The Rise of Paycations: Tips for Balancing Work + Wanderlust

Sponsored by Allianz Travel

In the wake of the pandemic, a seismic shift occurred in the realm of work and travel. Companies were forced into flexible work policies allowing employees to work from anywhere with an internet connection.

The rest of the world finally caught on to what we have personally been doing since 1997 – traveling without saving a ton of money or breaking the bank.

Man and woman sitting in chairs on a balcony working on computers.
Morning office in Beaufort, North Carolina

Now, in 2024, they’re calling it a paycation, a trend that allows seekers to blend their professional (or entrepreneurial) responsibilities with a desire to explore the world.

According to a survey conducted by Allianz Travel, 42% of respondents aged 18 – 34 expressed a willingness to travel to a vacation destination to work remotely, compared to 26% of those aged 35 – 54, and merely 12% of individuals aged 55 and older.

This generational divide underscores the changing attitudes towards work and travel, as younger professionals prioritize flexibility and experiences over conventional office settings.

woman watching the sun rise at Duck beach
Great start to the work day – Outer Banks, North Carolina

Daniel Durazo, Director of External Communications at Allianz, aptly captures this shift, stating, “Younger Americans who spent the early years of their career during the work-from-home era in the pandemic are re-shaping our preferences for the way we work and travel.

It’s evident that the fusion of work and leisure is not merely a passing trend but a fundamental transformation in how individuals approach their professional and personal lives.

In this post (in partnership with Allianz Travel), we’ll share our tips for making a paycation work. For each tip, we’ll give you a list of guiding questions to help you formulate the right remote working plan for you as well as sharing some of our own expert insights.

Work Hard, Play Hard – Why Not?

Lady floating in water at a beach
Lunch break in Staniel Cay, The Bahamas

This lifestyle choice of balancing work and life is not new to an Australian. It’s a common rite of passage for us to live and work abroad during the gap years after high school or college. Try living that far away from the rest of the world and taking a short trip. #NotHappening.

As we’re part of the Commonwealth, we have access to many working holiday, or work abroad, opportunities that come with legal work visas.

That’s how I first started as a twenty-one-year-old fresh from university with my teaching degree. As soon as I saw the advertisement on the college notice board for teaching in London, I said, “Why not?”

Don't miss fish & chips in a London Pub
Why not live and work in London?

Why not start exploring now? Why not do it with a little money saved? Why not earn the local currency – especially one as strong as the British pound – and use money saved from that to travel to countries close by in Europe? Why not live each “workday” as an adventure by living in a foreign country, and forming friendships with people from all over the world?

And why not backpack through Indonesia – a country I could travel on for less than $15 a day – for a few months on my way to London.

That was the hook into a 27-year work and travel lifestyle. 16 years of that done WITH kids, and seven of those while traveling full-time and homeschooling.

Family of four in front of an entrance sign to Smoky Mountains National Park.
Exploring the USA as we worked online

I simply followed the same Why not? idea to work hard, play hard around the world, living in five countries, traveling through over 50, and then creating my own travel related business, which continued the same concept, but involved me paying my salary and travel expenses by way of our business.

And if you can convince your boss to let you take advantage of the paycation trend then, WHY NOT?

We’re here to share with you our tips on how you can make it work after decades making our dream a reality!

Tips for making Paycations Work

For those embarking on a paycation journey, several key considerations come into play. By addressing any concerns or logistical considerations beforehand, you can better prepare for a rewarding and successful paycation experience.

