It seems the author of the book The Digital Nomad had a premonition of what would become of today’s work culture when he released the book in 1997. In his book, Tsugio Makimoto describes how future technology and mankind’s desire to travel would enable people to live and work on the move.
That is where we are, the age of digital nomadism. It is everywhere in 2022.
As a digital nomad in San Francisco or one who is planning to go there, this guide is for you. We will share everything you need to know about visas, the weather, accommodation and transport. We will also give you a list of nomad essentials you will need as you work and travel in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Ready? Let’s get straight in!
You will require a visa or not, depending on your nationality, duration, and reason for the visit. There is a visa waiver available for many countries, but this is valid for only 90 days.
If you are a passport holder from the Americas, Bermuda and a few other countries, you may go without a passport but expect to be photographed and fingerprinted on entry. A non-immigrant visa allows you to travel and work for more than 90 days.
San Francisco is located in the Peninsula, with the Pacific Ocean located to its North West. The city center is on the northeastern side of the San Francisco Bay area. The weather here is not so warm, it leans towards windy and foggy.
Summers are long, arid and clear while the winters are short, wet and slightly cloudy. Always bring a light jacket, even in summer so you can warm up when the weather cools down.
SF is also a very casual place, which means you can wear your favorite pair of jeans or casual clothes to almost all events.
Being a remote worker means that you have the chance to live anywhere you want and San Francisco seems to be one of these amazing destinations that attract several “digital nomads” every year. Though living in SF and the greater area of South Bay can be a challenge because of the high home prices, keep in mind that there are many housing options adjusted for business travelers and remote workers.
Co-living spaces will offer private and shared furnished bedrooms, high-speed WiFi, co-working areas, shared kitchens, and recreational facilities. Examples in the San Francisco Bay area are Bespoke, Parisoma, COVO, and Impact Hub.
You can also house-sit, which is living and taking care of people’s houses while they are away. Such opportunities can be found on sites like TrustedHousesitters, Nomador, and MindMyHouse.
Other alternative accommodation includes hotels, hostels, Airbnb, and apartments. You can browse accommodation listings on digital nomad housing platforms like Apartments.com, Craigslist, or Anyplace.com.
If you are like most digital nomads, you are constantly on the move. An effortless way to get around San Francisco is via bicycle. Luckily, there are plenty of bicycle rentals in the Bay Area, so getting one should be the least of your worries.
If bikes are not your thing, then get a monthly pass for the San Francisco Metro which includes cable car transportation. Standard taxis are another cheaper alternative to renting a car, though more expensive than public transport.
Some highly rated taxi services in San Francisco include Yellow Cab, Wanna Cab, and Oakland Taxi. There are also Uber and Lyft services available.
Digital nomad essentials to have in SF
Every digital nomad has different requirements according to the nature of their work and personal preferences. However, the items below are the most common essentials for nomads:
While you may find free WiFi in most SF coffee shops, libraries, and hotels, we highly recommend getting a portable hotspot for handy moments.
This tool will help to keep your electronics accessories like chargers and earphones from tangling or getting lost.
Working in public places such as coffee shops or co-living spaces will require you to have earphones for calls and videos.
This desk sits on your lap, car, bed or other travel situation and provides a stable surface. A lap desk also keeps your computer cool.
This is one item most digital nomads can’t afford to miss. You will need the bag to carry other essentials.
Other items you might consider having are: extra electronics such as a hard disk and power bank. You also need a few dark-colored clothes which won’t stain easily as you move about.
Expert Tip: Get nomad travel insurance that will cover areas such as assault, stolen credit cards and passports, delayed baggage, overseas dental care and terrorist attacks.
Make that dream move to San Francisco a reality!
The Bay Area is one of the most exciting places any digital nomad can stay in. Once you get in tune with the weather and sort out your accommodation and transport issues, you can settle down to enjoy your work while on the move.
The beauty of a digital nomad life is that you will be able to earn a decent income while still traveling the world and enjoying different cultures. We hope that you’ll enjoy your stay in SF!