Looking for the best workation destinations? Worry not.
The workation phenomenon has swept the working industry around the world. It is not surprising, considering that it combines work and vacation into something that both the employee and employers are happy about.
If you are thinking about taking a workation, you’ll need to figure out where you want to go. Picking the right place to work remotely can make or break your workation, for both you and your boss.
That is why we have written this guide on the best places for workation so you can make sure your next workation goes smoothly!
What Makes A Good Place For Workation?
To make things easier to compare, we will give a score out of 10 for all our destinations based on the criteria down below. This will help you pick the perfect workation destination!
Standard of Living (SoL)
The term standard of living is, in a nutshell – the availability of wealth and material comforts available to you. It’s an important concept to consider before deciding where to work.
Before settling on a destination, you should check if your monthly wage will enable you to ‘live well’ there.
Whether a workation destination offers a high standard of living depends on a number of factors from the cost of living to the average hours of sunshine to the availability of great things to do.
We have also included safety as part of the criteria for standard of living.
Cost of Living (CoL)
This is perhaps the most important concept to consider before choosing a city to work from – can you afford to live there? To help you with this I find numbeo is a good place to start because it will detail how much everything costs (from rent to a cup of coffee) in that city.
To put it simply, if you earn a high salary ($100k+), you can consider workationing in more expensive cities like San Francisco or San Diego. If you want to achieve a high standard of living on a lower wage, then consider cheaper destinations such as Hanoi or Buenos Aires.
Internet Speed (IS)
Internet speed is another important factor to investigate before deciding on your new remote work location; you will be working for the majority of your time and so need fast internet. A decent internet speed is usually considered above 25 Mbps according to the FCC.
Weather is an important factor when deciding on a destination to work remotely. You want to sunbathe, swim or surf on my days off. In fact, most of the places on this list offer 300+ days of sunshine annually!
Remote Working Community For Digital Nomads (RW Community)
Staying social while you are on a workation is important, especially since that you are essentially alone in a new city. So for places with a strong remote working community for digital nomads, meeting like-minded people are much easier.
So of the things to consider are if there are any remote working events, communities (such as Facebook Groups), and any co-working spaces where you can make new friends.
Cities like Lisbon, Playa del Carmen, and Tamarindo are especially popular with digital nomads.
Perhaps one of the biggest deciding factors on where you should take a workation is the time zone. If you are someone that needs to work with other members of your team or company, then you’ll want to be in a time zone that isn’t inconvenient for the rest of the team.
For example, if your employer is based out of New York City (EST time), then it’ll be difficult for them if you are taking a workation to Bali (GMT +8). There is a 12-hour difference, so the nights and days are completely switched.
Best Workation Destinations in USA
It may seem a little strange to see San Francisco on this list of best places to work – the home of Silicon Valley is, after all, notoriously expensive.
You will need at least $3000 – $3500 per month to live here comfortably. But if you work in the tech industry, there’s no better place to be – with Facebook, Google, Adobe, Visa, plus hundreds of start-ups in Palo Alto are only a 35-minute drive from San Francisco’s Central Business District.
The internet connection here is STRONG, averaging download speeds of 165Mbps and uploads of 24Mbps.
And with dozens of co-working spaces and cool cafes for you to work from in the downtown area, as well as excellent transport links to take you elsewhere in California – this city is certainly ideal for a workation.
There are loads to do here on your days off – from cycling across the Golden Gate Bridge and exploring Alcatraz prison to eating delicious seafood at Fisherman’s Wharf; San Francisco is sure to surprise you.
San Diego is a dream destination for workations – this city exudes a laid-back vibe and has attracted digital nomads for years.
This is thanks to its awesome beaches, cozy coffee shops that you can work from, and relatively low cost of living (for California, that is). Expect to spend about $3000 USD per month here for everything from rent to bills, eating out, and etc.
San Diego offers some of the fastest Wi-Fi speeds in the country, with download speeds ranging from 300 Mbps to 5,000 Mbps.
The area is known for its natural beauty, so during your downtime, hit up Torrey Pines State Nature Reserve for awesome ocean views and La Jolla to see sea lions frolicking in the waves.
Best Workation Destinations in Latin America
Buenos Aires, the capital city of Argentina with a population of over 3 million is one of the most appealing places for remote work in South America.
Its internet speed is at a decent 23.59 Mbps, but what separates this from other destinations is its super low cost of living – expect to spend about $900 USD per month all in!
It’s a diverse, vibrant city with a focus on nature – there are over 250 parks within the city bounds! With an excellent public transport system, reasonable accommodation options, abundant co-working spaces and a culturally diverse foodie scene, its popularity with foreign workers is not a surprise.
Safety here can be a concern but it’s mainly bag snatches and it is in fact the third safest city in South America according to the Safe Cities Index.
Antigua is an up-and-coming workation destination in Central America. This UNESCO World Heritage Site City is once the ex-capital of Guatemala, but devastating earthquakes have caused the government to move the capital to Guatemala City.