Does your ideal scenario align with work arrangements?

woman sitting in hotel room on phone
Checking emails in our hotel

Firstly, it’s best to consider how you want this paycation lifestyle of yours to look:

  • What are you hoping to get out of this paycation experience?
  • How much time do you want to work each day, versus time for exploration?
  • Is your job conducive to remote work?
  • Have you obtained approval from your employer for remote work arrangements?
  • Are there specific work expectations or deadlines during your paycation?
  • How long do you, and your boss, want to do this for?
  • Are there any additional expenses associated with remote work, such as coworking space fees or travel insurance?
  • Have you budgeted for both work-related expenses and leisure activities?
  • How can you weave your paycation into an important project for your company?
  • Can your company cover any paycation costs? If you don’t ask, the answer is always no. 


view over bangkok from golden mountain
Our provided accommodation in Bangkok (red roofed building to the right)

On our journey traveling around the world, we worked with various companies, and had costs such as flights and accommodation covered, as well as low-cost relocation loans to help us get set up quickly.

If you can help advance your company’s goals, they may be able to cover some of our paycation costs. Or, if you’re traveling BECAUSE of a company project, how can you negotiate extra time to remain in the region, while continuing to work, but also take time to explore? 

Be strategic and think outside the box. Consider starting small – perhaps a paycation experience closer to home for a few days – as a trial run. Be excellent and prove to your boss it’s viable. Then plan for the next one! 

Types of locations to consider

Young girl taking a photo of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
We did a one month paycation in Europe!

From bustling cities with vibrant coworking spaces to serene beach towns with tranquil surroundings, the possibilities are endless for your paycation location.

Factors such as time zone compatibility, cost of living, access to important work amenities and support structures and cultural experiences should inform your decision-making process.

  • Is the destination time-zone compatible with your work schedule?
  • Do you have a plan for managing time differences if working across multiple time zones?
  • Are there visa requirements or travel restrictions for your chosen destination?
  • Does the location offer activities and attractions that align with your interests?
  • Have you calculated the cost of living in your chosen destination?
  • Does your company have other global or domestic locations you can paycation in?


caz and craig enjoying an aperol spritz in trastevere
Aperitivio hour in Rome, Italy

If you’re set up with the tools you need to work while traveling, most locations will work. It depends on how easily distracted you can be and how good you are at managing your time.

A buzzing metropolitan life may pull you out of work mode far too frequently, whereas a small town in the country or by the beach may fall asleep early leaving you ample time and quiet space to work.

However, a city may give you better access to work amenities and support you may need, and could be helpful for those working for a big corporation with city offices around the world.

If you need to work during the hours of your home country, then your choices will be limited more by time zones. If you’re required to work between 10am and 2pm on USA time, taking a paycatIon in Australia may not be a good idea, as you’ll be working during Australia’s sleeping hours. 

Choosing the right accommodation

woman working at table in hotel
Ocean views from the office beats the cubicle!

Choosing the right accommodation is paramount, as it sets the stage for both work and relaxation. Opting for accommodations with reliable Wi-Fi, dedicated workspaces, and proximity to amenities can enhance productivity and overall satisfaction.

  • What type of accommodation best suits your needs for both work and leisure?
  • Does the accommodation offer amenities such as a dedicated workspace, reliable internet, and comfortable living arrangements?
  • Have you read reviews or sought recommendations from others who have stayed there?


woman sitting at a table using a computer
Working on the balcony of an apartment rental in Queensland, Australia

It’s more than likely that a budget hostel won’t be your best choice. Due to its communal and social nature, it will be challenging to find quiet space for work. As you’re taking on an extra burden of work demands, it’s also best you have your own sleeping space for optimal rest.

Man and woman camping in an RV travel trailer.
RV travel in Tucson, Arizona

The camping or RV lifestyle can consume a lot of time, and with its off-the-beaten-path nature, it can prove troublesome for adequate work time and internet connection. This is more suited to long-term travel and work.

Hotels can be a good choice if moving frequently, you don’t need too many amenities or space, and your preference is to mostly eat out. And why not if you’re paycationing in a place like Thailand, where you have the most delicious food waiting for you in a street cart for an affordable price!

Vacation rental in Orlando

The ideal accommodation for us – especially with kids – has always been the extra space of an apartment or house rental. Access to your own kitchen and laundry facilities can save you time and money. You’ll also typically have a separate work space or room you can use for those important Zoom calls.

