Work (Away) From Home
Amid COVID the percentage of Americans working remotely skyrocketed from 7% to 65%, as people from coast to coast and in all kinds of industries—the Classic Journeys team included—began sheltering in place. Kitchen counters found new roles as desks, and Zoom backgrounds became the driver for home improvements. Now, working in our homes has become the new normal.
Workers and psychologists have begun to ponder and study the pluses and minuses of working from home. Even more, with technology leaping forward to accommodate working remotely, the question is being posed more and more: does working remotely have to mean working from home?
If all you need is your laptop, phone and Wi-Fi, no! In fact, self-care, changes of scenery, and exercise are proven to boost productivity.
With that in mind, we commissioned our resident Brit, Naomi Harrison, (who is herself working from a beachside bungalow in La Jolla instead of her family home in London) to sit down with our Travel Experience team in La Jolla and our local guides around the world to breaks down some very desirable travel location options currently available. Read here to see the technology in each, the time zone differences from major U.S. cities and how to use them to your advantage, how it benefits your health immensely, and how to accomplish it with little or no PTO usage.
Read on for eight itineraries offering the turnkey experience of working (away) from home, while enjoying a Classic Journeys trip of a lifetime.
Time zone: MST
The work-life balance: Mountains high, productivity level, higher. Wake up for some Blue sky thinking in the Big Sky state, then turn your mind to adventure in the afternoon.
Clock in: 7am. One breakfast of huckleberry flapjacks doused in huckleberry syrup and you’ll have no trouble getting up for the rest of the working week.
Your work space: your private quarters of the original lodge built by the Great Northern Railroad. You’ll have Wi-Fi, a desk, and awesome views of glacier park.
Clock out: 11am (4-hour day) or 3pm (8-hour day), breaking for a picnic lunch in the National Park or a walk along the railway.
After work: Going-to-the-Sun Road is one of America’s greatest scenic (and engineering) treasures. If you were driving yourself, it would be strictly eyes-on-the road, but our experienced local driver frees you up to soak in the amazing views. En route, we’ll stop at Sun Point, a promontory with excellent views of the lake and mountains. From Sun Point, we embark along a footpath that offers everything an explorer in Glacier Park can want to see in an easy-going walk— spectacular vistas of the glacial lake, three magnificent waterfalls (Baring, St. Mary and Virginia Falls) and lovely wooded areas. We’ll stop (and picnic if you haven’t had lunch yet) at Virginia Falls before continuing back to the lakeside, keeping our eyes sharp for the abundance of elk and deer that make their homes in this area. We continue to Many Glacier. Located in one of the most scenic areas of the park, it provides us great access to incredible scenery and a variety of explorations around Swiftcurrent Lake, which acts as a reflecting pool, mirroring the impressive snow-capped peaks that line the valley. You may want to slip on a jacket and head outdoors to enjoy some spectacular stargazing under the enormous Montana sky.
Rest of the week: an unforgettably scenic hike along Glacier’s Highline Trail, historic boat ride to Swiftcurrent Lake in ‘America’s Little Switzerland’, a forest hike to Grinnell Lake, discovering a double waterfall, and much more…
Time zone: GMT+2
The work-life balance: Exhilarating travel on Croatia’s colorful coast to begin the day will leave you exhilarated and ready to knuckle down and work later on.
Before work: Enjoy a breakfast of fresh, organic produce on the glittering Adriatic coast. Then, with your Classic Journeys guide in the lead, you’ll venture out on a morning walk through lavender fields and olive groves to the nearby village of Dol, tucked into the foothills of the mountains that form the spine of the island. A café overlooking Dol’s town square provides an ideal spot for a lunch break, before you head back to Hvar marina.
Clock in: at 2pm (8am EDT, 5am PDT)
Your work space: your suite’s living space, in front of floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the historic Hvar marina and old town. It has a phone, Wi-Fi and LAN access.
Clock out: at 6pm (for a 4-hour day) in time to see the sunset over the marina and enjoy an evening out in Hvar.
Or, clock in at 1pm and work until 9pm (for an 8-hour day), breaking to devour home-made focaccia, Croatian cheeses, locally made olive oils, Dalmatian prosciutto and more from the hotel kitchen. As you work, you’ll have the view of the setting sun, followed by the twinkling lights of old town, to keep you motivated.
