For most of us work-life balance is an everyday struggle. According to a Glassdoor survey, 61% of employees admitted to doing at least some work while on vacation. Unfortunately, what this means in a world of Wi-Fi and smartphones is that technology is a double-edged sword. On one hand, it makes it easier to work remotely; on the other, there’s an assumption that you’re available 24/7. And if you can’t access the Internet, managing your business while you’re away is almost impossible. I mean, really, who wants to return from vacation only to respond to 400 work e-mails.
So chances are you will be checking in periodically, even if you’re only logging in for five minutes to check e-mail. And if there is one more thing we look forward to before a vacation filled with sightseeing and sitting around poolside, it’s making sure our final destination has reliable Wi-Fi and cellphone service. With this in mind, here are three countries where you can soak up some culture and take care of business.
London is the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom and is known as a culture and business hub. From exploring historical sights and events to nightlife and fashion, London is a great place to visit. Each neighborhood has its own flair, and the “tube,” London’s mass transit system, is a fast and efficient way to get around the city’s neighborhoods and to and from the its three major airports (Heathrow, Gatwick, and Stansted).
When it comes to Wi-Fi—an essential for business travelers—London does not disappoint. You’ll find free Wi-Fi available at plenty of shops and cafes (for example, Starbucks, McDonald’s, JD Wetherspoon, etc.). Or if you need anytime Wi-Fi access, try BT Wi-Fi, a hot spot service located in public cafÃ©s, hotels, pubs, stations, and airports.
Costa Rica is a paradise for a semi-vacationer looking to explore nature and get some work done in between. High speed Internet is easy to find in most populated areas of the country. And most rental properties, restaurants, cyber cafes, and bars provide Wi-Fi and phone service as well. But with unlimited panoramic views of cascading waterfalls and green mountains, you’ll be forced to shut down your computer, relax, and get in touch with what matters most.
Bangkok, Thailand is a bustling city with plenty of action, but it’s a perfect place to feed your cultural appetite. From temple hopping around Wat Pho (the reclining Buddha temple) and Wat Phra Kaew (Temple of the Emerald Buddha) to exploring Thai culture and food at various street stalls or restaurants, no two days in Bangkok will be the same.
You can also eat cheaply and get around fairly easily via taxis; the Bangkok Mass Transit System (BTS ), an elevated train; or the Mass Rapid Transit (MRT), an underground train, which covers the majority of the main center of Bangkok. Co- working spaces such as Launchpad, a co-working place and community for entrepreneurs, are also available throughout Bangkok, Thailand.
Take note, if your work is based in New York City, there will be a 12-hour time difference, so responding to concerns or taking conference calls may be challenging. But let’s remember, you’re on vacation and it’s perfectly OK for you to unplug.
Regardless if you’re a culture seeker, adventurer, nature lover, or foodie, if you’re planning to mix business and pleasure, make sure you research your destination before you arrive in the country.