Best cities for a budget-friendly workation in India
2020 saw a major work culture shift with 'work from home' coming into the play. This, in turn, fueled the comparatively newer concept of WORKATIONS!
While ‘working and travelling’ has always been buzzing around- it's now when the whole idea of remote working has gained momentum (especially in India). And now that travel has opened up, here is our list of the destinations that proffer 'workations'. We have reviewed these on the basis of 5 parameters namely- affordability, workspace/WiFi connectivity, climate, the scope for exploration, community aspect and how safe is the city for travellers.
While Goa remains one of the most coveted vacation destinations, it has evolved into a great "workation" destination as well, during this pandemic. Working on your laptop against picturesque backdrops and amid community hubs is the silver lining to this year. The best part about being here for a long workation is that it's affordable and extremely community-driven. You might find it a little difficult to choose between North, Old and South Goa as they all have different things to offer, but in our opinion, if you are to stay for a longer duration then you must divide your time between Old and North. If you would like being around people, or are looking to party on the weekends then North Goa it is. Whereas if you want to chill and watch time just passing by, then South Goa has many beautiful places in store for you. We recently did a workation to South Goa and spent a lot of time networking and meeting other travellers and remote workers- exchanging new ideas and perspectives. One can expect good productivity here as you can spend one half of the day working and the other half relaxing.
Another great place by the sea for a workation! Pondicherry (now Puducherry) offers infinite cosy nooks and corners to spend your time working. It's an excellent city if you're seeking a place to drain the chaos of everyday life and focus only on yourself. And let’s not even get started about the absolutely stunning Portuguese streetscapes and architecture. If you are a design or art buff, then be ready to fall in love with Pudducherry. Pondicherry contrasts sublimely with the metropolitan lifestyle, due to its quaint colourful streets and calming vibe. You'll find plenty of cafes, co-working places with a warm and comfortable environment to work from.
Chandigarh is perhaps one of India's most underrated 'holiday' destinations, while it's actually a city that can make for an excellent 'workation' hub. It is very well connected with the majority of hill stations and destinations for the perfect weekend getaway. And that’s not it- most people don’t know that Chandigarh is a very safe city with the lowest crime rate in the entire country. Placed boldly on the rolling plains in the North, the cityscape stretches into the never-ending, unobstructed view of the sky. Though the community spirit of this vastly unexplored city is well known, Chandigarh also boasts an amazing work culture, numerous locations to explore, coupled with truly mouth-watering cuisine.
Have you ever fantasized about working amidst snow-clad mountains? If so, look no further: Manali is the destination for you! Great connectivity from major cities- Manali is a hub of serenity and spirituality along with amazing co-living spaces, hostels and cafes to support remote working. The fresh air allows the cultivation of your creative responses as you progress in the task at hand with peace and focus. Moreover, Manali will have a strange influence of imbibing a very relaxing and meditative feeling within you. The place will cut you off from the chaotic lives we live in the city and will remind you of the importance of slowing down in life. Live the pahadi life in an urban style without compromising on your bank balance.
Apart from being the largest city and the capital of Rajasthan, Jaipur offers a very different and vibrant lifestyle as compared to other neo-metropolitan cities. It is a beautiful amalgamation of the urban lifestyle and a punch of traditional roots and heritage. It also ranks the highest among the list of ‘safest cities for women in India to live and work’. Such a character is rarely found in any other urban cities. Jaipur will prove to be a great choice for a workation considering the wide scope for exploration. Spend the week in hostels, co-workings and cafes and the weekend exploring the city and its neighboring sites.
Even though the North Indian part is difficult to reach, the journey to Gangtok is quite an experience in itself. Filled with scenic routes and passes- it will relieve you physically and emotionally. When in Gangtok you automatically sense spirituality in the air- be it due to the mountains or the Buddhist monasteries, there is a guaranteed shift in your headspace. You feel much at ease and peace in life. It is exceptionally ideal as a destination for slow travellers and mountain lovers. Gangtok is a far off location that feels like home- a place that provides you with focus and calm. You eventually end up getting your work done easily and with the time left you can enjoy the crisp evening air along with the warmth of freshly steamed momos. PS- unlike most tourist destinations, Gangtok is a very clean city and in case you’re planning to take a trip there try to generate as less amount of waste as possible.