When COVID-19 hit the world Remote Year left many of their program attendees stranded overseas. Since then new management has taken over. Is the once great program worth your dime in 2021? Read to find out.
For many of us, who love to travel, the idea of being able to earn our bread and follow our passion while exploring the world is beyond fascinating. After all, who doesn’t fancy ditching the monotonous work life and embracing the norm of working in different backdrops – be it the mountains, waterfalls, or beaches!
However, as much as the digital nomad lifestyle sounds like an interesting concept, it is far from easy. It involves a lot of researching, planning, choosing, and organizing. We've covered services like WeWorkRemotely and RemoteOK, but today we'll cover a work and travel program specifically designed for digital nomads: Remote Year.
Remote Year boasts of being the first-ever work and travel program that provides digital nomads with a hassle-free experience of trotting around the world while staying up-to-date remotely with their job tasks. If you are hoping to step into the digital nomad culture or just planning to spend a few months pursuing both travel and work together, Remote Year is an option to consider. But are they the service for you?
Read our in-depth review of Remote Year before you decide!
What is Remote Year?
Remote Year is a company that helps people travel and explore different countries while working remotely. It was founded in 2014 by Greg Caplan and Sam Pessin with the aim of facilitating digital nomads with the logistics necessary to manage work and travel while socializing with like-minded people. That is to say, everything from flights to co-working spaces is booked for you.
Remote Year offers community-travel programs ranging from 1 month to 1 year and you can pick one that speaks to your interests.
Who is Remote Year for?
Anyone who has the luxury and opportunity of remote working can join Remote Year programs. So, you could be a freelancer or an employee attached to a company as long as you have the approval to work from anywhere. With Remote Year, you will be traveling with a group of professionals, spending roughly a month in each country. A group typically consists of 50-70 people, which is pretty big.
What are the Main Features of Remote Year?
- Flights: all the necessary flight bookings from the starting city to the end will be done on behalf of you.
- Accommodation: a private room in a hotel/apartment equipped with plenty of amenities is provided for a comfortable stay.
- Professional workspace: access to a 24/7 co-working space with reliable Wi-Fi to get on with your job.
- Professional programs: workshops, brainstorming sessions, and networking events are available to hone your overall professional skills and knowledge.
- Support: a program manager is assigned to every group to provide the necessary assistance.
- Remote Year Marketplace: social events like excursions, adventures, and other cultural experiences are available via this platform. There are Track Events, Plus Events, side trips, and one-off local experiences.
How Much Does Remote Year Cost?
Well, the cost primarily depends on the length of the work-travel program and the continent you will be touring in.
- For a 1-month program, you have to make an advance payment of $850 and a monthly payment of $2000 or more.
- For a 4-month program, you have to make an advance payment of $3000 and a monthly payment of $2250 or more.
- For a 12-month program, you have to make an advance payment of $5000 and a monthly payment of $2250 or more.
How Does Remote Year Work?
Visit Remote Year’s website and browse through their range of programs. If you come across one that you like and can afford, fill the relevant application and send it to the Remote Year team. You would have to face an interview with one of the team members as well. If you are an eligible participant, you will be notified of the acceptance. Then, you have to make the deposit/advance payment and get ready for the program!
Benefits of Remote Year.
- Organization: Planning and organizing travel logistics as you hop from one country to another can be difficult and overwhelming. Remote Year does a solid job in putting everything together for you so you can travel stress-free.
- Exposure: Remote Year connects you with professionals from all walks of life, helping you build long-term relationships with them. The community network that are you exposed to via Remote Year is pretty huge and beneficial for your career and personal life.
- Reliable facilities: One of the hardest aspects digital nomads face is finding workspaces and accommodation with good Wi-Fi connectivity. As Remote Year has affiliations with companies throughout the world, they are able to provide good facilities for you.
- Choice of activities: Track Events by Remote Year include exclusive experiences curated for program participants that are adventurous, fun, and exciting. Besides this, Remote Year also offers a host of other valuable experiences that you can enjoy at an additional cost. Since the bookings are made via the platform, it’s trustworthy and hassle-free.
- Citizenship perks: As many Remote Year reviews gave this feature a lot of praise, we think it deserves your attention. If you participate in a Remote Year program, you will be granted, what they call, the “Citizenship,” which promises many benefits. For example, you will have access to their Slack channel with connections to “Remotes” from around the world. There will also be discounted offers available for the next program.
Downsides of Remote Year.
- Expensive: The overall experience of work and travel with Remote Year doesn’t come cheap. In addition to the total fee charged, you should also be prepared to spend on extra activities. If you are an experienced digital nomad, you can cut down the administrative costs by planning the trip by yourself.
- Overwhelming: The idea of social travel is interesting. But, traveling with a group of 70 or more people can be brain-draining sometimes. We think the experience would be better if they carried out their programs in smaller groups.
- Limited itineraries: Remote Year is growing, but it’s yet to give you assortments of itineraries covering destinations around the world. So, compared to independent traveling, your choices are pretty limited, and you might not find the itinerary you are looking for.
- Lack of freedom: As the entire itinerary is planned by the Remote Year team, you won’t be able to pick the destination you like to stay, accommodation type, and activities scheduled in each country.
So, is Remote Year Legit?
Considering the experience and convenience Remote Year provides to its program participants, we can say it’s a worthy choice. However, it’s subjective. If budget isn’t a concern and you prefer the planning to be done by a professional company, Remote Year is a good option. It’s also great if you want to travel in a group and make friends.
However, if you are more into independent travel with ample experience or have a knack for planning meticulously, you won’t need Remote Year.
Despite the hiccups they faced when COVID-19 hit, their new ownership (they were acquired by Selina) has done a good job of expanding the program. Remote Year was a startup that faced the issues COVID-19 brought, but Selina is a much larger and bigger backed company that should make prospective travelers feel more safe.
Our Rating: 3.8/5
- Comprehensive program
- Membership perks
- Reliable facilities
- Customizable activities
- Opportunities to connect with others
- Travel with large groups
- Rigid itineraries at times.
- Limited in flexibility and freedom
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