If you follow our blog, then you know we recently shared an article about workcations - the amazing scenario where work and vacation come together to let people recapture more of their down time, have adventures, spend time with loved ones, and go to cool places.
The blending of work and other travel experiences became more popular during the pandemic, as people had the chance to think about where they would go if they could work from anywhere. Many people chose to go back “home” to their hometown, while others organized groups of friends for longer term rentals. Whether you are out of vacation time (but still really want to go somewhere) or just want to take advantage of flexibility within your job, a workcation offers several benefits that are making them all the rage.
In our last post, we explained what a workcation is, why you need one, and how to plan for one. But where should you go? That’s one of the biggest factors in planning your workcation experience. No matter what you’re looking for, there is a destination that’s ideal for you. Whether you’re hoping to travel solo or with a group, whether you want to stay close to home or travel the globe, and whether you like the mountains or beach - there’s a great spot out there for you. Keep reading to learn more about our favorite workcation destinations for this year and beyond.
But First: What’s a Workcation?
Just like it sounds, a workcation is a “working vacation”. On workcation, you take a break from your workplace, but not your work. In this type of situation, you go wherever you want, but do so while working remotely. You may also hear of this referred to as “bleisure”, a combination of business and leisure.
If you already work remotely, you may have some experience with a workcation and the benefits the arrangement can offer. For example, maybe you’ve visited family for the holidays or accompanied a spouse on an out-of-town conference, and took your laptop with you. If you are normally in a traditional office, though, then a workcation is probably new territory for you.
The pandemic revealed several new trends in the working world, with more remote work being one of them. More employers than ever before are amenable to workcations and other less traditional working arrangements. Research shows that most Americans (67%) agree with taking a workcation to “recharge their mental and emotional batteries”, and 94% plan to go on a workcation again in 2022 and beyond.
A workcation allows workers to have flexibility in their location and more control over their workdays. Additionally, these arrangements allow employees to make the most of limited vacation time policies. There’s been plenty of research that shows Amercians’ work-life balance is far from optimal, leading to burnout and negative impacts on mental health. Being able to work from anywhere allows people to spend more time with family, enjoy their surroundings, and plan travel to new and interesting places. Additionally, research from Travel Pulse shows that:
- 86%of employees either agreed or strongly agreed that a workcation boosted their productivity, and 81% said they became more creative at work after taking a workcation.
- Nearly 69% of workers were less likely to quit their jobs after going on a workcation and 84% felt more satisfied with their job.
- A combined 83% of participants either agreed or strongly agreed that a workcation helped them better cope with burnout.
Related Article: Is the Five-Day Workweek Coming to an End?
What to Look for in a Workcation Destination
Not all destinations are created equal. You’ll have to choose the one that’s best for you, and that may even differ from year to year. Some things to think about when looking around are:
- Your budget - A big-city high rise condo is going to go for more than a small cabin in a more remote area. How much are you willing to spend? Think beyond just the rental or hotel fees - what is the cost of living? What will it cost for you to buy groceries, etc?
- The climate - Do you like warm, tropical climates, or do you love the snow? What activities do you want to partake in when you’re not working? If you want to really enjoy the outdoors, then you need an area with a mild climate. Similarly if you are really into skiing or the beach. Seek areas with a climate that accommodates your preferred activities.
- Your traveling companions - How many people are traveling with you, and which spaces can properly accommodate your group? Are you traveling with a friend or spouse, or will you bring kids along? If you plan to stay with children, think about what they will do during the day. Make sure there are activities for everyone who will be traveling with you.
- Time zones - In some cases, it might make sense for you to limit your search to areas that are in the same time zone as your co-workers or clients. If you hope to travel to other countries, you’ll need to think about how easy it will be to get in touch with people you work with or for. Will it be hard to schedule calls or meetings?
- Connectivity - Many people who work remotely are reliant on the internet. If you’re one of these people, you need to limit your search to rentals that have a strong wifi signal or other internet access. You may even want to look for locations that have coworking spaces. The important thing is that you have the tools you need to do your job.
- Length of trip - This is important because it impacts your budget, which is likely a big driver of your decision. Furthermore, some places will only offer weekly or monthly rentals. How long do you hope to be gone? For example, you may need to look at Airbnb rentals versus hotels if you plan on a longer stay.
Related Article: The Ultimate Guide to a Successful Workcation
Top Workcation Destinations
Some areas are more fitting for workcations than others. So much depends on what you’re looking for. Do you want a bustling city with public transportation and lots of entertainment? Are you looking for peace, quiet, and solitude? Or maybe you hope for a beach vacation with lots of fun for the family in your downtime. Perhaps you just want to try somewhere completely different than where you live. Here are our top suggestions for locations that are ideal for an enjoyable workcation.
Consistently ranked among the world’s most livable cities, Lisbon has sandy beaches, a rich history, and lots of arts and great food. If you’d like to have plenty to do when you’re not working, this city is a great fit. A wide variety of accommodations are available at different price points, including luxury hotels, quaint B and Bs, and short term rentals. You can find coworking spaces on the coast and wifi is widely available.
