Lorraine Simpson: How to be a digital nomad during COVID-19

Lorraine Simpson: How to be a digital nomad during COVID-19

Those of you just dying to escape the cold during COVID-19, don’t despair – there are lots of options.

You see, in order to combat the global pandemic, you can still venture off to your favorite getaway and do exactly what health agencies and governments are advising: stay put and stay where you are.

And for those business owners and office types working remotely who only need a laptop and smartphone to close the big deals have it good too. That’s right, millennials and yuppies alike can travel anywhere they wish and work remotely, taking care of their 9-to-5 desk jobs and turn their workplace view into an ocean view for days on end. How about working from a cool pad in the tropics? Now we’re talking!

That’s right, one thing many of us have done during this pandemic is to learn how to work remotely.

Many people now enjoy being only a one minute commute to work – from their bedroom to the home office – and spending the day working in their PJs, or shorts and a t-shirt (yes, we all know how to sport the right clothes above the waist during those important Zoom calls, just like news anchors do).

Book your escape plan now! 

Yes, so many options are available with countries opening up their doors and allowing people to stay for extended periods of time. Hotels too are offering some sweet deals that are hard to turn down for all us professional types working remotely.

This is all being done in a bid to kickstart local economies, especially in highly sought-after destinations that rely greatly on tourists and who want to recharge their economies.

Keep in mind that strict COVID restrictions remain in place for many countries, so testing on arrival or prior to arrival is a must. The good news is that lots of tropical locales have low COVID-19 numbers, so your safety is almost guaranteed.

But wait, the news gets better for us digital nomad fanatics who have been grinding it out during this long, long pandemic.

Lots of airlines, like Air Canada, are now offering COVID-19 insurance, and I am recommending to everyone who has cabin fever to get traveling again. You are stuck at home anyway, so why not stay stuck at home in paradise?

My daughter in grade 12 is studying 100 per cent online, as is my son in university, and spending time in a remote location where the sun is warm, and the sand is soft, is a perfect option for us as a family.

Turn the office watercooler into the ocean, and turn your pantry room into a tiki bar

The Caribbean country of Antigua and Barbuda is offering much needed space for workers throughout the world, with the launch of its Nomad Digital Residence (NDR) Program, that allows people to work safely and easy from the twin-island paradise for as long as two years with the new NDR visa.

Announced by Antigua and Barbuda’s Prime Minister, The Honourable Gaston Browne, the Nomad Digital Residence programme is designed to attract people who can meet the requirements of their employers or their clients, while working remotely.

Under the programme, eligible working professionals can live and move freely throughout Antigua and Barbuda for up to two years, and benefit from Antigua and Barbuda’s no personal income tax status.

“Antigua and Barbuda is in a unique position to offer the Nomad Digital Residence’ programme.  Our very small number of Covid-19 cases and our effective system of containing community spread, makes our country one of the safest environments in the world,” says Prime Minister Gaston Browne in an official statement.

Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism, The Honourable Charles Fernandez echoes his view. “Antigua and Barbuda represent the perfect place to escape and enjoy all the space you need – space to move, space to think and space to work.  The Nomad Digital Residence Programme encourages persons to broaden their horizons and consider Antigua & Barbuda when thinking of work from home options,” he says.

Over to the Bahamas and the good news keeps getting better. This amazing destination is very committed to welcoming visitors to its shores and providing an exceptional tropical vacation, coupled with its world famous warm and friendly hospitality, while, responsibly enforcing public health and safety measures to protect residents and visitors alike.

The country’s telecommunication system, linked seamlessly to the rest of the world, places it in an advantageous position to attract persons seeking a safe environment in which to work and live their lives.

If you dig Barbados, then you can smile knowing that their door is open for remote workers and tourists alike. They too have strict travel protocols in place, but you can work from there with safe entry to the island.

There’s lots more amazing destinations to take advantage of too.

Eden Roc Cap Cana, in the Dominican Republic, now offers an extended stay package geared to families that includes accommodations in a two-bedroom beachfront suite, all meals (dinner is three courses), an office set-up with a desk, printer and office supplies and unlimited kids activities, such as cooking classes, Spanish and piano lessons, bike tours and kayaking.

The tiny, beach-fringed, currently COVID-19-free island of Anguilla just launched a new website with detailed instructions for would-be visitors applying for permission to come stay – including for periods from 3 months to 12 months.

In the Maldives – you and yours on a palm-fringed speck in an aqua sea – Soneva Fushi is finding takers for stays of 14 nights and longer, and at One & Only Reethi Rah it’s not unusual for people to ask for 28 days, and you get all the best facilities you need: just make sure you check time differences when you make meetings on Zoom or on your cell phone though – LOL.

This kind of travel is slower, calmer, more exploratory, and more sustainable. Even if you fly to get where you’re going, these trips involve fewer hotels, fewer activities, and a deeper involvement with one destination.

It’s the travel rainbow coming out of this nastiness, and a new kind of Grand Tour.

Sure, right now there is a quarantine on your return but with insurance being offered by most airlines along with almost zero cases of COVID-19 and strict testing on arrival, you actually may be safer than being here!

Also take a look at Auberge Resorts Collection. With 19 properties globally, it has several dozen long-term stays in the fall, compared to only a few last year. You can’t turn down the deals they are offering.

Travel and take care of your well-being

Think about it. We have all endured lots of change since the pandemic turned the world upside down. Why wait to be happy – be happy now!

So, snowbirds and all you professionals, book your extended trip and work on your well-being. And remember please use a travel agent.

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