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Summer’s almost over, but most parents are still working remotely due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and many students aren’t returning to in-person classrooms. This new ability to work and learn from anywhere, without having to plan travel around school holidays, has some families re-evaluating the idea of “workcations” (a trip that mixes work and learning opportunities in a vacation setting).
Kacie Darden, owner of Blue Pineapple Travel in Marietta, Ga., and mother to 6-year-old twins, decided to start the family’s school year in Aruba.
There, they often finish their virtual school days with ocean swims and starfish hunts.
“We say we’re living in Aruba from Monday to Thursday [when they’re in school], and we’re on vacation on the weekends,” Darden said. “It’s been an incredible experience and a way to bring some light into this year.”
However, she cautions that the experience is not for everyone.
“It’s best for very flexible clients, because entry procedures can change quickly, and you need to change with them,” she said. “You also have to travel with the understanding that we’re still in a pandemic, so it’s important to protect yourself and the community where you’re traveling. If they’re allowing you in, bring respect and care.”
You also have to travel with the understanding that we’re still in a pandemic, so it’s important to protect yourself and the community where you’re traveling. If they’re allowing you in, bring respect and care.
Here are three Caribbean hotel brands offering packages designed specifically for workcations.
Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant’s Graycilff Workation SpecialFor a change of scenery, Graycliff Hotel & Restaurant in the Bahamas is offering its new Graycliff Workation Special, which provides 50% savings, but no reduction on five-star amenities.
“We’ve been leading the way for guests to escape to our five-star facilities with peace of mind,” said Enrico Garzaroli, CEO of Graycliff, who called the property a “home away from home” in the Bahamas.
After meeting the Bahamas' quarantine requirements, clients can enjoy off-property activities such as a private beach day at Blue Lagoon Island or a swim with the pigs in Exuma. Guests can also participate in specially priced private sessions of on-property activities, including culinary classes and scuba lessons.
Palace Resorts’ Make Paradise Your Classroom PromotionPalace Resorts’ all-inclusive luxury properties in Mexico and the Caribbean are enticing clients and their families to work and study remotely with the Make Paradise Your Classroom promotion. If clients prefer a more traditional learning environment, state-of-the-art business centers have been transformed into remote learning centers with computers and printers.
“We’re taking it a step up for those schooling and working remotely,” said Frank Corzo, vice president of U.S. field sales for Palace Resorts. “Our resorts are equipped with high-speed complimentary Wi-Fi access throughout the property, so you can prop up that laptop poolside, focus on some reading by the beach or respond to emails from your balcony.”
The brand also extended its Kids & Teens Stay Free promotion through 2020, so kids ages 17 and under (traveling with two adults) can stay, play and eat for free.
Royalton Resorts’ Upgrade Your Office PackageRoyalton Riviera Cancun, Royalton Negril and Royalton Splash Punta Cana encourage clients to trade home offices and classrooms for sun and sand with a 14-night Upgrade Your Office package.
The promotion includes a guestroom with a workstation, access to the business center with complimentary printing and locations for video conferencing. While parents are working, older kids and teens can study in quiet learning spaces, while Clubhouse Kids Clubs keep young students busy with supervised educational activities.
And when school’s out for the day? The ocean is waiting.