Los Angeles, California
LA is often considered an ideal place for workcations because of the abundance of sunshine and nearby beaches. Aside from just fun ways to spend time, LA offers more than 100 coworking space options and outstanding remote connectivity. An increasing number of local hotels have begun offering workcation packages with dedicated working spaces and other perks. Though you may pay a bit of a premium in this city, there are a lot of different lodging options to pick from.
If you want your money to go further, exploring this area is a smart idea. Boasting a low cost of living along with plenty of amenities, you can stay as busy as you want to in your spare time. There is speedy wifi, lots of transportation options, and delicious food.
Boone, North Carolina
You might not be familiar with this locale, but it’s a gem for people getting away from their day-to-day life. A small town nestled in the mountains, you can choose from several great rentals with beautiful views. Residents say despite being tucked in the mountains, they consistently have great wifi. Large enough so there’s a lot to do, but small enough to feel like home, with lots of outdoor adventures to pick from.
Catskills, New York
A popular “back to nature” getaway, it’s only 90 minutes from NYC so it’s ideal for people who want to escape busy city life. You can enjoy the beautiful mountain setting along with hiking, kayaking, biking, and more. There are plenty of rental options ranging from charming B and Bs to new hotel builds. Many people love it because it’s close enough to Manhattan to commute into in-person meetings or events when needed.
Not quite what you’re looking for? Here are a few honorable mentions within the USA:
- Gatlinburg, TN
- Golden, CO
- Miami, FL
- Milwaukee, WI
- Naples, FL
- Palm Springs, CA
- Santa Fe, NM
- Sarasota, FL
Our Favorite Workcation Rentals
A simple search on a platform like Airbnb or VRBO will return something for everyone. Here are some of the best listings we’ve seen for accommodating a work-vacation combination.
Descriptions provided by Airbnb hosts.
Wake up to treetop views at this spacious bungalow with hanging plants, botanical art, and a stunning cedar ceiling. Stroll down to the end of the dead-end road and find the Deschutes River Trail, which can take you downtown along a winding paved path, or cross the river and enjoy miles of riverside walking. Enjoy a picnic at First Street Rapids Park, just steps away, then curl up and rest on the ultra comfy king bed. Wake up refreshed and enjoy your coffee immersed in the vibe of this nature inspired space.
Indulge in a genuine Finnish sauna and shower outdoors surrounded by bamboo in this luxurious spa retreat just 15 minutes from downtown Seattle. Visit our resident bunny, nap in a loft bedroom, or relax outside among the greenery. “Our house design is influenced by Japanese and Scandinavian cultures, yet is uniquely Northwest.”
Technically able to sleep 4 people but ideal for one or two, this rental comes with beach access, a beautiful ocean view, and the healing sound of waves. Just a short walk to the beach. Single level 1 BR/1 BA unit attached to newly built house. According to reviews the space is “sparkling clean and thoughtfully furnished.” The review also says “Even though the living room is small, the space is well utilized, and even traveling with a toddler we had plenty of room. The bed is very comfortable and the bedroom has a large closet with plenty of space to unpack. The bathroom is modern and spacious with a washer and dryer. Most of all, the view is spectacular and the sound of the ocean is relaxing to listen to. And the closest beach is a 10 minute walk. This place is a real gem. We would love to stay here again!”
Grab a friend and head out to the porch swing at this light-filled home along a seasonal Little Blanco River in Texas Hill Country. The retreat is nestled in 5.75 acres of manicured grounds with oak trees, cypress trees, and of course, plenty of pecan trees. Pecan Tree House is a design-lover's delight, with thoughtful touches that show care for guests. The hosts also offer another home in the area. Groups of up to 12 can book both spaces together for a convenient retreat where everyone has plenty of space.
This is one of our happy places! Nothing beats the tranquility of twinkling lights dotting the mountain at dusk or seeing wildlife in the woods through the kitchen window while sipping on coffee. Watch your favorite movie in our theater room after a swim in our very own heated indoor pool (which is heated to between 82-85 degrees based on humidity). The pool room has an access keypad and is locked for safety each time the door is closed. After the movie, enjoy a game of foosball or air hockey followed by various arcade games in the game area. There are 3 ensuite bedrooms with comfortable king sized beds as well as a downstairs bedroom with 2 sets of queen sized bunk beds. Our cabin is located 5 minutes from the Gatlinburg Arts & Craft Community. Our cabin is centrally located, near to all the attractions in Gatlinburg, Pigeon Forge & Dollywood. It features mountain views from 3 large decks or while relaxing in the hot tub.
No matter where you end up on your workcation, Shift can help you to streamline and manage your work. Shift is the desktop app for streamlining and collaborating across accounts and workflows, and allows you to skip the logging in and out process. Users love Shift because it helps them to collaborate and complete work from anywhere. Review a full list of features here.