As working virtually and offsite becomes part of the normal business landscape, it’s time to think about how you can combine an extended stay in an unexplored place with remote work. Perhaps you own, rent or frequent a vacation property and can work remotely from that location. Drop-in workspaces, cafés and business centers can make remote work possible, even in vacation and resort areas, to transform a vacation into a “workcation” to extend that summer experience.
No matter where you’re working, before you leave, always ensure you’re primed for full connectivity and remote work with a great roaming plan, WiFi at your accommodations and by looping your colleagues in on your remote work and/or absence plans for the days you’re away.
Score a Deal
When you’re on a business trip to another city or attending a conference or event in your local area, check if the host facility or a nearby hotel will extend the special event rate after it’s over. Many conferences end on a Thursday or Friday, and as business hotels empty out, some properties create special weekend rates or packages for longer stays, with perks and extras like breakfast, restaurant credits and parking. Imagine savoring a leisurely Sunday brunch just like you did on your last vacation!
Your return flight from a business trip could also be arranged with a deliberately long layover in an in-between city or “bleisure” destination you want to visit, often at no extra cost for your flight.
Book a Travel Buddy
Even in your hometown, it can be difficult to end workdays on time. That’s true on a workcation, as well. Similarly, the end of a business trip often involves extensive follow-ups, networking connections, projects and briefings to complete. A key to your workcation’s success is setting firm boundaries for working hours and answering correspondence and business calls to achieve a balance with your leisure time.
Inviting a travel companion to join you for all or part of the “-cation” part of your stay ensures you have a great reason for a hard stop when the work day is finished. If you’re part of a travel loyalty program like Accor Live Limitless, you may qualify for annual companion travel passes or may have frequent traveler miles to put toward a travel companion’s trip. Sharing accommodations can be a cost-effective way to sweeten the trip deal for everyone.
Book Your Itinerary
Once you’ve committed to a workcation destination or know you have a business trip on the books, do your advance research, just as you would if for a summer vacation. Checkout local events and cultural websites, large events and ticketing organizations and listings of seasonal festivals to find out what’s happening while you’re in town. Knowing you’ve booked sports tickets, museum timed entry tickets or there’s a special event helps add structure to a trip. It’s also a great reward at the end of your work day or week.
Consider booking an activity like a cooking class specializing in local cuisine, a craft brewery tour, a guided (or self-guided audio) neighborhood or a walking tour of an interesting, historic or architecturally significant area. Not only will that make the destination more memorable, it gets you out in the community, meeting locals and providing a more authentic experience.
Be mindful when booking your itinerary so you don’t pack too much into a work day or weekday evening when you’re working remotely. It will feel the same as packing your schedule full of events every night of the week at home, sapping you of the energy you need to be effective on the job.
Nothing says summer vacation like a special sports outing or an indulgent spa day, which is a treat you can build in for yourself at the end of a working trip to extend that holiday feeling. Many day spas allow you to extend your relaxation time after a massage, facial or body treatment. In addition to relaxing, ask to use the steam room, sauna, indoor or outdoor pool, fitness rooms or even take a class. Some spas allow you to book a spa lunch or grab smoothies and other healthy treats at their spa café. Perhaps your hotel has a golf course or is near mountain hiking or biking options. Taking this time for yourself ensures you return home renewed and refreshed!