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Travel Editor Elizabeth Hansen shines a whole new light on “work from home” in 2021: The “workation”

New Year, New Temporary Address? “Work from home” doesn’t necessarily mean your home

Tropical views from this Paradise Beach Nevis villa would make a beautiful backdrop to your "home office"
Image Credits Photography courtesy of Paradise Beach Nevis, Hawaii Tourism Authority & Bermuda Tourism Authority

Last spring, we lauded what we liked about being remote employees: no commute, no dress code, fewer workplace distractions, and more time with the family. But now, almost ten months into the pandemic, most of us are seriously ready for a change of scenery and a little foreign intrigue — preferably in a place with fewer cases of COVID per capita than San Diego.

Fortunately, Bermuda, a CDC “low risk” country off the coast of North Carolina, began welcoming U.S. residents in July. That was great, but here’s what’s even better: there’s now a government program that makes it easy for us to stay and work or study for up to a year. 

Bermuda is a popular spot for yacht racing
Bermuda is a popular spot for yacht racing

Work from Bermuda Certificate

If you’re currently employed and working from home, or age 18 or older and studying remotely, you might be eligible to move to beautiful Bermuda, land of pink sand beaches, yacht racing, gorgeous golf courses, wreck diving, and a very high standard of living. 

The application process is straightforward, and there’s a team in place to facilitate finding a home, renting an electric car, and locating work spaces with plenty of broadband. The children of certificate holders may attend school in Bermuda and family pets are welcome.  

As a democratic self-governing British Overseas Territory with a stable economy, modern digital and telecom services, and excellent healthcare, Bermuda might just be the perfect workation destination. U.S. visitors without the certificate can stay in Bermuda for up to 90 days. gotobermuda.com/workfrombermuda

A high standard of living and low COVID rate make Bermuda a great destination
A high standard of living and low COVID rate make Bermuda a great destination

Movers & Shakas

Bermuda isn’t the only beautiful destination luring remote employees. 

“Don’t work from home. Work from Hawaii” is the tagline for the new “Movers & Shakas” initiative, designed to attract a limited number of mainland residents to the islands of aloha. The program was created by volunteers in the local business community. 

Here’s how it works: “Talented professionals” move to Hawaii for at least one month and continue to telecommute while contributing three to five hours a week to a local nonprofit. The people chosen for this project will have genuine appreciation for Hawaiian culture and a sincere desire to help strengthen the local community.  

Hawaii has the lowest rate per capita of COVID infections in the country and that, in itself, is a huge incentive. In addition, the M&S plan is to provide participants with free air tickets, discounted lodging, and co-working space. moversandshakas.org

Board meeting, Hawaii style
Board meeting, Hawaii style

More Remote Options

Many places with tourism-dependent economies are luring restless travelers. Are you ready to work from someone else’s home? And put more distance in your kids’ distance learning? Before choosing a destination, look up current COVID case rates on the CDC website, as well as visa requirements and conditions of entry (which could include mandatory quarantine and proof of a negative COVID test). Also, check your health insurance coverage. cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/map-and-travel-notices.html

Vermont and Maine have much lower rates of infection than California. Is it time to Zoom in front of an open fire and enjoy some after-school schussing? A half dozen ski areas are located within a short distance of Burlington, Vermont. The charming college town has a great vibe and is the home of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. 

Or, would you like to work or study on a sunny Caribbean beach? Barbados, Dominica, and Antigua and Barbuda are “moderate” COVID risks, and the risk in the British Virgin Islands is “low.” 

This villa at Paradise Beach Nevis would be a beautiful home office
This villa at Paradise Beach Nevis would be a beautiful home office

Nevis, famously the birthplace of Alexander Hamilton, is also a low-risk destination and has recently re-opened to U.S. visitors. The smaller of the two islands comprising the nation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, it’s known for scenic palm-fringed beaches. 

New arrivals must “vacation-in-place” for two weeks, which would be a pleasure at Paradise Beach Nevis. Here, spacious villas range from two to four bedrooms and come with kitchens and private pools. Resort activities include kayaking, paddle boarding, and monkeying around. Yes, with real monkeys. paradisebeachnevis.com

All villas at Paradise Beach Nevis come with a pool and a view
All villas at Paradise Beach Nevis come with a pool and a view

Mexico and Dubai offer special visas for remote workers, and Americans are also welcome in Croatia, Costa Rica, Belize, The Bahamas, French Polynesia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, these otherwise great destinations are currently deemed “very high” risk by the CDC and — for now — should be avoided.

Instead, start the New Year right by charging up your laptop and choosing a new address in a place that is safe, scenic, and offers just the right amount of foreign intrigue. 


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