In this guide, you’ll find a list of the best Digital Nomad Books you should read this year.
Thanks to the new technology and mainly thanks to the Internet, work from anywhere is becoming easier and easier, and that’s why the digital nomad lifestyle has become increasingly popular.
Having a remote job will allow you to backpack around the world full-time, so if you’re starting your journey to becoming a digital nomad, or you are wondering if this lifestyle is for you, those books are probably for you.
Take into account that there are 2 kinds of Digital Nomad Books in this list:
- Books focused on the travel and mindset side of the nomad lifestyle, which will inspire you to take action,
- And books focused on the business side of the nomad lifestyle, which will help you create the business of your dreams
- Note: having your own business is not mandatory, as you could have a remote job for a big company
Some books are a mix of those concepts, you’ll probably enjoy more those if you are looking to travel and work independently.
1. The Digital Nomad Handbook – Practical Tips and Inspiration for Living and Working on the Road
This book was written by Joseph Bindloss, in collaboration with Lonely Planet, and published in 2020.
It’s a full packed digital nomad book, as it covers almost anything you need to know regarding this lifestyle, and you can quickly notice that once you see the table of contents:
- Making the leap: what’s stopping you from becoming a DN? What are the top ten perks of becoming one?
- How to be a digital nomad: a solid foundation for what is coming for you: what kind of jobs do digital nomads do, how to become a travel blogger, top blogging platforms, how to make your blog stand out, how to promote your blog and how to make money from it, how to learn online and being virtually present…
- Where to go: best tips for choosing a destination, what you should look for, what are digital hubs, and some travel tips.
- Before you go: another extensive chapter where you’ll be able to learn about health, money and budgeting, visas & paperwork, travel insurance, essential items to carry as a digital nomad, travel tech…
- On the Road: all regarding accommodation, eating and drinking, tips for finding WiFi and nice Workspaces, how to meet other Digital Nomads, balance your work and life, keeping healthy on the go, personal safety, and planning your return.
- Top Destinations for Digital Nomads: a recap of the best countries/cities to go as a DN, from the classic Chiang Mai in Thailand, to other hidden places like Canggu, Tallin, and 10 extra alternatives.
- Inspiration: Digital Nomad tales and extra resources.
As you can see, is a full guide on how to become a Digital Nomad, as it mixes the business/money part with the traveling one.
If you only want to pick one book about Digital Nomads, this is the one we recommend to you.
2. Digital Nomads: How to Live, Work and Play Around the World
A book self-published in 2016 by André Gussekloo and Esther Jacobs, two Duch Digital Nomads.
It’s also a book very well structured, with plenty of information that will cover all the main problems and doubts you’ll face when becoming a digital nomad.
After an introduction from Chris Guillebeau, in this book you’ll learn about:
- Living: 8 reasons to become a digital nomad, including a test for checking if this lifestyle is for you.
- International master plan: six flag theory (perpetual traveler), passports, taxes…
- Money: reduce fixed costs, earn your income in a strong currency, locations with low cost of living, travel cheaper, find cheap flights…
- Minimalism: minimize your stuff, digitalize and archive…
- On the road: packing lists, where to stay, insurance, telecommunications, financial tips, dealing with bureaucrats, traveling with kids and/or pets, relationships, safety…
- Work: all regarding the business part of the digital nomad lifestyle: typical online jobs, getting a remote job, becoming a freelancer, creating passive income streams, growing your website, portfolio, social media, and email list…
- Technical info regarding your company: where to base it, digital nomad problems, how to get paid, how to set up a financial infrastructure, invoicing and declare taxes…
- Productivity: eliminate, simplify, automate, outsource, focus, coworking offices…
- Play: hobbies and activities, volunteering, giving back…
- Staying fit and healthy: meditation, bodyweight exercises, diets, fighting jet lag…
- Digital Nomad Hotspots: where to live, work and play.
- How to meet other nomads: meetups and groups, online courses and forums, conferences, workations and retreats, co-living projects, cruises…
As you can imagine, with so many points to cover on about 250 pages, you won’t find the best-detailed info in each chapter (there are books of this magnitude that deal only with the health part!)
But it’s a very good starting point to get well-rounded advice on all aspects of the digital nomad lifestyle.
3. The Digital Nomad Survival Guide – How to Successfully Travel the World While Working Remotely
A book published in 2017 by Peter Knudson & Katherine Conaway, with a print length of about 206 pages.
This is another bird’s eye digital nomad book that besides the main content you’ll see below, hast two very interesting bonus chapters:
- Interviews with some Digital Nomads like Lauren Hom, Nuseir Yassim, and Doug Mill.
- A Digital Nomad toolkit with recommendations, resources, and a sample budget.
