Wifi Tribe in 2021: Is It Still Worth It? [Review]
Have you always wanted to travel the world while working remotely with a group of like minded individuals? Are you looking to shake up your remote work environment? If this sounds like you, Wifi Tribe might be of interest. Here at Pilot, we know that remote work can be an overwhelming idea, and in addition to our planning and itinerary tools, we want to help you find programs and services that will help you live your best digital nomad life. With so many options out there, we’re here to offer some guidance to help you make the best choices for you! With that in mind, let’s dive into Wifi Tribe!
What is Wifi Tribe?
Wifi Tribe is a community based experience that allows you to select a country to work in remotely with 12-25 other fellow remote workers. They describe themselves as a “slow travel” group, spending four to eight weeks in any given country, where community members can join and get together. In order to join Wifi Tribe, you must apply and be accepted, but if you are, you can join the community wherever you want. Quality accommodation is provided, and you will spend your time coliving and coworking with the other community members who have chosen to venture to your target destination. In addition to working and collaborating during your stay, you’ll also have the opportunity to explore the area with your community. Currently Wifi Tribe is aimed at remote workers between the ages of 21-45, but is hoping to launch mixed ages experiences for those outside of that age bracket soon.
Wifi Tribe Cost
Since Wifi Tribe community members must be accepted before they can join a community, you must first apply online. This process is free. You will go through an interview process, and you must currently be a remote worker in some capacity to be considered. If you are accepted, you are subject to the subscription fees to enjoy their service. In order to activate a membership, it will cost $500, and this is a yearly fee to keep your membership active. If you activate within seven days of receiving your acceptance, you will get a $200 credit towards your first Chapter (which is what your 4-8 week stay with a community is called). The annual membership fee also provides you with access to the community Slack. If you choose to cancel your membership at any time, the fee is nonrefundable, but you will be able to continue taking advantage of the Slack for the remaining time of your yearly membership.
After paying your activation fee, your next step is to purchase a Chapter plan. You have the option to do this either in a pay as you go plan, with a three Chapter plan, or a five Chapter plan. The latter two will cost you $900 or $1,500, respectively. The pay as you go plan will require a $300 deposit on all Chapters. From there, you can book a Chapter by looking at the Chapter calendar, and choosing a destination that excites you! Depending on the destination you choose, the Chapter plan you have, local housing costs, and the level of accommodation you want (private vs shared room), the cost will range from $1,200 - $2,300 on a pay as you go plan, $1,000 - $1,900 on a three chapter plan, and $900 -$1,800 on a five chapter plan. Chapter plans do not expire so long as you have an active membership.
Wifi Tribe Chapters
If you join Wifi Tribe, and decide to travel with them by joining a Chapter, you can expect to have accommodation, bills (water and electric among others), Wifi, basic cleaning, internet backups, and space to work with other people included in your fees. You can book Chapters as soon as they’re announced, but note that if you join a chapter in a country where you will need a visa (for any reason), you are responsible for acquiring one yourself. Wifi Tribe can help provide guidance and a sponsor letter if need be, though. In addition to your communal work spaces and work opportunities, while on a Chapter the group can plan activities and trips. As a community, you’ll share your common interests, budgets, time constraints and get to know each other so that the community as a whole can pick activities that interest everyone. These trips are not mandatory, and you can opt to do your own activities while on a Chapter if you’d like.
Wifi Tribe Locations
Since Chapters are announced on the Chapter calendar, there is no master list for all the locations where you might be able to venture as part of a Wifi Tribe community. However, they do have some locations up on their website for you to get a sense of where you might be able to go. Here is a list of the current locations that have planned Chapters either with dates already or with dates in the works (valid as of April 2021):
- Medellin, Columbia
- Antigua, Guatemala
- Santa Teresa, Costa Rica
- Cayambe, Ecuador
- Split, Croatia,
- La Paz, Bolivia
- Cape Town, South Africa
- Crete, Greece
- Tuscany, Italy
- Seoul, South Korea
- Bocas del Toro, Panamá
- Sri Lanka
- Buenos Aires, Argentina
- Kyoto, Japan
- Canggu, Bali
While Wifi Tribe does organize everything at the Chapter destination, keep in mind that you are responsible for getting yourself there, and for any associated costs.
Benefits of joining Wifi Tribe
- Organization: Wifi Tribe takes care of finding accommodation, and arranging communal work spaces, which can be a big hassle when you’re a digital nomad. They send out Chapter hosts in advance to scope out the Wifi speed, and ensure that everything is set up for ideal remote work circumstances
- Community: Wifi Tribe vets the members of its community to ensure that not only are they remote workers, but that members joining a Chapter can coexist together for the duration of their stay. If you’re interested in networking in person easily with fellow remote workers, and heading to an environment where everyone is planning to work remotely like you, Wifi Tribe is a great way to meet those people.
- Chapter hosts: Every chapter comes complete with a Chapter host who is there to help you navigate your time in a given destination. They can help you choose trips and activities as a community, but they are also there to help if anything goes wrong with your accommodation, or any part of your trip. Having a designated host on the ground is a huge benefit for community members, and makes the Chapters feel more legit and supported
Drawbacks of joining Wifi Tribe
- Expensive: With an already decently priced annual membership fee of $500, Chapters do become spendy knowing that you have to pay separately for each Chapter, even if you purchase a Chapter plan. Participating in Wifi Tribe is a financial commitment, and as the membership fee is nonrefundable, it’s a decent amount to spend right off the bat if you aren’t sure that this is right for you. If you’re on a tight budget, Wifi Tribe is not going to be a great fit.
- Sharing space: Given that Wifi Tribe’s biggest thing is the community, you can expect to be not only working with the other members of your community, but living together as well. For some, this would be a massive benefit and something they look forward to, but it is something to keep in mind if you prefer your own space, and to work without the possibility of others being around
- Not everything is covered in the fees: As mentioned already, Wifi Tribe is only responsible for setting up the Chapter, and ensuring that the accommodation is prepared. As such, the Chapter plan fees only cover what is needed at the accommodation. This means that you are responsible for getting yourself to the Chapter destination, and will be covering all the costs incurred in doing that in addition to the cost of the Chapter you have chosen, along with meals and any other expenditures. This also means that you should be prepared to have to navigate the first half of your journey (getting to the Chapter accommodation) on your own, which is not the right style for everyone.
So, is Wifi Tribe legitimate?
If you’re a digital nomad who’s looking for a way to join a community of other remote workers abroad, Wifi Tribe is a great potential first step in that direction. While acceptance isn’t guaranteed, if you’re looking for a way to not have to worry about accommodation, and to be able to cowork with other remote workers, it might be worth it to apply! Wifi Tribe does come at a decent cost though, so it’s only recommended if you’re truly serious about it, and if you can afford the fees associated. If not, or if it doesn’t sound like something that appeals to you, don’t worry! At Pilot, we want to help you achieve your remote worker dreams. Be sure to check out our reviews of Remote Year, and Nomad List to learn about more options for you, and don’t forget to peruse Pilot for more help with planning your digital nomad adventures!