However, most of the cultural attractions of Guatemala still reside in Antigua, including the ruins of churches and other buildings from the earthquakes.
Antigua’s internet speed isn’t the fastest at a median of 19.19 Mbps download speed, but there are plenty of cafes throughout town that offer better speed.
The cobblestone street of Antigua offers a charming small-town vibe. Visitors can come to enjoy its all-year-round excellent weather and affordable living. Since there are a lot of backpackers in Guatemala, the nightlife is quite good in Antigua.
The city is surrounded by soaring volcanoes that add to the irresistible charm of the town. Hiking some of those are the most popular activities in Antigua. When you are not on your popular working remotely, you can climb Volcano Acatenango and Volcano Pacaya and enjoy Guatemala’s amazing outdoor!
Playa Del Carmen, Mexico
Playa del Carmen is situated only a 40-minute drive from Cancun International Airport, an airport with cheap flights from the United States.
This makes it a popular place for a workation with American workers, especially with its average internet speed of 39Mbps and over 300 days of sunshine every year.
The beaches here are stunning, the food great, and there are loads of great restaurants and bars where you can let your hair down after a day of work. Don’t miss out on the exotic cenotes that this region is known for!
Don’t forget that there are heaps of Cafes and shared workspaces in the city.
Once the most dangerous city in the world, Medellin has become a top destination for digital nomads and remote workers. Affordability is key in Medellin one of the biggest cities in Colombia, where you can expect to pay about $750 USD in monthly costs.
Apartments are also available to rent monthly and you can pay for a month at a time instead of settling for a hostel dorm or an expensive hotel room. It’s a very easy city to navigate with cheap taxis and Medellin’s excellent metro system.
As for things to do in this beautiful city – check out the notorious Comuna 13 or head further afield to the Guatape region, home to gorgeous lakes and hiking trails.
The trendy area of El Poblado is the best area to base yourself as here there are loads of cafes to work from and coworking spaces offering high-speed WiFi.
It’s also where most of the expats live so it’s here you’re likely to befriend like-minded people. And although it’s generally a safe city it’s worth noting that armed robberies and petty crimes against tourists have become more common.
Tamarindo, Costa Rica
Tamarindo is one of the most popular destinations in the world for digital nomads, thanks to its relaxed ‘Pura Vida’ vibe, excellent beaches, and decent internet connection – expect speeds of 43Mbps here, of course most cafes and dedicated workspaces will offer significantly higher speeds.
Tamarindo is a relatively cheap place to base yourself in comparison to other European destinations and you can expect to spend upwards of $1,500 per month here. However, apartment rentals can be hard to come by here and instead most workationers opt for hostel living or a reasonable hotel room.
If you’re a fan of surfing then Tamarindo is the ideal workation spot for you – the waves here are some of the best in the world.
Best Workation Destinations in Asia
Hanoi, Vietnam’s second city (behind Ho Chi Minh), is one of the fastest-developing cities in South East Asia. And its beautiful architecture, friendly people, and excellent food have attracted tourists for decades.
Now, it has firmly placed itself on the digital nomad map, and since mid-2021, lots of remote workers have relocated here temporarily. The internet isn’t as high-speed as in other Asian cities at an average of 37Mbps, but cafes, hostels, and hotels typically offer super-fast WiFi of more than 50 Mbps.
With a very low cost of living, about $800 USD per month, Hanoi’s popularity as a workation spot is not surprising. Hanoi is well-connected too with plenty of daily low-cost flights to other South East Asian destinations and a great bus network connecting it with the rest of the country.
P.S. Hanoi has one of the best street food scenes in the world, so, if you’re a foodie, this is certainly the remote work spot for you!
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Chiang Mai in Northern Thailand is notorious in the digital nomad world, with many foreigners setting up to work here for a few months each year, particularly between October and February when it’s not as hot nor thronged with tourists.
It’s a cheap workation destination with people paying about $850 USD per month for all their living expenses.
Chiang Mai was, in fact, designed as a “Smart City,” which is an area that uses communication technologies to increase efficiency and communicate with the public.
Therefore, as you’d expect, Chiang Mai has one of the fastest internet speeds in Thailand, with most shared work spaces here offering 100Mbps speeds! But super-fast speeds are also provided in many accommodations and cafes here!
Thailand is known as the “land of smiles,” Chiang Mai is no different, and the locals and expat residents welcome foreigners.
No need to worry about learning Thai as almost everyone here speaks English as well as Japanese, Chinese, and Spanish.
Perhaps there is no better place for remote work than Bali, nicknamed the Island of the Gods. This island in Indonesia is home to some of the most stunning beaches, rainforests, and mountains in the world. Having your workation here is definitely an adventure on its own.