Health and Safety Considerations

Yoga by the pool at a vacation rental in Orlando

One of the most important things to consider as you navigate this new world of balancing work and travel is how to ensure you’re taking care of your health and safety.

The last thing you want to do is phone your boss – who graciously allowed you to do this – and say you can no longer work as you’re ill or severely injured… and have no way of helping yourself.

  • What health and safety measures are in place at your destination?
  • Are there any health risks or medical considerations to be aware of?
  • Have you researched healthcare options and medical facilities in case of emergencies?
  • What is your plan in case of unexpected challenges or emergencies during your paycation?
  • Have you considered potential disruptions to work or travel plans and developed contingency measures?
  • Are there resources or support networks available to assist you if needed?


Working out of a cafe on the road

Don’t let this frighten you. After 25 years of global travel, we’ve rarely had any medical issues – and no emergencies.

The easiest way to protect yourself is to ensure an adequate, healthy diet, plenty of water and rest. Don’t put yourself in compromising situations – listen to your instincts and be aware. 

And the easiest way to ensure you’re always protected – financially and with adequate help if something unfortunate happens – is to have travel insurance.

Not only does a reliable company, like Allianz Travel insurance who we use and recommend, have excellent customer service to help you in times of distress, they’ll also insure you don’t suffer financially if you experience a medical emergency, travel delays, baggage loss etc.

person on hammock looking at allyz travelsmart app

Allianz Travel also has a valuable Allyz TravelSmart app to help you find your important policy details, file a claim, find local
emergency services, get answers about insurance features, use a medical translator, or access Allianz assistance.

Allyz’s Trip Organizer gives customers a simplified, step-by-step overview of your trips and notifies you about updates like gate changes.

I would not rely just on your home health insurance. That can get too complicated when you leave the borders of your state and country and you may not be adequately covered. 

As frequent travelers, we have an annual travel insurance policy. We love that we can decide to travel on a whim and leave the front house and not have to worry about buying that policy. We’re already protected. If you plan to do many paycations throughout the year, it will be a viable investment. 

Essential Tools for Work Success while Traveling

woman reading on a balcony
Office views on Daydream Island, Australia

Equipping oneself with essential tools is important for seamless remote work during a paycation. Reliable internet access, productivity software, and communication platforms facilitate collaboration and ensure efficiency.

Prioritizing these tools empowers individuals to overcome logistical challenges and maintain productivity regardless of their location.

  • Will you have reliable internet access at your destination?
  • Have you researched the availability and quality of Wi-Fi in potential accommodations?
  • Do you have a backup plan in case of internet disruptions?
  • How will you stay in communication with colleagues, clients, or supervisors while away?
  • Have you established protocols for virtual meetings, email correspondence, and project updates?
  •  Are there any expectations regarding availability or response times during your paycation?
  • If you work for a multinational company, do they have work offices in your location you can utilize for quiet work time – and perhaps human connection with others?
  • If you need an office type environment for your work and productivity, can you access co-working spaces in your location? Our co-working space in Raleigh offers Day Passes for business people traveling to Raleigh.


Woman on mobile phone drinking coffee
Modern technology makes it easier
  • Modern tools like Zoom, Google Meet, Microsoft Teams, and Slack make remote communication easy
  • Don’t use your home data plan – unless it’s one like T-Mobile’’ ATT does not have that option and charges a hefty $10 a day for data access. If you have an unlocked phone, consider a cheap esim card from Airola. It will save you a ton of money. Most 
  • Libraries and cafes may be a good option for wifi and to connect to insight into local culture while you work.
  • Of all the project management programs out there, I find Notion to be the best. It’s described as a write-your-own productivity and organization software. It’s not as difficult as it sounds. Thomas J Frank’s templates and tutorials are excellent for organizing work, life, and business. You can also share and collaborate on projects with members of your team. 
  • You may want a VPN for extra protection and to access certain websites etc, you may not be able to access in your location. Eg. Facebook in China. Learn more about using VPNs here.

