2022 Travel Trends: Workcation—Mixing Business with Pleasure

We all need a vacation, but what if you could mix business with pleasure? What if you could save your PTO and still go on vacation? What if you could work and play? Enter the workcation—a new travel trend gaining popularity among workers and vacationers alike. With the rise of technology, it's now possible to take your work with you wherever you go, which has led to the popularity of this new work trend. Whether you're looking to explore a new destination or stay close to home, there are plenty of options for finding the right workcation. So pack your bags and get ready to hit the road—it's time to work, play, and vacay!

Workcation = Work + Vacation

Workcations can help you relax and recharge.

WHAT IS IT?
A workcation is a new concept that is becoming increasingly popular among busy professionals. It's simply a vacation that includes elements of work, such as checking email, attending virtual meetings, and meeting deadlines. This can be an ideal way to boost productivity, as it allows you to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere of a vacation while still staying on top of your work. For many, this offers the best of both worlds: the opportunity to disconnect from their everyday routine while still being productive. And though it may sound like a contradiction, workcations can actually be very beneficial for both your career and your personal life.

THE BENEFITS
Professionally, workcations offer a chance to learn new skills, gain experience in new environments, and build your network. It can also help you achieve a better work-life balance. If you're constantly struggling to get everything done during the week, a workcation can give you the time and space you need to focus on your work without distractions. Additionally, working on vacation can help refresh your mind and boost creativity. When you're used to seeing the same things day in and day out, it's easy for your mind to become stagnant. But, spending time in a new environment can jumpstart your creativity and help you develop new ideas.

Personally, workcations can help you to relax and recharge, explore new cultures, and create lifelong memories. They provide an opportunity to take a break from the office without completely disconnecting from work—helping reduce stress and prevent burnout. Additionally, workcations offer the chance to travel to new and exciting places without feeling guilty for using vacation days or missing important meetings. Ultimately, workcations can be a great way to balance the need for rest and work.

Whether you're looking for an escape from the office or a way to boost your career, a workcation may be just what you need.

Work and play in stunning Sea Islands, SC.

Big Sky is a beautiful year-round mountain destination. [Photo Credit: Libby Ellis]

NATURAL RETREATS DESTINATIONS
Workcations are the perfect way to combine work and play. Mixing work with your vacation allows you to make the most of your time and see the world while getting paid. Here are some of our favorite destinations for workcations in 2022:

  • Big Sky, Montana
    Big Sky is a beautiful year-round mountain destination renowned for its skiing, fly fishing, and abundance of outdoor activities. Conveniently located 50 miles north of Yellowstone National Park, this popular destination is uniquely positioned to enjoy panoramic views of versatile alpine terrain, wide-open bowls, and stunning big skies, as the name implies. Surrounded by four mountains, this town is considered the gateway to Yellowstone and provides unparalleled access to wildlife and outdoor recreation—including hiking trails, fishing streams, and so much more. Winter or summer, Big Sky is a place you'll never want to leave.

  • Sea Islands, South Carolina
    Known for genuine southern hospitality and lovely beaches, the Sea Islands of South Carolina are beautiful barrier islands located off the Eastern Coast of the U.S. Part of a low-lying chain of more than 100 islands stretching along the South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida coastlines—vast, sandy beaches, diverse wildlife, and rich culture await you here. Enjoy kayaking, birdwatching, swimming, and events downtown for entertainment. Stay on any of these stunning islands—and you'll immediately fall in love with the old-world architecture and luxurious modern amenities.

  • Sun Valley, Idaho
    As America's "First Destination Ski Resort," Sun Valley has attracted alpine enthusiasts since Clark Gable and Katharine Hepburn stem-christied down its pistes, as the resort became synonymous with Hollywood. Today, families flock to Sun Valley for four seasons of outdoor adventure and the charming mountain town of Ketchum. With over 250 days of sunshine, this outdoor-obsessed town also has extraordinary hiking, golfing, backpacking, mountain biking, whitewater rafting, and fly fishing. Sun Valley is also home to a vibrant après-ski scene, with various bars and restaurants to choose from. Whether you're looking to hit the slopes or the trails, Sun Valley is the place for you.

  • Hot Springs, Virginia
    Set in the heart of Bath County, Virginia—Hot Springs is a storybook world of forests, rivers, and natural pools centered around a charming mountain town. Known for its natural healing waters, people have traveled the world over to indulge in them. These mineral-dense hot springs that flow down from the Allegheny Mountains have been considered a luxury to all who've bathed in them, including famous visitors like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. Today, Hot Springs is a popular destination for tourists seeking a relaxing getaway. Surrounded by natural beauty, this area is popular for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities. Hot Springs offers the perfect balance between relaxation and adventures, so pick what works best for you on your vacation.

