Trade In Your Home Office For A More Inspiring View

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Who wouldn’t want to live (and work) in paradise? Becoming a digital nomad has been the dream of many since it first gained popularity in the late 2000s. Now, with remote-working becoming a necessity during the pandemic, that dream could more easily become a reality. If you don’t have to go into the office or the classroom, why not live, work, and learn someplace new?  This just might be the time to explore the idea of chasing away the coronavirus blues in a safe and controlled environment, while treating yourself (and your family) to an international adventure.

Normally you are only allowed to visit a foreign country for a maximum of 90 days on a tourist visa. However, many countries aren’t keen to have an influx of short-term travelers right now. Using long-term residency programs as a way to give travelers the opportunity to really experience the destination (and supplement their tourism industries), these three countries (and one forward-thinking hotelier) have created special programs to help you work from paradise.



[Photo credit: Elly H via Unsplash]

Leading the charge is Barbados. The “Welcome Stamp” program hopes to entice remote-workers to their shores to wait out the pandemic. With beautiful white-sand beaches, tropical landscapes, and a healthy work-life balance, Barbados is positioning themselves as the perfect spot to spend the rest of 2020. 

The online application process is very straightforward. You can apply as an individual or as a family group including any dependents and children under the age of 26. Once the completed application is submitted you’ll receive an answer within 5 business days! 

Application Requirements

  • Online application to be filled out here 
  • Proof of employment and an income declaration of at least $50,000 annually
  • Passport size photo and scan of your passport bio page (required for all family members over the age of 18)
  • Proof of relationship between all members of the family ( such as birth or marriage certificates)
  • Proof of valid medical insurance

[Photo Credit: Annie’s Escapes]

Once approved, applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee of $2,000 per individual or $3,000 per family group. When the process is complete, applicants can spend up to a year in Barbados enjoying the sun, sand, and outdoor lifestyle. 


[Photo credit: Sandra Seitamaa via Unsplash]

Bermuda was quick to follow Barbados’ example and promptly set up their own “Work from Bermuda” program. Pink-tinged beaches, diving-friendly reefs, and a beautiful climate will greet you as you while away the workweek in a beach-front lounge chair. 

Bermuda’s application process is equally straightforward and can be done online. Each family member must apply separately, but all connected family applications should be submitted on the same day. Bermuda is also welcoming students into their program. If you can provide proof of sufficient means and enrollment in a university you could attend your online classes with a view of the sea. 

Application Requirements

  • Online application to be filled out here
  • Application fee of $263
  • Over the age of 18
  • Proof of valid health insurance
  • Provide a certificate of a negative COVID-19 test
  • Provide proof of employment or enrollment in a Research, Undergraduate, Graduate, or Doctorate program
  • Proof of means to support yourself ( no minimum amount set)

[Photo credit: Annie’s Escapes]

Once you submit your application, you should receive a response within 5 business days. The visa allows multiple entries and exits should you need to pop back to the States for a meeting or to show-off your relaxed sense of well-being and your excellent tan. 

Georgia (the country)

[Photo credit: Dennis via Unsplash]

If tropical beaches aren’t your cup of tea, Georgia has begun it’s “Remotely from Georgia” program. You can stay and work in this small mountainous country for up to 6 months with their new visa. Located just north of Turkey between the Black Sea and the Caucasus Mountains, Georgia is the birthplace of wine and has surprisingly diverse landscapes for such a small area. It has been one of the safest destinations in terms of pandemic cases. Combined with its low cost of living, stunning scenery, and ancient cities, Georgia is a really attractive place to spend the rest of 2020. 

Georgia’s program is aimed at freelancers and remote-workers with contracts for businesses outside their country. Although there are travel restrictions against American tourists right now, getting approved for this new visa allows you to work around the regulations. 

Application Requirements

  • The online application can be filled out here
  • Provide a certificate of employment
  • Minimum monthly salary of $2,000
  • Valid travel insurance for 6 months
  • Written consent to a 12-day hotel quarantine upon arrival at applicant’s expense

[photo credit: Jairph via Unsplash]

Once you’re approved for the program there’s no need for a special visa or anything attached to your passport. All you need is the approval papers and you’re good to go! Upon arrival, you will need to quarantine for 12 days at your own expense after which you will need to take a PCR test. But a mere 12 days for 6 months of amazing outdoor adventures, wellness retreats, and access to the Black Sea seems like a fair trade

Perhaps you’re not looking to move to another country for a full 6 months to a year. Maybe you’d just like a little taste of what the beach-life / home-office could be. Playa Hotels & Resorts has the perfect solution. 

