February 17, 2020
Imagine setting up for another day of remote work as snow patters on the cabin window. Slippers on and hot coffee in hand, you make your way over to the wooden table. You sit down and take a look at the view just behind your laptop. Your eyes venture across a mountain valley. Snow-tipped peaks, blue skies and a heartwarming sun swarm your vision. You take a deep breath, feeling a sense of calmness and warmth. Maybe working in a pandemic will not be as bad as it seems. A “flexcation” is in full gear.
The good news is there may be one positive thing to come from a pandemic: flexcations. In a time when limiting social interaction is a must, many individuals find themselves working online. However, if given the opportunity to work from home, why not work elsewhere? Why not take an adventure when it’s possible to see dream locations?
According to the vacation rental booking platform Vrbo, the name “flexcation” derives from individuals booking trips outside of the higher-priced summer travel season. Flexible work and school allows vacationing off-season, during lower-priced months, with extended stays. According to a 2020 survey of 887 Vrbo travelers, 50% said virtual school and work schedules allowed them the flexibility to travel. Additionally, 48% said they could work from any location and have that same flexibility.
Over the course of 2020 and now in 2021, many families have been taking advantage of their flexible schedules. These days, it can be hard to sit at home and think about the ongoing pandemic. Instead of thinking about the past and questionable future, why not move forward? To many, traveling and embarking on new adventures in a time such as this brings comfort and ease.
According to a New York University news release titled “New and Diverse Experiences Linked to Enhanced Happiness, New Study Shows,” people experience enhanced happiness as they welcome new and diverse experiences. Catherine Hartley, an assistant professor in NYU’s department of psychology, said, “Our results suggest that people feel happier when they have more variety in their daily routines—when they go to novel places and have a wider array of experiences.”
Before the pandemic began, people were used to their daily activities keeping them busy throughout the day. Now, with limited opportunity for activity, they are turning to vacations to provide happiness. It may just be the best idea yet.
If you’re thinking of where to plan your flexcation, the location is up to you. Sarah Kuta, Contributor to the Denver Post, discussed the flexcation trend in Colorado: “Working professionals can stare at Zoom all day, then head out into the sunshine to take advantage of Colorado’s vast wilderness and recreation opportunities.”
Many people book their trips in beautiful areas, taking advantage of new sights as they go about their usual routines. According to Vrbo, by booking trips later in the year you can find a 20% price drop in nightly rates at places such as Cape Cod, Massachusetts; Cape May, New Jersey; Ocean City, Maryland; Grand Teton & Yellowstone, Wyoming; and Flathead County, Montana among others. The choices are endless, but make sure you have internet access at the location of your choice—along with a view, of course.
If you decide to travel this year, remain conscious of the ongoing pandemic. Though the location of your flexcation may be secluded from other people, there can be risks with traveling right now. It is crucial to remain careful, especially at airports and throughout any sight-seeing adventures. Wear a mask, wash your hands often and always remain at least six feet apart from others.
Refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before your trip to be aware of COVID-19 travel guidelines and recommendations for the area you are visiting. It is important to be knowledgeable of the enhanced cleaning procedures being used in your place of stay to be sure that your health is first priority.
This year, the flexcation trend will remain popular. According to 2021 Vrbo data, 82% of families surveyed already have travel plans for 2021. With a large number of individuals planning to travel, it is expected that those who have the opportunity to work and learn remotely will be included in that mix. Vrbo also reveals that the most in-demand properties as of now are cabins and chalets. People are interested in destinations near lakes and rivers, and therefore are looking to find peaceful properties.
Are you going to take part in the flexcation trend? If your schedule can be completed remotely, why not do it in style? The world is yours to see. Are you ready for an adventure?
Rachel Huculak is a senior majoring in English with a focus in creative writing. After college, she hopes to work in the publishing industry as well as create poetry and stories of fiction. Her dream is to publish a book as well. Rachel’s interests include creative writing, playing piano and spending time with her family and friends.