  • Breckenridge, Colorado
    Breckenridge, often referred to by the locals as 'Breck,' is the quintessential, laid-back mountain town with stunning alpine views and natural beauty. Situated at the base of Breckenridge Ski Resort, this town is known for its world-class skiing, an expansive trail network, festivals and events, and a vibrant Main Street. There certainly is no shortage of activities for outdoor enthusiasts, including hiking, mountain biking, fly fishing, golfing, ziplining, and more. Breck keeps people coming back over for more!

  • Create a morning routine to get into work mode.

    Work outside to mix business with pleasure.

    TIPS FOR PLANNING A WORKCATION
    Workcations can be a great way to get away from the office and explore new places while still being productive. However, planning ahead and making the most of your time is essential. Here's some advice from our experts:

  • "To make the most of your time, it is important to create a daily routine that will keep you focused and on track. For example, starting your day with a cup of coffee and a short walk can help get you into "work mode" while also enjoying the new surroundings. Before you start working, ensure you have a stable Wi-Fi connection and a backup connection like a hotspot. This will help you avoid any headaches." -Kaci, Senior Regional Marketing Manager

  • "Set boundaries with your coworkers and bosses. Tell them that you're not available for phone calls or emails outside the specified work hours to avoid getting pulled back in when you're supposed to be enjoying your vacation. And finally, don't overcommit during your workcation to new projects or quick turnarounds. You'll thank yourself later." -Jessie, Former Creative Director

  • "A workcation is an opportunity to try something new—avoid the typical, stuffy office and opt for an outdoor environment. I recommend finding a vacation rental with good outdoor space like a nice patio with a view or even a big backyard with some shade to feel immersed in the destination while working. For example, studies have shown that working in nature improves focus and concentration. So enjoy the peace and quiet while you work, and don't forget to bring an extra charger!" -Libby, Senior Digital Marketing Manager

  • "Block out some time to explore. Taking breaks every few hours is important to stay fresh and avoid burnout. Consider taking a walk around your neighborhood or grabbing a snack from the local bakery. Also, plan some after-work activities in the evenings. This will help your day go by faster with anticipation of your next great adventure." -Sam, Senior Content Specialist

  • Always have the supplies you need on-hand.

    Explore and discover new places.

    TRICKS FOR PRODUCTIVITY
    For many people, going on vacation is synonymous with taking a break from work. However, with the rise of remote work, it's now possible to stay productive even while on vacation. Here are a few tips for staying productive from our Natural Retreats experts:

  • "One way to stay on top of things is to create a mini office kit that you can easily move around from room to room or from coffee shop to coffee shop. Your kit should include your planner, pens, highlighters, and any other supplies you need to stay organized and be productive. Having everything in one place will help you stay focused and minimize distractions." -Sydney, Senior Digital Marketing Manager

  • "Make sure you have everything you need to make the most of your time. Headphones are key for blocking out distractions; whether the sound of waves crashing on the shore or people chattering in the background of your hotel lobby, it's important for continued focus. And don't forget your favorite coffee or tea to keep your energy levels up in case of that 2:30 feeling!" -Kristin, Online Reputation Manager

  • "Of course, you'll want to make ensure you're comfortable. Basic comfort is vital for focus, like food and water; otherwise, your brain fixates on these problems until they are solved. Once these basic needs are met, your mind is free to focus on important work tasks. Set up your workspace to suit your needs." -Zach, Business Development Marketing Manager

  • Remember to enjoy the vacation part!

    Fall in love with the scenery while you work and play.

    Workcations are trending for a reason—it provides the perfect balance of work and play. Combining work with a vacation can maximize your productivity and minimize your stress levels. While adding work to your vacation activities list may seem counterintuitive, research has shown that working in a new environment can improve your focus and creativity. Additionally, by disconnecting from your usual routine, you'll be able to come back refreshed and ready to take on whatever challenges arise. If you're looking for an opportunity to mix business with pleasure, a workcation could be the perfect solution. You might find that it's the best of both worlds!

    Are you planning the ultimate workcation? We want to know! Tag Natural Retreats @naturalretreats and use the hashtag #openthedoortomore to show us your videos and photos from your epic work vacation.