Although digital nomads and remote work is nothing new, there is a new travel buzzword: Workation. Born from the fires of the covid pandemic, the workation is a WFH travel trend that might just change the way tourism works.
But what is a workation? And does it mean you can finally work from a hammock in the Caribbean while sipping a pina colada?
What is a workation?
Basically, a workation means a long trip away but with time scheduled to do your work remotely. This means that rather than grabbing a city break for a long weekend, or leaving your old life behind, you can go for a long stay somewhere nice.
If the idea of being a digital nomad always seemed a bit far fetched for you, then the workation might be more suitable.
A typical workation might last anything from a two weeks to six months, or more. You would also plan to rent an apartment or long stay location and make the most of your new home by exploring and enjoying the change of pace and lifestyle.
And, at the end of it all, you can still go home to see your friends and family and probably tell them how amazing your long stay workation was.
Sounds amazing right?
Travel trends during covid
The tourist industry has been hard hit by the pandemic, so more countries are open to attracting digital nomads and long stay visitors.
What this means is that there is more of an infrastrucure for those working remotely. There are often long stay visas and many places are offering enticements for digital nomads, for example in Madeira and Italy.
The perks of a workation
The best thing about going for a workation instead of a short break is that you get to really enjoy being somewhere for longer. You can explore, immerse yourself in the culture and maybe even feel like a local for a few weeks or months.
You’ll also be able to visit using a tourist visa, and avoid doing any urgent border runs, which is a regular headache for digital nomads.
Increasingly it’s becoming easier to find decent long stay accommodation, with even Airbnb start to offer rentals by the month. This rent price is also all inclusive, with no need to fiddle about setting up your wifi or finding a place that rents to foreigners.
Digital nomads often find that the nomadic lifestyle can become wearisome after a while. Living out of a bag, not being able to put down roots and missing their home towns can cause many to quickly lose the will to travel. A workation basically offers the best of both worlds, with home still just a return ticket away.
The cons of a workation
Working on vacation can be a pain in the ass, especially if you’re somewhere very exciting with lots of cool new people to hang out with. You might arrive with a plan to do a 3 or 4 day week, but soon find yourself staring enviously at your new buddies heading off on a day trip.
Accomodation for vacationers is often more expensive than long stay contracts. So you’ll likely find yourself paying over the odds for an apartment – AND you’ll probably also be paying rent at home. If you own your property or live with family, this might not be an issue.
Planning your working vacation
If your job now allows remote work, you could be planning a workation or long stay holiday. Of course, you’ll need to run it by your boss first, unless you’re self employed.
But if you’ve got the green light, it migh be time to get packing.
What you’ll need to do before you go:
- Somewhere to stay – check out Airbnb or Facebook sometimes has short stay deals too
- Make sure that where you’re heading has decent wifi as standard – some countries might sound appealing but connections home can be shaky at best
- Check visa requirements such as how long you can stay for and if you need to get a digital nomad visa
- If you’re plaing to move around during your workation, it’s a good idea to build a plan of when you’ll be working and when you’ll be on the move to avoid disruption
- Research co-working spaces or digital nomad friendly cafes wherever you’re heading. This is a great way to meet the local expat community
- Get an idea of costs before you go so you don’t get stung – holidays can quickly add up
Are you planning a workation? Let us know where you’re thinking of going and share your tips in the comments below.