Playa Hotels & Resorts

[Photo credit: Annie’s Escapes]

Playa Hotels & Resorts created their “Work & Learn from Paradise” program to make remote-working from an all-inclusive resort that much easier. If you book a room at select Hyatt all-inclusive resorts for longer than 14 nights you will receive a whole host of perks. 

Guests will be upgraded to suites or interconnecting rooms, given shared office space with free WI-FI, complimentary laundry services, and a personal fitness trainer for three sessions a week. Also included is private cabana access on the weekends, a study spaces for students, and two spa treatments a week! Resort specific perks range from educational experiences for children to Spanish lessons — all included in the program. 

Talk to us about booking a room at these all-inclusive resorts in the Dominican Republic, Mexico, or Jamaica through December 22nd to receive the benefits of an incredibly luxurious ‘home office’. 

After months of lockdown, so many of us are looking for a getaway but wary of the travel health risks. Considering staying somewhere long-term offers the benefits of international travel without having to sacrifice any short-term public health measures. If you decide to start living the dream and working from someplace stunning abroad, let us help you find the best accommodations, activities and excursions to truly enjoy your new home-base! 

Why Not?

Katie thought she was being a little bit “extra” with her request for a honeymoon that included a cruise AND an all-inclusive resort, but I said “why not??”  As long as we could make the dates work, it sounded like a fabulous idea to me. As you can see from her note below, the solution we came up with was just right! 🙂

Hi Ann!!

We had an absolute blast on our honeymoon!

Our flight from Boston was on time and we had no problem catching a cab to bring us to the port of Miami. Once we got there, we were able to check in and enjoy the ship [Enchantment of the Seas] for a while. We weren’t allowed to go to our rooms until 1:30pm and we didn’t get our bags until around 5pm. But it was awesome to explore the ship and enjoy drinks on the deck even though we were so early.

Nassau was fun! We did a dolphin encounter and went to senor frogs. We did not have to be back on the boat until 11:30pm!

The next day was Cococay. This was great to have just a chill day. We did a jet ski excursion and chilled on the beach. It was cool that we got to use our sea pass card for everything on that island and they had a buffet set up to feed us. This was our least favorite stop just because you aren’t experiencing a new culture or country. But it was fun to relax.

The next day at Key West I had booked a snorkeling and catamaran excursion.  We walked around exploring Key West as much as we could, went to shops, went to the aquarium. We wished we had more time there. And we definitely want to go back to Key West for a trip someday! So much to do and see there!

The ship was awesome! I had no problem at all finding gluten free foods to eat. The staff was very accommodating. We tried to get on the love and marriage game show. Unfortunately there were about 10 other newlyweds on board. We all competed to audition to get on the show and Mike and I were not selected. ☹️

We booked a coach shuttle bus to take us to the Ft. Lauderdale airport through Royal Caribbean. It was only $30 per person. Our flight to Barbados went smoothly. I was very impressed with Jet Blue. For coach seats, they have plenty of leg room, tv, movies, and great snacks. And I felt that their staff was friendly.

Once we landed in Barbados, we went through customs and found the Sandals desk. They immediately gave us cold waters, and a guy named Ricardo drove us to the resort in a Mercedes.

Once we got to Sandals the staff was super friendly. Had us sit in an AC’d office, gave us cocktails. They took our bags and we got a mini tour of the resort and a staff member was explaining the locations and dress codes of restaurants. Even when we got to the room, she explained how to work all of the new technology in the room. Anything we drank out of the fridge or bar in the room was restocked everyday. The room was huge! And gorgeous! I had been to all-inclusive resorts before, but Sandals really takes the cake. They cater to your every need or want.

honeymooners in a pool at an all-inclusive in Barbados

On the resort, we went to the beach. The beach there is actually very windy and sand blows onto you. The waves are moderate size; fun for swimming. For the most part, the pools were crowded. We would save our spots by the pool around 7:30/8am every day. We were competing against everyone else who has butlers. The only annoying thing about not having a butler, at the restaurant or bar you were ordering from, it would take a little longer for you to get your order. Once, I ordered a GF pizza, they said it would be 30 minutes. Then a rush of butlers showed up. An hour later they apologized because of the rush that came in. Also, the bartenders will stop making your drink and make the butlers orders first, then go back and finish your order. So that part was a little annoying but understandable, you get what you pay for & we didn’t pay for a butler! Overall, we had a very relaxing time by the pools during the day, drank and ate too much! There were plenty of gluten free options for me. Burger buns, fries, pizza, pasta! I ate too much!

