8 Tips for Translation Digital Nomads to be Successful

To help you navigate the challenges and reap the benefits of the digital nomad lifestyle, we’ve gathered a list of practical tips from two location-independent language business owners. No corny inspirational quotes, we promise!
May 30 / Alfonso González Bartolessis
Being a digital nomad is often portrayed as a breeze in inspirational LinkedIn posts, but reality can be quite different.
To help you navigate the challenges and reap the benefits of this lifestyle, we’ve gathered a list of practical tips from two location-independent language business owners Martina Russo (from TAST) and Nicola Calabrese (from Undertow Language Solutions).

No corny inspirational quotes, we promise!  

1. Research, research, research

Not all destinations are created equal for digital nomads. In your research phase, consider time zones, especially important if working with clients in different locations.

2. Build your network

“You can find many cool meetups and networking opportunities for location-independent professionals organized by Nomad Fest or Nomadlist”, says Martina Russo, who defines herself as a location-independent business owner (she is the founder of The Action Sports Translators and Moving Words).

You can also look for a local chapter of LocLunch, an inclusive global community that brings together localization, translation and globalization professionals and enthusiasts.

Each month, LocLunch ambassadors local and digital events to share ideas, foster innovation, and build personal connections in an industry that spans continents and cultures. Check here the list of upcoming LocLunch events and find one near you.

Pro tip: “But don’t forget to connect with locals too! The key is to strike a balance so you can fully appreciate different cultures and people while also networking with like-minded professionals”, warns Russo.

3. Plan your finances

Financial stability is crucial for a successful digital nomad lifestyle. Managing your finances effectively ensures you can handle unexpected expenses and sustain your travel plans.

First, create a realistic budget that includes accommodation, transportation, food, insurance, and leisure activities.

Then build an emergency fund with at least six months' worth of living expenses.

And last, but not least, choose an online banking service to manage your money and handle transactions seamlessly from anywhere in the world.

4.Invest in the right gear

“Don’t underestimate the importance of a stable Internet connection. Localization work nowadays is largely handled through TMS on the cloud, so without Internet connection it can be difficult to do any work. If possible, ask the place where you will be working (whether it is an hotel, an apartment or a coworking space) to send you a screenshot of the speed test and check out the overall internet stability in your destination,” adds Nicola Calabrese, a Barcelona-based language business owner who likes to spend many months of the year abroad.

“For me it's super important to have my portable WiFi which is a very powerful Netgear modem with unlimited data card. If you want to run your business professionally, it's important to have your own portable infrastructure”, adds Russo.

Pro tip: “Don't trust public WiFi, especially when handling confidential documents - which for translators is always the case. So, invest in a VPN that protects you and your clients' privacy”, says Russo.

 5. Find the best place to work

Think ahead about where you will be working. Is it in your hotel room? A co-working space? Or a friendly café?

Also, take a moment to reflect upon the way you work.

"Do you often work with two screens? Not all co-working spaces offer them. There may be an extra cost, so check this out beforehand," says Calabrese.

"Also, check if the coworking space offers video conference booths or quiet spaces. If you are used to working in a room alone, you may have trouble concentrating in an office full of people talking on the phone. Last, but not least, check your coworking space opening hours: depending on your time zone, you may need access to the co-working space after 6 p.m. and a monthly or weekly membership may not always allow it", says Calabrese.

6. Prevent legal issues

Ensuring you have the right visas and comply with local laws prevents legal issues and fines:
  • Research visa requirements for each destination and obtain the necessary visas or permits before arrival.
  • Understand your tax obligations both in your home country and abroad. Consider consulting with a tax professional specializing in expat taxes.
  • Keep digital and physical copies of important documents like passports, visas, insurance, and emergency contacts.

7. Take care of your health

"If you are an EU citizen, apply for a European health card (which is different from a national or regional card). And if you are traveling outside the EU, get health insurance. You may think this is an unnecessary expense, but it is nothing compared to the costs you would have to pay on your own if you ended up in a hospital abroad. In fact, when you have insurance, you pay for visits in advance and then apply for reimbursement, but if you are hospitalized, they handle everything for you, and it can be quite expensive," explains Calabrese, who often uses Safety Wings, a digital nomad-friendly health insurance company.

Pro tip: "When choosing accommodation, take into account whether and how you can exercise (for example, in a nearby park or gym). Years ago I would never have dreamed of giving this advice, but since working remotely I have realized that it really does make a difference!", ends Calabrese.

8. Forget the labels

“Just because you want to be a digital nomad doesn’t mean you have to jump on a plane every 3 days. The important thing is that you are able to do what you do wherever you like”, suggests Russo.


Being a language professional and a digital nomad is possible. In order to be successful, we strongly recommend you to follow some steps that protect your wellbeing and provide you with the tools you need to work from anywhere.
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