Work around the world on these digital nomad retreats

CNN  — 

Wish you could relocate your cubicle to a beach in Thailand? Join the club.

It seems like remote work is on everyone’s mind lately.

In the US alone, 37% of workers say they telecommute – up from 9% in 1995 – according to a 2015 Gallup poll.

And that number is expected to increase in coming years with a new generation entering the workforce.

Roughly 68% of millennial job seekers said that an option to work remotely would sweeten any job deal, according to a survey by networking site AfterCollege.

To tap into the increasingly mobile pool of professionals around the world, a new crop of “workation” retreats offers hassle-free nomadic experiences where freelancers, entrepreneurs and even full-time employees can plug into a new “office” space in remote corners of the globe.

A handful of programs target aspiring digital nomads and the career-change set. Others differentiate themselves by industry, specifically targeting computer programmers or entrepreneurs.

But whether coding apps in India or consulting beachside in Bali, most workations programs have a few things in common: comfortable accommodation, cool co-working spaces and unwavering Wi-Fi.


Roam's Miami outpost: Networking in style.

Roam might call New York City its home base, but the name says it all.

Founded in 2015, the company offers easy access to co-living-slash-working spaces around the world.

With a little planning, remote workers can hop from London to Tokyo, Bali to Miami and join a network of like-minded traveling professionals at each stop. The crowd is a mix of freelancers and entrepreneurs – really anyone with the travel bug.

Thanks to spacious digs – somewhere between a hotel and a house – there’s room for meetings, private conference calls, a pool and intimate events.

Starting at $500 a week, the program also provides a handful of shared amenities: tried-and-tested Wi-Fi, co-working spaces, comfy Eames chairs, international power outlets, a kitchen and private rooms.

Hacker Paradise

Perfect for computer programmers and designers, Hacker Paradise aims to live up to its name.

The company has been running retreats since 2014 in locations all over the world, including the likes of Vietnam, Estonia, Thailand, Portugal, Tokyo, Barcelona and Taipei.

Each retreat is tailored to full-time employees, entrepreneurs and freelancers – and participants can join for stretches of anywhere from two to 16 weeks at a time.

The community is a selling point for many developers, and Hacker Paradise encourages collaborations and passion projects along the way.

With about 40 people in each program – each with his or her own network – there’s ample opportunity to share expertise and connections.

To give employers some piece of mind and hold workers accountable for their personal goals, the program offers oversight and task management services.

The program also provides a premium setup – private accommodations with kitchenettes, weekly lunches, opportunities for demos and collaboration, workshops and easy access to a local co-working hub.

WiFly Nomads

WiFly Nomads: A two-week workation in Bali.

Launching in September 2017, WiFly Nomads is gearing up for its first getaway in Bali, Indonesia.

Targeting aspiring remote workers and those looking to make a career adjustment, WiFly Nomads programs offers “lifestyle skills” workshops to help budding digital nomads navigate location independence for the long-haul.

Workshops cover everything from launching online businesses to finding remote jobs and building a personal brand. In addition, each digital nomad will be invited to take part in a skill-sharing workshop, attend networking events and mingle with experts across various industries.

While promising to be a hard-working two weeks, the program also plans to provide a lineup of social events, dinners and weekend excursions for the 20-30 participants.

Of course, a major draw is the destination itself. Famous for its gorgeous temples, remote cliffside surf spots, rice terraces and beaches, this romantic Indonesian island might make it hard to focus.

A long list of excursions – from yoga to sunset dinners – takes worker bees outside the office to experience all the perks of a digital nomad lifestyle.

There are co-working spaces nearby – Outpost, Hubud Coworking Space and Dojo Bali – and the private villas come fully equipped with kitchenettes, Wi-Fi and a pool.

We Roam

Ideal for full-time employees with itchy feet, We Roam heads to a new city every month as part of its year-long remote working programs where participants can join for stretches of anywhere from three to 12 months at a time.

In 2017, We Roam will take dozens of “Roamers” around the world – starting from Buenos Aires in January, before traveling to Florianópolis, Brazil, and Bogota, Colombia, then over to Africa, followed by stops in Europe and Asia.

Targeting forward-thinking employers, We Roam recruits participants from large and small companies around the world, including the likes of Microsoft and Upworthy.

For a 12-month reservation fee of $5,000 plus a monthly fee of $2,000, We Roam covers accommodation, flights, trains, cars, 24-7 coworking spaces – plus some extracurriculars too. Expect organized excursions in each city, networking events workshops, and a career advancement speaker series.

Coming up next, We Roam is launching a new six-month program in July which will explore North America with stops in Canada, the US and Mexico.

WiFi Tribe

Who needs a desk if you have an office view like this?

Geared toward young professionals and creative types, WiFi Tribe typically travels in packs of 12 to 20 people, often including photographers, writers, designers, musicians, developers and entrepreneurs.

