standard of the country in which you're going because if there is a mismatch in voltage standard between your equipment and electricity source you might break your equipment.
Mr. B: In order to avoid that you would need power converter in order to avoid this mismatch of voltage but anyway it's always good to check a specific electronic you have if it allows you to plug into the specific voted standard of the country in which your new base is located.
Jack: Yeah you should always check the power specs of each country unless you want to break your safety fuse. I will also link wikipedia pages that shows power specs of each country in our show notes. So the next item we got here is how to get to the accommodation but can we just hire Uber?
Mr. B: So you could but the point I'm trying to make here is that uber or taxi more generally is not necessarily the best way to go from your port of entry in the country which I would assume is the airport to your accommodation so it varies quite drastically the best means of transportation either I don't know train or bus or taxi.
Mr. B: It could be.
Mr. B: From your port of entry to your accommodation and just an important caveat here is that.
Mr. B: In my experience Google maps do not show all the possible alternatives in this specific route so what better way to figure out the optimum way to go from theairport to the accommodation is to use the website.
Mr. B: Called Rome two Rio dot com so Rome as the city Rome in Italy to.
Mr. B: The number two Rio as the city in Brazil dot com.
Jack: I see is quite surprising that to hear Google map doesn't always give you the best direction award best routes. So the next item we have here is means of transportation and transportation pass.
Mr. B: Sure
Jack: I guess when a man here is the public transportation.
Mr. B: Yeah that's pretty much it. So a little bit connected to the previous point.
Mr. B: Is the fact that it's good to figure out what is the main means of transportation in the new base is a train taxi subway.
Mr. B: Doesn't matter and once you figure that out you should see if there is any transportation pass or transportation card for the duration of your stay there. So many cities around the world offer a great deal of transportation passes for different time frames either a couple of days or a week a month three months it various quite drastically. And by buying this passes you can save quite a bit of money. Even in your first journey which would probably be from the airport to your accommodation if you can get in the airport this past year already saved yourself quite a bit of money.
Jack: Yeah I have this I have a lot of this kind of experience when I was traveling like when I get the pass as soon as I get into the place oftentimes you save a lot of money.
Mr. B: Yes and because sometimes I find this journeys especially the airport once they can be quite pricy.
Jack: Yeah they can.
Mr. B: So I remembered his instance where I went to Sweden in a really cheap Ryanair flight in the end I ended up paying more for the ride from the airport to the city center than the actual flight ticket.
Jack: I see but Ryanaire is is a must for super cheap yeah I think it's.
Jack: So next time we have here is jet lag.
Mr. B: So yeah jetlag quite broad topic.
Mr. B: We will surely have a podcast that exclusively we'll talk about this issue but the general idea here's the following so jet lag is that when you travel to a new place you have a great difference in time zones your body clock is not adapted to that new time zone and usually you will have some sort of trouble sleeping or you we want to sleep on the inappropriate time like in the middle of the day. That's the general idea and there are quite a lot of different strategies.
Mr. B: To try to deal with it the idea here is that you should first assess if you think jet lag will be an issue in that specific instance.
Mr. B: And if so you need to try to come up with a strategy to mitigate it.
Jack: So basically is you you spend a few days that you want to change your sleeping schedule to the destination you want to go.
Mr. B: Yeah you slowly change your sleeping hours.
Jack: To match the considering time design of the new destination yeah so a really good website that can help you calculate this is called jet lag rooster dot com and this is also going to be linked in our show now
Mr. B: Yeah show me that so you put the city in which you are the city your billing and they do all day the work for you.
Mr. B: So that's a very common strategy that's true.
Jack: So the next item have here is visa requirements it's this is where you check do you need specific things to do with your visa .
Mr. B: If you follow our advicet this point you we already know if you need the visa or non for the country in which our base is located you should have done that in the previous step of our digital nomad life system which is called the base pre planning staff but now what you're doing regarding your visa is to look at the specifics so you should know exactly if you do need a visa what is the process of applying which documents you gonna need. Also independently of you needing of these or not how long can you stay in the country can you stay thirty days sixty days ninety days.
Mr. B: And depending on the time frame in which you're allowed you gonna need to see if it will be necessary for you to do a visa run. What's the best way to do so is it by land by air or any other means. Finally I would strongly suggest people to check the visa policy of the country regardless if they already been to the place or not and this is because visa policies change quite frequently have you ever had experience, Jack where you went to place the first time and you didn't have any requirement to have a visa and then the second time you did?