Rest of the week: visit olive groves, explore the UNESCO World Heritage Sites of Split and Dubrovnik, visit an ancient monastery and Game Of Thrones filming locations, meet our friend Mario at his winery and much more…
The work-life balance: Not falling behind on your work by falling in love with Vermont’s foliage.
Time zone: GMT – 5
Clock in: 7am. New day, new you, New England style: fuel up for the day with a plate of hob-smoked bacon, fluffy buttermilk pancakes and local blueberries (doused in local maple syrup, of course). Don’t forget the pumpkin-spiced latte, it’s fall after all.
Your work space: a vintage desk by a flickering fireplace, surrounded by history and stunning Vermont scenery.
Clock out: 11am (4-hour day) or 3pm (8-hour day), taking a lunch break to visit the paddocks, fishing pond or walk one of the short surrounding trails.
After work: At the foot of Mt. Mansfield, Vermont’s highest peak, Stowe has the charm of a traditional New England village and much of the town is on the National Register of Historic Places. With your local Classic Journeys guide, you’ll explore Stowe village and visit the Cold Hollow Cider Mill, housed in an historic red-shingled barn where we watch cider being made the old-fashioned way, with a rack and cloth press built in the 1920s. For more than twenty years the Chittenden family has also sold tart cider jelly, cider donuts and other apple products as well as cookbooks, wooden toys, gourmet foods and Vermont jam, jelly and preserves. A short, covered bridge walk on the way back to town completes the day.
Rest of the week: explore Woodstock and Burlington, drive through the glacier-carved cliffs of Smuggler’s Notch, walk through birch and maple forests, visit our friends at their historic working farm, meet master glassblowers, and much more…
Time zone: GMT+03:00
The work-life balance: Wandering around a wonder of the world will help make your workload feel lighter later on.
Before work: After an early kahvalti (Turkish breakfast, including fresh bagels, cheese and olives), your Classic Journeys guide whisks you to nearby Ephesus, one of the finest sites of Greco-Roman antiquity anywhere. On the plain beneath Ephesus, we’ll pause at the Temple of Artemis, once one of the Seven Wonders of the World, now eerily still as a family of storks nest atop the lone standing column.
For lunch, we’ll take you to our favorite coastal restaurant for fresh local cuisine.
Clock in: at 3pm (8am EDT, 5am PDT)
Your work space: your boutique suite in Kusadasi’s best hotel, looking over the Agean sea (just like Homer did as he wrote his tales). There’s Wi-Fi, a desk, and tea service to keep you hydrated. As you power through your work, golden hour gives you the ultimate motivation boost.
Clock out: at 7pm (4-hour day) in time to watch sunset from the infinity pool, or the terrace with a mojito and live music, or at the waterfront restaurant, over a dinner of delicious seafood.
Or, clock in at 1pm (6am EDT, 4am PDT) and work until 9pm (8-hour day), breaking for that aforementioned sunset dinner and stopping in time to enjoy the stars and sounds of the sea from your balcony.
The rest of the week: explore the Dalyan Estuary, where magnificent facades of Lycian tombs from the 4th century AD have been carved from the sheer cliff face. Sail the Aegean coast and visit idyllic islands. Switch locations to Istanbul, Cappadocia and more…
Time zone: GMT-8
The work-life balance: Get on top of your workload, then feel on top of the world as you adventure Alaska’s mountains.
Clock in: 7am. Have room service to deliver local sourdough, smoked salmon, wild berries and steaming coffee for a working breakfast to fuel you for the day ahead.
Your work space: your summit suite in a chateau style hotel, where the desk and sitting space come with some of the most spectacular scenery on earth. High speed internet access is provided.
Clock out: 11am (4-hour day) or 3pm (8-hour day), where for your lunch break, you can swap your laptop for the mountain top, thanks to the hotel’s aerial tram (there’s a delightful restaurant at the summit).
