You might be able to move to Barbados and work remotely for a year

Jul 14, 2020

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Editors note: As the travel industry reopens following COVID-19 shutdowns, TPG suggests that you talk to your doctor, follow health officials’ guidance and research local travel restrictions before booking that next trip. We will be here to help you prepare, whether it is next month or next year.

Craving a change of scenery? Join the club.

Though you can’t exactly press control, alt and delete to start the year over again, there are other ways to recharge and reset. Governments are already trying to lure travelers back with free flights, discounted hotels and other travel perks — and there’s another emerging trend to keep on your radar: Packing up your stuff, moving across the globe and working remotely.

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Heading abroad with a digital job (think: destination coworking) isn’t exactly news. But during a global pandemic filled with travel restrictions and border regulations, long-term stints like this are taking on an entirely new level of prominence.

There’s even a new program that hopes to encourage people to move to the Caribbean.

Called the “12-month Barbados Welcome Stamp,” the new incentive would allow travelers to move to the island nation for a year and work remotely. Of course, that likely means a home on the beach where you can sit back, dig your toes in the sand and enjoy the view. The program, Insider reported, is still being finalized, so details are scant. It is not immediately clear who can participate in the Barbados Welcome Stamp program, or how to apply.

Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley said in a statement that short-term travel has become increasingly difficult during the pandemic due to testing obstacles, such as how rapid testing is not reliably available. She said the government is committed to working with potential visitors, and looking forward to “making [the island] as hospitable as ever for all of us.”

Barbados reopened to tourists this week, and the country is on both the lucky lists for British travellers – there is no longer a U.K. Government travel advisory against travelling there, and you also won’t need to quarantine when you return from the U.K. That said, the government is “strongly encouraging” travelers from high-risk countries to take a COVID-19 PCR test within 72 hours of departure. High-risk countries are defined as those with more than 10,000 new coronavirus cases in the last week, as well as significant community transmission, such as the United States.

If you’re thinking of a cool and very comfortable way to get there check out this new private jet experience operating from London (STN) to Barbados (BGI).

Related: Dreaming of a sandy beach? A country-by-country guide to Caribbean reopenings

Travelers from low-risk countries, on the other hand, will have one week prior to their departure to take a COVID-19 test. In low-risk countries, there are fewer than 100 new cases in the past week, and no community transmission.

Though the Barbados Welcome Stamp program has flooded headlines, the concept of long-term travel (for work or otherwise) clearly has staying power this year. After all, many destinations are requiring travelers to self-quarantine for 14 days upon arrival. And though a negative coronavirus test taken within 72 hours of departure may exempt travelers from the quarantine requirement, getting valid test results within this timeframe may be simply out of the question for many travelers.

So, if you’re dreaming of an international getaway, now might be the time to seriously consider if you should head abroad for weeks, months or more. After all, many of us are working from home anyway, and a two-week quarantine is a drop in the bucket if you plan on staying put for a long stretch of time. It stands to reason other countries may make it easier for travelers to stay for an extended period of time, since tourism has been so severely affected by the global health crisis.

No matter where and when you’re traveling right now, we recommend talking to your doctor, follow the guidance of officials and research local travel restrictions. You’ll also want to be mindful of both hotel and airline cancellation and rebooking policies. Many airlines have shifted to temporarily allow travelers to book new flights now and cancel for a refund or travel credit later, often with the ability to make changes within the next year and even into 2021. You should also consider protecting your trip with a travel insurance policy that allows you to cancel for any reason.

Featured image by Westend61/Gettys Images

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