Bangkok ranks # 1 on a new list of the world’s best “workation” destinations by Holidu.co.uk.
With teleworking proven necessary, practical and long-lasting for many during the pandemic, employees around the world share a common thought: why work from home when you could work on the beach or in a Parisian café?
Working on vacation or doing a “workation” – whether it’s a long weekend, week, month, or longer – may be more popular and common than ever, and the UK-based vacation search engine Holidu.co.uk has compiled a list of the top cities in the world to “mix business and pleasure”.
“The events of the past year and a half have completely changed the way we work, showing us that we don’t have to be in the office five days a week to get our work done,” said Sarah Siddle, public relations and marketing manager at Holidu. “A workation is the perfect way to spend an extended period of time in a destination that you want to explore, without the limitations of annual vacation allowances.”
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Holidu’s Workation Index for 2021 ranked 150 cities as work vacation destinations, using factors such as monthly rent for a one-bedroom apartment and the cost of after-work drinks to average hours of sunshine, WiFi speeds, and the number of “activities.” Rated four stars or higher for “good”. (The eight data sources used included BestCities.org and Tripadvisor.co.uk.)
Bangkok, Thailand tops the list this year, followed by New Delhi, India; Lisbon, Portugal; Barcelona, Spain; and – bound to No. 5 – Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Budapest, Hungary. According to Holidu, the Thai capital ranks first thanks to its affordable cost of living, high level of English language skills, variety of attractions, and abundance of world-class facilities and multinational corporate offices.
“All of the top-ranked cities did so largely because of their very affordable cost of living, with prices for accommodation, food and drinks being extremely attractive,” said Siddle. “In addition, these cities are cultural hotspots themselves, each with an array of amazing things to see and do.”
The top 10 working cities in the world
1. Bangkok, Thailand
2. New Delhi, India
3. Lisbon, Portugal
4. Barcelona, Spain
5. Buenos Aires, Argentina (tie)
5. Budapest, Hungary (tie)
7. Mumbai, India
8. Istanbul, Turkey
9. Bucharest, Romania
10. Phuket, Thailand
No US city cracked the top 20; Los Angeles was ranked 30th highest.
In addition to LA, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, and Chicago all ranked ahead of New York. The Big Apple comes first for weekend activities and is number 2 in co-working spaces worldwide, just behind London.
San Francisco and San Diego ranked third and fourth worldwide for remote Wi-Fi connectivity, and Phoenix and Las Vegas ranked fourth and fifth, respectively, for “Sun Duration”. (Holidu posted the full list online.)
According to Siddle, the phenomenon of the “digital nomad” who works from everywhere will last.
“We expect this trend to intensify in the next few years, as more and more companies give their employees the flexibility to continue working on longer trips abroad, which in turn leads to a better work-life balance,” she said.
For its part, Concur’s travel organizer app TripIt found in a recent analysis of booking data that longer stays in accommodations – both between 8 and 13 days and more than 14 days – are ten times as high as in 2019. a result that can be attributed in part to the combination of business and leisure customers.
“Eighty-nine percent of global business travelers said they would add personal vacation time to their trips in the next 12 months, and that’s pretty significant,” said Jen Moyse, senior director, product at TripIt in San Francisco.
In particular, it is “a trend” that TripIt has “a lot of anecdotal evidence” for, she added. “We live in a tech hub here, so we definitely hear this from friends and family.”
However, there are legal and tax implications that you need to consider when working outside of your city or country of residence. “Of course there are a few things to keep in mind, such as tax rules and regulations, but companies are starting to come up with official guidelines and advice for employees on how much time they can spend overseas to make the process a little easier,” Called Siddle.