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Blurring the lines between business and pleasure travel
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Nomadic by nature, the group moves monthly to a new city – occasionally sticking around for six weeks.

The group lives together in a large villa or apartment, where they share communal work spaces and living areas.

There are usually co-working spaces nearby, but often nomads simply head to a cafe to slay deadlines over a cup of great coffee.

Come weekends, most participants take the opportunity to explore the area.

Depending on the locale, the group may go hiking, learn to surf, take a road trip or simply taste-test the regional cuisine.

Instead of a year-long commitment, WiFi Tribe designs its memberships around flexible monthly stints, starting from $800 a month.

The program is currently set up in South America, Central America, Asia and Europe with Africa to come in 2018.


Founded in 2012 by a full-time digital nomad, Refuga started as a hobby and quickly turned into a fully fueled business.

Since then, the program has welcomed 500 ambitious entrepreneurs from 40 countries and counting in remote locations across Tanzania, Morocco, Nepal, North Korea, Russia and India.

Some participants are independent freelancers, others own enormous companies – and all balance demanding schedules.

What started as a focus on remote workstations has evolved into deep-dive experiences and adventures that double as a way to expand your professional network.

Most of Refuga’s expeditions tend to be physically challenging, such as climbing Kilimanjaro or a bike trip across India.

Concerned about hitting deadlines in a gorgeous place? Refuga offers that too, such as a luxury eight-day workation in Morocco, starting at $1,700.

Nomad House

For those keen to trade the office for the beach but reluctant to commit to months at a time, there’s Nomad House.

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The smart robot changing how we travel
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Each 10-day retreat hosts 15 to 20 people, all bringing various backgrounds and insights together in locations such as Bali, Costa Rica, Mexico, Budapest and Portugal.

While many participants are accustomed to working remotely, Nomad House programs can also be useful for those who want to take the leap into a location-independent lifestyle, but aren’t sure where to start.

For more experienced professionals, the programs also tend to facilitate collaboration and ideas – often leading to new professional connections, passion projects and even start-ups.

Starting at $790, Nomad House offers a room, fast Wi-Fi, half-board meals, and a lineup of inspiring events.

The Remote Experience

The Remote Experience: Excursions include biking the Italian Alps.

In an effort to promote a lifestyle that’s independent of location, professionally ambitious and personally fulfilling, The Remote Experience welcomes a versatile mix of participants.

Past travelers have been full-time employees – from the likes of IBM and Yahoo – as well as self-employed nomads and entrepreneurs.

To help travelers make the most of each location, on-the-ground ambassadors are on hand to introduce each country, translate, scout out cool events or suggest worthwhile excursions, such as river rafting or hiking.

During the retreat, participants are also invited to take part in group dinners, problem-solving sessions, meet and greets with local entrepreneurs, and “show and tell” sessions to spread the word about passion projects.

Rates start at $1,950 per month and include office space, events, travel and medical insurance, and private accommodations.

A selection of all-inclusive programs also include flights and transfers.

Terminal 3

Venturing to a new location every month, Terminal 3 makes adopting a nomadic lifestyle a breeze by coordinating the tricky admin.

Not only does the program take care of every detail along the way, but it also provide tools to empower personal and professional development.

The founder is a remote worker of eight years, so Terminal 3 is familiar with what remote workers need to thrive – growth, new experiences, a collaborative community, great meals and unshakable Wi-Fi 24-7.

It’s not open to just anyone can join. After a careful interview process, select participants are invited to travel with Terminal 3. They can tag along for a couple of months or up to a year at a time.

As personal and professional development is part of the core mission, Terminal 3 supports participants with monthly coaching sessions, beginning a month before the start date.

The team also provides community managers to make sure participants get the most out of each destination, whether they’re keen to sample the street food, learn about local cultures or volunteer in a community nearby.

Coming up this year, the crew will be moving from Thailand to Malaysia, Japan, Spain, Croatia, the Czech Republic and more.

Fees start at $2,395 per month or $1,950 per month for six months.


While many workation retreats cater to solo travelers, DigitalOutposts works with a mix of individual professionals, small teams and large companies.

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Technology and the future of travel
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Both MIT graduates, the two co-founders have streamlined the experience – lining up inspiring destinations, co-working spaces, private accommodations, travel logistics and concierge-like advice every step of the way.

Trips have taken teams to beautiful destinations around the world, from idyllic beach getaways, such as the islands off the southern coast of Thailand, to vibrant cities like Medellín, Colombia.

While DigitalOutposts retreats certainly encourage productivity, there’s also plenty of time to explore.

In the past, travelers have biked through rice terraces, gone canyoning down waterfalls, or learned to cook Thai food.

Two-week trips start at $1,295, while two-month experiences start at $1,695 per month.

Kate Springer is a Hong Kong-based freelance journalist who covers food, travel, culture, architecture and innovation for CNN, BBC Travel, Forbes Travel Guide, Fodor’s, Munchies and more. Follow along on Instagram and read more of her work here.