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What to Pack for a Workcation: 2023 Guide

What you need to bring and consider for a workcation in 2023

Katie Bauer, guest contributor
KatieGuest contributor, SiteSee
What to Pack for a Workcation: 2023 Guide

Gone are the days when the only time you would get to see a palm tree at your job was when it was your computer background. For many, their location, regardless of work, has become a flexible area of life since the pandemic. Companies now allow employees to log in remotely more frequently than ever before, leading to the growing popularity of working while traveling. Save your PTO; it’s time for a workcation. 

Workcations in 2023 and Beyond

Three years since remote work became more of the norm, the model still dominates workforce requests. Over 60% of job seekers search for opportunities that allow for remote work, and while only 15% of jobs in the U.S. are fully remote, the number continues to grow. Moreover, the desire for freedom is so strong that some employees facing required returns to the office are quitting flat-out. While there is still an obvious mismatch between demand and opportunities, one thing is for sure: people are ready to incorporate more work/life balance into their day-to-day. 

Digital nomad-ing, also known as the lifestyle of the free spirits who work while traveling the world, has been popular for quite some time in the remote community. However, it can be a bit of an extreme change for those who prefer to have a solid base instead of consistently hitting the road and skies. This is where the workcation combines the best of both worlds. Often a one-off trip versus a consistent period of moving around, workcations provide the perfect mix of work and play, allowing for a balanced day somewhere far more exciting than your living room table. 

Most workcations last between one and four weeks, though you may just fall in love with the lifestyle and never return home. Research shows that people who took a recent workcation reported feeling more productive, creative, and less likely to experience burnout in their jobs. Laptop out, looking at the gorgeous view from your Wander home in the morning, followed by beach chillin’, margarita in hand in the afternoon -- sounds like a win-win to us. 

That’s where Wander comes in: we’re a company built to support the digital nomad in all of us. All of our homes perfectly blend work with relaxation and leisure. A comfortable bed with soft, clean sheets leave you feeling refreshed. Our workstations have everything you need to be productive during your work hours: Herman Miller chairs, extra monitor, a microphone for the best audio, and a view that rivals the background on laptop. And when it’s time to logoff, unwind how you want. Whether it’s getting a workout in in one of our homes with a gym, enjoying the view and outdoors that come with every Wander home, or just vegging out on the couch with your favorite movie, Wander gives you the flexibility to perfectly transition into your “me time.”

14 Essential Items to Pack for Your Workcation

Of course, you can’t have a successful workcation without some of the essentials. As avid working travelers, we’ve got you covered with 14 of our go-to necessities to ensure your “work hard” goes as smoothly as your “play hard.” 

1. All of your tech gear

This seems like an obvious first item for a workcation; otherwise, your trip could turn into more “cation” than “work.” Remember to pack all of your devices, such as your laptop, cell phone, headphones, tablet, and desktop computer, if your job requires one, All Wander homes come with superfast, far reaching WiFi, so you won’t have to worry about connection issues. A portable backup charger is usually handy to carry in your bag if you’re out coworking or exploring the area. If you’re traveling to a different country, you will most likely need a wall adapter to charge your electronics. And all those electronics mean a handful of messy cords, which is why we love to keep them organized in a handy case

2. Comfortable WFH outfits

One of the great things about remote work is getting to wear comfortable clothes all of the time. The same goes for traveling. Comfort is key. You’ll most likely want to throw on some athleisure or casual outfits most days while you are sitting at your computer or hopping from café to café. If you’re in a beach town, you may find yourself in a bathing suit more often than not. You likely need to pack less than you think. Bring the basics, pieces you can mix and match, and add a couple of nicer outfits for exploring or dinners and nights out. 

3. Meeting tops

On a similar note, it’s always a good idea to have a “meeting top” or two somewhere in your suitcase. You know, the one you can put on for impromptu video calls with the team that makes you look professional and like you’ve got it together. 

4. Sleep aids

Traveling can require an adjustment to your sleep schedule for the first few nights with a different bed, new sounds, and a possible time change. We all know quality sleep is crucial to functioning well during the workday, so when packing, think about what you may need to ensure that you get the best ZZZs. Consider an eye mask, ear plugs, a white noise app, some lavender essential oil, a favorite blanket from home -- whatever will keep you comfortable and relaxed in a new place. 

5. Medications & vitamins

For any prescriptions and vitamins you frequently take, fill them before you leave and bring enough to cover the entire trip. If you’re heading to a place where it’s possible you’ll encounter bacteria from food and water, check with your doctor to fill a prelim antibiotic to bring as a backup. A tip from an unfortunate firsthand experience: spread your medications out between your carry-on and checked bag just in case your prescriptions magically disappear. 