We ended up booking an excursion from a local on the beach. His name was “Captain Larry” we paid $195 for an all-day tour of Barbados. This was awesome! Our driver’s name was Kenmore. He told us he doesn’t look at his watch, he looks at our faces. Basically, we let him know when we were ready to go back to Sandals. We met so many people! We drank and ate fresh coconuts, saw Rihanna’s house, beaches, cliffs, shopped from local vendors, even ate at a local fish market. We saw monkeys all over the side of the road! So cool! We headed back to the resort at 4:30pm. We had a 7-hour tour for $195! Other couples on the resort said they booked a 3-hour tour through Sandals and paid the same amount.

The restaurants were awesome! Especially their rooftop pool & bar and their rooftop French restaurant. Amazing dinner views! The staff was amazing! If we weren’t into the shows, there were plenty of games to play in “lovers lane” the bowling alley and bar. And we honestly had some fun relaxing nights just relaxing on our patio with the soak in tub!

Overall, the trip was amazing! 10 days was not too long or too short, just perfect! We loved how much we got to do and see while on the cruise. And enjoyed all of the relaxation at Sandals.

We had an amazing honeymoon, thank you so much Ann for planning this for us and all of your helpful tips along the way!!

Thank you!

Beach Bliss in Barbados

A recent survey of more than 70,000 travelers from around the world ranked Barbados as the #1 destination in terms of overall satisfaction. That is high praise indeed, given that the poll included more than 140 popular vacation spots, from the Caribbean to Africa, Asia and more. And yet, despite the fact that it’s right our in our own backyard, Barbados generally isn’t top of mind for Americans. Perhaps, after reading Carissa’s trip report, that will change 🙂

Carissa and Travis came to me for some help with a last-minute honeymoon. They wanted low-key, low-fuss, easy-to-reach, adults-only, all-inclusive, and good food. I think that the beautiful new Waves Hotel and Spa in Barbados delivered on all counts!

Waves Hotel and Spa was spectacular, exactly what we needed!  I don’t know where to start.  The place was VERY relaxing, clean, and well run.  The staff was friendly and got to know us by name.  They would ask what we did that day and seemed to make sure we had a relaxing time.  The staff kept the grounds very well maintained and cleaned.  Waitstaff were quick to clear away empty plates, glasses, etc.  which added to the cleanliness factor.  There was a smoking section under the umbrellas and although I saw people smoking there,we never saw cigarette butts or dirty ashtrays.  Nor did we see any drink toothpicks or straws on the floor or littered about.  Our room was cleaned daily and always felt welcoming and refreshing thanks to the quiet AC.

balcony overlooking the ocean in Barbados

Being in a smaller resort, we got to know other guests by sight and would chat in the common areas or in passing. Vacation friends!  We didn’t talk about work or even get last names, it was great.  Older crowd, mainly British but a few younger couples.  Not the place for late night parties.  At about 8 pm there was live music (a musician or 2) and people sat around in the common living area (very open floor plan which was great) and had a drink and mingled.  On Monday nights there was a limbo show but we went to bed before she started.

We visited Crystal Cove for lunch one day and decided that Waves was more our style.  It was nice but I appreciate the spa feel of the open layout of Waves, the primary color palette of blue, sand, light grey, with pops of coral.  Side by side example of the service:  While at the beach at Crystal Cove, a waitress came around offering little plastic cups of grapes.  Later she came by with a tray of assorted mixed drinks and juices.  At Waves, we were offered frozen grapes on a bamboo skewer served with tongs.  A few minutes later our specific drink orders were taken.  But in the meantime, would we like a cool towel?