How to Structure your Day

coffee and a beach view
Afternoon Coffee break in Monterosso, Italy

Structuring one’s day effectively is another cornerstone of successful paycationing. Establishing a routine that balances work commitments with leisure activities fosters a sense of equilibrium.

Setting clear boundaries between work and personal time promotes work-life balance and prevents burnout.

  • Do you have set times you’re required to show up for work or meetings?
  • How much time do you want to work each day versus time for fun and exploration?
  • What time zone considerations do you need to follow for work requirements?
  • How do you plan to structure your days to balance work responsibilities and leisure activities?
  • Have you set boundaries to ensure dedicated time for both work and relaxation?
  • Are there strategies in place to avoid burnout and maintain mental well-being while working remotely? 


Bridge of Sighs, Oxford, England
Exploring Oxford, UK

It’s very easy when on a paycation for your time to be swallowed up by all work and play. Don’t forget the importance of maintaining a proper exercise routine, eating well, and taking time out for Zen.

Rise a little earlier to fit in your meditation (even 5 minutes will help center you), and schedule in your exercise. One easy way to fit that into your new work life travel routine is to make your exercise each day about exploration.

caz and the girls walking down rome street with colorful buildings
We walked 20K steps per day in Rome!

So take a hike, a kayak trip, a bike ride etc so you get your movement in while also exploring the region. 

My best advice – even if you’re a night owl – is to do the majority of your work in the early morning. There are less chances for distractions and it opens up more space for travel spontaneity.

Bike Republic Solden downhill alpine mountain biking (8)
Biking with new friends in Austria

Picture this, you decided to do a two-hour afternoon bike tour, planning to come back and work for a couple of hours before dinner. You decided to sleep in and have a slow lazy coffee morning.

But on the bike tour, you met a group of really cool people – the kind you think you could be lifelong friends with. You’ve been feeling a little lonely for the past two days. They invite you for a drink and dinner with them after the tour.

Imagine how you feel when you have to say goodbye to that fun evening, and potentially a lifelong friend, because you have work hours to complete?

man and woman standing around wine barrel
Wine o’clock in Tuscany

Remember this: The minute you walk out the door and invite the rest of the world in, you lose a lot of control over how your time – and mental head space – will look. Take advantage of those hours when no one else is awake! 

It’s essential you plan your days in advance – taking into account work hours, meetings, play time, eating time, and any tours and attractions you want to do.

Book as much in advance as you can. If you have flexibility, plan your work hours around your fun hours, rather than the normal work-comes-first approach.

girl kayaking
Kayaking in the Georgia mountains

Can you work while having fun?

As we’re travel bloggers, we’re working as we’re ziplining over forests. Your boss might not be onboard with that, BUT, they may be okay with you sipping on local coffee and trying sweet local treats at the beachside café while you work.

And of course, taking 15-minute ocean dip breaks. So much better than the walk around the gossipy water cooler. 

Tips for making it work with kids

child with painted face smiling at Kids club Thailand
Taking advantage of Kids Club

This unorthodox life is not doable just for solo travelers or couples without kids. We’re living proof you can make it work with kids too!

For those navigating paycations with children in tow, strategic planning and flexibility are paramount. Incorporating kid-friendly activities, leveraging childcare services, and establishing clear expectations can mitigate challenges and enhance the overall experience for both parents and children.

  • Are there family-friendly activities or entertainment options onsite or nearby?
  • How will you manage your children’s schooling or remote learning during the paycation?
  • Are there childcare facilities or services available to assist with supervision while you work?
  • Is the chosen destination family-friendly, with attractions and activities suitable for children?
  • How will you balance work responsibilities with caregiving duties while on the paycation?
  • Have you established boundaries and routines to ensure dedicated time for both work and family activities?


people standing outside Boris Lumé Pâtisserie Boulangerie
On a food tour in Paris

How you manage remote work with kids depends a lot on where you’re going, the age of your kids, how long for, and whether both parents/caregivers are working or not. 

