May 20, 2024

Demand for the digital nomad lifestyle is on the rise, with Google searches in the UK for “digital nomad jobs” up +50% YoY

In a world where being a digital nomad is rapidly gaining popularity thanks to technology and the power of the internet, UK virtual phone number provider, Xpatfone has conducted a study to identify the best destinations for remote workers. Utilising the Travellers’ Choice Awards, Best of the Best Destinations 2024, Xpatfone has meticulously ranked these locations based on criteria essential to the digital nomad lifestyle.

50% rise in Google searches for “digital nomad jobs”

In response to the 50% surge in Google searches for “digital nomad jobs” between February 2023 and February 2024 (rising from 2,400 to 3,600 searches), Xpatfone initiated a study aimed at identifying the most favourable destinations for digital nomads among TripAdvisor’s top-ranked travel spots. The data provides valuable insights for the growing community of digital workers looking at crucial factors such as the internet cost and download speed, mobile phone plan pricing, and the cost of accommodation for a month.

Link to full results

*Punta Cana was selected as the Dominican Republic’s representative destination due to its status as the country’s most visited location, as reported by Tripadvisor.

Hanoi: The best destination for digital nomads

Hanoi, Vietnam, emerged as the ideal location for digital nomads, not necessarily topping all criteria but consistently ranking in the top 5 for 4 out of 5 criterias. The city’s internet cost and accommodation affordability were particularly impressive, securing 3rd and 4th places, respectively.

A surprising revelation was New Delhi ranking 11th in the Travellers Choice Awards ascending to 2nd in Xpatfone’s evaluation, topping the rankings in internet cost and mobile phone plan affordability.

Bali, a well-known haven for digital nomads, secured the third spot. Despite its lower ranking in broadband download speed (23rd out of 25), Bali’s competitive pricing for internet, mobile plans, and accommodation continues to attract remote workers.

Kathmandu’s remarkable rise in digital nomad rankings

Kathmandu, Nepal, experienced a significant leap in its appeal to digital nomads, ascending from the 24th position in TripAdvisor’s rankings to an impressive 6th place in Xpatfone’s study. It stood out for offering the most affordable accommodation, ranking 3rd in mobile plan affordability, and 6th for the cost of internet data.

Dubai tops travel destination charts but falls to 19th for digital nomad appeal

Notably, while Dubai was celebrated as the top destination in TripAdvisor’s “Travellers Choice Awards,” it ranked 19th from a digital nomad perspective according to Xpatfone’s criteria. Conversely, New York, which ranked last on TripAdvisor, was positioned higher than Amsterdam and Punta Cana in Xpatfone’s digital nomad-friendly list.

Same country, different results

The study also highlights regional differences within the same country. In Vietnam, Hanoi clinched the first place due to its superior internet speed—40% faster than Hoi An, which ranked 4th—and more affordable accommodation by approximately £70.

Ed Clayton, Co-Founder of Xpatfone commented on the research, 

“As the digital nomad lifestyle continues to surge in popularity, our latest study unveils the most coveted travel destinations for remote workers, with Hanoi, Vietnam, leading the pack. Our research, driven by a significant increase in interest for digital nomad jobs, is a testament to the evolving work landscape. We’ve meticulously analysed factors crucial to the digital nomad experience – internet affordability, mobile plan pricing, and accommodation costs – to guide the digital nomad community towards making informed decisions about their next destination.” 

About the research:

 

  • Field Dates: 8th – 12th March 2024.
  • Destinations based on the “Travellers Choice Awards: Best of the Best Destinations”. (https://www.tripadvisor.co.uk/TravelersChoice-Destinations-cTop-g1)
    • Punta Cana was selected as the Dominican Republic’s representative destination due to its status as the country’s most visited location, as reported by TripAdvisor.
  • “Internet (60 Mbps or More, Unlimited Data, Cable/ADSL)” and “Mobile Phone Monthly Plan with Calls and 10GB+ Data” – data collected from Numbeo.com (https://www.numbeo.com/cost-of-living/)
  • “Average Broadband Download Speed (Mbps)” – data collected from speedtest.net (https://www.speedtest.net/)
  • “CHEAPEST Apartment (1 Bedroom) in City Centre based on Airbnb in Oct 2024” – data collected from airbnb.co.uk (https://www.airbnb.co.uk/)
    • Airbnb search based on “1 person staying in a 1 bedroom, 1 bed property with WIFI and a dedicated work space between 01/10/24 to 31/10/24”
  • “Average Score Based on all Criteria” figures worked out by adding all “rank” scores of each criteria and dividing by 5.
  • More details of this research can be provided upon request.

About Xpatfone

With Xpatfone, you can continue using your UK number seamlessly abroad without worrying about any extra charges. 

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Move your current UK mobile number to Xpatfone and save on costly contracts and roaming fees. Then take it back to your UK operator if you return to the UK. Or get a new number if you prefer!

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Backed by a UK Mobile Network, Xpatfone works seamlessly over your local 4G or Wi-Fi connection wherever you are in the world. Better yet, unlike with roaming, you don’t pay to receive calls.