Is it time for a workation? 

You heard that right. A workation is when you take a trip with the intention of getting some work done, and you might even do so with a specific goal in mind. 

Travel boosts your creativity, gives you time for metacognition, and can also aid your mental and physical health, which we will go into detail about below. So, if you have a job or role that requires macro-level thinking and places you up against complex issues, then a workation could be your saving grace.

That said, the workation could work against you and can even become a difficult experience if you don’t take proper precautions and make deliberate plans. 

Maybe you want to give a short trip a try, or maybe you’re dipping your toes into the digital nomad lifestyle. Either way, balancing work and travel during the holidays is achievable with proper planning, time management, and the right tools.

The Concept of Workation

There are many reasons why one might want to go on a workation. Perhaps you’re a teacher who wants to take advantage of a lengthy summer break. Or maybe you’re taking a sabbatical, or you’re allowed to work remotely for a portion of the year, and you want to do it in a wonderful and new location. We understand the travel bug. 

Other people might want to work and travel home, whether that be to another state or even to another country, so you don’t have to sacrifice work while you’re getting quality time with loved ones.

That said, if you don’t set boundaries between your work and home or travel life, you might find yourself in a bitter gray area. We’ve all been there — during work time, you feel distracted and unproductive, and during leisure time, you feel stressed out about the work you’re not finishing.

But, when done right, the workation can come with plenty of benefits.

Benefits of Combining Work and Travel

You know that expression, two great tastes that taste great together? Sometimes combining work and travel, whether that’s brief a trip over the holidays or a carefully planned workation, can be the perfect mix for beating burnout and inspiring your best work.

Spark your creativity

Travel is proven to boost your creativity. If you are working on a big project and want to clear your head but don’t want to completely check out, then a workation could be instrumental. This is especially true if you are an active traveler who takes the time to leave the hotel and get to know the nearby community and nature. 

Unlock new ways of thinking

Perhaps connected to the above point, exposing yourself to different locations (and sometimes even different cultures and countries) can lead you to think and work in new ways that you hadn’t considered before. It can open up new pathways to you that might have previously seemed closed.

You’ll feel happier…

In one survey, 93% of workers reported an increase in happiness when they started working remotely and traveling as opposed to working in person. Forty-four percent of the respondents also said that their mental health is much better since becoming digital nomads, and 61% said that their stress levels have gone down, despite having the same job.

…And more productive too

In the above-mentioned survey, 90% of remote workers reported an increase in productivity when they started remote working and traveling. (This productivity might sound contrary to popular belief, but people do tend to be more productive when they can control their own schedule and when their happiness levels are higher.)

Plus, it’s good for business

Business owners also benefit greatly from allowing their employees to travel while working remotely. For example:

  • As noted previously, happier workers are more productive workers. 
  • If you allow for workers to travel, then you gain access to a much larger talent pool.
  • People who work remotely and travel tend to be a highly motivated and energetic group of professionals.

3 Challenges (and Solutions) for Working & Traveling During the Holidays

Sometimes combining work and travel over the holidays works out perfectly, but there are plenty of opportunities for things to go awry. When work, travel, and the holidays all intersect, here are three common challenges that can arise — along with solutions for working through them.

Challenge #1 – Social Isolation

You may start you missing your work social circle, and deal with feelings of loneliness or isolation.

Solutions for Social Isolation?

  • Local tours, clubs, and activities. AirBnb Experiences, for example, can be a great way to meet people anywhere in the world.
  • Consider living in a colive. Some franchises have lovely private apartments and rooms but also have the options of common areas, group activities, and shared kitchens for when you want to meet people.
  • Work in a coworking space, like Industrious, where you can choose either privacy or socializing with other professionals.

Challenge #2 – Internet and Tech Issues

Working and traveling during a busy time of year like the holidays is the perfect recipe for issues like inconsistent (or non-existent) WiFi connections, and feeling disadvantaged because of a lack of access to office technology.

One Solution for Internet and Tech Issues?

Flexible offices that allow you to pay one monthly fee and travel around to all their locations, meaning you have access to reliable internet, color printing, and more wherever you go. Look into the Industrious Global Access plan to learn more.

Challenge #3 – Establishing Work-Life Balance

The holidays are a time where we spend time with friends and family, but if you’re adding work into the mix, you’re going to need to establish some boundaries.

Solutions for Establishing Work-Life Balance?

  • Ensure that those around you know that you are not just on vacation; you are also here to work, and they will have to expect and respect your work hours.
  • Become friends with other working professionals who understand your goals and ideas. They can also become great connections who can offer services and ideas for your business.
  • Try to get out and get to know the area on weekends. Sometimes, the weekends roll around, and you feel tired from working, so you just stay inside. While those lounge-about weekends definitely have their place, when you’re making the effort to travel and be in a new place, you might end up frustrated with yourself if you don’t take full advantage of it. Also, doing much work during the week and little fun stuff on the weekends can leave you feeling like you spend all your time working.

Planning Your Work and Travel During the Holidays

Keeping the above challenges in mind, here are seven tips for planning the your perfect workation.

1. Create a work schedule and stick to it

Allow time for exploration and relaxation. While this may seem tough to do, it could be exactly what saves you from feeling burnt out after a workation.

2. Get comfortable

Take steps to ensure your own comfort and dependability while you work. A coworking space can be instrumental in establishing a pleasant and secure daily work space. You certainly don’t want to spend half your vacation driving around trying to find reliable WiFi.

3. Trust your team

It can be taxing to be away from the people you normally work with. But, trust in their competence and their ability to solve problems and get things done even when you are not physically present.

4. Timing is everything

If you are not traveling alone, be honest with the people in your family or those you live with about your work time. It can be quite tempting to be optimistic about how long a certain task will take, and then you might leave your travel buddies waiting when they could be out enjoying the vacation location. It might, in fact, be best to overestimate how long each task will take so they aren’t left waiting and disappointed. I’m sure they would prefer to get out and get busy while you finish up some work instead of sitting around waiting for you while you keep promising, “Just five more minutes!’

5. Set a goal

It can help to go on a workation with a specific goal in mind. That way, even when you are driving, swimming, eating, and doing all the other fun holiday vacation activities, you can mull over a problem or idea while you do so.

6. Take breaks often

You’ll need to take time to step away from work as well. Sometimes, your ideas need to simmer on the back burner for a little while before the solutions present themselves. 

7. Build in buffer time

If you are traveling, it could help to allow yourself one day off when you get back home with no vacation and no work. That one day can allow you to unpack, rest, and lay low before going back to work the next day. 

How Industrious Can Help

Your workation could be relaxing, productive, and refreshing, or it could be frustrating and hectic, depending entirely on how you plan it. 

Use tips like forming a schedule, establishing boundaries with your travel buddies, and finding a dependable flexible workspace to ensure the workation works with you and not against you.

If you’re traveling and working this holiday season, look into Industrious. Enjoy beautiful, well-equipped offices all over the world, and with just one monthly fee through the Global Access tier, you can gain access to all of them. 

If you have ever traveled remotely before, then you might be familiar with the stress of looking for good WiFi, finding a quiet place for a meeting, or getting uncomfortable after a long day on a kitchen chair. If you haven’t experienced that yet, then let Industrious save you from it. Enjoy the comfort and ease of working and traveling over the holidays with access to 160+ luxurious office locations in 10 countries around the world


Siobhan Brier is a writer, editor, and translator. She has been a digital nomad since 2019, predominantly in Latin America.