After work: Your afternoon adventure begins with a walk at the site of Alaska’s richest gold mine, built in 1898. Eight of the buildings have been restored and are on the Register of National Historic Places. After a short exploration of the mining camp, our guide shares with us Alaska’s fascinating mining history. Even today, locals and visitors come to the mine to relive the days of the gold rush and recover some of the precious metal that has been left behind. From here, we continue to walk along our favorite section of the historic Iditarod Trail through tall spruce and hemlock forests and past a series of small waterfalls. Lush ferns, devil’s club, blueberry bushes and horsetail line the route, and along the way our guide points out the local fauna, including moose, bears and a variety of songbirds. A highlight of the walk is the hand-tram that carries us across the Winner Creek Gorge.
Rest of the week: see Alaska’s big game—including moose, bear, caribou—in the Kenai National Wildlife Refuge, raft down the Kenai River, boat to the Kachemak Bay State Park, meet Alaskan artisans, spot seabirds, see whales in the wild, and much more…
Time zone: GMT-4
The work-life balance: Get your work day out of the way early, then dive into deliciously relaxing island time.
Clock in: 6am (same time EDT/9am PDT). Catching the sunrise over one of the most beautiful bays in the Caribbean makes the early start more than worthwhile.
Your work space: your Creole-charm filled suite, looking over Dr. Doolitle’s famed Marigot Bay. It has a desk, sitting area and private balcony as well as Wi-Fi and the necessary outlets.
Clock out: at 10am (4-hour day) or break at 10am for breakfast, a swim in the infinity pool or beach walk, and finish at 2pm (8-hour day).
After work: Walk down from your hotel to the water and start your kayak tour meandering around the beautiful Marigot Bay, exploring private inlets and secluded beaches. Make your way to a local beach, where your guide has created a popup bar and will share with you a cold one as you relax in the warm Caribbean waters. You can bet you won’t be the only one thinking – “life doesn’t get much better than this!” Or, if kayaking isn’t your thing, begin your explorations today in the expansive Roseau Valley once famous for its cultivation of sugarcane, and now home to the Saint Lucia Distillers Group. You’ll learn the history of sugar in the West Indies and sample some of the world’s best rums and liquors produced right in Saint Lucia.
In the evening, your Classic Journeys guide will take you on a sunset sail to one of the island’s finest dining spots.
Rest of the week: ride horseback to a beautiful beach, soak in the Soufrier Volcano’s hot springs, visit a jungle waterfall, wander around botanical gardens, take a jeep line along the east coast, sail a catamaran to secluded coves, go ziplining, and much more…
California wine country
The work-life balance: Good work requires good food and wine. Cinematic landscapes don’t hurt either.
Time zone: GMT – 8
Clock in: 7am. Your suite’s private outdoor shower, with its natural light, fresh air and luxury amenities is sure to wake you up in the best way possible.
Your work space: al fresco on your suite’s private patio, or inside, at your desk, by the wood fireplace. Your historic Sonoma hotel has its own charming coffee shop to keep you caffeinated, with tables and Wi-Fi if you fancy switching up your desk during the day.
Clock out: 11am (4-hour day) or 3pm (8-hour day), using your lunch break to walk around the hotel’s five acres of gardens or indulge in some pampering on the on-site spa.
After work: With your Classic Journeys guide, you’ll have an exclusive meeting with our friend who runs a local winery, who’ll talk you through the winemaking process and introduce you to the finished product! Then, back in Sonoma, we’ve arranged an interesting private exploration of the Sonoma Mission. The last of the 21 Franciscan missions of Alta California, it was founded in 1821 at the northern end of El Camino Real (The King’s Highway). For dinner, we’ve reserved a table at one of Sonoma’s finest restaurants where you can enjoy gourmet food paired with California wines. Then, back to your suite, where you can light your private firepit for some stargazing.
Rest of the week: visit more vineyards, meet a local cheese maker and our friends who make Tuscan-style olive oil, have a hands-on cooking instruction with a renowned chef, explore historic Calistoga, Healdsburg and Napa, and much more…
The work-life balance: Combine a morning of snorkeling, kayaking and hiking amid the greatest wildlife in the world with an afternoon of work (away) from home while you watch blue footed boobies and Darwin’s finches soar overhead. Or flip the day to get your work done in the morning and have the rest of the day to explore with your Classic Journeys guides – what AFAR magazine called the Greatest Wildlife Experience in the world.
Time zone: GMT-6
Clock in: 1 pm in the Galapagos (3 pm EDT / 12 pm PDT).