6. Weekender bag

It doubles as your carry-on as well as a small bag for side trips. Bring it to the beach, carry your work stuff in it to the cafe down the street, or pack it up for a quick weekend getaway. It’s all about versatility and style with a good duffel

7. Yoga mat

This is not an essential, but it sure comes in handy. Whether you practice yoga or not, a foldable mat packs into nothing and gives you the option to work in a quick sweat session without having to track down a gym. Travel can sometimes be overwhelming, and when combined with work, recentering and grounding yourself is a must.  

8. Your fave products

Most of us have a few favorite skincare or self-care items that we use in our daily routines. While you probably don’t need to pack your entire bathroom, bring the products that you really love and won’t be able to find there. Basics like lotion and toothpaste can be purchased, but you can’t replace a quality serum or hair oil. For women, it’s usually a good idea to pack a handful of period products just in case you can’t get to the store or locate them right away. 

9. Reusable water bottle

It’s useful for flights, your day-to-day, and keeping the environment plastic-free. A good reusable bottle is a must-have, and they come in all types, shapes, and sizes. Grab one with a built-in filter or insulation, so your drinks stay super cold. If you want to take it one step further, add a reusable coffee mug to your list for constant caffeine refills. 

10. Noise-canceling headset

This is especially important if you know you will be taking frequent calls or working in a public area. AirPods are great for noise cancellation on one end, but the people on the other end of your call still have to listen to all the hustle and bustle around you. You may look like you work at a call center, but that’s a small price to pay for keeping it quiet and professional during big meetings. 

11. Insurance

This is the whole gamut; from travel insurance to health insurance, make sure you’ve got yourself covered. A bunch of companies provide health insurance for travelers at fairly low costs, and if you find yourself in a medical emergency, it is one less thing you need to worry about. Many credit cards now include travel insurance coverage, from baggage loss to flight delays, but if yours doesn’t have this, look into a secondary insurance option to help cover any unforeseen circumstances. When booking flights, choose a seat selection that allows for free changes (though you may still have to pay a fare difference) or buy a refundable ticket. Travel, while amazing, is notoriously unpredictable, so having yourself covered from all angles helps keep the stress to a minimum. 

12. Downtime items

Remember, a workcation is just as much about relaxing as it is working. Bring along some leisure items like a couple of new books to read during your off time, a journal and pen to keep track of your days and thoughts, and a deck of cards for an impromptu game. You never know when you might come across someone at a bar who is up for the challenge. A surefire way to meet new people. 

13. Digital tools 

While they are not physical items to pack, digital tools come in just as handy on a workcation. Apps such as Google Maps and Google Translate are lifesavers in places where you are not familiar with the area or proficient in the local language. Google Translate even has a feature that will change the wording in a photo for you, a game-changer when it comes to restaurant menus. Another game-changer: websites that actually make your work life easier, from an AI writing assistant to free content designing; check out some of our favorites here. Work smarter, not harder.

14. Cell coverage

If you don’t want to pay cell carriers’ often obscene international rates, decide whether you’re going to rely on WiFi for service or if you’re able to purchase a local SIM or eSIM. Keep in mind that if your phone is on airplane mode or you change your SIM, you will not be able to receive phone calls or regular text messages to your usual number. This can cause problems when logging into certain accounts, such as banks and credit cards, requiring double authentication through your cell number. Change the authentication method before you leave home if possible. 

Ready to Book Your Next Workcation?

If you’re considering a workcation, it is important to plan ahead and set expectations between how much work you will get done versus how much time you will be relaxing and exploring. Give yourself a general schedule to make sure not to upset the boss and check off your to-do list, but also be realistic that there may be times when the call of the beach or the city or maybe even the pool might be too loud to ignore. It’s a delicate balance. 

When it comes to having a productive workcation, you’ll want to be in an accommodation that provides reliable WiFi, a good space to actually work (there’s nothing worse than having to explain a screaming child in a bathing suit running behind your camera in a meeting), and a setting that inspires you to boost your creativity as well as get out and explore this beautiful world. This is what we provide at Wander. Bring along your family, your friends, or your fellow remote coworkers for a company retreat; the options are endless. So check out our available properties and come find your happy place with us. 

With an eye for detail and a pen in hand, Katie Bauer is an experienced content writer and editor who works with SiteSee and other forward-thinking brands in travel and lifestyle. She also recently built and published a travel print magazine as Editor-in-Chief -- watch out, Anna Wintour. Beyond her love of travel, Katie’s passions include reading, astrology, and spirituality...and finding the best restaurants and cafés in the area. She lives for the adventure exploring new places brings and is well on the way to her goal of visiting all seven continents and as many countries as possible throughout her life. You can find her on Instagram @katie_bauer. 

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