Regarding the main content of the book, you’ll find here a similar structure to the previous books, as this survival guide covers topics related to:
- Location scouting
- Travel and transportation
- Jobs and working
- Packing and possessions
- Local culture
- Social and relationships
4. Becoming a Digital Nomad – Your Step By Step Guide To The Digital Nomad Lifestyle
A book published in 2018 by Chris Backe, but updated in 2020 with new and fresh information.
The structure of this book is awesome because as you can imagine from the title, it is not Digital Nomad content divided into independent sections, but a full guide that will take you from zero to nomad over the course of 8 steps:
- Intro: what is and what is not a digital nomad, frequently asked questions about DN.
- Step 1 – Know yourself and what you want: worksheet to know yourself and what’s important to you, possible destinations and resources for researching them, finding your “why”, passports, and visas.
- Step 2 – Clarify your desires and acknowledge limitations: nomads vs expats, living with a host family, co-living spaces, house-sitting, RV’s, a home on wheels, Home vs. Base, Soft skills, traveling with others, your partner, or children, traveling for the LGBT community…
- Step 3 – Making money as a nomad: the flag theory, working on your own, co-working spaces, sales and marketing, teaching jobs, technical jobs, money and legal jobs, help people travel better, offline service jobs, where to find jobs, tax stuff for American, Canadians, Europeans, Australians and New Zealanders, Bank Accounts and PayPal, Cryptocurrencies…
- Step 4 – Get affairs in order: your anchor, all about your homebase, health, stay connected, paperwork, in case of emergency, wills, learning the local language, travel insurance, book your travel…
- Step 5 – Gear up and slim down: personal items, laptop bag, backpacks, carryon and checked luggage, what to pack and what not to pack…
- Step 6 – The Big Move and settling in: the final countdown, leaving, arriving.
- Step 7 – Start enjoying your new life: avoiding censorship, creating a routine, spring cleaning, keeping track of finances, stay on budget, taking care of yourself, evaluating how things are going, resources if things are going wrong…
- Step 8 – Coming Home: reverse culture shock, home for a while, or forever? reconnecting and accepting drift, getting out vs staying in, moving forward, adulting, worst-case scenario, leaving again.
As you can see, very detailed stuff. What we like the most about this book is that it offers workbooks, so not only will you be reading, but you will also have to take action.
5. The Tax-Free Digital Nomad
A book published in 2019 by Julius Van der Beek that, although a bit expensive, will pay for itself if you already have an income, as it will help you out with your finances and dealing with taxes while on the go.
This means that it’s less “inspirational”, less aimed at newcomers, and more focused on being a practical guide.
Just having a look at the table of contents will allow you to realize that this is an “advanced” (but necessary) book:
- Why pay taxes?: The way you’re taxed, Digital Nomadism, perfect for tax planning, the ideal visitor, paying “some” taxes.
- The crackdown on Tax Payers: who’s behind the laws DNs face, tax evasion and tax avoidance, tax planning: the road to freedom, legality.
- Essential legal concepts: country vs state vs tax jurisdiction, on-shore vs off-shore, international tax law, taxing rights, international vs domestic tax law, double tax treaties, citizenship, residence, and domicile, tax residence, tax planning funnel, offshore companies.
- Flags Theory: the road to ultimate freedom. After this chapter, there are one chapter for each flag:
- Flag 1 – Residence: learn about the worldwide system, territorial system, countries with no tax income, remittance and citizenship-based taxation, low tax countries, tourist visas, giving up your current tax residency, the Estonian E-residency…
- Flag 2 – Business Base: your business model, income streams, setting up a corporation and running it, tax-free offshore companies, sole proprietorship…
- Flag 3 – Financial services: offshore banking, banking secrecy, financial surveillance, maintaining databases, opening offshore bank accounts, opening international bank accounts, accepting online payments, accepting bitcoins…
- Flag 4 – Asset Heaven: the benefits of owning international assets, investments, real estate, precious metals, cryptocurrencies, intellectual property, network…
- Flag 5 – Playgrounds: places to play, live the good life, settle down
- Flag 6 – Citizenship: having a second passport, choosing a country of citizenship, diplomatic and unusual passports, international organizations…
- Cybersecurity: virtual private networks, paid email services, how to store your data securely, password managers, configure your computer for privacy, web-hosting, planned data distribution.
- Other important topics: Health insurance, things that suck about being a digital nomad, what to do when in a dispute with the tax authorities
- Americans and green card holders: tax-free salary, foreign tax home, foreign tax credit, use of corporate tax planning.
As you have seen, a huge amount of content that will save you tons of hours of researching.
