Why You Should Plan a Remote Work Trip With Your Family
Once upon a time, the image of a digital nomad was often a cliched snapshot of someone on a laptop, sitting on a beach and sipping a cocktail, but much has changed in recent years due to the pandemic. Now, with remote work being prevalent and accessible to all, families can also enjoy this option. Traveling with your children enables them to learn about different cultures from an early age, expanding their horizons to new languages, foods, landscapes, and knowledge that they won’t find in school books.
Because my daughter has visited so many places, she loves trying new foods and I have noticed our family adventures promote independence, self-confidence, and interpersonal skills. She is encouraged to make friends and be at ease in new settings. For everybody involved, a working vacation can have many enormous benefits—especially if you do it as a family.
Because You Can
Remote work can be so much more than working from home and employers are opening up their minds to supporting more than one location for remote work. It’s a slow process, but how and where we choose to work can have a huge impact on how we travel and if you are a freelancer or have an understanding employer, it’s an opportunity worth taking advantage of.
Taking a work vacation with your family is also an opportunity to bring the whole family closer together and work as a team to accommodate our family’s needs on the road. It does take some organization but if you travel with another parent or guardian you can share the load, taking turns to mind the children while the other person works. Another solution we have used is to travel with a family member or friends to assist with the childcare while you’re working.
Because You Should Maximize Your PTO
One or both parents or caregivers usually have limited paid time off (PTO), but on a workcation, you can bookend your working days with vacation days or school breaks, so you can extend the time you have to travel. In my family’s case, Spain has almost three months of school summer holidays and we therefore regularly “slomad” i.e. go to a place and both work and travel, exploring that place for a significant period. Last summer, we spent two months in the Canary Islands, where our daughter attended a local summer camp while we worked and explored the island in our free time.
Because You Can Find Childcare at Your Destination
Increasingly, hotels and other accommodations can provide and help source childcare options. This means that where you may have struggled at your home base, you can consider traveling to another place and utilize the more readily available childcare there. During our travels in Spain, we looked on the local government’s websites, as they coordinate the children’s camp services in most regions of Spain. Through this resource, we have often found suitable activities for our daughter.
Because You Don’t Have to Go Far
If traveling abroad seems overwhelming, look closer to home for your first trip or mini-break as there will be fewer cultural and language barriers. For example, another region in your home country may offer a local summer children's camp you can enroll them in. This way it is simpler for you to access local services without difficulty and it’s a good way to dip your toes into the nomadic life.
Because You Can Meet Like Minded Families
For longer trips, many destinations which already have a nomad community will also have some families within that group. Some of the most well-established locations in Europe: Madeira, Gran Canaria, and Croatia have community pages and groups on social media which have active members so you can connect before you travel and start to form a network of support.
Know the Basics of Family Work Vacations
For longer stays, a nomad family has the same working prerequisites as a regular nomad. Your length of stay and local regulations may come into play also, so make sure you know how long you can stay legally. You’ll also want to ensure that you’ll have a decent Wi-Fi connection so try to organize a speed test with your host before you book your accommodation and research the local coworking spaces and cafes you can use as a backup.
Where you sit and work from is also important, so confirm that there is a dedicated and suitable workspace and desk. We need to remember our needs for social connection and interactions, so check that your location has the opportunity to connect with other nomads and families. Finally, for peace of mind, you may want to also source insurance for your trip, which can cover unexpected health and travel mishaps.