With our fancy room we each got 4 spa vouchers!  The vouchers could be used for complimentary treatments or could go towards an upgraded service.  We did both.  The spa was great and the ladies working there were nice.  We had pedicures, facials, massages, and Travis got a body scrub.  I chose to forgo the scrub, I had one recently.  The spa, Asian fusion restaurant, and the big adult pool was located across the street from the main building on the ocean.  It was easy to go back and forth.

luxurious pool and spa at the Waves Hotel & Resort barbados

The food was good although nothing to write home about.  We liked the elegant casual dinner attire requirement.  It got people out of their beachwear.  In addition to the 2 restaurants, there is a coffee shop (air conditioned if you want) which we wish was open after dinner.  We did get sandwiches from there they day we left.

Unfortunately due to high surf conditions all water sports (and turtle adventure) were cancelled during our stay.  Management kept hoping that “tomorrow” will be better but they never gave us false hope.  The waves were so epic that staff was out there taking pictures.  They lost a lot of sand/beach.  We were able to walk to Crystal Cove along the beach at low tide one day and only had to navigate a few high water areas.  I think as more sand went out, it got more treacherous.  Surfers on the West coast of Barbados was a novel sight, we enjoyed watching them every day.

One morning we took the yellow reggae bus to Bridgetown.  Meh.  It was OK.  Interesting architecture but nothing I really needed to buy.  While walking around we were asked by taxi drivers if we wanted a ride back to the boat. hahaha.  When we said we weren’t on the boat, they offered tours of the island.

The FunJet rep met us Tuesday morning and offered up a variety of activities but we declined.  They were however very good with their shuttle service to and from the airport.

This was the perfect place for reading, catching up on naps, and doing a whole lot of nothing.  If we had stayed longer we may have ventured more into the rest of the country.  Eating and resting takes up a lot of energy.

Thanks again for figuring out exactly what we needed.  We would love to go back to Barbados and I certainly got accustomed to the luxury all-inclusive lifestyle.

Any questions?  Have I missed anything??

Best regards,


Having a blast in Barbados!

I am so appreciative when clients take the time to send me detailed feedback about their vacation — especially when it includes pictures of them enjoying themselves!  Chris and Christina obviously had an amazing honeymoon at the brand-new Couples Barbados, and I’m so glad to have helped to make it happen.

Dear Ann,

First of all, I apologize for my very delayed reply about the details of our trip!  I’ll start with our travels – flight/transfers/airport pick up.  Flight down to Miami was pretty typical (sadly no upgrades to first class by being honeymooners – haha!), and the layover was fine.  We did have a slight hiccup in our plane that had to take a “pit stop” in Puerto Rico to check on the engine.  Even though we were anxious to get to the island, we were at least better safe than sorry!

Once we arrived in Barbados, everything went flawlessly.  Thank you for the detailed itinerary!  We met our Couples Barbados representatives after retrieving our bags and had a pleasant ride over to the resort, courtesy of our friendly driver.  Barbadians are the friendliest people!

Christina 5

The resort was perfection.  The lobby was coastal-inspired and luxurious.  The facilities were clean, modern, and comfortable.  The walks between the buildings offered lush greenery and tropical flowers (and lots of palm trees – my favorite!).  Our room was unreal.  We had the most perfect lookout spot – a view of the main pool area and beach right in front of us.  It felt really private, too, even with rooms on either side of us.

Poolside relaxation

What a view!

What a view!

Multiple couples we talked to during our stay had been to Couples Resorts in Jamaica.  Each couple thought this new Couples Barbados Resort surpassed them all!  These opinions just made us feel all the more grateful!

Our first night, the resort offered a manager’s welcome cocktail hour and a beach BBQ for dinner.  Both offered amazing food!  Just the beginning of weeklong “good eats!”  Chris and I never tired of the food options.  The three restaurants offered a variety of options and changed their menu choices frequently.  One advice for future travelers: bring a few nice outfits and, specifically for guys, bring a couple of dress pants.  One of the restaurants, the Dover, had a dress code requiring nice shoes, long pants, and classy dresses.  Your other clients that had written about their experiences with the restaurants were helpful with our planning (reservations, types of food options, opening hours, etc.).  I would definitely include that information for future travelers, as well.  The service at the restaurants was wonderful, too – we always had a full glass of wine!

Christina 13

We loved the swim-up pool bar and beach waiter service.  To only have to stick a flag in the sand to get free drinks??  Yes, please.  We also took advantage of the room service and had breakfast delivered one morning.