6. Be a Nomad Change Your Life – The ultimate guide to Living Full-Time in a Van or RV
After the technical and dense book by Julius, you may find this shorter book, published by Robin Barrett in 2019 more appealing.
There are different Digital Nomad lifestyles out there, and this book focused on the people who want to travel the world in a Van.
That’s why here you’ll find chapters with classic info for DN, but also chapters aimed at teaching you how to live on the road.
- Nomad defined: why be a nomad?
- Start here: where to begin, fifteen steps to launch, choosing a rig, downsizing 101, choosing a home base, nomad pets.
- Financial considerations: nomad banking, your nomadic budget, creating an income, health insurance options for nomads, ensuring your rig, rv maintenance, saving for retirement.
- Living as a Nomad: safety first, camping options, destination planner, the basics of bacteria, how to boondock like a pro, hygiene, water propane, dump and more, mail and packages.
- Links galore: recommended gear, a resource guide.
This book is not for everyone, but if it’s for you, you’ll know it right away.
7. Have Laptop, Will Travel: Memoirs of a Digital Nomad
A travel memoir of the Digital Nomad Philip Nicozisis, published in 2021.
This book is totally different from the ones you’ve seen above, is not a technical or how-to guide, but an inspirational series of stories about the author’s journey among different cities and countries: Split in Croatia, Prague in the Czech Republic, Lisbon in Portugal, Kyoto in Japan, Chiang Mai in Thailand, Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Buenos Aires and Cordoba in Argentina, Lima in Peru, Medellin and Bogota in Colombia, and Mexico City in Mexico.
If you just want to enjoy some digital nomad literature, this book is for you.
8. The Suitcase Entrepreneur: Create Freedom in Business and Adventure in Life
We would like to end the main Digital Nomad books recommendations with The Suitcase Entrepreneur, published by Natalie Sisson in 2017.
Almost 300 pages of content where you’ll learn:
Almost 300 pages of content where you’ll learn:
- How to choose your own adventure
- Why Natalie wrote the book, and who she wrote it for
- The new world of digital nomads
- How Natalie went from broke to $15,000 in one month
- The only 4 things you need to be free
- How to build an online business you can take anywhere
- Why there is no better time than now to build your own business
- Building an online business for your suitcase entrepreneur lifestyle
- Becoming a citizen of the world and setting up an international business
- The best system and online tools to run your business from anywhere
- How to use social media as your marketing, sales, and customer service team
- How to build a world-class team you may never meet
- How to Become a Pro at Being Homeless
- Deciding on where to travel and your preparation checklist
- The art of minimalism and how to pack for anywhere
- Travel hacking tips and tools to save you time and money
- Choosing freedom in business and adventure in life
As you see, a well-detailed how-to guide for building up not only a business but a life you love.
Other books that might interest you as a Digital Nomad
I don’t consider the following books written specifically for digital nomads, but somehow, you may be attracted to them, as they will also help you improve more specific parts of your new lifestyle, especially as it relates to business.
- How To Travel The World On $50 A Day By Matt Kepnes (aka Nomadic Mat): a book written by a successful travel blogger on how to travel in a cheap way.
- Virtual Freedom By Chris Ducker: a book on how to earn back time outsourcing tasks to virtual assistants.
- Remote (office not required) by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier Hansson: a book about the benefits and how to work remotely.
- Vagabonding by Rolf Potts: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel.
- The $100 Startup by Chris Guillebeau: inspirational stories about launching businesses with just $100.
- The Art of Non-Conformity by Chris Guillebeau: another inspirational book, but this time, talking about setting your own rules and living the life you want.
- Tribes by Seth Godin: this book talks about how important it is to find a team that has the same vision, objectives, and values as you when you want to succeed in your business.
- Crush It! by Gary Vaynerchuk: a book about taking an existing hobby and turning it into a business. Great for entrepreneurs looking to make their passion into their profession.
- Be a Free Range Human by Marianne Cantwell: discover how to create a free-range career, tailor-made for you and the life you want.
- Rework by Jason Fried and David Heinemeier: a book that explains how to work differently (and more efficiently) thanks mainly to new technologies.
- Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport: as a digital nomad, you’ll need to be productive and 100% focused on your job if you want to enjoy your free time. This book will help you out minimizing the distractions that come from social networks and the online world in general.
- Job escape Plan by Jyotsna: where you will find the inspiration you need to quit your monotonous day job
- The 4-hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss: we could not finish this guide without mentioning one of the books for digital nomads par excellence. This book needs no introduction
What Digital Nomad Books do you recommend to us?
There are many great books to help you become a successful digital nomad.
The ones I listed above are just a few of my favourites, but there are plenty more out there, so I encourage you to share in the comments below what are your most recommended books for digital nomads.