All the previous tips work well for doing this with kids as well. If both parents are working, it’s a good idea to plan your work hours separately, so you can tag team with the kids. Also make good use of kid downtime – naps/sleep time, quiet play etc., so you can get the bulk of your work done then,

If one parent is the worker, and the other manages the children, ensure the latter receives some time out as well. 

Snorkeling in Hawaii

With kids, the slower the travel the better, and family-friendly accommodation like home rentals with lots of space and separate sleeping quarters is paramount.

Help yourself as much as you can by utilizing local childcare services, and either homeschooling, or enrolling children in online schooling options to relieve some of that burden on the parents. 

Worldschooling/unschooling is also a fantastic option. It’s incredible how much children can learn just by engaging in real life. If you’re traveling for a shorter remote work experience, give the kids time off school! 

Here are our best family travel tips to help, as well as tips for roadschooling, and essential things to consider before going location independent with kids.

A Unique Approach: Working Abroad Programs

caz with her students in Bangkok
With my students in Bangkok, Thailand

One unique approach to paycations is participating in working abroad programs. These programs offer immersive experiences in foreign countries, combining professional development with cultural exploration. Engaging with local communities and embracing new perspectives enriches the paycation experience and fosters personal growth. 

Best news: You don’t have to worry about getting your current boss’ permission, you just walk into a new job abroad with the new boss waiting with open arms. 

This is a longer-term approach to a paycation and will involve you having to do more research and planning before you leave. You will have to find the right working abroad opportunities, visas, jobs, and possible programs to help.

caz and craig holding pints of Guinness smiling at camera
Working abroad in Dublin, Ireland

I’ve gone from knocking on pub doors and agencies in London and Dublin, to arriving in countries like Thailand and the USA with visas secure, a job placement taken care of, and flights and accommodation covered.

In 2024, there are far more programs available to help you easily transition into a work abroad opportunity. Door knocking is no longer really needed, and a possible extra stress you don’t need.

Work abroad programs generally suit people in their twenties due to working visa age restrictions. Jobs that cater well to this kind of travel lifestyle are teaching, hospitality, medical (notably nursing) and au pairs.

Trinity Bell Trinity college Dublin
Living in Dublin in 2003

Think of the new skills you’ll acquire that you can take back home with you when you’re finished. I think that makes for a very attractive resume that may help you skip a couple of those rungs on the ladder you would have had to endure if you stuck with the normal climb.

Paycation Planning Question Checklist

We’ve put together these guiding questions for planning a paycation into a PDF checklist for you. It will help make your planning easier and ensure you don’t miss something important.

The checklist is available for free for all members of our email community. We regularly provide easy checklists, itinerary guides, and updates! It’s easy to join – just fill in the form below and you’ll receive an email from us with the checklist as well as future email updates inspiring you to travel more and create better memories!

Paycation Checklist
Helpful questions to consider before
taking a paycation.

Final Thoughts

caz sitting at the table at Brunchers
Cafe life on a paycation in Greece – Why not?

Thanks to this emerging trend, many workers now realize they can create a work life balance that extends beyond just focusing on climbing the corporate ladder from a home base.

Perhaps now they can continue to do this while weaving in more leisure and me time from wherever they chose to be.

As remote work continues to increase, the line between professional obligations and personal pursuits becomes increasingly blurred. By following these tips, embracing the ethos of work-life integration, and prioritizing self-care, paycationers are reshaping the landscape of modern work culture one destination at a time.

As lifelong examples of the work and travel lifestyle, we’re confident in telling you to pack your bags with a resounding, “yes, you can!” All you have to do is answer, “Why not?”


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