Editor's note: while the images of unmasked Spring Break revelers crowding Florida beaches may have put some travelers off of heading to the Sunshine State, by April most of those college students will have returned home. As Out Traveler contributor Barry Hoy discovered, Miami is an ideal spot for your next workation or remote work hub.
Remote working has become the norm for many, giving more people the opportunity to work from home. Of course for most of us, it has been tough to work from home day in and day out, but why not make the most of it? If it doesn’t really make a difference where you are working as long as you are getting things done — why not work from a beach or Miami hotel?
It’s no surprise that a workation involves work, and the more productive you are, the sooner you can go out in town and enjoy the vacation part of the deal. Here are a few simple tips:
Staying Productive: Having the proper tools to work is a must. Make sure you are well equipped with a reliable internet connection, and if possible, secure a dedicated workstation to help you keep focused and productive. If you have an extended stay, consider getting an extra monitor or keyboard for your stay and arrange to re-sell it before you leave so that you can recoup most of your cost.
Staying Connected: In addition to a reliable internet connection, communication is everything, especially when working remotely. A 5-minute virtual call could be all you need to eliminate the dreaded back and forth emails. If there is a time difference, make sure you let your colleagues know and try to work during your normal work hours so that your workcation doesn’t create additional work for others.
Staying Distraction Free: Even if you are free of strict schedules, consider creating one - with dedicated work hours. Routines are important to keep you grounded, especially when working remotely, and it will help you “leave work at work” at the end of your shift or day.
Miami has unbelievable weather and beautiful beaches, and is one of the most LGBTQ+ welcoming cities in the nation.
Whether you have a limited budget or want a luxury getaway, Miami is great for every budget. In general, Miami is not super-expensive, and low cost hotels include the all-male clothing-optional Gaythering in Miami Beach, which is open, although its saunas and jaccuzzis are currently closed. Another queer option is AxelHotel and LGBTQ+ welcoming accommodations include The W South Beach and Stanton South Beach.
The Betsy Hotel
If you want to go over the top and live like a superstar, stay at The Betsy Hotel. The beachfront luxury hotel (above rooftop pool) has become a go-to workcation hotspot, offering extended stays discounts, complimentary daily breakfast, a personal concierge, complimentary beach amenities, an onsite library, and even rooftop yoga classes that you can take during your work breaks.
As great as the hotels are, the weather will eventually draw you outside. Fortunately, Miami has an abundance of outdoor open space! Whether going to the beach or a park, you can enjoy the outdoors during your work breaks or after work. Yes, there are areas that can get busy, but you can totally avoid them and maintain physical distance from everyone else if you want to.
These days you can't talk about travel, even longer-term work relocations, without wondering about their ability to stay safe in their destination. Overall, the City of Miami and its businesses are doing a great job, but individual safety is often defined less by location and more by our (and other people's) individual actions. You can be as safe as you want in Miami, by making the choice to do so. Visiting does not require testing negative, or having received the vaccine. Miami does offer free COVID testing – and encourages visitors to confirm whether they need to quarantine on arrival or when leaving the city. Testing centers are outdoors, easily accessible, open 7 days a week, and results only take 15-30 minutes.
Masks/Facial Coverings: As in most places, masks/facial coverings are required if you are indoors, and in all public transportations. They are not required for people who are outdoors if they are standing at least 10 feet apart from others or engaged in strenuous physical activity — as long as social distancing is guaranteed.
Beaches and parks are all open to the public.
Restaurants are currently offering indoor and outdoor dining options at up to 100% capacity, so long as social distancing is guaranteed between groups of people. Always check out the restaurant’s website to see what they are doing to increase guest safety while following COVID protocols during this time.
Movie theaters, concert houses, auditoriums, playhouses, bowling alleys, arcades, and indoor amusement facilities are open at up to 50% capacity.
Hotels in Miami have also done an amazing job following CDC guidelines, and prepping for extended stays. For example, they test their employees for COVID periodically and have implemented additional cleaning protocol and social distancing requirement to help keep guests safe.
While on workation, make the most out of it and remember to keep a healthy balance between work and downtime. Also, keep in mind that you shouldn’t replace your actual vacation with a workcation. You should still take your well-deserved time off and shut off your work-brain; after all, that is important to our mental health.
The most essential thing is to actually spend time enjoying the destination. The whole point of the workcation is that it’s part “vacation!”
Out Traveler contributor Barry Hoy is a Canadian transplanted to New York City, who writes about travel, food and lifestyle and showcases great destinations, local experiences, and all of the must see (#bucketlist) places around the world. If he’s not travelling, he’s already planning his next trip. Follow along his adventures via Instagram @asianmapleleaf or on his travel blog at asianmapleleaf.com