Over the last few years I’ve had the opportunity to travel all over the world and work from a variety of different locations. Whether it’s working from the mountains of Colorado to the beaches of Bali, I’ve pretty much done it all.
However, for the majority of my travel, I’m not looking to totally check out. I work seven days a week from wherever I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. Because of this, when I travel or take vacations I need to be able to continue to run my business. This means I need a high quality working environment, reliable internet connection, and ideally easy access to restaurants.
The following are five of my favorite locations for a working vacation. Members of Hacking the High Life will be getting detailed accounts of the (repeatable) strategies I’ve used to hack each of these locations over the last few years.
One of the best working trips I’ve taken has been to the mountains of the Rockies. What are traditionally perceived as luxury (read: expensive) destinations certainly can be. However, with a little bit of pre-planning you can get a working ski vacation for a long weekend for under $1,000. This past January I stayed at the Vail Marriott for $150/night in the height of ski season. It featured free internet access, plenty of good working spots, free cookies and hot cider in the afternoons, and made me feel like I was truly living the high life.
Couple this with Breckenridge which has the same fantastic skiing, but also has airbnb options that can bump your price per night down to even more reasonable prices. I paid $40/night for full access to a mansion just minutes from the mountain.
Colorado is easily accessible from just about anywhere in the country, and it’s less than a 2 hour drive from Denver (assuming the weather isn’t terrible).
In Hacking the Highlife, you’ll learn exactly how to get trips like this to any ski destination for very cheap. Here’s a snapshot from a recent ski trip to Vail:
Bali is one of those places that to many Westerners (particularly Americans) seems totally unattainable. It’s got a reputation as being this extremely exotic, remote destination that caters to the richest of the rich.
The reality is actually quite different. While it’s certainly exotic, it really isn’t that hard to get to, and it’s just as much of a backpackers paradise as it is 5 start haven.
When it comes to the perfect working destination, there are few places I can think of that are better than Bali. The island has it all from the busy city streets of Kuta and Denpasar, to world class beaches and resorts, to the spiritual retreats of Bali.
Often I’m asked which is better as a long term destination to work: Bali or Thailand. The reality is that both places can offer pretty much the same experiences, however Thailand is more spread out, whereas Bali has it all on one island. The internet is good, and for all the $1,000/night+ rooms, there are just as many that are less than $50.
Bali also has an increasing scene of global entrepreneurs that are hanging out here.
We give you the low down on exactly how to make Bali your own private paradise for considerably less than your life back home.
Playa del Carmen, Mexico
I’d never been to Playa del Carmen until January, but after spending a couple of weeks there, it’s easy to see why it’s such a popular destination for expats, vacationers, and entrepreneurs alike.
At first I worried that Playa was going to be too commercial for me. You know one of those tourist towns that has been completely transformed from what it once was. Well, in many ways it is that. However the quaintness and variety of the town really make this a great place to spend time,
The beaches are beautiful with easy access to Cancun and Cozumel, and the internet was great at both the penthouses I’d rented, as well as at a number of coffee shops.
We got a two-bedroom penthouse condo a block from the beach for $100/night. Split 4 ways it ended up being extremely affordable, and made us feel like we were truly living in the lap of luxury.
If I had to select a place to go back and spend a month or two while trying to get some work done, there’s a good chance Playa would be at the top of the list.
Ao Nang, Thailand
When people ask me what my favorite place in the world is, quite often the response is Krabi, Thailand. It’s got a little bit of everything. You can find internet in the small beach town of Ao Nang, that while may not be blazing fast, is more than adequate.
A quick 15 minute longtail boat ride away is also Railay Beach, the true gem of the region. You can only get to Railay via longtail or ferry, and it features 3 beaches and incredible limestone cliffs that make it a mecca for rock climbers.
I’ve been down there 3 times now, and on the most recent trip we stayed at the Bhu Nga Thani Resort. If you like outdoor activities like climbing, kayaking, hiking etc. this is one of the best places in Thailand. It’s one of the few places in Railay that has internet (it was the fastest I found in Thailand as well), and the rooms are massive.
It’s also a short 2 hour ferry from party island Koh Phi Phi, so if you need a little break from work, it’s not hard to find.
I could easily see myself spending a season in the region, and I’m sure it won’t be long before I make another return trip. Here’s a video showing you one of the nicest rooms I’ve stayed in in Ao Nang:
If you’re looking for a trip that is a little more disconnected, the best possible recommendation I have is Buzios, Brazil. Commonly referred to as the St. Tropez of South America, Buzios rocks. Located on a peniunsula about 2 hours north of Rio, Buzios features 24 different beaches, each with their own specific look and feel.
Want to party?
Head to Ferradura one of the biggest beaches in Buzios.
Want to feel like you’ve found your own secluded five star beach?
Joao Fernandes (my favorite) is the place to be.
Buzios isn’t for everyone however. Internet can be somewhat limited. Your best bet is to head to a hotel to get your work done, but there are a number of internet cafes and coffeeshops that have limited internet.
This is the perfect haven for someone who wants to be able to check email, get a lot of writing done, and otherwise disconnect from the world.
So, are you ready to Hack the High Life?