Jack: Actually never happened to me but I do have experience with visa runs it was still in Ching Mai it was kind of weird because took a bus I went to within the border of Vietnam go there sleep a night come back was quite weird experience but.
Mr. B: That is how the Thailand quite famous for that right? because usually they give quite short entry permits for people so if you are visa free most countries can only stay thirty days but they're quite accepting for people to do visa runs.
Jack: Yeah but I heard there are becoming more more strict about it.
Mr. B: Well isn't didn't know that.
Jack: Yet so the next time we have here is country background.
Mr. B: All right so this is a quite broad topic and we will surely have an episode that will talk about that but the general idea here is quite simple we strongly advised digital moments to do some sort of background research about the country in which the new base is located.
Mr. B: The main reason for that is because if you do this research I feel like you gonna have a deeper sense of like one could call appreciation or understanding about the country and this will make the whole experience much much better. would you agree with that Jack?
Jack: Yes they do thing if you know a bit background for country you can make appreciate you how the locals are acting for example or when they have certain costume yeah and you can understand why where there's a come from yeah.
Mr. B: Or or even I feel like if you go to historical sites specially.
Mr. B: If you have context things just become more interesting in one way.
Jack: Right yeah maybe like the the entry of silk road even though the history of silk road and yell there you understand this is more than just a desert yeah.
Mr. B: So usually we kind of things you look for when you're doing this background First of all is this a common thing to you?
Mr. B: Because for me I will.
Jack: I will watch like a few videos talking about the current maybe like the culture current situation yes but that's basically what I wouldn't really go into the history.
Mr. B: I see yes cell again I don't think you need to do anything fancy nobody can be an expert about every country they visit, but at least watching a few videos as you sad or listening to podcasts reading articles one or two to have a general sense.
Mr. B: That that's that's already a a good side and I don't know if you agree or not the main areas in which I think people should focus on when they're like researching is the history perhaps the religion and th
Mr. B: Artistic movements.
Jack: Yeah I do agree or maybe if you're really a person like me I would just go on watching some V blog about the country.
Mr. B: There is also that.
Jack: That yeah perhaps they.
Jack: That is way easier yeah I would say so so the next item that we have here is basic language.
Mr. B: Again I'm I'm getting tired of saying that but
Mr. B: This is a very very broad topic we we will have a podcast exclusively to talk about this topic what we are advocating here is that you should research at the very least some key phrases and words in the local language of your new base these are things like hello, bye, thank you how much my name is I'm from.
Mr. B: So it's pretty basic stuff
Mr. B: Sometimes I forget so I gotta admit that.
Mr. B: But whenever I do remember to do soul I feel number one local treat you Better for the effort.
Mr. B: I would say because they feel like this person at least try to learn something and also in some situations actually there is a practical benefit I mean you you can save time if you know the basics about the language you can go around and at least in this very basic predictable situations you gonna know what to say. In the best way to learn this basic words and sentences is by using lonely planet phrase books and also by using an app it's called they Meno app. it's a great smartphone app that.
Mr. B: Whatever you type there they can give you the translation so they focus on this more basic practical sentences and words. check it out.
Jack: Yeah I'm sure it's a great app and I'm sure the technology can help people a lot of in terms of communication yeah.
Mr. B: In the end the thing is far more complex situation so let's say you can't really memorize very complex linguistic structures that you're going to stick to the basics so for this more complex situations. You can always use Google translator specially because they have this feature a ball downloading the language for offline use therefore you don't need that wifi or your data.
Jack: Yes I believe these apps can help you greatly in your day to day life. The next item is something totally different which is drinkable tap water.
Mr. B: So did the simple advice here is that you should assess if a country in which you are relocating to has drinkable water or not and as a rule of thumb you should of course assume that water is not drinkable to avoid trouble a and visits to the hospital. If you research and you find that the water is in fact drinkable you can save a couple dollars by not buying bottled water. And great place to check that is nomad list com.
Jack: Yeah I heard about the this is quite a problem in India when travel to India
Mr. B: What is it called? Delhi belly which is a which is a.
Mr. B: Condition where you have diarrhea.
Mr. B: I never been to India and I believe neither do you.
Jack: Hey I never been to. My dad's been there and so it's a really interesting place yes so next time we got here is payment system I think it's it's like you check whether the country is use cash or not right.