Another drink, please :)

Another drink, please 🙂

Like the other couple before us, we also took advantage of the private dinner on the beach.  The extra money for this was definitely worth it!  What other time in your life can you have a personal waiter serve you food under the stars?  I would highly suggest the experience.  We signed up for this night (and other excursions) through the front desk.  When you sign up, you choose the menu you’ll have for the night.

Romantic dinner on the beach.

Romantic dinner on the beach.

We also (thanks to your advice!) brought a copy of our marriage license and were able to receive a free honeymooners’ “couples massage.”  This was just an awesome perk – I’ve always wanted to try something like that!

One of my favorite nights was a resort “event night” on the beach.  The staff set up an outdoor movie night under the stars – with popcorn, drinks, and comforters spread out on doubled-up beach chairs (a make-shift bed/sofa)!  It was such a cute idea – so fun and romantic.

Excursions!  So many to choose from – it made me wish we had scheduled three weeks on the island!  Our first excursion was a combination tour of Harrison’s Cave and a wildlife reserve.  Both were incredible!  The cave was massive.  I would have never thought we could be taken on a trolley into the depths of a cave.  It was also very informational about the geological and geographical make-up of the island.  Following the cave we were able to feed monkeys, pet turtles, and observe many other wildlife animals in the reserve.  Overall, the excursion was a great one.

Harrison's Cave

Harrison’s Cave




We also went on the included catamaran sunset cruise.  The crew was HILARIOUS.  That alone makes this excursion one you don’t want to miss out on!  Each crewmember was just having a blast – dancing to music, making jokes, getting others to join in a dance party.  Then of course, we saw a number of sea turtles!  Snorkeling with the turtles in the tropical waters was a definite highlight – just don’t forget a waterproof camera!

Catamaran sail

Catamaran sail

Everyone we ran into kept raving about Oistins on Friday night, so we obviously didn’t miss out on this event, either.  We tried some local swordfish and watched some great local dancing on a large stage.  The whole night was really entertaining and gave us a feel of Barbadian life.

Our final excursion was zip lining through a gully with two comical guides.  Chris and I had a personal tour through the gully – no one else joined us on the day of!  This made the zip lining all the more fun – no waiting in lines!  And we have some fabulous pictures and videos from the experience.  A perfect place to cross zip lining off the bucket list!

Ziplining fun

Ziplining fun

The only downer I can think of: the shower didn’t stay at the temperature we wanted; most of the time, it just had a mind of its own!

Other wonderful aspects about Couples Barbados:

– Yoga was offered every morning in a beautiful open pergola

– A fitness center, exercise classes, and tennis courts were available (with tennis lessons offered!)

–  People often played games on the beach (football/soccer, cricket, volleyball, etc.) – these were open to everyone

– A variety of entertainment was offered every night – with very talented performers!

– Rocking swings and hammocks were scattered around the property – just fun and relaxing perks!

– Pool and ping pong tables were available in the main lounge area

– Again – just a great staff of people that were incredibly gracious and fun to see every day

Overall, our whole honeymoon could not have been better.  Travelers will not be disappointed here!  For us – nothing could beat the atmosphere of the resort, the service, the people, the excursions, the beautiful scenery, the amazing weather, and, for me, my handsome husband (he’s not included for other travelers! Ha ha!). 

So thank you again, Ann!  We feel so blessed to have gone to Barbados – and to this newly opened resort! – for our honeymoon.  We are so grateful that you found this perfect spot for us!

I’ve already recommended you to a number of other friends of ours looking to plan trips!

Thank you again!!!

Chris and Christina

You provided excellent guidance for us. I appreciated that you really had us think about what was most important to us when we were selecting the right cruise – and not to totally focus on what other people had to say. THANK YOU for helping to make this a memorable trip for our family! It really was a trip of a lifetime!

Clare and Mark (family cruise to Alaska)

The level of service we experienced was out of this world (and we did NOT make it easy on Ann). We weren’t quite sure where we wanted to go, when we would be able to go, or what “vibe” we were going for. After asking us some key questions (what we liked, didn’t like, why, etc.) Ann helped us narrow down our trip details and planned the honeymoon of our dreams. She helped book some of our excursions, answered some emergency questions while abroad and was always available/willing to help. I think it’s safe to say we won’t be using anyone else for future travel planning – Ann is a rockstar!

Carli (Italy and Spain)