With a median download speed of 26.98 Mbps and an upload speed of 18.76 Mbps, Bali’s internet speed is not the most impressive. This will limit remote workers that rely on uploading large files online, such as video content creators. Video chats and the likes are going to be no problem.
It is worth noting that the internet speed in Bali is getting better day by day.
Bali has an excellent standard of living at a very affordable price. Visitors can rent a private pool villa in Bali for as low as 700 to 800 USD per month. Food and transportation are also very cheap, which is one of the reasons why so many people visit Bali.
Best Workation Destinations in Europe
As an old USSR communist country, Hungary might not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of remote work locations. But the capital of Hungary, Budapest, is slowly creeping up as one of the best places to work remotely.
After staying there for nearly 2 months, it is easy to see why. Besides a fast Wifi of nearly 50 Mbps download speed, the city is just flat-out gorgeous. The architecture is similar to the architecture in Vienna, which is one of the most expensive cities to live in the world.
In Budapest, it is much cheaper to live and yet you can have all the modern luxuries! It is even home to one of the world’s prettiest McDonalds.
Fast internet, great co-working spaces, and amazing culture make Budapest one of the most desirable locations for workations in the world.
Lisbon is one of the most popular cities in Europe for remote workers and expats because it has a decent internet (28Mbps), plenty of co-working spaces and the weather is fantastic with over 300 sunny days per year!
The cost of living in Lisbon is quite reasonable too when compared with other European cities; expect to pay about $2,500 USD per month all in. There are lots of great short-term rental properties in the city too or, if you’d prefer – highly-rated hostels.
The city itself is exceptionally pretty, think cobbled streets and colorful historic buildings, and there are lots to do here on your days off too. Plus, the food here is something to write home about (Pasteles de Nata anyone?!). Plus, the work life balance in Lisbon is second-to-none!
It’s a very easy city to get around with trams, buses, trains, and funiculars in operation here.
Did you know Estonia was the first country in the world to offer a Digital Nomad Visa, and it’s Europe’s answer to Silicon Valley – which means that it attracts a large number of remote workers every year, specifically in the tech industry!
With super high speed WiFi (81 Mbps) and a low cost of living – expect to pay around $1400 USD per month here.
The city is the perfect mix of modern and medieval and there are lots to do here from exploring art museums to visiting fairytale-esque castles and more. The best neighborhoods to set yourself up in include Kalamaja, Telliskivi, and the Rotterman quarter.
There’s a buzzing digital start-up scene in Tallinn and it is known as one of the most digitally advanced countries in the world. Therefore, there are loads of flexible work spaces and chic Cafes that you can set yourself up for the day and get work done.
Istanbul is one of the most unique geographical destinations in the world. Stepping in both the continent of Asia and Europe, Istanbul is a gateway to the best of both sides. Remote workers can enjoy the convenience of traveling to Asia and Europe.
But if you are having a workation in Istanbul, you might not be thinking of other places. It takes so many days in Istanbul to fully take in everything it has to offer. From the unique and delicious Turkish foods to the addicting Turkish tea (cay), remote workers are in for an adventure here.
The city boasts a decent 36.84 Mbps download speed and a 14.147 Mbps upload speed. Those are pretty solid numbers and most people working remotely will find the internet there very usable.
The best part is the high standard of living and low cost. The average monthly expense for living in Istanbul is $1,110. That is very low considering it is one of the most dynamic cities in the world with stunning mosques, beautiful vistas, and rich culture!
Tbilisi is a little-known gem in the tourism world but an incredibly popular digital nomad destination. The capital of Georgia is an easy-going city with fascinating history.
The internet speed is decent here but certainly not high-speed, with 44Mbps for mobile internet and 28Mbps for fixed internet. Living here is cheap, and you can expect to pay about $1500 USD per month for everything.
Surrounded by beautiful mountain scenery, it’s ideally situated to enjoy your days off while on workation – take a trip to a unique cave town or go on a wine tour.
The great thing about Tbilisi is you’ll find it easy to make like-minded friends here, whether that be local Georgians looking to practice their English to other digital nomads attracted to the city by their generous self-employed tax rates.
Workation Destination Comparison Table
Below we have compiled a comparison table for all the places we talked about above!
|Destination||Standard of Living||Cost of Living||Internet Speed||Weather||Remote Work Community||Average|
|Playa Del Carmen||7||8||7||8||8||7.6|
Is Workation the same as a digital nomad and remote work?
Workation is a little different than being a digital nomad. Yes, both of you will work remotely but digital nomads tend to jump from one location to another without a permanent home. A workation is an arrangement where you are working while you are on vacation. This could last a few days, a few weeks, or sometimes even indefinitely.
Do you need a work visa for a workation?
Typically, you do not need a work visa for a workation. You can have a workation on a tourist visa as long as you are not staying past the number of days you are allowed.
Before You Go
Workation is one of the biggest trends in work and travel. Hopefully, our guide on the best workation destinations in the world has helped you plan your next workation!
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