Mr. B: I didn't know that. So the idea here is that you should check beforehand if the countries of more like a card based or a money based society and this change quite drastically again across the board of course more and more countries are becoming card based but still there are a great deal of countries that are money based. Even some developed nations so like to go to a place like Germany you might think oh it's a developed society but people still use a lot of cash.
Jack: When we say money base you mean cash base right?
Mr. B: Yeah that's what I mean.
Mr. B: The reason why you want to assess that is because based on this information you will be able to know if you simply can carry your bank card with you and that will be in us or if you should always carry cash with you also.
Mr. B: And if that's the case if you do need cash.
Mr. B: Because it is a cash based society there is another thing that you should figure out and this has to do with ATM withdraws basically you're gonna need to assess and choose a local bank ATM and to make these withdraws.
Mr. B: So the two main things to look for when choosing a local bank is number one if your card will work in that bank. Right?
Mr. B: And number two the fees to use international card in order to withdraw money.
Mr. B: Do you have any any way to assess that Jack?
Jack: Well I usually go through online forum or if I go to the Facebook group yeah it's quite a good resources to you know about this kind of things yes.
Mr. B: I I agree with you there is not like a very handy resource or solution to to check but you can always look online on Facebook groups for digital nomads or expat.
Jack: Yeah yeah I'm sure in the future going to be a new form of banks that we can withdrawl anything.
Mr. B: Yet to national and then the nature of banking surely changing.
Jack: Yeah hopefully that's in the near future yep so the next item we have here basic currency conversion why is this important?
Mr. B: So it's a practical tip slightly related to finances like the previous item the idea here is that it's good to be search and keep in mind the basic currency conversion offa symbolic amount from your home currency to the new local currency. So for instance let's say you are from the US I would suggest you to know how much is in one USD to a new local currency and the reason for that is because if you have these currency conversion in mind your day-to-day life will be simpler you gonna be able to do this simple conversations in your head basically yeah I just think it's a small quick tip.
Jack: Yeah sounds like a memory this number is quite handy when you travel yes then the next item we have here is internet data.
Mr. B: Most people nowadays surely need data need internet either to work or simply to live. And it makes sense for you to do some research before you get to your base regarding the data plans available.
Mr. B: There couple variables that you should research the first one.
Mr. B: Has to do with we with which movile carrier you're going to use.
Mr. B: There is one really important factor to check here and this has to do with the so called baseband and I don't want to go to technical special because I don't really understand the technical side here. But as far as I understand baseband are they the type of signal that the mobile carrier carries and your specific cellphone model can capture you can receive certain types of this base band. So you need to match those two so the meeting end from the phone by carrier and your specific cellphone model need to be able to talk with each other. So you need to see if in fact there is this compatibility and the best way to do so at least to my knowledge is to use the website called we will my phone work dot net. So there you simply gonna put your cellphone model you gonna say which country you going and they're going to show you the list of the carriers available in that country and the base bands in which. Does work with therefore you can see the ones that are compatible. I mean assuming of course your phone is unlocked which I think by now most phones are right? So they are not restricted to your carrier.
Mr. B: The second variable that you gotta check them before quite commonsensical is price. The third variable would be the amount of data you getting so is it one you go by two three unlimited also I would check the type of plan so you need to see if it's a prepaid or contract plan and which one would be more beneficial to you based on the length of your stay in the new base. Also a point to notice here is that certain countries are kind of funny in terms of the plans available to you as a tourist or as a as a digital nomad. So I don't know if this still the case but Japan used to have some sort of limitation for the length of the plans. So as it did you don't own it as a tourist you couldn't get a plan for over a I believe a month or two months.
Mr. B: So if you were to stay longer there you would need to constantly change your your number and your data plan so that was a little bit of a hustle and finally the last variable related to data that I would check is where to get the plan so what's the best places in the airport? is it a local shop in the city centre? and again this is important because the price and the options might very quite drastically in some countries getting the plane in the airport is without a doubt the best option in other countries if you skip the airport you might get a much better deal. Remember I think it that was more or less the case in Korea for us when we stayed in Korea.
Mr. B: We didn't get in the airport and then we had to go to some shady places.
Jack: To get it well yeah maybe it's not that shady.
Mr. B: But was not such a great plan that you got in a motor yeah.
Mr. B: I got a better one because I knew people there.
Jack: Yeah it was really limited the one people told us that was the best deal I can use.
Mr. B: And I remember some people told us that if we had to get the plan in the airport we would have much better options.
