Canadian travel company offering tempting work-from-home vacation packages. Should you buy a ticket?
Lounge chairs fill an empty beach in Cancun, Mexico, Thursday, June 11, 2020. (AP Photo/Victor Ruiz)
TORONTO -- With so many Canadians entering their sixth month of working from home, the thought of a vacation to a tropical destination is hard to beat.
Now, one Canadian travel company is looking to tap into that growing feeling of lockdown-induced wanderlust with the “ultimate beachfront office upgrade.”
In a news release issued on Wednesday, Sunwing is now offering up a travel package dubbed “Upgrade Your Office,” which allows those working from home a chance to “trade in their living room for an ocean view.”
“Available at select resorts, jet-setting professionals will be the envy of their colleagues as they head to the beach the moment they power-down their laptop, all at an extremely affordable price,” a Sunwing news release reads.
The packages are available from November onwards and feature destinations like Jamaica, Mexico and the Dominican Republic. If you’re departing from Toronto, the price starts at $2,295, all include resort-wide Wi-Fi, portable power banks and even daily sunset yoga classes.
Travellers can chose either a 14, 21 or 28-night package.
“We know that right now many Canadians are missing travel,” Andrew Dawson, President of Tour Operations at Sunwing, said. “We believe a ‘workcation’ might be just what sun-seekers have been dreaming about. We want to give travellers the opportunity to work from a beautiful destination with world-class amenities and help redefine the idea of work-life balance. You’re still working – only now, you’re doing it from paradise.”
And with working from home appearing to be the new reality for the foreseeable future for many Canadians, the packages sound like a pretty sweet deal.
But should you book your ticket?
Well, Ontario’s health minister is advising against it.
“We are strongly advising against travel outside of Ontario,” Minister of Health Christine Elliott’s office said in an email to CTV News Toronto on Wednesday.
The comments shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. Though it’s not prohibited, for months the federal government has been advising Canadians against non-essential international travel.
As well, residents who do choose to take the trip will likely have to self-isolate for 14 days following their “workation.”
However, Elliott did offer some recommendations for those who can’t resist the urge to travel.
“It's important that everyone, regardless of where they’re travelling, continues to follow public health advice, including to practice physical distancing, wear a face covering if physical distancing is a challenge, wash hands frequently and thoroughly and avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth,” Elliott’s office said.
Additionally, Elliott said if you do feel sick you should immediately self-isolate, seek care and avoid close contact with others.
Some popular travel destinations offering one-year residential certificates
Sunwing’s new deal comes after some popular travel destinations offered up one-year residential certificates for those willing to relocate for 12 months.
In July, the government of Barbados announced the “Welcome Stamp” program which offers visitors the option to work remotely from Barbados for a year at a time.
Similarly, Bermuda is also offering a program in response to a slump in local economic activity.
“These visitors can reside in Bermuda without seeking employment on the island and will promote economic activity for our country without displacing Bermudians in the workforce,” Bermudian minister of labour Jason Hayward said at the time.
Both countries require travellers to present COVID-19 tests proving that they are not infected with the virus.
With files from Graham Slaughter