Your work space: Luxury boutique hotels with direct water access. And because you’ve already decided to stay landside and skip the ship, you’ll have 24 hour internet access, electrical outlets, a desk and the most serene views overlooking mangrove lined lagoons, pillowy white sand and pristine turquoise waters.
Clock out: 5 pm (for a 4-hour / half day)
After work: The islands come alive in the evenings. As the tourists zodiac back to the cruise ships, you’ll join your Classic Journeys guide for a sunset snorkel – witnessing what most do not – that magical hour where the sun seems to hover above the horizon, casting a golden glow across the reef while the resident marine life transitions from day to night. You’ll see tropical fish tucking themselves in for the night while curious octopus finally emerge from hiding.
Rest of the week: Every day, your naturalist guides will lead you to extraordinary wildlife experiences. They know the best times and places for your wildlife tortoise walks, your kayaks through meandering mangroves, and even where to sip the best beachside cocktail – all minus the flocks of tourists.
The work-life balance: No chance of your work day being Bora-Boring when your office is an overwater bungalow. Get your work done first thing, then spend the rest of the day adventuring in the French-Polynesian paradise.
Time zone: GMT-10
Clock in: 6am Tahiti time (12pm EDT / 9am PDT). After watching sunrise over the lagoon on your first morning, getting out of bed won’t be a problem.
Your work space: a private overwater bungalow. It has high speed internet, a cordless phone, electrical and USB outlets, a desk and a coffee maker. 24-hour room service will cater to any morning cravings (fresh fruit, French crepes, pastries…). If the sitting area’s glass floor (where turtles and tropical fish flit beneath you) gets too distracting, position your laptop on the desk, looking over the luminously-blue lagoon and mountains.
Clock out: 10am (for a 4-hour / half day) or take a 10am break (for breakfast on a beach, a snorkeling session or walk around the turtle sanctuary) and finish at 2pm (for an 8-hour / full day).
After work: Explore Bora Bora’s water and sea life when you join your guide in kayaks to explore the lagoons. But this is unlike any kayaking you’ve done. Because if you are going to go in search of ‘Nemo’ and some of his fellow clownfish, parrotfish, napoleon fish, coral gardens, sea turtles or other sea life, you’ll want maximum visibility. So your Classic Journeys guide has arranged for you to paddle in transparent kayaks! Single and double kayaks are available, and our kayaking guides make everyone feel safe with every paddle. Later in the day, accept an invitation to journey by canoe to a private motu to watch sunset with a glass of champagne. As the stars fill the Tahitian night sky, relax on the beach as your guide shares stories and legends of how Polynesians were expert navigators and used the stars to help them with their travels.
Rest of the week: Spot tropical birds on a scenic walk, spend time a scientist at a turtle rescue center, hunt for pearls in warm lagoons, paddle board, snorkel and more…
More on Classic Journeys work (away from home) tours:
I’d prefer different working hours. Is this possible?
Yes, not a problem. Your itinerary will be planned entirely to your needs, so if you’re not a morning person or would rather sandwich your working day between awesome travel experiences—even if you need to operate in a different time zone—your Travel Experience team in La Jolla and your local guide will adapt the trip accordingly to your specific wants and needs.
The place I want to travel isn’t on this list, but I do want to take a Classic Journeys tour where I can work remotely. Is anywhere else available?
Absolutely! We operate trips in 100 regions in 50 countries on six continents. So if you have another destination in mind, we likely know it like a local (because our local guides are actually already there). So, take a look at all of our destinations here or give us a call or email and we can arrange a private tour for you anywhere.
Can my itinerary alternate full work days and full travel days?
Of course. We’ll make sure you have everything you need on the day(s) you’re working, taking care of meal arrangements and any morning, lunch break or evening activities, so that you can focus on your work and still enjoy your incredible surroundings. Then we’ll have an unforgettable day of travel, food and culture lined up the next day.
I’d rather not work in my hotel suite. Are there other options?
Plenty. There are many perks of Classic Journeys guides being born and bred locals, and hoteliers being our long-time friends. For any need—however big or small—we can find a solution. Whether you want a conference room, a reserved table in the best coffee shop, an office set up with your toes in the sand…count on our Travel Experience team and local guides to have the contacts and local expertise to make it happen for you.