Jack: So it sounds like getting internet data is quite a complicated task to do may because the information become more transparent yeah maybe over a few years ago it wasn't the case so the next time we have is commonly used apps.
Mr. B: And that I think it's becoming easier. Okay so. Commonly used apps what I mean here is that you should check what are the.
Mr. B: Most commonly used apps in the new base so there are some sorts of apps that I think are the most relevant ones but the the ones that I thought about are the following.
Mr. B: Number one communication app so you need to figure out what is the main communication app in the base
Mr. B: Is it what's app WeChat Viber Kakao talk Line different countries use different communication apps you simply got to figure out and create an account beforehand.
Mr. B: Second I would say is the transport that so you you simply need to see what's the main transportation app used in the base.
Mr. B: I would say uber it is perhaps the most famous one and the most widely available but in some parts of the board for example Southeast Asia.
Mr. B: China yes surely China you have other options.
Mr. B: You know you you simply got to check what what's the best deal what's the best app.
Jack: There yeah I do agree.
Mr. B: I believe in China you can't even use Uber
Jack: Right they have their own I forgot I'm not sure about it as well.
Mr. B: Next maps. What's the maps app used in the base so again Google maps is perhaps the most famous and it will work in most countries but in some parts of the worlds in some countries you have better options like China like Korea they have their own local app which has much more information Google maps is actually quite limited.
Mr. B: So you would be much better of by downloading this local maps app. Since we're talking about maps another simple tip I would give to people is still also always have an offline map option. So you can do that with Google maps. You can...
Mr. B: Save offline maps of the region in which you're going or you can use some alternative apps like Maps.me that's a great alternative app where you gonna simply download the area in which you're going and you're gonna have offline therefore when you get to the new base and perhaps you still don't have a data plan you can already be using that.
Jack: Yeah it does make sense.
Mr. B: The next one I mean this are perhaps less important but nonetheless I'm putting in the list. this it's a delivery app so do they use uber eats food panda watever if you are into delivery food. Shopping app so somebody like us westerns use like Amazon in many countries especially on Asia they have this alternative websites to shop things online.
Jack: Yeah the the apps in your smartphone nowadays become something or something essential with all of your life your travel yeah. So the next item it's not so pleasant talk about is called common scams.
Mr. B: Yes extremely essential right yes
Mr. B: As you said they're not so pleasant but none the less very important. We will have further episodes dedicated to this topic the tip that I'm giving today is to simply research and keeping mine the most common scams in the new base the reason for doing so is because by simply being aware of the most common scams you're less likely to become a victim of those you simply going to have a a radar and you've got an oh this type of situation might be risky therefore should avoid it.
Mr. B: And as you can probably imagine scams very quite drastically around the world so there is not one type of scam that we can simply say here be careful with that sometimes is taxi scams sometimes is fake goods sometimes is even some more shady stuff about like like you go to a bar and the guy say oh these beers two thousand dollars.
Jack: Yeah that's like extortion yes yes.
Mr. B: But it's a quite common scam so a good resource I have found quite recently actually to research this travel scams is travel scams dot org so they list a great number of different scams divided by regions.
Jack: That's an interesting website to have in your mind yeah so the next item is weird laws and prohibition.
Mr. B: Yes so.
Jack: I know like for example Singapore has some very strict laws.
Mr. B: They do they do some are kind of caricature nowadays right?
Mr. B: The thing about you can have gum in Singapore.
Mr. B: But we are not talking exclusively about those you're mostly talking about things that can actually get you into jail. I feel like a quick Google research about some prohibition in the country can go a long way to be honest co yes for two for the sake of an example Russia is quite restrictive on certain class of drugs in which Codein is one of those drugs so if you go to Russia and you have Codein with you.
Mr. B: In theory you could be arrested and criminally charge.
Jack: yeah last time when we were traveling through Russia
Mr. B: We we knew some people that happen
Jack: yeah exactly so the next item here is etiquette the rules.
Mr. B: This is actually a quite interesting debate on its own basically the debate here would be to which extent the traveler needs to try to fit in in this regard his own background to fit in the new local culture.
Mr. B: I don't know your local incidents on that.
Jack: I would say the most the memory that sticking out would be once I was traveling in Japan and I'm sure I say something wrong in Japan and they they feel a bit embarrassed I would say. them not me of course I know nothing about the situation. That's the thing I think that may be if you are travel if you know a little bit more about cultures yes.
Mr. B: But do you think like travelers should do they have a duty to research that and follow the same societal slash etique rules that a local person would or do you think as a traveler you should have a bigger leeway the bigger you know.
