From the mysterious Hindu temples of Bali to the salt-washed surfer towns of Central America, beautiful Andalusia to the spice-scented souks of Morocco, there's real variety on this list; our pick of the 15 top destinations to work and travel in 2017. Enjoy…
Thailand still reigns supreme as one of the top places to work and travel in the world. From the tropical beaches of the Kohs in the south to the jungle-shrouded towns of the north, the whole country is laden to the brim with remote workers and globetrotters. You can spend the morning tapping away on the laptop in a vegan café under the stupas of Chiang Mai's temples, before hitting the waterfalls for a bathe in the afternoon. Or, you can wake up with a swim in the Thai Gulf, and spend the day in the virtual office with views over the Indian Ocean. There's nowhere quite like it. (Fancy a sampler? Check out LBW's Thaiventure itinerary!).
Palm-shrouded beach cafes and salt-washed Caribbean cocktail bars are the go-to working spots for location independent types who've made Panama their target. That makes it easy to see why this largely-untrodden country in the heart of Central America is so good for the budding nomad. And that's not even touching on the fabled welcome of the local folk, the awesome volcano-topped backcountry, and the medley of topical birds and swinging sloths there are to see on the weekends!
Magical Bali rarely fails to whet the appetite for further travels through Indonesia. The so-called Isle of the Gods remains safe and accessible though, thanks largely to the earthy breed of Hinduism followed by the locals, and the international vibes of towns like Kuta and Legian. It should be easy to find suitable private rooms for working in just meters from the Indian Ocean surf, not to mention some great co-working spaces to boot. And on the weekends? Well, the volcanos and jungles call, surely?
4. New Zealand
New Zealand is slowly but surely becoming a destination of choice for long-term workers thanks largely to a loosening of visa requirements. It's also a great choice for traveling nomads, who come for the breathtaking wealth of sites and wonders that exists between the Southern Alps and the Bay of Plenty. Add to that welcoming cities like Christchurch and Wellington, great cafes and healthy lifestyles, and you're sure not to be disappointed with a Kiwi adventure in 2017!
It's all about mouth-watering pho broths and brilliant beachfronts in Vietnam – one of the great attractions of Indochina. Running from the UNESCO wonders of Ha Long in the north to the sleepless streets of Ho Chi Minh City in the south, there are more possible spots for the traveling worker to settle than you can shake a rice-paper spring roll at! We recommend the misty reaches of Sa Pa and the French-styled magic of Hoi An – both are stopovers on our much-loved Vietnam Explorer itinerary.
Ah, sun-kissed Croatia. Rarely has there been such an attractive destination full stop. Rugged coastlines of craggy limestone, the salt wash of the Adriatic Sea, Italian-inspired food and breathtaking vistas of the Dinaric Alps – it all adds up to one truly mind-boggling and wonderful place. Add in the reduced admin and visa regulations thanks to accession to the European Union in 2013, along with countless towns like Pula, Split and Zadar – each packed with historic cafes and bars for working in – and it's easy to see why this one's such a good option for work and travel in 2017!
Not one for the faint-hearted, but rather intrepid types, India is slowly but surely coming into the digital nomad fold. As the internet gets faster and more reliable, and the guesthouses of Rajasthan and Kerala become westernized, it's becoming easier than ever to taste the magic and majesty of the old Mughal land. And what magic it is! Think Taj Mahal and the soaring Qutb Minar of Delhi; the great Ganges River and the mystery of Varanasi. Wow.
8. Czech Republic
Prague aside, the Czech Republic is continually hailed as one of the most affordable and fun destinations in central Europe. Towns like Brno come packed with lively crowds of students and loads of affordable short-term flat rentals, while there's the deep history of Karlovy Vary and Kutna Hora to wonder at too (think churches made entirely of bones!). Oh, and let's not forget Pilsen; the beer-mad town of Bohemia – great if you love a brew or two in the evenings after work!
Long the unsung paradise of Central America, Nicaragua is finally getting the preps it deserves. Topped with cloud-breaking volcanos and peppered with ochre-colored Cathedrals that were raised by the conquistadors in centuries gone by, there's certainly no shortage of things to see and do here. However, there's much more to it than that for the budding digital nomad. For starters, the pace of life is slow and relaxing, the internet is decent (if not Speedy Gonzalez), and there are plenty of all-new co-working spaces for kicking-back in with other location independent folk. (Check out LBW's own nomad.life for one of the best!)
Spain is one of Europe's greatest treats. From the winding cobbled lanes of the capital's Letters District to the buzzing party strips of Barcelona's La Rambla, the whitewashed hill towns of Andalusia to the less-trodden urban spots of Basque Country, the nation offers a real cross-section of destinations to choose from for the digital nomad. What's more, rent can be low and the climate uber-pleasant. (Consider joining LBW's Spanish Fling if you fancy a taste of the Flamenco-mad land before you move).
11. Costa Rica
The shine of Costa Rica can never be dulled. In the east, there are the sparkling beaches of the Caribbean, which spill into the ocean in a ramshackle medley of surfer shacks and cool cafes at towns like Puerto Viejo, offering working travellers the chance to ride waves and party after a shift on the laptop. And in the west there's the Pacific, which means more wave riding and beach lazing and sloth-spotting between work days. Woo.
12. South Africa
Although hardly the most affordable country on the planet, South Africa wins a place here for the sheer variety of different spots that are on the menu for the traveling nomad in 2017. You can set up your laptop in the south, where the sinewy ridges of Table Mountain crash in the gorgeous Western Cape. You can go inland to the Overburg, taste wine, and watch the swaying fynbos. Or, you can go to the north, where zebra meet lion on the plains of Kruger. See what we mean?
When we say Hungary, what we really mean to say is the capital: Budapest. This awesome metropolis is the only real town in the nation (save a few other interesting stops that can be visited on the weekends). But boy does it pack a punch! Wild parties in ruin bars meet mornings spent lazing in the mineral bathhouses with locals. And then there's the food: hearty paprika stews that are great for fueling a day at the laptop!
Italia: the land of pizza, pasta and risotto, where Tuscany offers irresistibly romantic hill towns, Sicily comes with rugged volcanos and awesome beaches, and the north is riddled with ski fields and glaciers! What's not to like? And there's more: Thanks to its legendary status as a major tourist destination, The Boot is packed with great places to stay, from AirBnB flats to luxurious hotels, depending on your budget, of course!
Another adventurous one to mix things up a little and tail off this list of the top places to travel and work in 2017, Morocco promises a real journey through the sights, sounds, smells and history of the African Maghreb. Head to Fez for mud-built medina towns, or Casblanca to trace tales of spies from WWII. Or, go to the Atlas Mountains for hiking, Taghazout for surfing, and – of course – Marrakesh for the great souks. Finding time to work might be a little difficult, but the country ain't known for its cozy teahouses for nothing!
If you can you think of anywhere to add to this list of the top places to travel and work in 2017 then feel free to add it in the comments below. Or, if you think it's time you went nomad and got traveling, be sure to check out our co-working spaces over on nomad.life.
We believe that travel is not a reward for working, but the most valuable and impactful form of education for life. We aren’t just a travel company; we were built to introduce you to the rest of the world. LBW Travel is about more than taking vacation time. We connect you with people and offer experiences that will change the way you look at your world. Travel reminds us what is truly important: family, friendship, love, exploration and adventure.
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