Barbados and other countries offering perks to work in paradise

Remote work doesn’t necessarily mean you have to stay in the confines of your dreary living room.

With the flexibility of working from home during the coronavirus pandemic, many workers can take video conference calls from anywhere in the world — including a favorite (and socially distant) vacation spot.

With travel restrictions beginning to be lifted, countries around the world are offering incentives to stay or visit long-term. Despite the caution to travel, the pandemic might be the perfect time to live out your dream of living abroad for a lower price, taking remote work to a whole new level. Here are the five places offering the most appealing deals.


The prime minister of this Caribbean country has proposed a “12-Month Barbados Welcome Stamp” program, which would allow non-residents to stay in the tropical destination for a year, coming and going as they want. The news comes at a perfect time because Rihanna’s homeland lifted its travel restrictions on July 13, in an attempt to attract visitors — and that island life looks pretty good.

Sicily, Italy

Sicily, Italy
Sicily, ItalyGetty Images/iStockphoto

Although Italy’s travel restrictions eased up for some in May, they’re still looking for tourists to drop by, or stay awhile. The country’s officials proposed a $85 million budget to incentivize travelers, with vouchers for free nights in hotels, entry fee waivers for museums and tourist attractions and an offer to pay for up to half of tourists’ airfare. Sadly, the only caveat is that Americans are still not allowed into most European countries for non-essential travel. 


Athens, Greece
Athens, GreeceGetty Images/iStockphoto

In May, the country said it would make travel to and within Greece cheaper by reducing the value added tax (VAT) on all transportation from 24% to 13% to encourage visitation, according to BBC. Now that the country is open, visitors — or those who want to fulfill their “Mamma Mia” fantasies — can travel from around the world to the prime vacation, or work-from-home, spot. However, like with Italy, Americans might have to wait a little longer before jetting over.


Cancun, Mexico
Cancun, MexicoGetty Images/iStockphoto

If you’d rather take your work calls from the sandy shores of the beach, Mexico has you covered. The Hotel Associations of Cancun, Cozumel, the Riviera Maya and others launched a “#Come2MexicanCaribbean” campaign. Some of the perks include free hotel stays, free rental cars and discounts at tourist attractions, spas and golf courses, according to Insider. The offers are available through Aug. 15.


Santiago, Chile
Santiago, ChileGetty Images/iStockphoto

This one’s for the entrepreneurs. Start Up Chile offers programs for technology startups to relocate to Chile and begin building their businesses there. Not only do these programs provide funding to startups, but they also provide work visas for one year upon arrival into the country.

While these countries are offering tempting discounts and perks, other places around the world are providing free testing or care if travelers are infected with COVID-19. Iceland and the Portuguese island of Madeira are testing all visitors free of charge upon arrival. In addition, Cyprus is offering to pay for anyone who tests positive for the virus, including food, a place to stay and health care services for them and their families.