Even prior to the covid-19 pandemic, there was an increasing number of us who didn’t work “in the office.” Business travelers and nomads were actively searching for new options in temporary housing. Now, there’s a much larger number of us working from home (“WFH”). And working from home doesn’t mean you’re literally at that place you refer to as your permanent residence.
As so many are realizing, WFH comes with a big perk. You can work from virtually where ever you want to. So whether you’re on a temporary assignment, or are feeling a new-found wanderlust, it’s good to look at all of your options. Here’s our take on the most common ways business travelers and nomads are creating home away from home.
Hotels, motels, lodges, and the like have been around almost since humans began traveling. They’ve become a part of vacations, relocations, and business trips as the default go-to.
Pros: They’re very predictable, especially within brands. There are options for almost any budget.
Cons: Rooms are typically cookie-cutter designs. Stays usually feel like, well, you’re in a hotel. It’s definitely not home.
Tips: When possible, travel to and stay in upscale locations off-season. A favorite for me is ski resorts, when there’s not a snowflake in sight. There’s also no crowds, and rooms or suites can be had at rates as much as 75% off the in-season rates.
Extended stay facilities are not much more than traditional hotels that have weekly or monthly rates. As with traditional hotels, the amenities provided are reflected in the rate.
Pros: They cater to a specific kind of traveler, and have designed their services and facilities to address those specific needs.
Cons: It’s still just a hotel. You’ve just agreed to stay longer in exchange for a (usually) lower daily rate equivalent.
Tips: If you choose this option, don’t go cheap. My worst lodging experience ever was in an extended stay facility run by Motel 6. I still cringe at the memory.
Ever finish a trip and hear yourself saying “it’s good to be home?” What if you could go almost anywhere and have it feel just like that? What if it was even better than home? Temporary housing is all that, and more. “Unlike Airbnb, temporary homes are aimed at the nomad business traveler — someone who is able to work remotely from anywhere (perhaps due to the pandemic) and wants/needs to change up their scenery temporarily or someone who has accepted a temporary assignment in another location as many healthcare workers, medical personnel and the like have done.”
Pros: Virtually everything can be handled for you, making your stay not only feel like home, but with no worries about the everyday things you have to handle when you’re “at home.” From decor to personal needs and preferences, it’s designed and prepared to your requirements.
Cons: You’ll have to commit to a longer stay, which could limit your mobility.
Tips: I’m much more productive in an environment that “feels” just right. I’m also more relaxed and able to enjoy all that’s around me. Life’s taught me that at the end of the day, I value these kinds of quality experiences greatly, and I find myself choosing them more often the older I get.
Want to live in Spain for a year? Is it possible that there’s someone in Spain who’d love to experience a year living in your home city? Yes, it is possible to find such a match with a house exchange.
Pros: You arrive in a complete home, ready to live in, that’s in a real neighborhood. That makes it easy to fully embrace local culture.
Cons: You’re also adopting the neighbors. For a long time.
Tips: Be sure there’s a clear understanding of ALL the terms in your exchange. To some extent, get to know your exchange partner prior to diving into a long term agreement.
Vacation Rentals (“AirBnB”)
Like Kleenex and facial tissue, AirBnB has almost become a culturally adopted general reference to vacation rentals. Vacation rentals are often the go-to source for short term lodging or housing when a traditional hotel isn’t desirable.
Pros: There’s an amazing variety of properties. You can stay in a cave, a shack, or a mansion.
Cons: There’s an amazing variation in how accurately, or inaccurately, the property being offered is described.
Tips: This is my opinion, based on many years of experience: Be wary, and read the reviews carefully. The vast majority of vacation rentals I’ve stayed at were disappointing or downright negative in one way or another. When choosing this option, be prepared to go with flow (or lack of it!). Because things are rarely as you imagined them.
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