Jack: Yeah a bigger room TNGA.
Mr. B: To do you stop your own way because you're not from there.
Jack: Yeah I I feel like if you are a foreign travel to a country as long as you don't deviate too much from the standard costume slash ettique I think you'll be good.
Mr. B: So yeah that's more or less in accordance with the the tip we're giving today which is look you don't need to be an expert in the ettique rules of the country but at the very least you should know when you're doing something extremely impolite in order to avoid such situations. And one crucial area to research in my opinion is the tipping culture in the country. Some countries you are more or less required to tip and in other countries this can even be considered slightly offensive.
Mr. B: Tipping is important thing to research and if tipping is something common how much is it ten percent twenty right?
Jack: Yeah there will be something very important to know yet so the next item here is common diseases.
Mr. B: So the basic idea here is that you should research them most common diseases around your base what are the most common diseases.
Mr. B: And with this information in mind you're gonna be able to the know which things you should be careful with you know shape your behavior accordingly you're gonna be able to know what are the necessary medications you should take with you.
Mr. B: And finally you're going to be able to know if you're gonna need any extra vaccination shots. So if you follow our digital nomad life system you gonna know that in the first step what is called that the digital moment prep we would have advised you to take like a lot of vaccine shots but these vaccines that we advised are the more general ones the things that one could call who the basic ones that would apply across the board but sometimes you gonna need something more specific you are going to specific region of the world and you gotta worry about the specific type of disease so for instance if you're going to certain parts of Africa Ebola might be an issue. So you might need to take Ebola shot a good resource to check the most common diseases around the ward is USA C. D. C. website so we gonna link this in the show notes.
Jack: Yeah I'm sure if you go into some exotic places yeah Mongolia, Africa .I'm sure you want to check out the common disease.
Mr. B: I would check everywhere to be honest unless is like maybe a super metropolitan area like a big big city and perhaps don't jacket but if you're going to any as you said somewhat tropical country or if you're going to the countryside it's always a good idea to check it.
Jack: Yeah of course so the next item here is key locations.
Mr. B: Big topic but the overview here is the following.
Mr. B: Before you get to your base you should know some key locations and what do we mean by key locations these are places that you probably going to go on a semi regular basis for one reason or another. So this might be hobbies related facilities if you do weight lifting in the gym if you swim to pool something like that also if you would like to work outside your own place like in a coworking space perhaps you should know the location of such coworking spaces. Nightlife also a big one for some people at least aware of where the main clubs and bars. A niche advice but if you are into photography we recommend you to search some photography locations we're going to have an episode exclusively to talk about that but anyway this is I would say are some of the main locations to research beforehand before you get to your new base.
Jack: Yeah I'm sure if you know the key location before you go into the base you will make sure that your day-to-day will be eaiser. So Mr B I think that's the end of the episode here.
Mr. B: Yeah
Jack: Do you want to add anything?
Mr. B: Mo just to reiterate a couple of points it's quite a broad list you can choose what is useful to you make into a checklist go over it one or two days before you relocate to the new location to the new base. As I said there is no hierarchical order there here we just provide you a lot of things to check a lot of things to research and I'm sure that if you check at least some of those things your whole experience in the new base we will be much better. Everything we will go much smoother.
Mr. B: And finally as I said some of these topics we just provided an overview today but we will have an specific episode to go in those
Jack: Well please be aware that all the information in this episode of Norman tactics podcast are our opinion only this should not be a substitution for the advice from actual doctors and financial adviser. So please make sure to give us a rating in the comment on the platform you're listening on and if you wanna follow us you can go on the social media like Facebook Twitter and Instagram and finally if you want the show notes on the check this of this episode please make sure to go to our website nomad tactics dot com we have a link in the description.
Jack: And that's it thank you
Mr. B: Thank you
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- To figure out power Specs: www.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mains_electricity_by_country
- Best route from the airport to your accommodation: www.rome2rio.com/
- Help you with a jetlag strategy: www.jetlagrouster.com
- Scams around the world: https://travelscams.org/
- Check for tap water (+ much more info): https://nomadlist.com/
- Check visas: www.passportindex.org and https://visalist.io/
- Check health (e.g. common diseases and vaccines recommended) for different countries: https://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel
- Check list (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1N2wXVuOHgsoD0cvToH0AmWEa6peBzPKY5vyqCgLTsjo/edit?usp=sharing)